A new-look Moor Mead made a highly impressive start to their campaign with a hard-fought 2-0 win over talented opponents in a fiercely competitive encounter at Marble Hill. Te
ddington were a quick and skilful side, but the Parakeets more than matched them in every department - and out-muscled them in the tackle.
Tom scored both goals, but was far from the only stand-out performer: Miles, William Sutton, and Mani pinged the ball around superbly, Rory produced an assured performance at the back, and Alec was impregnable in goal.
Teddington made a brisk start, but Alec dealt comfortably with their first strike. Daniel tested the keeper at the other end, as both sides tested each other in a high tempo, open game.
Gradually, Moor Mead began to control possession, with Miles and William Sutton linking consistently well down the left flank. Miles took a pop from long-range, and the Teddington keeper did well to smother a shot from William Sutton, after he carved out an opening for himself from a tight angle.
Jeremias marshalled the defence effectively, and Alexander mopped up efficiently in his customary deep-lying role. A Miles drive was saved well low at the near post, Rory went close from a corner, and Miles forced another save as the Parakeets turned up the heat.
But the visitors always posed a threat on the break , and twice fired shots across goal following swift passing moves. William Sutton set up Tom, who fired wide, but he made up for his miss by barrelling a header home from close range from a Miles corner. It was no less than Moor Mead deserved.
The home side ended the first half in control. Tom set up a chance for himself with a Paul Gascoigne-like flick over his own head, and William Sutton looped a shot narrowly over the bar.
The second half began with a swarm of flies on the touchline, and a couple of crunching tackles from Elliot and Tom. It was also lit up by one of Mani's purple patches. First he released Elliot, who flashed a shot narrowly wide, then he put Tom through, and he buried his shot clinically into the right-hand corner of the net.
Mani and Tom combined to go close again as Teddington began to wilt under the pressure of Moor Mead's swift, physical game. It seemed the only thing that could stop them was themselves: Elliot and Tom ran into each other in midfield, and a minor tremor was recorded by seismologists in Twickenham.
Teddington went close after some loose play at the back, and Alec produced two first-rate saves late on, made to look easy by his rapidly-developing positional nous. But William Sutton was unlucky to see his shot come back off the crossbar, and Mani, Miles and Elliot all came close to adding to Moor Mead's lead.
"They've been bullying us all game," the Teddington coach said mid-way through the second half, as he helped one of his players limp to the touchline.
It was true: the Parakeets imposed themselves wonderfully well on the match. Already new understandings are developing across the pitch, and the boys are adding a physical bite to their game.
The future looks bright. All that was needed to round off a great performance was a couple of cans of fly spray.