Ogden, Crook, Fung
Ahhh, the 50 mile arduous journey upto the outlying Tibetan Village of Community-Sportsha always brings out the best in The Touchline Shadow. Sure they’ll always be some miserly midfield model that’ll moan about the $20 parking fee or some wannabe fitness fanatic who can’t get his newly toned buttocks out of bed, but all in all it’s a jolly day out for all and sundry.
So Sundry Sunday turned out to be a veritable carnival of cock-ups, chaos, comedy and controversy for the eager Spartans, fresh from a 3 pointer the previous Sunday. 2 ex-1st Division teams in the first 2 games…hohoho!! Lady luck obviously showing some of her darker less humorous side.
With a squad of 15 to choose from and a Twisted Mojo Voodoo curse jinxing his team, Pang went with a 442 with the league debut of Ben Smethers handed a start up front.
Opening 15-20 minutes was like being abducted by aliens and anally probed. It was uncomfortable and unexpected and nobody could much remember anything about it except for a white spherical object being seen whooshing over head.
Then the game started to settle with both teams playing out an even half without much excitement. The highlights of the first half were Paul Hoy break-dance tackling on 4 occasions, Simon Fung reverting to a forward with Ben Smethers switching to Left side and Lionel showcasing his repertoire "Comet Cross" that regularly finds it’s way into the penalty box…on the other pitch. (Not to be confused with his "Haley’s Comet Cross" that successfully gets finds a Spartans player, once every 76 games.)
Half-time no changes, but a deep bench of quality was beginning to Stir with Jason Lee, Peter Tsang and Rick Man stretching to impress. Even Scouse Lee had put in a cameo appearance.
10mins of the second half and Pang decides to withdraw Smethers and Flabbo. The Spartans Veteran had enough of playing in Pete the Painters Hover Boots with the new concept "Stilt Studs" for those extra inches.
Jason Lee & Peter Tsang scampered onto the pitch to add much needed….well scampering. Within minutes of the genius masterstroke Tony Choi slipped an inch perfect ball inside to the forward who made no mistake…in the SPARTANS GOAL!! Shades of the old Spartans. Would the heads go? Would they bollox.
Mere minutes later and Captain Ogden bent a corner that found its way into the net. Did the defender head it in? Did it go direct?? From where The Touchline Shadow was standing it looked an OG not an OGden. Still, without the aid of technology who cares.
3 in 2 games for the Spartans Skipper. 5 minutes later from another set-piece Andy Crooke opened his account with a raping drive inside the box. 5 Goals in 2 games, no forwards scoring…hmmm!!
Never mind, Simon Fung managed to score an Exorcist header where twisting his neck 270 degrees, managed to nod it over the keeper. 3-1!
Still no Spartans victory would be complete without the obligatory 10 mins or unnecessary pressure. The Oxford winger punting for the box managed to Pires it over the flapping Stevie Wong…and that was that. 3-2 Spartans. 6 points. ?Not bad. they’ll need that if their 2nd half of the season is anything to go by!!
MOM-Andy Crooke for a cracking goal and an impressive defensive display. Kudos also to Terry Graham at right-back.
So off to Cockleshell Bay to play the swots on Sunday.
The Shadow will be Watching.
The Touchline Shadow