Three Durham players scored braces, and two more chipped in with a goal each, to give the home side a massive 8-0 victory over Pro Stars F.C.
Durham welcomed back Matt Stowell from a lengthy recovery period, and he wasted no time getting back into the swing of things. Stowell (67', 73') was one of three players to get two goals on the night; along with Jordan Roberts (57', 71'), and Kashiff DeJonge (34', 58'). Jordan Dover (41') and LeRohne Young (90 + 2'), he made sure the home side demolished their opposition.
"Our best player on the night was first time starter Kasiff De Yong," said Durham head coach, Sanford Carabin. "His mobility and finishing created havoc all night long for Pro Stars. "Their best player I thought was their #10, Jordan Piccinin. He held the ball up well, created their few chances and was a handful for our defenders."
"Goalkeeper Philip Borowski had the best performance on our team," said Pro Stars head coach, Josef Komlodi. "Unfortunately, our players left him in a hopeless situation with not defending properly. Jordan Roberts, #19, was a constant danger for Durham."
Despite the one-sided final score, it took Durham most of the first half to crack the Pro Stars defence, and had the visitors finished some early chances - the match could have had a very different result.
"Our biggest challenge was breaking them down in final third," said Carabin. "We had to show patience in our attack, and finally broke through just before half. The key moment was when we scored our first goal. Pro stars had just missed a very good opportunity at the far post and we then went straight up field and scored our first goal. After this, our players took the game over and dominated possession and had the confidence to attack at will."
Player confidence was also the issue that Komlodi chose to focus upon, and spoke to a new approach that the academy will be taking with their first team.
"As soon as we gave away the first goal, the players lost confidence and lost focus in defending," he said. "We restructured our team management and the player squad, and at one point the players lost focus. The newly appointed technical coaches need more time to find the right chemistry within the team, but we are restructuring the team and will focus on regaining confidence."
Pro Stars will waste little time getting back to the pitch, playing ANB Futbol on Saturday July 25 at Victoria Park Stadium, Brampton - 7 p.m.
Durham plays Sanjaxx Lions on Sunday July 26 at Esther Shiner Stadium, North York - 9 p.m. kickoff.