UEL 2nds put three points on the board in the opening match of the season with a 9-0 thrashing of Canterbury Christ Church 4ths. After a 15 minute delay due to the heavy rain the game finally got underway when a playable pitch was found by the officials.
In the opening exchanges UEL were the dominant force and tested the Canterbury defence from the off. Their early work was rewarded after only eight minutes when a great ball, whipped in by Ollie Soulsby from a corner, picked out Harry Tew-Robinson, who rose above his marker and headed it into the bottom right corner.
That goal was an incentive for UEL to go on and attack Christ Church’s defence with Tew-Robinson again tormenting the left back and getting beyond him with ease. When he finally curled in the cross it fell to Soulsby, who hit it on the half volley but just missed the target.
Tew-Robinson continued to cause the defence problems with his pace as a ball over the top sent him through on goal but his attempted chip went just wide of the left post.
With only 20 minutes on the clock Tew-Robinson was put through yet again but this time opted for a low shot which was straight at the keeper. Christ Church could hardly get the ball out of their own half with poor goal kicks from the keeper and the defence looking shaky on every UEL attack.
The home side felt confident. Emmanuel Kadiki and Louis, bursting forward from midfield, tried their luck with long range shots but both went just wide. Right-midfielder Soulsby was linking up well with Tew-Robinson, who had switched sides to cause the other wing back problems. A cross to the far post reached Soulsby, who cut back inside and hit a shot which was tipped onto the post by the keeper.
UEL could have been out of sight at the break after several corners and attempts on goal, but went in with only a one goal advantage despite great first half performances from Soulsby and Tew-Robinson.
The second half showed a change in formation for UEL, who switched from a natural 4-4-2 to a more daring 3-5-2 to be more dominant in midfield. It was Christ Church got out the traps earliest, though, when a low ball across the box was cleared straight up in the air and then off the line by Jaden Osei-Bonsu.
That early wake up call for UEL switched them back on and they got a second goal when a ball from Louis found Tew-Robinson, who burst through off the heels of the defenders, dinked the keeper and finished it into the bottom left corner.
Minutes later Tew-Robinson completed a superb performance with his hat-trick. A pass from captain Brandon Manoka allowed Tew-Robinson time and space to take on the defence before unleashing a fierce shot which flicked off the centre back and curled into the bottom left of the goal.
An early change for UEL saw Jaden take over the captaincy as Manoka was relieved of his duties. The fourth came through Tew-Robinson once again when he got on the end of a great, goal-bound cross to continue the rampage.
The fifth was imminent as the UEL striker Henry Hayden was put through again and finished into the bottom left corner on the hour mark.
After Tew-Robinson departed, UEL continued to surge forward and got their sixth midway through the second half. A great ball from William Semain over the top of the defence allowed Louis to burst forward from midfield and lift it perfectly over the keeper.
With the team 6-0 up, position changes were made to give the centre-backs a sniff of goal. Defender Osei-Bonsu swapped with Louis in midfield.
When the seventh came it was a surprise to see Osei-Bonsu on the score sheet. A low ball into the box was snatched off the defender by Osei-Bonsu and his shot, with no real pace on it, was fumbled by the keeper and trickled in at the near post.
The eighth came minutes later with when Dillan Freehily was sent forward after Osei-Bonsu had grabbed his goal. Great play down the left between the UEL left back and Freehily allowed the defender-turned-midfielder, who had stayed alert, to nick the ball off the defender in the box and finish it low at the near post.
The ninth came with five minutes remaining when Semain pinged a lovely ball from midfield to send the UEL forward through on goal and he finished low into the far corner.
Man of the match went to Harry Tew-Robinson for his outstanding performance.
Overall, it was a great overall performance from the whole team and a clean sheet for the UEL goalkeeper and defence who weren’t tested throughout the game.