Whites: Rainer, Steve G, Lynz, Andrew Y, Rajiv Reds: Nick Hunter, Desmond, Kodaka, CH, Uday
Uday was meant to be white but he was still nurturing an injury. He wanted to play mainly keeper and swapped colours with Lynz.
Whites came out of the blocks a lil better and controlled the first 15-20 min. Reds remained very dangerous upfront with their speedy striker Kodaka who punished whites for every mistake. As reds got stronger by the minute and having a few nice combos they edged ahead by 3 goals close to the hour mark. everybody threw in their towel but the game continued and whites pushed one last time to make it 8:10 for reds (i believe).
despite playing the small pitch it turned out to be a very enjoyable game.
We surprisingly didn"t have enough players for a big pitch. Stuck at 12, and with 7 places still available for Sunday, I was about to cancel the game when Lynz SMSed to say he's ok with playing on a small pitch. I SMSed the other 10 players, and 7 were ok with going ahead on the small pitch. David T said he would pass, while Jason T had only asked to be on standby as he had just recovered from the flu, so when I asked about playing on the small pitch, he said he would rather opt out. I didn't hear from CH so I assumed he was ok with playing on the small pitch.
That left us with 10, and with several asking if 6-a-side on the small pitch would be too crowded, it made sense to stick with 5-a-side.
Shortly after 4 pm pm, Andrew asked if there was a replacement for him as he was stuck with the contractors at home. I said it would be pretty difficult with all that had gone before. He said he would turn up.
At 4.25 pm, CH informed me that he had a friend who could play, but in goal only. I didn't think it made sense to replace Andrew with a player who could only play in goal, so I agreed with CH to leave him out.
Andrew turned up, having left the maid to supervise the contractors. Before the game started, Uday informed us that his knee was swollen from a game on Thursday, and he was wondering why he had put his name in, barely able to walk. We lined up a replacement from an earlier game, but Uday said he would try being in goal. As I was also keen to spend some time in goal, having just recovered from the flu myself, I suggested he swap with Lynz.
As Rainer said, Whites got off to be better start, leading 2-0, then 3-1. Uday made a couple of good saves to keep the score respectable. Whites looked more cohesive even as Reds pulled the score back to 4-4, and then took a 5-4 lead. The lead changed hands several times after that, up to 8-7 to Whites.
Reds were now creating more chances, and went close several times. Whites seemed more fatigued in the second half hour, with even Rainer having two spells in goal, while for Reds, Kodaka and CH were full of running right up to the end. Reds pulled ahead to 11-8, before we played last goal, which Whites grabbed, for a final score of 11-9 to Reds.
Tiring game. Some good moves and good goals, but several soft goals too. I think Whites conceded 4 own goals, and a couple of other soft goals, while Reds conceded 3 or 4 soft goals. On the other hand, when they were pressing in the second half of the game, Reds missed several good chances.
Several good saves at both ends too. Reds probably just about deserved the win for their greater fitness. The adrenaline of playing even "healed" Uday's knee, and he had several spells outfield (although he probably suffered for it after the game).
Long time since we played on a small pitch at Turf City. I believe it is the first time since August/September 2010. Enjoyable in a different way. It doesn't have the positional discipline of playing on the big pitch, but with fewer players, every player's contribution is more significant. On a small pitch, 6-a-side is tighter, 5-a-side more tiring.
I thoroughly enjoyed the game although, as Rajiv said, it's enjoyable in a different way. To be fair, I was a little apprehensive when I turned up as I thought it would turn out to be a makeshift game. Didn't help when Rajiv "made up some excuse" to get Lynz onto his team. Seriously thought the Reds would be raped!
I think the rule about not shooting from behind the halfway line helped us as Steve has a thunderbolt of a shot and Rainer decided to be kind by going in goal repeatedly. Credit to CH for his non-stop running although I must confess to being responsible for the own goal and soft goals alluded to earlier.
Thanks to all for making it another invigorating workout in the right spirit. Have a good week all.