The goals continued to flow for MK Irish as they claimed a 5-2 victory at home to Cockfosters on Saturday.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Terry Shrieves’ side who saw their initial three goal lead cut to just one with 20 minutes to go as Cockfosters tried to mount a spirited comeback.
An own goal had opened the scoring very early on before Mason Spence added a second and George Shrieves made it three, but two quickfire goals from the visitors tested Irish who went on to restore the cushion through two JJ Meadows goals.
It was an incredible start from Irish as they flew out of the blocks and into the lead within just two minutes.
Switching a wonderful ball from left to right was Nat Beecher, with pinpoint accuracy to George Shrieves on the wing. The forwards touch out of the sky was perfect, getting it under control before playing a one-two with Ryan Smith that allowed him to drive to the byline, cut the ball across the face of goal where it was turned in by a Cockfosters defender.
The visitors responded very well to falling behind so early and had a flurry of activity around the Irish goal as the game approached 20 minutes.
First the offside flag came to Irish’s rescue after a cross in from the right was touched in, before a great save from Ladyman kept the score at 1-0.
The real let off came as Cockfosters were handed a golden chance to level the game after the referee gave a penalty – however it was lashed over the bar as the home team got away with it.
MK Irish needed to get a grip on proceedings again and after a few scares they started to get back on the front foot.
A fantastic save from the Cockfosters keeper denied Ryan Smith, who received a cut back from George Shrieves and fired a low shot towards the bottom left. It took a slight deflection which perhaps brought it to a slightly better height for the keeper but the save was impressive nonetheless.
Then just before half time the vital second was scored.
George Shrieves had switched wings with Andre Olukanmi and picked up the ball on the left, driving inside to open up the angle and shoot towards the far corner but his shot crashed off the inside of the post unluckily. Mason Spence was in position to tap the rebound home from close range and make it 2-0.
Ten minutes into the second half and after having a big hand in both Irish goals, George Shrieves got the goal his performance had deserved.
Ty Ward’s diagonal pass was taken into stride by Shrieves, breaking free of the defence and bearing down on goal before finishing confidently for 3-0.
The game looked all but done with 30 minutes to go but visitors Cockfosters had other ideas.
After failing to clear a long ball properly, it dropped kindly for a Cockfosters attacker in the box, who turned smartly and finished well.
The away team weren’t looking to settle for just a consolation goal and five minutes later they really gave Irish something to think about.
A quick break down the right resulted in a deep cross towards the back post which was nodded in for 3-2.
The last twenty minutes of the game were to be a real test of Irish’s mental strength and if there were any questions around this teams promotion credentials this year, they answered them in the best way possible.
MK Irish needed to get some momentum again and it started after a shocking decision from the ref, denying George Shrieves a blatant penalty after he was fouled from behind.
Naturally, Cockfosters were playing much higher now in their pursuit of an equaliser, leaving space in behind for counter attacks.
Finding space on the right was Shrieves, and he picked up the ball and switched it Mason Spence on the left who clipped a delightful ball to the back post for subsititue JJ Meadows to head in for 4-2.
Five minutes later and it was almost a carbon copy.
Again the ball was switched out to the left on the counter attack, this time it was Ty Ward with space and time to cross into Meadows and on this occasion he let it drop before volleying in to make it 5-2.
Two MK Irish goals in quick succession put a halt Cockfosters comeback efforts, seeing the home side through to a vital three points.