Regent’s return to top spot after hammering title rivals Islington Admiral United
- Credit: Archant
Regent’s FC boss Des Casey feels his team’s earlier defeat by Islington Admiral United spurred them on to inflict a crushing revenge on their title rivals.
Casey’s side – who lost 3-2 to Admiral earlier in the campaign – seized pole position in the Islington Midweek League Premier Division after they romped to a 5-1 victory in the return match at Market Road.
It was a miserable evening for Admiral, who had both Jason Edwards and Terry Paul ordered off as they tasted defeat in the league for the first time this season.
The result meant Regent’s go into their clash with bottom side Star of Kings on Wednesday with the chance to extend their advantage at the top to four points.
“It does take the pressure off us, but the boys are enjoying playing so much they want to keep their foot on the pedal and not let up,” Casey told the Gazette.
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“The thing about the boys is they’re all in it together – I had five subs for the Admiral game and there wasn’t a bleat out of any of them. Whenever they’re called upon, they do their bit.
“Losing to Admiral first time around gave us an incentive because we haven’t dropped a point since, we’ve pursued all the cups and it was the kick up the backside we needed.
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“They’re a good club, well organised and no matter what, they turn up and put out a good team. But we were just too good for them – when we were surging forward it was fantastic.
“I think the first red card was a big factor because their heads dropped, they just couldn’t get themselves out of the fix and they ran out of ideas attacking-wise.”
Admiral drew first blood in a lively encounter, with Niko Muir firing home after five minutes, but Alfie Francis equalised just seven minutes later and the scoreline remained unchanged going into the second half.
However, the pendulum swung decisively in favour of Regent’s soon after the restart when Edwards was sent off for bringing down Naim Essaghi, who then converted the resulting spot-kick.
Rogers turned in Yemi Buraimoh’s cross to make it 3-1 midway through the second half and Admiral fell apart as Regent’s substitute Ricky Lucas drove home his side’s fourth.
Paul was shown a red card in the aftermath of that goal and another substitute, Manny Hammond, rounded off the scoring for Regent’s with a second penalty three minutes from time.
Admiral manager Jason Edwards (Sr) said: “Even at 1-0 up, we looked nervous and hesitant. I think the pressure of the game got to the lads and the wheels came off.
“To be fair, the 10 men actually had a good go and started to play a bit of football. But Regent’s have done it before, they know what it takes in those pressure games and they deserved to win it.
“As far as the league goes it’s out of our hands, but you can’t throw the towel in. We’ve got to keep on their tails and we’re still in two cups, so it’s not all doom and gloom – there’s still a lot to play for.
“Up to now we’ve gone for a mixture of experience and youth, but maybe now is the time to try a few things and try players in different positions as well.”