Utkarsh Mandal ease past Sagar Mitra Mandal ‘B’ to claim first win

Vile Parle’s Utkarsh Mandal kick started their season after recording a comfortable 2-0 win over Sagar Mitra Mandal ‘B’ in the 2nd Division of the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) at the St. Xavier’s Ground in Parel on Friday, 28th August 2015.

Having lost their opening two games without scoring a goal, the pressure was on the young Utkarsh Mandal side to deliver the goods against the promoted Sagar Mitra Mandal B team.

Utkarsh Mandal looked sharp from the outset and should have been out of sight in the first half after they missed regulation chances, the notable of which fell to winger Simon who was left with an empty goal and the ball at his feet after the SMM goalkeeper failed to collect the ball cleanly. But somehow the Utkarsh Mandal forward failed to score and let SMM off the hook.

Utakrsh Mandal’s Nimesh Patel was guilty of holding onto the ball for too long when he had a great opportunity to score only to be tackled by a retreating SMM defender who rescued the situation for newly promoted outfit.

The men from Vile Parle were almost made to pay for their missed chances late in the first half when a counter attack from SMM had Utkarsh Mandal stretched, but midfielder Aniket Bhatkhande along with goalkeeper Meghan Pradhan made sure his side went into the break level.

Utkarsh Mandal finally were able to make the breakthrough just two minutes into the second half when Prashant Rane was at the right place at the right time to tap home a Prashant Anchan free kick from the right wing and relieve the distressed Utkarsh Mandal bench.

The Men in Orange had proceedings pretty much their way from there on and should have doubled their advantage on 52 minutes, when center back Shrineel Belgaonkar stepped up the field to win the ball and release Prashant Rane through on goal after some neat footwork. But the the much fancied Utkarsh Mandal winger could only fire his shot straight at the goalkeeper, with the goal gaping in front of him.

But the missed chance was not to come to haunt Utkarsh Mandal back as they made it 2-0 just couple of minutes later when some neat neat play at the edge of the box helped them pick out full back Ankit Shinde in acres of space in front of the goal and the full back made no mistake as he emphatically found the top corner to seal the points for Utkarsh Mandal.

The win helped the Vile Parle outfit open their account for the season much to the delight of veteran manager-player Prasad Paranjape.

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