MUSCAT STORM PROVES TOO GOOD FOR AL AHLY

Muscat Storm came up with its best display of the season so far as it romped to a 4-1 victory against the visiting Al Ahly at The Sultan’s School recently and continue its winning streak.

Ahead of the match, Storm was forced into a last minute change and Dave McCurrach took over the goalkeeping gloves and he turned out to be exceptional during the match.

Al Ahly started the game with good possession but with Storm’s Ron Polson and Joe Lewis marshalling the defence, the visitors hardly had the space to penetrate. Storm patiently waited for its chance and played some lovely touch football and got its first breakthrough in the 21st minute when Lee Ebbutt released Kirk McPherson, who made no mistake to score.

Storm remained on top in the first-half and created some good chances. The hosts grew in confidence and passed the ball around well to stretch Al Ahly players.

Nick French had a chance but his shot trickled past the post. It was not late before the second goal was scored. It came after some great work by Olly Myhill who found McPherson and the latter’s cross was volleyed home by Hilton.

Al Ahly pushed forward in the last five minutes of the first-half and when Al Mazhool broke through, McCurrach made a great save to keep a clean sheet at half-time.

The visitors changed its formation in the second-half hoping to bounce back into the game, but Billy White was a pillar at the back and when he won his tackle on the edge of the box the ball spilled to Hugh Davis who released Hilton and his pace allowed him to race clear of his marker. Hilton sent the ball through to an unmarked McPherson who calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-0.

Al Ahly kept attacking in search of a goal but goalkeeper McCurrach stood firm under the bar to frustrate the visitors. Storm scored its fourth goal in the 70th minute, when an early ball from Johnny Murphy found McPherson on the edge of the box, whose shot struck an outstretched arm of an Ahly defender forcing the referee to award a penalty-kick.

McPherson confidently struck the ball to the right of the keeper, giving Storm its fourth goal and his hat-trick.

Al Ahly found a consolation goal in the dying minutes of the match when Al Mahool slipped the ball under McCurrach for a consolation goal.

Later an elated Storm manager Lee Ebbutt said, “This was our best performance in this season. Everybody performed tonight and the result was a true reflection of teamwork and effort. We were enjoying the game tonight and Al Ahly caught us at our best.”

SOURCE: Muscat Daily