Write-up By Crespo
After a successful preseason with wins over Women, Nighthawks and Arms the Elite were ready for the 2015 edition of the Cap 7 season.
Tawa Saintz are always a well structured and well drilled side and there is never more than a goal in the game*.
The first game is always tough especially when you play social football on Easter Weekend and with some late withdrawals and people on leave some introductions were required upon arrival at Redwood Park.
Redwood Park was in decent condition and the Elite were ready to begin the season in their away strip.
It’s probably fair to say we had the majority of possession without causing the opposition to much trouble. Multiple passes were rare and there were a lot of turnovers from both sides.
5 mins in we had a new favourite for the Vinny Jones as our English reality TV star went into the virtual book for a couple of ’50-50’ challenges and was quickly onto his final warning.
*1 free beer if you can advise which show his name and show he is from.
Eventually we turned the ball over and got done on the break for Tawa to take a 1 nil lead.
The first half flew by with only a couple of notable chances created with ‘Rookie’ Adam missing a one on one and Labrador Pete chasing down the flank and kicking the ball in a direction that went goal ward with an off the line save coming from the opposition.
Half time comes around and the Elite go into the break 1 nil down with a lot of work to do. The talk from the team is be a bit better with the ball, remain patient and the goals will come.
2nd half begins and with a couple of positional tweaks the Elite come out moving with a bit more intensity and desire to make things happen.
Stevo, Damo and Pete are controlling things at the back allowing the midfielders to take care of winning the majority of their battles and the Elite begin to take control.
A breaking down in communication and a dinking run from the opposition leads to a second goal and the Elite are in despair and facing a 2 nil hole.
The Fight Back
‘Rookie’ makes a incisive break down the right and crosses the ball to Hernan who controls the ball on his chest but is crunched from behind and goes down like Todd on a girl from Tinder and the ref mulls on a decision before reluctantly pointing to the spot.
The Elite quickly make a sub and on comes our set piece assassin to calmy finish and give the Elite a goal to get them onto the scoreboard.
From here the guys know that we can get something out of the game and we start cutting their defence apart at will.
CJ creates some pressure and it results in a freekick on the edge of the box. Tawa had obviously done their research on our set piece and set the wall and keeper on the right side of the box leaving the shot open for our favourite lefty.
Hernan steps up and rolls the ball into the open half of the goal and the Elite have squared things up.
The Elite have the better of the chances but are unable to capitalise on the possession and territory advantage late and the game finishes in a 2 2 draw.
From being 2 nil down a result we will take but in hindsight something we possibly could have got more out of.
MVP Points – Tough to allocate points so have broken away from the traditional 3,2,1 as I thought we all had a solid game without a clear standout so have decided to allocate the points as follows:
2 - Stevo made a difference slotting into the back and gave us the composure required to play 3 at the back
1 - CJ for a tiresome display up front and 1 calm and composed penalty.
1 - Pete for being Pete and getting quite possible his first ever shot on target
1 - Damo for being Damo, not allowing either the ball or the player to get in behind him.
1 - Rookie - for tireless running/cramping all day without getting the reward he deserved.
* Pretty sure we used to always beat them 4-1 but not according to the speeches.