With the Millers’ Ryman League game against Waltham Abbey falling victim to the recent wet weather, Justin Gardner quickly sort about arranging another friendly following their 1-1 friendly draw with Barkingside last weekend.
The opponents this Saturday were from the tier below the Millers in the Essex Senior League and their superior quality showed throughout with Eton Manor being kept at arms-length for the vast majority of the game on the 3G surface in Beckton, East London.
After making just two changes to his side for the Barkingside friendly, Gardner this time looked to freshen things up with Kalin Artakiev starting in goal, and Alfie Kamara, Matty Bakare, George Whitelock and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe also being given starts.
It only took six minutes for the Millers to take the lead against their Essex Senior League opponents, and it came in peculiar circumstances when Aryan Tajbakhsh scored straight from a corner.
Despite their superiority Aveley struggled to find a second and were thankful to see Artakiev tip a Manor free-kick around his post.
But as the opening half came to a close the Millers found their second and once again it was from a set piece.
From the same side he scored from earlier on in the half, Tajbakhsh swung the ball into the box finding Ogedi-Uzokwe to power home his header and extend Aveley’s lead going into the break.
The second half was much the same story as the first with the Millers keeping their opponents at bay as they failed to really test Artakiev in the Aveley net.
But the second half was all about the man of the moment for Gardner’s side, Kyle Asante, as he scored three goals inside 18 minutes to really put some gloss on the score line – all of them poachers finishes.
Tajbakhsh whipped in a cross towards the centre of the box which was headed against the bar brilliantly by substitute Lee Weemes, with Asante on hand to tap home the rebound for his first from a handful of yards out.
The second was from a similar distance as the striker bundled home a cross from the right from Ade Osifuwa.
And his hat-trick goal came from the furthest out, but still just outside the six yard box, after Asante got his head on the end of a free kick from Whitelock to complete his hat-trick.
The three quick-fire goals were somewhat harsh on Manor who had been competitive without causing the Millers any undue problems.
Osifuwa then rounded off the score-line as he was sent clean through by Nick Azzopardi, rounding the on-rushing Manor goalkeeper to score into an empty net to make it 6-0.
“On a day like today where there’ll be no games playing, at least we managed to get a competitive game in and it showed good character that the boys took it in the right vain” said assistant boss Mickey Leslie after the match.
“First half was a little bit mix and match but we changed the side around a lot, but we benefitted a lot from having the surface like this to play on.”
Kyle Asante – who has now scored nine goals in his last five games – was understated when talking about his performance today, saying “any time I play I just want to get goals, and to get a hat-trick today I thought I done well
“Justin (Gardner) spoke to me on Thursday and said I want you to think of yourself as (Jermaine) Defoe. As a box-striker, clinical in the box so I tried to put that into my game today. Just found myself in the right place at the right time and I hope that continues.”
Aveley: Kalin Artakiev, Adetayo Osifuwa (Brendan Cavalier 46’), Sam Holloway, Alfred Kamara, Gbenga Sonuga (A Trialist 46’), Mathias Bakare, George Whitelock (Nick Azzopardi 46’), Aryan Tajbakhsh (George Whitelock 75’), Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe (Lee Weemes 46’), Kyle Asante, Nathan Koranteng (Adetayo Osifuwa 75’)