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Match report: Manchester 6-3 Reading Escolla

by Riegan Thompson

Manchester Futsal progressed to the quarter finals of the FA Futsal Cup after an impressive fight back to win the game 6-3.

The opening five minutes didn't go to plan for the hosts as they found themselves two down. The first coming three minutes after kick off. Escolla enjoyed the majority of possession and soon capitalised on it through Toluwa Sotonye, who flicked his shot past Cristiano Pinto.


Reading Escolla doubled their lead two minutes later. A well worked team goal was finished off by Luis Mendes, after some neat build up between captain Sonatan Deniz and Ryan Walsh.


Escolla continued to put pressure on the Manchester goal with Pinto having to make a number of key saves to keep his side in the game. Pinto’s efforts were rewarded five minutes before the interval through captain Raducio King, who created some space for himself and fired through Daniel Welch’s legs.


Giles Collier could have brought Manchester level a minute before half time. Collier won the ball on the half way mark, he beat his man but struck the post from yards out.


In the second half, Manchester started the stronger of the two teams and soon made the score level through Jordan Edge. The turn around was then completed on 28 minutes through Ilya Ovechkin.


Ovechkin went on to grab his second minutes later, slotting in from close range to make it 4-2 to the hosts. After gaining the lead Manchester enjoyed the majority of possession and were in control of the game.


Marcos Leon hit a fierce volley into the top right corner of the net to give Manchester their fifth. The scoring was completed as fly-keeper Pinto kept his cool and slotted home to seal victory for Manchester. 


There was still time for Escolla to pull one back through Hector Senovilla. Luis Mendes then received his marching orders for a second booking for dissent.


Manchester team: Cristiano Pinto (GK), Robbie Elliott (GK) Danny Stapleton, Marcos Leon, Adam Oldham, Ilya Ovenchkin, Raducio King, Giles Collier, Jordan Edge, Ben Soel, Sam Richardson.


Reading Escolla team: Daniel Welch (GK), Jack Walhs, Henriyum Do Campo, Ryan Walsh, Toluwa Sotonye, Flavio Damsio, Jonatan Deniz, Luis Mendes, Vitor Garcia, Hector Senovila



After the game we caught up with Interim Head Coach Sam Richardson who had this to say;


The game was exactly the same as the York game in terms of being sluggish out of possession and defensively, we weren't focusing on the things we have been trying to do in last six or so weeks. I don't know if it’s because we haven't had games, we did play York last week but that was the first in some weeks, so maybe we still had that rustiness.


He then added, “My first message before the game was don't give them a two/three goal lead, we’ve done this already against a similar team in Cambridge so I was wary of that and obviously in the first five minutes exactly what I said had not to happen had happened.


Speaking on the the dramatic turn around, “Once we got into the game after the first ten minutes we started creating chances, enjoy possession, defending well and we started doing the things we had been working on. I think we needed the first ten minutes to wake up and realise what we needed to do. I didn't need to say much at half time, I knew the players knew what they needed to do from the stuff they were saying on the side line.”


Looking ahead to next weeks game, “This gives us momentum to this game, we still have things to do and work on before the next game. London Baku United are going to be a completely different test, they have some internationals on their books and they have capable players. It’ll be a different challenge and hopefully we can impose our game.


Manchester Futsal captain Raducio King claimed “we do not fear anybody” heading into next weekends quarter final tie; “If we start the way we started this game, it is going to be a tough game. But if we start how we finished the game we have a huge chance. If we start with high energy we have a chance going to London Baku United.


King continued, "Obviously, it’s well known they have a good squad, a few international players. But we don’t fear anybody. We’re going to go there, put in a great performance and hopefully bring the result back to Manchester.” 


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