A dominant performance from start to finish, as well as a Mason Spence hat-trick, saw MK Irish run out 5-0 winners away to Langford on Wednesday night.
Irish started strong and after a couple of early chances it was George Shrieves who opened the scoring, converting from close range after some good work from Spence down the left.
Spence then got himself on the scoresheet with a wonderful strike from distance the away side doubled their lead – a two goal cushion they never looked back on. Spence then all but secured the points before half time, making it 3-0 with a good finish from a tight angle.
The goalscoring continued after the break for MK Irish as Keelan Shand’s looping effort dropped just under the bar and over the Langford goalkeeper’s head, before Spence completed his hat-trick after calmly rounding the keeper late on.
Spence almost opened the scoring with only two minutes on the clock, after being released through on goal by a wonderful Keelan Shand ball over the top. The Langford goalkeeper rushed out to try and close the angle, and Spence’s chipped effort bounced unluckily just over the bar.
With less than five minutes gone, the game then had a long break in proceedings as a late challenge from a Langford attacker saw Owusu down with a head injury that needed treatment. The MK Irish keeper did well to carry on after what looked to be a painful one.
Soon after play resumed the visitors showed their threat on the break as Spence, George Shrieves and Dom Lawless combined to present the latter with a great chance to make it 1-0, however Lawless couldn’t direct his shot on target as he cut inside on to his right foot.
After threatening in the early stages, Irish made the next chance count as George Shrieves broke the deadlock after 20 minutes. It was Spence pressuring the opposition defence high in the corner, winning the ball back well and driving into the box before laying it back to Shrieves who converted under the keeper from six yards out.
George Shrieves opens the scoring for MK Irish
MK Irish had looked calm and confident in possession since kick off and they looked even more assured on the ball after going 1-0 up, constantly finding space between the lines and often getting through on goal with balls over the top.
Ten minutes later, MK Irish got that all important second goal to give – and in spectacular style from Spence. The Irish attacker picked up the ball 25 yards from goal on the right-hand side, cut inside on his left foot and rifled it into the top right corner of the net, giving the Langford keeper no chance as he made it 2-0.
Mason Spence fires in from distance to make it 2-0
A goal and an assist to his name already, Spence was enjoying his evenings work and almost scored again in even better fashion, after firing a dipping effort towards goal from 30 yards out that had the goalkeeper scrambling as it swerved onto the crossbar.
Spence didn’t have to wait long after rattling the bar before he doubled his tally for the night, making it 3-0 to the visitors. Liam Smyth played the forward in with a clever pass down the right-hand side, and Spence made a difficult chance from a tight angle look easy as he smashed it into the bottom corner across the keeper.
Spence’s angled finish made it 3-0 to Irish before half time
That sent the away side into half time in a more than commanding position, and they would feel that one more goal after the break would effectively kill off what had already been a very one-sided game.
Irish continued to dominate proceedings after the break and tightened their grip on the three points less than ten minutes into the second half, as unlikely scorer Keelan Shand made it 4-0 with a freakish goal. Collecting the ball on the left after a Langford defensive clearance, Shand whipped in a looping cross towards the back post that the keeper misjudged as the ball dropped over his head and into the net.
With the home side now well and truly beaten and over half an hour still left to play, Langford’s players proceeded to totally lose their heads as the match threatened to descend into chaos. Vinny Shrieves, one on one with the keeper on the edge of the box, was brought down in a desperate challenge that saw the referee show the defender a straight red card.
That lit the fuse for Langford as the next ten minutes of the game saw the referee show them three yellow cards following some reckless challenges, one of which resulted in a second yellow and another red as they were reduced to nine men.
As the second half went on it was all Irish as they pressed on looking for a fifth goal against the stretched Langford defence. Seeking a hat-trick, Spence went close as he hit the woodwork again, receiving the ball short from a corner and cutting inside to curve one towards goal on his right foot. The strike completely beat the keeper who could only watch hopelessly as it crashed onto the bar.
Spence did have the ball in the net as the game approached full time, finishing expertly into the top corner from the edge of the area, however it seemed he was destined not to notch his hat-trick after the goal was controversially ruled out by the linesman for a foul in the build up.
With just a few minutes left on the clock, Spence finally got his hat-trick, latching on to a through ball from just inside the Langford half and keeping his cool as he took it round the oncoming keeper and touched it home to round off the scoring and make it 5-0.
Spence rounds the keeper and rounds off his hat-trick
The referee blew for full time soon after, wrapping up a fantastic away display from MK Irish, continuing the positive mood in the squad after Saturday’s Vase victory against Broadfields.
Irish return to Manor Fields this Saturday for a tough game, as they line up in league action against New Salamis, who are unbeaten so far in the Spartans South Mids Division One.