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Parklands 2 - 4 Wigan Cosmos
Goal Scorers - Jamal John, Awat Khezri, Gary Stanley,
The Cosmos started the 2016/17 campaign with a
tough away fixture Parklands at Leyland Park. Parklands
are a very physical side who like to use their aerial
dominance to their advantage. Parklands were the highest
finishing team in the first division last season who didn't
gain promotion to the Premier League.
Cosmos started the game with a period of possession
and looked very comfortable on the ball. The Cosmos took
the lead early on, in the first half, following great work
down the left hand side of the pitch by The Cosmos's number 9 James Harrison's who produced some exceptional wing play before crossing to an unmarked Jamal John, who finished brilliantly from the edge of the area into a gaping goal. Jamal, who won the Premier Division's Player of the Year in 2015/16, looks set to be a crucial player for The Cosmos and opened his and the team's account for the season. Jamal then unfortunately picked up a knock in the first half and was unable to continue, being replaced by Ryan Maguire. The hosts threatened throughout the first half, which saw multiple shots from range come close, with The Cosmos' goalkeeper Kieran O'Leary pulling off some great saves, Cosmos survived the Parklands onslaught and aerial dominance and entered half time with a 1-0 lead.
The Cosmos again started the second half brightly and doubled their lead early on with striker Awat Khezri taking advantage of Parklands failing to clear their lines following a great save by the Parklands keeper after another great run and shot by The Cosmos' Man of the Match James Harrison who finished neatley past the keeper in a congested penalty area.
The Cosmos were in complete control of the early stages of the second half, having lengthy spells of possession and looking strong across the pitch. The Cosmos thought they'd trebled their lead against Parklands when Captain, Matty Lewis poked home a perfectly delivered Danny Young free kick only to be followed by the goal dubiously being ruled out, for an offside decision from the referee. The Cosmos did finally get their third goal of the game after Gary Stanley smartly made use of the quick free kick rule and placed his shot into the top right corner past a stranded Parklands keeper.
Parklands pulled one back on the hour mark through a good finish to make it 3-1. Captain Matty Lewis did finally get his deserved goal after a solid defensive performance, with the Wigan Cosmos Player of the Year 2015/16 bundling the ball home, from a superb corner kick by Ben Ashcroft to give The Cosmos a throughly deserved 4 - 1 lead. Parklands did respond with a late goal to make it 4 - 2 with 20 minutes to go, however The Cosmos held tight, keeping possesion well to earn a well deserved win, to get the season rolling...
It was a solid performance throughout the game from The Cosmos as they played from defence to the attack in a very pleasing and eye catching performance, fully deserving the win in which they've been working so hard to achieve after a season to forget last year against a very strong and competitive Parklands side.
The Cosmos now look ahead to another great training session on Thursday before heading into another big game next Sunday as we entertain Real Haydock.
Opposition MOM - James Harrison
Website MOM – Danny Young
12. Danny Taberner***
14. Harri Chapman****
15. Ryan Maguire**
16. Jay Whittle
17. Awat Khezri*
* Subs Used In Order
Match Report by Jay Whittle @Jay2408123456