Spartans Masters 3
HK Sauerkrauts 0
Goals: Randy 2, Mitchell
While the calls for the gaffers head to roll after 4 winless games got louder and louder with each match the big man was having his own demon doubts. Was I losing my mind, was I getting soft in my old age, did my brain turn to mush after excessive years of indulging in alcoholic beverages making bad judgement calls or was it simply bad luck. Whatever it is was hoping it was the later it was great to win last night and whoever made up the phase it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game must have rocks in their brains. After the bare run and last night’s win I never want to not win again!!!
Like most of our games so far we have been the better team however this hasn’t produced any results for us so far. Our pre-match preparation wasn’t great Sauerkrauts were there in numbers and warming up we on the other hand having bare minimum half on the bench and with 5 minutes to go trying to scratch a starting 11 with as many as 4 guys arriving after the kick-off.
Somehow we started well and knock the ball around with ease. The Sauerkrauts were a handy side and difficult to break down an early goal with certainly be needed. Our new Swedish signing Roger "Henrik Larson" Liden was burning pace on the right and he did a terrific cross to find Mitch who slotted our first goal in style.
We started to boss the game both Stevies doing a sterling job in the centre of the park. We really should have gone another goal up when Willie playing in his old kit in hope to bring back the goals knocked wide with only the keeper to beat. Andy also had another great chance to be denied by the upright….it seemed the luck had deserted us once again.
The Sauerkrauts weren’t done yet and on the counter attack and free kicks and corners they looked dangerous. 1-0 up at half time all to play for.
A few changes for second half and we seem to lose a little rhythm and the Germans were making a game of it. They had a glorious chance to equalise from a long throw that beat everyone but their striker failed to beat Adrian in goals as he thumped it on to the crossbar.
We seem to step up after a few more changes and when Randy hit it wide and Steve G shot was brilliantly saved in space of a minute I thought here we go again dejvu!!!! As the minutes kept ticking the pressure kept mounting they could sense they could nick it but Mr Ransford had other ideas especially after forgetting to bring his footie boots on his way to pitch. Randy keeps his composure and scores with the keeper to beat to give us a crucial 2 goal buffer with 10 minutes to go. Few minutes later he gets his second in similar style as Sauerkrauts are gone and dusted when the final whistle is blown.
So it took us 5 games to register our first win in the league but it finally came after a tough match one which we could have easily have got caught once again. Although the score line looks comfortable the game was anything but that and being 1-0 for much of it certainly mad me go greyer on the night.
Adrian had little to do in goals but came big when needed and was very solid in key moments. Nathan and Clarke were outstanding in centre defence while Hoy and Sam were also fantastic as wing backs. Kevin was brilliant as wide player and the full length pitch run forward and then back in the second half was truly memorable. In midfield great debut by Roger on the flanks with Dimitri and Ogden also playing solid games out wide. Raul unfortunately got injured but hopefully he can be available in the weeks ahead. In the middle park Stevie G was at perilous best with Stevie Yeung played outstanding in the centre until falling to tight hamstrings, with Grimshaw slotting in perfectly in second half. Up front Andy, Willy were very good and caused their defence all sorts of problems. Randy stepped up big time with 2 crucial goals (caught on his Go Pro) and was just pipped for MOM by one of the outstanding performances I have seen for a while in Mr Chris Clarke who won everything in defence and was inspiration to the team in a fine MOM performance.
After match activities continued well in the night with some beverages consumed at Stanley with a good team turnout. The beer tasted so much better when you win especially with Sammy talking about happy endings. Andy was showing Rick the seedy side of Dutch (rudders) greetings while Kevin learnt valuable lesson not to take on multiple poms in sports banter. And finally the Gaffa was ordering Quesadillas in Spanish before been whisked away in Pauls limousine in the early morning hours listing to The Cult She Sells Sactuary on the decks……could life get any better I think not!!!!