Robin Williams dedicated England’s win over France at the IBSA Blind Football European Championships to injured team-mate Owen Bainbridge, as they made it two from two in Berlin.
England made a lightning start and never looked back, with Roy Turnham picking up hat-trick as Williams scored a double and there was one apiece for Brandon Coleman and Dan English.
Bainbridge was forced home from Berlin after picking up an injury in England’s 5-0 win over Romania on Saturday, and Williams was quick to pay tribute to his colleague.
“I’m sure he was watching on the live stream and we wanted to put on a performance for him – that was for you Owen,” he said.
“It’s been a good start but there’s a long way to go and we’re not going to get carried away yet.” Robin Williams
After a comfortable opening to the tournament, England continued their fine goal-scoring form as English gave them a lead after just 33 seconds.
English danced his way down the pitch, through the French defence, to finish finely into the bottom left corner – completing a move that begun against the right barrier inside his own half.
And before France had the chance to respond Williams had doubled England’s lead.
Picking the ball up off the left board, Williams cut inside off the flank to finish calmly past the French goalkeeper.
And two nearly became three before ten minutes were up, but Turnham’s blistering long-range effort flew just wide of the left post.
It did not take long for him to get on the scoresheet, though, with the Englishman turning in from the left before cutting back onto his right foot and driving low past the keeper.
France had to wait until three minutes from half time to get a real shot on goal, but David Labarre failed to take advantage of a penalty after Keryn Seal conceded England’s sixth foul of the half – the Frenchman scuffing his strike wide of Dan James’ left post.
And things got worse for France early in the second half, with Turnham picking up a loose pass from Hakem Arezki before driving forward, into the area and firing past Julien Royer to complete his hat-trick.
There was no let up from England as, with 15 minutes to play, Williams grabbed a second for himself, making the most of France losing track of the ball to regain possession and finish neatly with his left foot.
And England were not done despite a quiet ten minutes as, with six minutes to play, Brandon Coleman rifled home a seventh goal from close-range after some fine close control in the area.
England complete their pool fixtures on Tuesday against Turkey, and Williams is feeling confident – despite coming up against wonderkid Paul Iyobo.
“We’ll have to play every player on their merits and we don’t know much about Paul but if he comes near us we’ll have to look after him,” Robin Williams.
“We just want to concentrate on our own game and our brand of football, and it we do that I’m confident we’ll be alright.
“Of course we can go on and win, these performances have not changed our expectations, but the group isn’t done yet.”