Elite 2 v Miramar 2
Well it was back to the grave yard of a few weeks as ago that most have removed from their memories. The weather was particularly average, rain, but not a lot of wind, which was a bit of a bonus. The conditions were to deteriorate throughout the day and shift to the South, so playing at 12.30 gave a us the best chance to avoid the worst of the forecast.
As I arrived to the ground, I was rather surprised to see that the pitch looked good from a far, but up close, it was far from good. Kind of like when you’re really boozed and you see a hot chick from across the bar, but when you get up close to buy her a drink, you instantly make a bee line for the exit or pretend you left your wallet at the table and U-turn the hell out of there.
Was Gansey hungover?
All jokes aside, it was 11.30 and only 4 Elite players were on time. The fine book was in for a good going over today! Scotty had washed the keep last week, so we knew it was going to be dry and smelling like roses. Hmmmm. The last thing you want to do on a wet day is pull on a wet kit, I guess it prepared our body temperatures for the conditions outside. Ear punch.
Oh, Greg went for a run the night before the game to test his injury and injured himself. Thanks to Sarj for helping us out this week! Champion.
As we kitted up, I could sense that the lads were looking to put the loss from a few weeks ago behind them and really dig-in against a pretty good Miramar side.
As we warmed up, we got to see exactly what we were doing to be dealing with pitch wise. It was shocking and it was going to be pretty difficult to do anything in the middle of the park. That being said, in our team talk we spoke about getting the ball out of the middle and to the flanks, were the pitch was in a slightly better condition.
The ginger assassin was given the referees whistle for the first half and he got us underway early, to avoid hanging out in the rain for another 5-10 mins or so. Good call!
The first 10 minutes was pretty even, with both teams trying to get forward, using the flanks to base their attacks. Both Tom and Bryn worked really, really hard to beat their opposite and either get the ball in to the box or feed our goal hungry Strikers CJ and Horton.
Adam and I were working hard to try and maintain a strong defence through the mid-field, well Adam was trying hard, I was just concentrating on breathing as it had been 4 weeks since I last doned the Orange! Feeling the pinch!
We were getting a bit over run through the mid-field and in our efforts to get back and help the defense, we left a pretty big gap between us and our strikers, who became a bit isolated as we tried to push forward and nick a goal.
We created a number of early chances, but it was always going to be tough to score at the Southern end of the park that was a complete mud bath. But after about 20-25 minutes the Elite got the break through, and went ahead 1 nil. I have a tendency to miss goals, who scored them and how. So from what I was told by our trusty Captain Adam, was that he scored and that it was James Rodriguez like, you know, left foot volley to the top corner, kinda like this PDF I keep seeing every now and again. . .
Well done Adam! Elite 1 Miramar 0
Subs rolled on
The battle continued and it wasn’t too long before Miramar were back in it. A ball was played from mid field through the middle of our defence and their rangy lad up front, unbeknown to the referee, literally fended off Todd or Steve (I missed this one also, but have been told it was very Manu Vatuvei-esk) and broke away and slotted it into the corner of the goal.
It was much of the same for the remainder of the half. The Elite were holding strong at the back, with Stevo and Todd both cleaning up in the middle, attacking aerial threats and keeping Miramar at bay. A special mention to the full backs, who have worked tirelessly in the first stanza, Sarjy and Gansey. Good effort lads!
Half time Elite 1 v Miramar 1
Change in ref and some subs, Tom gets the whistle and Hernan (Crespo, Chrispy, PDF, Ginger ninja, Springer Advocate, Salmon etc…) on. A change to mid field and we were back on. The weather at this point had not worsened too much, but we still had to deal with the rain and the ever rising puddles all over the ground.
We were attacking the better end of the ground this half and this was a boost for the team as we knew, given the chance we could get another goal. We pushed forward down the flanks with Bryn and Neil trying to get the ball up to our forwards CJ and Crespo but the conditions were proving difficult until. . . and this was probably the highlight for me, well at least one I actually remember.
The ball broke roughly around the center circle and fell the feet of the one called Jessidinho, Who
“After stealing the ball from Alejandro Bedoya on the left he drove forward, chopped inside a challenge from Jermaine Jones, pulled off a Cruyff turn to get away from Fabian Johnson, and then stroked the ball from one foot to the other as Jones came in for a second helping. Somehow, Jessidinho emerged with the ball on the other side, where he teed it off to Joao Moutinho (Bryn).
Other than that dribble his first half was punctuated by overhit passes and hugely ambitious attempts on goal that flew way off target. On more than one occasion it was the pitch that let him down - if his dramatic gestures were anything to go by.”
After that inspiring run from Niall, we pressed the Miramar defence and eventually won a corner. The Elite organized for the set piece. The corner was whipped in and slightly cleared outside of the 18 yard box, a loud cry from the Silver fox was heard and the ball was chipped back into the mixer were CJ had been able to keep himself onside, bring the ball down and slot it into the back of the net!! Great finish CJ and true strikers goal, great movement, composure and clinical!
I remembered this one. Ha
Elite 2 v Miramar 1
This obviously kicked the Miramar lads into gear, they were not happy that the goal was given, claiming CJ was offside and calling us cheats?? WTF anyway
We got on with it, they pushed hard to get the equalizer, but our defence was holding strong across the park lead by Stevo who, with Todd were working really hard to hold on to the lead. I can’t recall (geez I sound like John Key) the build-up of events and in which order, but the mud in front of our goal along with Dave, made some amazing saves to keep us head, and level at 2 all. There was a goal in there somewhere, but I … missed it.
We tried and tried in the last 10 or so minutes to get the go ahead goal, a lot of effort upfront and out wide from Horton, Hernan and Doug, but the conditions were proving too difficult and we ran out of time.
A good result considering our last hit out at Martin Lucky. Well done Lads
Elite 2 v Miramar 2
3 – Adam R
3 – Stevo
2 – Bryn
2 – CJ
1 – Dave and the mud