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The Irish Times
SPORT May 24, 2000

Feds off to a losing start



Our first game at Centennial (which is west of Toronto like Russia is West of Toronto), was against FP Rangers. A floodlit Monday night that saw a full turnout from the Feds. First game nerves didn’t factor, as we quickly assumed dominance in midfield. We had by far the majority of possession, our defence absorbed their long ball game, and Ravi moped up anything that came through. For our first time playing together, it was very encouraging. The changeovers went smoothly, the positional play was ok, and every body was eager to win and hold possession. I couldn’t ask for more in my managerial debut.
The goal came in the second half, a well-deserved reward for slowly turning on the pressure. A solo run from Allan that was simply brilliant. Although the goal came from this source, it could equally have come from one of our other lines of offence (some great interaction going on out there). Unfortunately just after we scored, they came out looking for the equalizer and we were thrown into our half. This looked inevitable, as if we were as uncomfortable with being up as they were with being down. We will have to watch this in future. Sure enough, after several scary attempts, they scored. After this we went back to dominating the game. In fact we dominated with vengeance on our mind. Not only were we winning the possession wars again but we also peppered their goal with some fine attempts. With a bit more luck the score would have been 6-1, but alas time ran out and we had to settle for a draw. Still, a very encouraging start to the season.
The Man of the Match is very hard when it was an all round solid performance, but if I must. First some honorable mentions; the entire back line for their constant work rate. Keith for adapting to a position like he’d been playing there all his life. Great attacking work across the midfield from everybody (including Darren in the front role). If Jeff’s shot had gone in I would have awarded him MoM right there and then. Pure excellence from Niall and Allen (but I will expect that each game). Just missing out on the nomination was Pat, who simply took their best player out of the game (ignoring their goal, which was a product of pressure not individualism). But the winner is Dominic for his tireless loan striker work rate. Countless times he chased down what looked like lost causes to force defender errors.
Feds Kit
G 1. Ravi Man of the Match
D 2. Kevin Phillips
D 3. John VD
D 4. Russell Smith
D 5. Mark
M 7. Chris
M 8. Niall
M 6. Allan
F 8. Jeff
F 9. Dom
F 10. Peter
SUBS
F 12. Christie
F 12. Christie
F 12. Christie
F 12. Christie