Mighty Shane 4-0 Taipei Magpies: Shane turn on the style in convincing win
After a winless run of four games, Shane comfortably dispatched of the Magpies to gain three valuable points and set up an enticing end to the season. The opposition had suffered of late, but with confirmation pre match that some of their star players had returned, Shane knew they’d have to perform well to win the game.
A positive start certainly helped, with Shane bossing possession and playing attractive football – something that had been somewhat lacking in recent matches.
However, it was a set piece that led to the opener – a source that has served us well all season. After winning a free kick on the left, Zach Paruch delivered the ball into the near post, where winger Jayke Langley was waiting. With his back to goal, Jayke delicately touched the ball down for defender Jack Snart to fire home for his first league goal for the club.
At 1-0, Shane should have been looking to extend their lead and take further control of the game. However, Magpies lifted themselves, and to their credit, put Shane under an extended period of pressure for the subsequent 15 minutes by winning multiple corners and threatening to break through.
Shane’s stand in keeper, Leo Naranjo – as well as the centre back pairing of Mamadi Colley and Jack – stood firm and composed however, and were able to ride out the storm. It was the only period of the game where Shane struggled on the ball, and they doubled their lead slightly against the run of play soon after.
Shane countered quickly from a Magpies attack, with Sam Thompson being fed the ball through the middle, who in turn found Zach making a bursting run in space down the right. Zach then played the ball into the middle for Patrick Krogh, who struck into the bottom corner following a fine piece of control.
The second proved to be decisive as Shane regained their confidence and never looked back, having gone into half time 2-0 up. Sensing the opportunity for more goals, the second half was lit up by positive flowing football. With the combination of wingback Cesar Molano and winger Felipe Vasquez consistently combining well down the left, and the attacking trio of Zach, Jayke, and Patrick Krogh working in perfect sync, the opposition defense was kept very busy indeed.
The points were made secure when Zach played a brilliant ball through for Patrick Krogh, breaking the offside trap, and after his initial shot was blocked by the keeper, Zach was able to finish into the empty net having made up the ground from midfield for a very well-deserved goal.
With ten minutes remaining, Shane put the icing on the cake as they punished a tiring Magpies backline. The returning full back John Dixon cleverly took a free kick quickly into Zach, who held onto the ball just long enough to draw out the defenders, before playing the pass into the overlapping Jayke. The feisty winger took a touch before curing a great finish into the bottom corner.
There were chances to extend the lead, but Shane managed the game well for the remaining period to secure an impressive victory, and a very welcome clean sheet.
The lads should take confidence from such a performance going into the final stretch of the season, and with so much still to play for in a tight mid-table. Next up is a difficult clash against Taipei Eagles on 10th July at Fujen University.
Man of the Match:
Zach Paruch continued his fine season and was back to his confident best as he consistently found space in which to hurt the opposition. He was the most effective player on the day as he had a big hand in all four goals, including one himself and two assists.
Jack Snart had yet another commanding game at centre back and comfortably kept the Magpies strikers at bay. He also showed great composure in scoring the opening goal.
Alongside Jack was Mamadi Colley, who impressed in a rare departure from his usual midfield role. Helped to play the ball out from the back and comfortable in possession, even when under pressure.
Cesar Molano had a storming game in every aspect, whether with his tackling, positioning, or ability to carry the ball up the wing from left back at frightening speed.