Parakeets Continue to Soar

Moor Mead Athletic maintained their unbeaten league run with a sparkling display of disciplined passing and movement which drove the opposition goalkeeper to tears.

The Parakeets arrived in the winter mists of deepest Surrey to find a pitch looking ready for planting with this year's turnip crop, and a highly rated opposition who, at times, seemed set on kicking them off the park.

They responded with a dominant team performance in which every player made a significant contribution to record arguably their most impressive result of the season.

The opening exchanges were competitive and frantic, with few clear cut chances. Miles was pulling the strings from the back, and had a shot blocked from a free kick won by Dilly. Meanwhile Jake looked lively down the right flank.

Sam robbed a defender, and fired wide as Moor Mead began to ratchet up the pressure. But Alec was called on to make a smart save from a swift break.

Horley began to put in some crunching tackles – not all of them entirely legal – but good Moor Mead passing began to stretch their defence, and Dilly scrambled home from a corner to put the Parakeets one up.

Indecision at the back gave Horley the chance to reply, but they shot just past the left post.

Then Mani narrowly field to finish off a skillful break after being put through by William. Moments later he did find himself on the scoresheet, reacting first to a weak goal kick to double the lead.

William then made it three with an incisive side foot finish from a Miles corner.

Sam and William then combined to carve open the Horley defence and set up Kiran, who made no mistake for the fourth.

A typically powerful run by Sam ended with a good save from the Horley keeper, and Jake went close with a rising shot as Moor Mead finished the first half completely on top, although Alec was forced into action just before the break to block a shot following a swift Horley counter.

Horley seemed to respond to a half-time pep talk, and began the second half with a flourish, as Alec smothered a bobbling shot.

But at the other end Jake came close to replicating Ryan Gigg's legendary FA Cup solo goal against Arsenal, flying down the left wing, cutting in, and producing a smart stop.

With Sam and Miles beginning to control midfield, and Ben and Teig solid at the back Moor Mead once again began to assert their superiority.

Mani fired into the side netting after good work from Sam, and Miles hit a long-range speculative shot over.

Horley then hit the post from a deflected shot following a goalmouth scramble as the deteriorating pitch began to resemble the sort of mud bath last seen at the Baseball Ground in the mid-1970s.

The heavy conditions, and some scything fouls seemed to disrupt Moor Mead's shape as Horley enjoyed a rare period of sustained pressure.

But Moor Mead responded: William and Mani combined to set up Kiran, who was unlucky to see his fierce shot palmed away by a diving keeper. Next Miles fired across goal after a cutting in from the left side on a jinking run.

The stand-out move of the game ended with a fifth goal for Moor Mead, as Mani and William - who combined effectively all match - swapped clinical passes in the final third before Miles buried a precise curling shot low into the left corner.

Both Mani and Kiran went close again, before a Horley mix up from a corner gifted William a tap in for the sixth.

At this point, the home keeper seemed to want run away, but ordered back between the posts, he redeemed himself with a great save from a powerful Sam free kick.

He also acrobatically tipped over a long-range effort from Jake. Sam, Kiran and Dilly also went close as the Moor Mead took complete control.

But the one-way traffic seemed certain to produce another goal, and it duly came with the last kick of the match, as a Horley defender deflected a Sam free kick into his own net.

On paper The All Stars, the winner of two tournaments last year, presented a daunting challenge. The were clearly set on gunning down the Parakeets, but by the final whistle it was they who had been comprehensively cut down to size.