Goals: Hermod 2.
What a terrific performance this was against a side who brought in a number of new recruits to this game to beat us. Due to the Yau Yee league having a week off a number of the top German All Stars players were playing in the Monopoly colours. None more so than ex-Leeds Youth player Chris Davis top goal scorer in Yau Yee Division One for three consecutive years including the current one.
Monopoly with an army of 18 players arrived an hour before kick-off doing warm-ups Spartans were at their leisurely best with only 10 minutes to go and only 14 players including two late drop outs. As expected Monopoly started the stronger and we were caught napping early. A free kick taken by none other than Chris Davis was superbly turn over the bar by Thomas Ma to
keep the scores level. The first goal is always crucial and we had a few narrow missus which should have really put us ahead. Steve G found space and somehow screwed the ball wide while Forlan had another great chance to put us ahead beating the defence but somehow hitting it wide as well.
At the other end we were double teaming Chris Davis, I bought Steph in from left midfield to help out Jan and Bertie with strict instruction not to give him any time on the ball. However he still found space and had another chance which Thomas Ma excellently saved again.
As the half went on we gained momentum our teamwork and play started to dominate Monopoly. They found themselves on the back foot for the last 20 minutes of the half and the pressure told. Hermod who was having brilliant game was causing the Monopoly defence a lot of problems. A reckless challenge on Hermod from behind saw us awarded a penalty which Hermod stepped up and slotted it into the back of the net to give us the lead.
We continued to play good football and when Forlan chased down the Monopoly defender he won the ball rounded the defender and setup Hermod who with only the keeper to beat slotted in the goals for a much reliving 2 goal cushion at half time. Joe provided some comic relief when he got yellow carded because he was still holding on to the water bottle while challenging the player.
The second half was much the same we fought hard to control the game and we had much the better of the half. We had a few great chances to put Monopoly away including Forlan’s one on one with the keeper who closed him down well. However a free kick was hurled in the box which was won by the GAS player for Thomas to pull off another great save however the rebound went straight to their player and he hammered it home.
With 15 minutes to go and only a goal ahead it was end to end stuff a few nail biting moments. Hermod had several powerful shots that somehow went straight to the keeper each time. Forlan had a another great chance and both Aidan and Steve G had shots but never troubled the keeper. As the clock wind down Thomas Ma pulled off another great save after Chris Davis somehow manage to escape both Bertie and Steph who both made his life difficult. With only a few minutes remaining Hao was left open in the box to score the sealer however got very little of the ball unfortunately but we had done enough to secure a very important win by then.
Terrific performance by everyone, every player played well. Forlan and Hermod where outstanding up front while Aidan and Steve G were amazing in the middle of the park. Knowlser played a terrific game on the right and Joe worked very hard on the left. The defence was outstanding Jan, Bertie where amazing as our centre duo and Steph extra man marking duties made all the difference with Thomas D his usually solid self. Jim Rose came on in second half and played terrific as well, with measured play and passes while young Scott was at his very best against tough opponents and no doubt a fantastic player to have in the squad.
What a great result no doubt there will be more tough games like this ahead but the way we are playing and the determination and belief we are showing suggests we will be tough nut to crack with the remaining games.
Great Win Lads!!!
Man of Match: Thomas Ma for some great saves.