Mr Stokes saluted his side’s gritty 1-0 win over a spirited Dubai English Speaking College (DESC) B team on Wednesday as Jumeirah College (JC) put their first points of the campaign on the board in the DASSA U19 Boys Football B division.
The men in green were only sporadically effective in attack but they remained organised enough at the back to keep DESC at bay until talisman Chris Hogan fired home the second-half winner.
Asked about his team’s performance, Stokes said: “We have been working hard with our year 12’s for some time (now year 13’s). They try to get the ball down and play and we played some really nice stuff in parts today – too often we just lack a bit of quality in the final third.”
Stokes praised his team’s stamina and character to grab the only goal with two minutes remaining: “We dug in to the end today and got our reward, a touch of class from Luke with the through ball and Chris showed terrific composure to tuck it away.”
DESC coach Mr McLean was left to rue a host of missed chances in front of goal in his side’s second league match of the campaign, he said “We controlled much of the game but were wasteful in front of goal on more than one occasion but I am pleased with the performance – this team will win plenty of matches this season.” Mr McLean was quick to commend his players for a battling performance on a day that he had no substitutes available to give others a rest: “On the balance of play I think we’re unlucky not to come away with anything, but that’s football. We’ll keep training hard and remain focused on the next match.”
The result moves Jumeirah College A’s level points with DESC B’s on three points from two matches. Match winner Chris Hogan revealed his surprise at being asked to lead the line for the final ten minutes, exclaiming “I’m actually a left back but I came on up front for the last few minutes to try and push for that winning goal.”
When asked to describe the feeling when the ball hit the back of the net, the JC star revealed: “I was shocked to be honest, it’s my first goal for a while, hopefully I don’t have to wait as long for the next one.” Chris was also upbeat on his team’s hopes and ambitions for the season ahead, saying, “We’re hoping to win the league, we have the ability, that’s for sure, if we continue applying ourselves I’m confident we’ll be the team to beat in this league.