Spartans Masters 3
FWD Seniors 2
Goals: A Mitchell 2, Randy
Spartans Masters break the drought!!!!
So after 3 league matches and no wins we took on the only team to beat us so far in our first round cup match against FWD Seniors. We had a strong squad but we had that for the past 3 games with little to show for it so there was no guarantees in this tough league.
So we roll up at Stanley HKIS to see all of our squad there on time. Warm ups and a pre-match chat and we started with a familiar 4-4-2 formation. Welcome back to Tarik and a Spartans debut to James R we looked the goods early on with some intelligent interplay.
Mitch has a few chances to give us the lead but can’t keep his composure. Then after some constant pressure Randy latches on to a lose ball and buries it in the back of the net to give us a much deserved 1-0 lead. We still seem to be in control but a through ball that was definitely offside catches us unguarded and they equalize. We really struggle for the final 10 minutes of the first half and if not for some courageous defending from the back 4 we could have easily got down by 2 before break. We survive anyway to the break at 1-1 with the game firmly in the balance.
We started well the second half and after resorting back to the same team at start we played good football. They were however matching us and it was proper tussle out there with some quality play by both teams. We created some good chances and James low shot outside the box was brilliantly save by their keeper. Andy had another chance to put us up again while Rick scoffed one high with only keeper to beat.
Not taking our chances proved costly and on a counter attack they almost scored with Ken doing some amazing last ditch tackle. However they finally break through with a nice goal and we find ourselves 2-1 down with 25 minutes to go but still plenty of time to salvage it.
We respond well and once again start creating chances with Randy hitting one wide after breaking free on the left from nice through ball by Steve. Then when it looked like we never would score (I had my doubts on sideline) Steve does glorious cross to Mitch who volleys into the back of the net much to managers relief and no doubt his.
2-2 game is back on and they don’t give up but we have our tails in the air. They have another great chance only for an amazing goal line clearance from Sam to save us going down. As the half wears on we pile the pressure and then a terrific run by Jay from our defense splits them open. Mitch slams home the winner with 14 minutes to go.
We defend resolutely and they still have chances with Leo pulling off another great save. We hold on just and final whistle goes for a much celebrated first win of season!!!
Great performances all round, from goals Leo did several crucial saves at times, Sam, Mike, Hao and Scott all had error free matches in wide defensive rolls. Mike in particular stepped up big time when Tarik came off to partner Jay in center for the last 20 minutes superbly. Jay and Tarik were both terrific in central defense and they had to deal with two very good strikers one in particular was a handful.
In wide midfield areas thought Stevie Yeung and Ken had fantastic games. Both worked their socks off on the flanks and played integral part in breaking their defense. Hoy and Rick both came on and did a job for us while James and Stevie G were something else in centre park. James in particular was tower of strength as the game went on while Stevie G was at his magical best. Up front both strikers Randy and Andy got on scoresheet and had good games with the pleasing aspect to see Andy back in the mix of the goals.
MOM was difficult one to pick handful of guys deserve it but have to say captain Stevie G just pips Mitchell and Jay for his commanding display in the centre park.