Match Report v Burger Republic, 26/10/14
Following the cup game and a postponement, it was a full four weeks since our last league game when we took the field against Burger Republic on Sunday night in Happy Valley, and so it was no wonder we were chomping at the bit from the get go. Three late call-offs saw our squad of 16 reduced to 13, but our starting 11 nevertheless looked very strong, lining up with Taylor in goals, Mike V, Chris C, Paddy and Pablo across the back, Dashti and H in the double pivot, Jorgen, Randy and Nathan in the attacking midfield slots and Forlan up front.
We started with intensity, particularly in the middle of the park, and it wasn’t long before Dashti and H began dictating the play and getting the ball to our forwards. With the defence looking solid and the midfield alternately breaking up the opposition’s play and putting the ball to good use, we looked composed and dangerous, and it seemed only a matter of time before we turned that superiority into goals. And when the opener did arrive, it embodied how well we were playing throughout the team: Paddy won a header in our half then Dashti showed strength and skill to take the loose ball and hold off his marker before laying it off to Nathan. He found Randy who showed a good turn of pace to get in behind them and put in a precision cross for Forlan to smash high into the net. Superb.
Burger Republic were a decent enough side, but we refused to give them a foothold in the game and turned the screw, playing some of our best passing football so far this season and creating some good chances. Forlan should have got his second soon after, heading wide at the back post from a Jorgen cross, but we didn’t have to wait long for number two. Jorgen was running their right back ragged, on and off the ball, and he showed great hustle to nick it off one of their players before playing a neat one-two with Forlan and delivering the perfect ball for Forlan to finish in style. Mike V then went close with a long range effort, but it went narrowly wide and we went in 2-0 at half time.
We freshened things up at the start of the 2nd half, Eric on for Pabs and newbie Henrik on for Nathan, and set out to get the killer third goal. Burger Republic started to show more of an attacking threat, and had two or three half-chances, but we continued to look solid, Paddy and Chris winning virtually everything in the middle, Mike V squeezing the opposition out on the right and Taylor commanding his area to scoop up the through balls every time they thought they had a sniff. The one time they did get clear, Eric came across to pull off a fantastic last-man tackle to snuff out what was probably their best attacking move.
We continued to create chances at the other end of the pitch and could have been further ahead before Dashti found Forlan with a weighted chipped through ball, with Forlan beating two defenders for pace to lob the onrushing keeper from the edge of the box to claim his umpteenth Spartans hat-trick. We switched things about a bit after that, taking advantage of the rolling subs, and should probably have scored a couple more, with Randy, Jorgen and Forlan all going close, but 3-0 was a fair enough result and a decent reflection of a game we dominated from start to finish and front to back.
Goals: Forlan (3)