With this afternoon’s 3-0 win over Whiskaz Wonderers, Athletic have now opened up a two point lead over Handball Rovers who could only manage a 1-1 draw away to Glenury Untied.

While the New Home Park side were always in control, they were made to fight all the way by a stubborn Wonderers side that were difficult to break down.

Athletic got off to the perfect start, Kyle Fair clipping home Nemanja Jankovic’s centre, but it took until the twenty-eighth minute before we created another chance. On this occasion, Ishmael Scannell in the Wonderers goal turned Onésimo Murube’s shot spectacularly round the post.

A 1-0 lead is always precarious, and Athletic had Ville Yrjölä to thank in the fifty-third minute when he got down sharply to parry Adalberto Dimitriades’s strike to safety.

This gave the Brook Street players the wake-up call they needed and right on the hour mark they moved a little closer to three points when Andy Hautala fired in Brook Street’s second goal of the game.

Gunnar Thomassen had the chance to reduce the lead two minutes later, but fired straight into the waiting arms of Ville Yrjölä.

As Andy Hautala was carrying a knock picked up last weekend, the decision was made to substitute him along with Igor Bulatov in the seventy-fifth minute. Coming on were Daniel Hasnaş and Yann Schories, and it was this combination that led to Brook Street’s third and decisive goal.

Picking the ball up on the left wing, Yann drove at the Whiskaz defence before cutting the ball back to Daniel who, in a poorly timed challenge, was bundled over in the box.

The referee pointed straight to the spot and Paul O’Healihy duly dispatched the penalty to make the points safe.

Despite the win, Arjen reckoned the match had been one of our toughest yet.

“There was a lot of expectation heaped on the shoulders of the players given how well they’ve been playing but the way Whiskaz set up, it makes it difficult for teams to break them down”.

He continued, “They don’t tend to concede many goals, so the fact we managed three without reply shows how well we’ve played today”.

It’s top against bottom next weekend as Brook Street travel to face Berceloona and they will be looking for a morale-boosting big win ahead of the following week’s crunch meeting with Handball at New Home Park.

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