It was an all action, gloves off end to end attacking football encounter that ended up (9 or 10 -2???) to the Reds. However the players had played out 78 min instead of 60 min so perhaps a scoreline of 6/7-2 would have been more accurate. To be honest, on paper the line ups looked much more closer in terms of competitiveness but often GIFFA games can turn up strange results.
The Reds started off the game with strong intent. The three pronged attack of Nordin, Elvin and Karthi supported by the guile of Mannish playing the puppet master stringing plays together was irrepressible. The Reds took an early 2-0 lead by the half hour mark. However the Whites led by the incessant movement of Oliver and Zach and deep dangerous runs from Jon and Babs always posed a danger and in a manic space of 10 min they had levelled the game at 2-2!!! the equaliser by jon was probably the Goal of the match, an incredibly skilful takedown of a stray deflected shot by Oliver which he chested then half volleyed without breaking a beat into the bottom left corner of the Reds goal. Nothing the GK could do about it.
At this pivotal juncture, the Reds decided to reorganise the team structure, the evergreen Nordin who was waning in stamina went into goal and the Reds fought to take back the lead with Karthi, Elvin and CH in attack and the full backs Dom and Kien pushing up to join the attack aggressively. In fact, even the CB Shaiful carried the ball from defence deep into enemy territory on numerous occasions to bolster the Reds attacking options. The gamble paid off as the ever clinical Elvin and mercurial Mannish started to turn the magic on tearing up the Whites defence at will and both players scored a brace of goals (to be honest i lost count). Dom was the beneficiary of their slick inter play as the final pass across the six yard box found DOM alone with the goal at his mercy on several occasions! he dispatched the goals with much glee... thank you very much... next round of beers volunteer candidate perhaps???
Due credit must be given to the defensive rock comprising of Kien, Dom and Shaiful. Due a gulf in age, Shaiful kept the usually effervescent Oliver very much contained and Kien stuck to Babs like old gum on shoe to crown off a resolute defensive performance. It is worth mentioning that Babs rocked the frame of the goal on 2 occasions at least and the WHites had many dangerous crosses and shots fizzing across the goalmouth of the Reds. However it was just one of those days for them, full marks for effort but luck wasn't on their side.
One of the best Sunday games i have played for a long while... great intensity... great sportsmanship and great workout! See y'all next week!!!
Great write up CH, final score was 7-2 or 8-2 I believe. Reds more clinical on the day. Apologies for my finishing y'day, I missed 4 clear cut sights on goal with poor composure, those are the breaks sometimes! I will spend the public holiday practicing my finishing! Well played all esp Reds.
CH was being very kind here and Babs it was not your fault....from my perspective (being in central def for most part) Whites were literally "Whitewashed" by Reds (pardon the pun here). The problem lay in the fact that we had no established midfielders to control and distribute and had to rely on the legs of mainly Oli (who had a great game IMHO), Zach and Jon. However, when those legs got tired, we were undone. The other factor for the end-result 8-2 was the fact that while Whites had many talented players individually, we couldn't gel as a team.....coupled with a lack of a cohesive midfield, this spelt disaster.
The game got worse and worse (from a White perspective as the game wore on). After we had miraculously equalised at 2-2, it was downhill all the way after that with Reds running at us and progressively growing in confidence with each minute. Attacks coming from all around the pitch with Karthi and Manish rampaging through the center, Elvin as usual requiring at least 2 defenders on him, twisting and squirming for angles and Dom ever the opportunist waiting to pounce on the inevitable cross.....Whites were at sixes and sevens and for once I felt really helpless to stop the goals from just flying in....they were everywhere! Close down 1 dangerman and another 3 appear! We couldn't even play the ball out of the defence with CH, Karthi and Nordin just chasing at the heels of the White defenders as soon as the pass was made leading to errors and goals on at least 3 of the Reds goals. We had to resort to long throws to valiant Babs up front who was willing to take the hits and Oli.
Danny was so pissed off that he kept wanting to call time after 6pm rather than endure the rather pointless extension of the 1-sided play for anor 18 mins.....oh well....
Definitely a match i will readily be willing to banish from my memory
It just shows what a difference fitness makes. I was absolutely smashed after 3 months out and Reds were just constantly running and pressing from the goal kick...you suddenly realise why James Milner and Darren Fletcher are so highly rated.
CH's original suggestion might have worked better. It was:
Reds 1. CH 2. Shaiful 3. Damien 4. Nordin 5. Dom 6. Jon 7. Babs 8. Manish
Whites 1. Paul 2. Oliver 3. Elvin 4. Karthi 5. Danny 6. Matt 7. Kien 8. Zach
Perhaps in making changes, Paul wasn't familiar enough with the players. If selectors are not familiar enough with the players, I will suggest line ups, especially if they had insufficient votes in the poll.