Match report from the quiet American Mr Jay Gresko 

With a cooler Tuesday evening and an overwhelming response to play from the lads we saw this game kick off @930pm in the Valley.  With the gaffer taking some much time off to explore some of South East Asia culture, or to possibly hunt down the next Mrs. Cowley he has decided leave in-charge the American…. In his first Spartan managerial appearance.

Orders received and notes made from earlier in the week by Cowley and the lads are ready to start and grind out the 3 points.  We started off with a 4-4-2 formation with Stef captaining the side for the evening, Leandro in goal, Paul Hoy/Sean/Tony C/Paul Kay in the flat back 4, Stef/Randy/Oli/Willie in the middle of the park, and Big Dan & Nathan up front.  On the sidelines ready and raring to get on were Pat/Luke(chirping away like the morning birds back in New Jersey at my backside reciting every position he played in his entire life so he can get on the pitch)/Chi/Jeff/Joe and Paddy.  As promised before the  start everyone would get half a game so tried to work this to the best I could with the subbing restrictions. 

Was a confusing start with the game kicking off slightly behind schedule due to the rugby training session that concluded before.  To make it slightly more annoying the Rugby ‘QUEENS’ were doing laps around the pitch for the first 10 minutes and kept running onto the pitch and pretending that there wasn’t a match on-going.  My vote for the next time we play after their training session, the SPARTANS should unite and come onto the pitch and disrupt their training.  With the game now underway we have some cold periods and trying to find our feet and rhythm of ball movement and movement off the ball wasn’t that great in the first 10-15.  We concede and early goal with a mistimed pass by Paul Kay to the other team which saw them get up 1-0 and us take a bit more time to settle into the game.  After that we woke up a bit and had a few chances with some developing play from the back and nicely timed challenges that stood out by Paul Hoy at left back and Sean from center back.  Overall the we started working harder and that spilled over into the midfield from the back and then onto our forwards.  We struck back with a cross/shot from Stef that deflected and then got up 2-1 (again Stef scoring) and then took off with Nathan scoring the 3rd and Joe adding in the 4th later in the match.  We had some other solid chances that went to waste but some decent build up play and moments of dominance.   Some changes made throughout and thank you to Leandro for playing in goal the first half and thank you to Paul Kay in making his goalie debut in the 2nd half.  Some SPARTAN Trivia for you all.  Who is the famous SPARTAN player to gift a goal in the 1st half then hold a shutout in the 2nd half when making his goalie debut?  Any guesses?

Overall there were some bad periods where we were a bit tempered (in good ole Spartan’s fashion), however we stuck together with some periods of quality build up and ball movement.  My feeling is overall we did deserve the win and they were lucky that the game wasn’t more lopsided.  I also felt there were a few individual notable performances coming from Paul Hoy and his nicely timed tackles from left back, Sean stepped in and played a nice center back for the 70 minutes, Oli had a few nice balls from the run of play and also set pieces into the box (unfortunately we couldn’t capitalize on any of them with clear headers on goal), and Stef for captaining the side and some strong runs from the left midfield.

Good result overall lads and thanks for the patience and hard work.

Man of the match – Stef for his two goals (1st and own goal deflection off the opposition and 2nd goal of the game to get us 2-1 up)
Mug of the day – Joe McEgan for getting into a nice argument, whilst smiling, with the opposition towards the end of the match and spilling over into after the game
Mug of the day from their team – Guy approached me after the game asking “can you have your guy not do that again and it was not very nice what he was saying as well” Jay replies “ok I will make sure I have a word with him and he will never do that again”.  So whoever you are don’t do that again J

If anyone is left out my apologies and if any of the above is inaccurate feel free to correct or comment