Skills. Flair. Goals. Just a bit of what was on show at the National Cycling Centre as Manchester took on a Kevin Davies Select team.
The court was bursting with talent as both sides played out one of the most enthralling futsal matches to be played in England, and the 525-strong crowd were left on the edge of their seats for the duration.
Freestyle footballers Sean Garnier, Ismael Hamdaoui and Edward van Gils all showcased their talents in front of the baying crowd, who were not left disappointed as Manchester ran out 8-6 winners.
It looked as though the FA National Futsal League North champions were going to run away with it as they raced into a 4-0 lead. Stuart Cook opened the scoring just a few seconds into the game as Ilya Ovechkin capitalised on Davies’ slip to square for the England international to tap home.
Ovechkin then got in on the act moments later as he fired in off the post to double MFC’s advantage inside four minutes. Select eventually found their feet and went close through the ever-dangerous Hamdaoui, when the Dutchman crashed a ferocious shot off the bar.
But it was Manchester who bagged the next goal and it was an absolute belter from up and coming star Giles Collier. The MFC-youngster picked up the ball in his own half, burst forward, jinked past a couple of defenders with a step-over or two before lashing home into the top corner.
Luke Ballinger, deputising in Manchester blue for the day, then made it four for the hosts when he rolled into the bottom corner past Marcel Mylnar.
The fourth goal seemed to spark Select into life once again and Garnier provided the explosion as he drifted past a defender before coolly placing home from close range, before Hamdaoui rifled a shot from distance to halve the deficit moments later.
It was no less than Kevin Davies’ side deserved, but Manchester came flying out of the blocks once more after the interval as Danny Stapleton scored twice in the blink of an eye to put MFC 6-2 ahead.
The youngster had a fantastic end to the 2014/15 season and will be hoping to continue that fine form after another impressive performance.
Soon, Collier doubled his tally for the contest when he was the beneficiary of some excellent work from Stapleton to finish neatly at the near post.
Hamdaoui then scored twice in five minutes to complete his hat-trick and put Select back in with a shout of claiming a share of the spoils, before van Gils prodded home a rebound to make it 7-5 with four minutes remaining.
That man Hamdaoui then bagged his fourth to set up a tense finale, but it was Ovechkin and MFC who had the final say as he calmly slotted the ball past Mylnar to complete the scoring and round off a wonderful futsal showcase.
Same again next year, then?
Written by @MFC_Futsal