Round 1 - VS Alt-JJs, Wakefield Park
Elite 2 - 4 Alt-JJs
Write-up By Tim
The new look Elite were to travel to Wakefield Park for the Wednesday Night fixture against the Alt JJs. I’ll give it to them, thats pretty funny, but the Elite were all business and arrived with their stern faces on (Especially Decs.) Perhaps everyone had their game faces on, or perhaps everyone was quietly seething at the fact we had a mid-week 6'o’clock fixture in the middle of a rain/hail and thunderstorm. Nonetheless the lads took to the field mildly warm and ready to rumble, expecting big things after a positive pre-season.
Unfortunately the start was not what the boys were hoping for, against the wind, the Elite struggled to bring the ball down on to the deck and the pressing of the JJs made us suffer in the opening minutes. Eventually, after not getting tight enough at the edge of the box, the opposition launched a curler, and there wasn’t much Dave could do about it in the swirling and unpredictable wind. 0-1 JJs.
We passed it off as a fluke, and slowly worked our way into the game. Turk made himself a useful outlet up the wing, and managed to skin just about every defender he came up against. The lads were getting the ball into the box, and while far from our best, were making chances. However the JJs were the ones who came up with the second goal. Dave did well to parry the shot from distance, but the JJs striker was hungry and rushed in for a tap in. 0-2.
The Elites first real chance of the half fell to Niall, who came in central off the left wing to lash a venomous volley from outside the box that looked destined to go in off the boot, but sailed over the crossbar for a goal kick.
Morale then seemed to drop for the lads. The moment of the half was an explosive break from emergency loanee, the bionic man, Fitsy from the Tuataras, who broke up the left and fizzed a quality ball into the box with the outside of the boot, which Shane just about got to. But perhaps it was that kind of half for the Elite, it just wasn’t quite happening for us and the result was a goal kick.
Things were happening for the JJs though. A cross into the box somehow managed to find the head of a JJs player despite about 5 orange shirts being around him, and he headed in from 6 yards.
Heads were down as we entered the sheds. But the points we went over ended up helping the lads swing the pendulum of the game the other way.
After only a few minutes of the first half, Turk pounced on a dusty clusterfuck of a goal-kick from the JJs keeper and poked it bottom left to bring the score to 1-3.
Not long after, the boys were in again. Shane tussled with Damo the traitor in the box, to try and get on the end of a cross, but it was super-sub Gav who managed to flick the ball towards the net. The keeper got a palm to it, but could only help it in, and the comeback looked imminent.
The pressure was mounting, and the JJs truly looked like they didn’t want to be there anymore, as there were murmurings from their striker of “should we call it off”. No dice sorry mate, the Elite are feeling vicious. During this period, we started playing some body good football, we managed to string some passes together and find some space on the wings, while the JJs largely resorted to hail mary’s.
However disaster struck for the lads in Orange. The JJs whipped in a corner, and managed to get a head on it, Decs wasn’t far enough away to react, and the ball bounced off his face and touched a hand. The ref (who its worth pointing out was a JJ ref) pointed straight to the spot. The call was harsh, and the lads weren’t happy about it, but football is football. We couldn’t even laugh about the hilarious falcon on Decs! we were too frustrated about having to wait in the cold for a pen. Dave guessed the wrong way and that was that. 2-4 JJs
Unfortunately, that seemed to take the wind out of the Elites sails, and the quality in the football from both teams seemed to disappear from there on.
While we were the better side in the second half, and can be frustrated with the penalty call going against us, at the end of the day, the deficit was too much and the lads left Wakefield cold and bitter, with a cup of (very milky) tea courtesy of the bloody good rooster that is manager of the Island Bay clubrooms.
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