- Big Dan Pischedda
Warriors Fall on their Swords as Shane Get Off to a Flying Start
The Mighty Shane put the disappointment of the difficult qualifying campaign behind them as a dominant first half proved pivotal in sweeping aside a spirited – and much changed – Warriors outfit in a tense curtain-raiser at FuJen Stadium.
Shane, giving debuts to three players thrust directly in to the starting XI, took the game to the Warriors from the outset. Their free-flowing, attacking football was scintillating to the eye, and eventually saw them take a deserved lead, albeit in bizarre fashion. Zach Paruch’s in-swinging corner, much to the surprise of everyone in attendance – including himself – flew directly into the net and broke the deadlock.
By that time, Shane tails were up, and they doubled their lead soon afterward. Jayke Langley cut in off his wing, and was found with an incising pass by the commanding Jamie Smith. With all the composure of a seasoned professional, Jayke stroked the ball beyond the onrushing keeper for 2-0.
At this point Shane were unstoppable, and it came as no surprise on the balance of play that they scored again soon afterward. This time it was through Brian McLaughlin’s pulsating run into enemy territory from the right back position that bore fruit for the Mighty Shane. He, too, showed wonderful composure to lift the ball beyond the keeper and into the net to leave it 3-0, seemingly put the game to bed.
If the scoreline was showing a one sided encounter however, the Warriors clearly had not received the script. A spirited, counter-attacking move ended with keeper Daniel Pischedda having to make a one-handed save to tip a 20-yard strike just over the bar, and their gradually increasing foothold in the game would send them in at half time with a positive mindset – and a sign of possible things to come.
It was indeed a sign of things to come. Warriors proved lightning can strike twice, and scored directly from a corner themselves immediately after the restart. This would set the tone for a second half, which consisted of scrappy football and long balls. Despite pulling another goal back midway through the second half with a brilliant bit of footwork, it eventually proved futile as Shane held on 3-2 to crawl over the line, and temporarily top the summit of the league table.
Setting up in a 4-5-1 formation, and utilising the speed and strength of the front 3 players, Shane will take heart from a number of factors in this match. A display of defensive dominance from debutants Pete and Sean will undoubtedly prove monumental in Shane’s quest for promotion. The tireless work rate of every player in the side – whether starting or sub – was on show for all to see, and from an attacking perspective it is obvious that this team are packed with goalscorers who can fire Shane to the promised land of promotion.