The much anticipated Flabbo pre-match team talk was dealt a blow, as both Paul and Flabbo were held up in traffic caused by road closures for the HK Marathon. Tony Choi was somewhere near Shenzen?? Fortunately we were able to field a team and with minimal preparation started the game on the crap astro at a muggy Sandy Bay.
In typical Spartans fashion it took us a while to get going, but gradually the center midfield partnership of Tarik and Scouse started to take control of the game. Nana and new recruit Rich Cowley were pressuring the University back four and the domination soon gave The Spartans a few scoring opportunities. The best of which came to Rich who was one-on-one with the keeper. His effort was brilliantly saved by the keeper. This opportunity gave us new impetus. Joe and Lionel we getting more of the ball, but we were unable to break down a stubborn University outfit. The only outlet for the opposition was the long ball, but this was being dealt with by the strong Spartans defense. HT 0-0.
The half time team talk was pretty easy…much of the same and with patience a goal will come. We started off the second half in much the same vain with sustained pressure on University. Joe was getting more space and time on the left wing and was getting better service for the front two. We then were very unlucky to go one up when a teasing free kick from Briggsy was met by Ben on the back post, but his header was again well saved by the keeper.
We started to make some changes. Tony came on for Stef, who had an excellent debut at left back. Andy B came on for Cowley, who again ran tirelessly up front. Andy B went into his favored right back position whilst Ben pushed up front to support Nana. We continued to dominate, pushing for the elusive goal. University were holding out firm. With 10 mins remaining Paul decided to force the game. Bringing on Flabbo for Lionel and resorting to a 4-3-3 formation. This opened up the game more and more gaps were appearing in the University defence. We were peppering the goal. With less than 5 mins to go we scored. A Flabbo corner was met by Nana, who’s powerful header could only be parried into his own goal by the University keeper. We held out for a much deserved win.
A great performance by all. The defense with Briggs and Bertrand marshalling any threat and Ben and Stef were supporting the attack at any opportunity. The midfield was strong and inventive. The pairings up front caused all sorts of problems to a very flat University back four. My MOM was closely contended. Reuben for playing beyond the pain barrier. But my MOM is Scouse. He controlled the midfield from start to finish showing great vision and energy.
Next game is key for the title race…a win against French Kiss next will all but ensure us of top spot.