Namdhari FC continued the pattern of new clubs logging points on their debut in the I-League, holding Churchill Brothers to a goalless draw at the Namdhari Stadium on Tuesday October 31.
Despite being the more accomplished and experienced unit, Churchill Brothers looked out of sorts for a majority of the first half, unable to break through a resolute Namdhari defence.
To the credit of the home team this wasn’t so much due to Churchill Brothers inefficiency as it was their disciplined backline. Having recognised the danger Martin Chaves and Anil Rama Gaonkar produced in the central channels, the Namdhari FC defence constantly forced them out wide. The subsequent crosses were dealt with easily.
Midway through the first half the momentum shifted, as Namdhari FC started imposing themselves on the game. They started creating chances, mainly through set pieces, Harmanpreet Singh and Manvir Singh coming closest to breaking the deadlock.
It took till injury time of the first half though for any real chance to emerge. It fell to Rama Gaonkar who headed a Ricardo Diachiara cross onto the post.
The second half followed a set pattern, Churchill Brothers dominating the possession, and exchanging neat passes, only to be thwarted in the final third. Released by Diachira’s through ball Rama Gaonkar bulged the net in the 62nd minute only to see the linesman’s flag raised for offside.
Two minutes later Churchill Brothers rattled the woodwork once again, Chaves this time unleashing a brilliant long ranger that had beaten Samdup only to bounce off the crossbar.
Namdhari FC came close in the 69th minute, Olmes Fernando and Amy Bhatkal combining to create a chance for Harmanpreet Singh inside the six-yard area. The forward fluffed his lines and shot wide.
That was the last of the clear chances for the game, as the two sides lumbered towards an inevitable if not entirely undeserved draw.