(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Muscat Storm continued its unbeaten run when it secured a comfortable 2-0 win against Loan Services at Seeb on Wednesday night.
Storm welcomed back Darren Deschamps and Steve Vickers into the squad, and with the pair playing down the right side from the start, it gave the team a fresh outlet for attacking.
Storm's familiar pattern of play was on display as its players controlled ball possession and dictated the pace of the game. Loan Services set out to defend deep and rely on counter-attacks. The tactic invited Storm to keep pushing and probing in search of a breakthrough. But Loan Services defended well, particularly for the first half an hour.
While Olly Myhill and Jay Wynter controlled the game in the first two thirds of the pitch, Storm was struggling to break down a defence that literally seemed to have parked a bus in the box.
As the first half drew towards an end, Storm finally broke through. Luis Miguel found Neil McCoy, who drove forward and found Kirk MacPherson. An agile MacPherson tricked his way past three defenders and sent a square pass to Dan Ebbutt, who slotted the ball home from five yards.
Lifted by the opening strike, the Storm players suddenly became more energetic and dominated the closing minutes of the first half.
In the second half, Loan Services picked up from where it left, dropping deep to defend with Storm camping out in the final third of the pitch.
Loan Services worked hard to break up the run of play. But Storm never looked in danger of conceding a goal with its keeper Baker reduced to a spectator for the first time this season.
Storm kept looking for another goal. A couple of long-range efforts went close from Myhill, and then Macpherson, but the 1-0 scoreline remained.
Finally, Storm's persistence paid off when McCoy pushed forward and found Deschamps with a clever pass that split the rival defence. Deschamps made the most of it, completing a goal in one move to help Storm go 2-0 up.
Storm could have struck another goal as the game drew towards an end. Billy Reader and Deschamps were placing the ball in the danger area, but somehow the Storm attack was unable to finish.
Lee Ebbutt, Storm's manager, said, "The result was good, we continued our run, but the performance was disappointing. We played at a training pace tonight. Given the manner in which Loan Service defended, we have to be more incisive and clinical to ensure we don't get into bad habits.
''We raised the bar over the last six months, but today we dropped below the expected level. I am sure it will be business as usual in our next game."