As I write the match report and consider the score, I wonder if St. Luke may be the patron saint of goals and if he is, what YMO did wrong to deserve the routing they got on Friday night. Nice bunch of guys and accommodating to boot, giving goals away much like our dear president does money to consultants working on his kraal or Indian friends who provide employment for offspring in his tribe.
Admittedly, having conceding a goal in the first 5 minutes, exacerbated by the fact that we lost 3-1 to YMO in a friendly season opener, I thought we were in for a tough game. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I had traveled with the same side that beat West End 6-1 (Richard again 6-1), well the first half side of that game anyway. Their goal was offside, by some distance, and whilst it can be said that the lights were quite bad, the lad was so far offside, even Stevie Wonder would’ve called to say he was offside. Given the fact that the lad was quite quick, I suspect that they score a number of their goals in the same manner. After some analysis, we worked out that their main game consisted of over the top from deep in the midfield with a significant reliance on bad lighting. Standing between the sticks for the night, I can vouch that a bell would definitely have helped, because they rely on the lights to make the ball disappear and the two times I did touch the ball was guesswork at best.
Back to the plot….we countered their strategy by not playing for offside and effectively shut the door to their attacks. Actually, if I have to be honest, shutting the door would be an understatement because between the four backs and defending midfield, they actually bricked and cemented the door shut and I was able to resort to watching the lads in the midfield create more chances than the ANC government has given Zuma, with the occasional fetching of the ball to take goal kicks. I digress…
The equaliser came from Ruben who didn’t waste time to remind me that he scored and wanted full points for his performance as a result. That plus the fact that he wouldn’t be travelling home with me and therefore wouldn’t be singing and dancing in my car. His goal was a header from a corner that was directed back across the goals past the keeper and into the back of the net, great play which even top professionals don’t get right. Earlier on, Dereck had the same opportunity to knock it home but tried to play a new game of ‘follow the ball from a cross with your head but don’t actually touch it’, which he won hands down. To be honest I cannot remember who scored when after that but Warren scored a hat-trick, and Richard and Dereck both scored twice to make it 8-1 (Richard again 8-1). I would probably have to write a thesis to describe each goal in detail so I’ll only record the top five highlights given that Dave has probably already stopped reading by now.
Position 5: – Dereck in front of goals, ball at feet facing a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. First right, then left, then right again and then past the keeper. Time stood still as the two of them had a face-off. Picture if you can when you were a kid playing in the park/field and it’s you and a mate, he is on goals and you are dribbling towards him, no-one else there… it was like that, except we are big now but somehow everyone just watched the two of them having fun. Inevitable outcome of a goal which Dereck pulled off with consummate style and ease.
Position 4: – Second half and Stevie on at right back/right half/right wing, it was all three positions simultaneously for the global-travelling oil tycoon salesman on Friday night. He collected the ball somewhere just before the half way line and charged towards the goals in a Rooney-like fashion until he got to the edge of the box where he unleashed a shot to remember/forget, depending on which side you sit. Fortunately Richard was on the other side of the box and after recovering from the shock of seeing the ball coming his way, managed to slide the ball home using what in his words was “size 14 boots instead of the normal size 9” to slot home Stevie’s shot-turned-cross.
Position 3: – Warren’s third goal to get his hat-trick proved Newton’s third law of motion… for every action, there is an opposite action, equal in magnitude and opposite in direction…. emphasis in direction. Same ball, same position running down the right wing like the mighty midget he is…at speed! This time, he looked up and saw Dereck, waiting unexpectedly for the cross to come over. A swing of the right foot and the ball went up in the air and…. nowhere near Dereck. Instead the goalie looked on helplessly as the ball looped over his head and into the back of the net. Dereck was crestfallen and Warren actually looked apologetic!
Position 2: – It was a welcoming site to see the cheerful face of Dave as he made his return to the side from his bout of flu last week. Still recovering, he was benched with the plan on bringing him on in the second half so as to ease the lad back into the game. Sometime into the second half, Warren, having scored his hat-trick by then, was substituted by Captain Richard with the aim of bringing Dave onto the field. Warren was already almost off the pitch when it dawned on everyone that Dave was nowhere to be seen. A quick glance around to the bar saw Dave standing stone-faced with a beer in his hand watching events unfold unamusedly. Afterwards his explanation was that he got cold and tired from waiting to get a game!
Position 1:- The highlight of the evening happened early in the first half with Dereck out wide on the right looking for work. He received a pass and held the ball well, despite a YMO back doing everything but saddling him up and riding him with the player’s boots coming in from all side and between his legs having a go at the ball. Dereck was bent over at almost 90 degrees as he fought the lad off bravely. In steps superhero Clive once again to rescue Dereck by trying to collect the ball from him with the intention of launching an attack down the right flank… only Dereck wasn’t going to give the ball away that easily, be it friend or foe, and so he continued to fight off the assistance bravely. What ensued wasn’t the prettiest of scenes but the struggle for the ball between the three was joined by another YMO player and only finally ended by the ref because who simply couldn’t bear to watch the struggle anymore and rewarded Dereck’s tenacity with a free-kick.
Hero of the week:- There were so many good moments that it is difficult to separate any single person but sterling performances by the two centre-backs and Johan for working so hard out on the left. Warren gets mention for his hat trick and Almiro for working like a trooper assisting at the front and helping out at the back.
Villain of the week: – Richard for not playing Dave, Dave for not playing for Richard and Neil for getting the first yellow card for the season.
Injury update on Dezroy is that he has torn his Achilles tendon and will be undergoing surgery on Wednesday. He will be out for six weeks but will be swimming so he can keep fit and make a return for the cup final. Stuart and the others who heard the snap can feel your pain Dez. Get well soon!
Please note that if you are paying off your subs for the year, your next payment is due. I don’t want to fight with you lads so please pay the club with your name as a reference to speed things up. I get an update weekly of the status so I can chase defaulters.
We have been given a bye in the first round of the cup scheduled for this coming weekend. Truth be told, there are only eight teams in the cup so we automatically go through to the quarterfinals of the cup. As a result we’re going to try bring our next league game forward to accommodate a significant sporting event in Houwhoek over 13-15 May weekend where half the team is away. Gavin has booked the court for Wednesday evening so be sure to come down for practice. I think the team is starting to gel well together and our practice on a flat surface really showed on Friday night where the bounce is consistent. We have a good side with lots of depth and talent. More importantly, there is commitment, enthusiasm, a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard, key elements of a successful side.
Keep it up lads, you’re making De Beers proud!