Saturday, 11 July 2015

Tooting and Mitcham vs Staines

Staines began their pre-season with a comfortable 5-0 win over ambitious Ryman Division 1 South side Tooting and Mitcham. The game was just 4 minutes old when an unnecessary shove in the box gave Staines a penalty, which was duly converted by Pat Cox. Staines doubled their lead in the 11th minute, with Michael Kalu heading home from a corner. The high-pressing game played by Staines restricted Tooting, but around the 30th minute Tooting came into the game, forcing the Staines keeper into a double save. They continued to press for the rest of the half, creating chance after chance but failing to score, due to a combination of poor finishing and goal goalkeeping. The best chance was when the Tooting number 9 got one-on-one but fired straight at Turner in the Staines goal. Right at the end of the first half Staines should have added to their lead but the attacker did not realise how much time he had and fired a weak shot straight at the Tooting keeper

Luke Wanadio did make it 3 in the 47th minute, getting a strong connection onto a powerful cross. 4 minutes later Vancouten made it 4-0 as Tooting failed to really start the second half. Staines continued to look for goals and came close just minutes after goal number 4, with an effort from the edge of the box flying just wide of the far post. M’bengui’s goal for Staines was a fantastic solo effort and well and truly killed off the game. Tooting’s centre-back was nearly punished for spending too much time on the ball late on in the game but the Staines attacker lost his footing as he went to shoot. The best late chances that fell to Staines were headed chances, but on both occasions the cross seemed just too high for the header as the Staines men just couldn’t get over the ball enough to add to the scoreline. Tooting would have been glad for the whistle when it came, after a very strong Staines performance

Tooting and Mitcham have high hopes for the season ahead and have assembled a strong squad. They never really got going in this one but the first game of pre-season rarely gives a good indication of a team’s ability and Tooting’s confidence in going up this season shouldn’t be damaged. After relegation last season Staines will be targeting an instant return to the National League South this year. Their game was intense and did not let Tooting play the way they wanted. If they can keep this up in the league campaign they should be confident of promotion 

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