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Promoted Moor Mead Party like Pros

Moor Mead Athletic made a winning start to life in a higher league, overcoming a howling gale and determined, well organised opposition 3-1 in Bushy Park - and then partied in the Aleksander.

Teddington represented a step up in class, and fielded a couple of talented strikers, but following a competitive first half, Moor Mead dominated after the break, and showed tremendous focus and discipline in extremely testing conditions.

The Parakeets started well and took an early lead, James applying a clinical finish when sent clear by a lobbed through ball from Miles.

Miles himself came close to doubling the advantage with a long range rising effort which went narrowly wide.

At the other end Jake was quick off his line to block a sweeping Teddington move, and then palmed away a low cross shot.

Teig was his usual assured self at the back, reading the game well and making several important interventions.

Mani put through Ryan, who shot narrowly wide after a nifty piece of control.

But Teddington then began to turn the screw with a period of sustained pressure. Their number 11 caused problems on the left flank, and Jake made a great save with his legs, as the defence marshalled by Miles with support from Orla stood firm.

An equaliser seemed inevitable, though, and duly arrived thanks to a piece of sustained tenacity from the opposition striker, who buried a low cross shot through a crowded goalmouth.

Moments later Moor Mead were lucky not to fall behind when the same player took advantage of defensive hesitation, but shot just wide.

Somehow, however, Moor Mead reached half time in front when the opposition failed to deal with a raking free kick from the left from Miles, which went straight in.

The second half began ominously, as the wind - much more wintery than festive - strengthened still further. With the corner flags in the neighbouring match standing out at 90 degrees, Teddington clipped the bar after catching Moor Mead flat-footed at the back.

Athletic needed to show real resolve in highly testing conditions, and did so wonderfully well.

Jake played Kiran through and he was unlucky to see his shot blocked by the keeper, Mani, who showed excellent control and ball skills throughout, fired a long range shot just over, and Miles fizzed a shot just wide with the keeper beaten.

The match then turned into a midfield masterclass from Sam, who did absolutely everything but score. Three times in rapid succession his driving runs from deep sent him clear. Twice he was denied by great stops by the Teddington keeper, and once he scuffed narrowly wide. He then saw a shot trickle agonisingly past the wrong side of the post.

But ultimately he wasn't to be denied, cutting through yet again to set up James, who blasted home the decisive third from close range.

Miles almost added a fourth, having been put through by Ryan and Teddington went close in the dying seconds.

It was a great team effort: Teig and Orla were solid at the back, Miles a steadying presence in midfield, Kiran and Jake bundles of energy, James sharp up front and William performed a key scavenging role in the centre.

But in front of a scout from Brentford it was Sam's day. Surely the only question will be the size of the signing on fee.

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