Football: Ruthless Downing Thrash Emma

In a bit of a one sided game, a dominant Downing crushed the aspirations of an enfeebled Emma team

Ben McNally Dennis dominant Downing downing emma enfeebled Emma Hitchins max burley relegation Rich Jenkins rob dunn Ruthless

Downing 5 – Emma 0

A Max Burley hat-trick inspired an impressive 5-0 win for Downing at home to Emma on a rainy Saturday afternoon. 

The two sides had begun the season in opposing manners, with Downing winning their first two games and Emma still without a point. Form suggested that this game could be quite one-sided and that was how it turned out, as the men in red and black proved to be far too strong for Emma to cope with.

Downing started the game on the front foot, and could have taken the lead inside the first two minutes. A long throw into the Emma penalty area wasn’t dealt with and keeper Rich Jenkins had to be alert to smother the ball at the feet of Max Burley.

They were not to be denied for too long, however, and took the lead after a quarter of an hour. A corner from the right wasn’t cleared, with the ball falling to the feet of captain Rob Dunn, who lashed home with the help of a deflection and the underside of the bar.

Downing continued to apply the pressure. While unable to completely control possession, they looked threatening on the counter and Burley could have doubled the lead, but skewed wide when through one-on-one with Jenkins. At the other end, a rare foray forward resulted in a cross from Hitchins that was met by Dennis, only to see his header acrobatically tipped onto the bar by the Downing keeper.

Minutes later, however, Downing doubled their lead. Dunn again was the scorer as he rose to meet a cross from Burley on the right, after the initial corner had been cleared. The score remained 2-0 through to half time. While possession had been fairly equal, Downing were the far more creative of the two sides. Emma, on the other hand, seemed to lack ideas in the final third and were devoid of penetration.

The second half reflected much of the first, with Downing turning the screw early. Burley added a third inside the first five minutes, picking up the ball on the left hand side, before dipping inside his man and placing a shot in off the far post.

Emma were unable to create clear cut chances, restricted to the occasional shot from distance. Downing however, were beginning to take the game by the scruff of the neck, and added a fourth on the hour mark. Burley received the ball on the left again, drifting past two men and finishing clinically from a tight angle.

Chances continued to flow for the men in red and black, first with Stevens driving at the heart of the Emma defence and forcing Jenkins, clearly was hampered by a knee injury, into a good save. Then Burley continued his menacing of the Emma backline, and saw his chances of a third goal thwarted by a good save by Jenkins.

5 minutes from time, Burley did complete his hat-trick with the goal of the game. A fine passing move exploited vast gaps in a tiring Emma defence, before being finished by Burley coolly at the near post.

An impressive Downing side haver sent a message to the rest of the league by dispatching an Emma side devoid of much inspiration. While Downing look like potential title challengers on this performance, Emma will need to re-assess fast if they are to avoid a relegation as the league progresses.