The Legends have been going through a bit of a cold streak, 4 games without a win following 4 consecutive victories. CPR had already triumphed against Hoboken earlier in the season, but had been thrashed by them during the summer and so were leery of whether Dr. Jeckyll or Mr. Hoboken would show up. A damp morning had made the surface slick, and watching the Old Boyz vs Grays derby it was clear that a continuous passing game was going to be hard to maintain.
It turned out that Hoboken had reached that part of the season that many old teams do, with the enthusiasm of the squad waning and increasing difficulty in rousing enough willing participants from what should have been a healthy sized squad. Negotiations with the tardy referee ensued, and despite having almost twice as many players as Hoboken did CPR allayed their concerns by explaining that quantity did not necessarily mean quality, and should the game get out of hand appropriate adjustments would be made to avoid a thrashing that would satisfy no one but the most statistics hungry individual (not that anyone like that was around).
Eventually the game started and to nobody’s surprise CPR dominated possession with their two men advantage. Also not to the Legends surprise the possession could not be turned into clear chances. Hoboken’s defence was clearly well drilled, and they were able to consistently render the Legends offsides with the help of a friendly referee’s whistle and CPR’s passing hesitancy. As the tension started to rise for the Legends and the specter of the ignominious 0-0 draw against similarly undermanned Argo reared its ugly head, Pritchard was on hand to deliver a pressure relieving goal. As the Legends sensed the lack of any offensive threat whatsoever they started piling forward but clear chances were slim. The woodwork was hit twice, although once was directly from a corner. The goalie not only made no mistakes but made a fantastic save from Hodges near the end of the first half.
Although Hoboken’s impotence indicated that 1-0 would hold up, that clearly was not enough for the Legends. With the referee continuing the absurd tradition of slanting decisions in favour of the undermanned team to make it more interesting for the nonexistent spectators, CPR knew that all it would take is one mindboggling decision to fritter away a guaranteed victory. The pressure started ratcheting up, and Hoboken clearly started to tire. The second bubble bursting goal finally came from an unlikely source, Teesdale lofting in a ball to the box with Venkataraman’s diving header leaving the goalie stranded. At this point everybody started buying a ticket for the goal lottery, with Hahn cashing in for a debut goal from center back and Hodges taking advantage of Pritchard’s take down to tap in an empty netter. At this point the referee decided enough was enough, with CPR unable to ascertain just how much time had been cut out of the game due to clockwatching foibles on the sideline. Incompetent referees are the norm and not the exception, but this particular pendant’s churlishness in insisting players must be completely off the field before the substitutes could make it on was the height of idiocy.
The inaugural Legend’s Fall season is at an end, and all in all it can be viewed as a cautious success. 5 Wins, a draw and 4 losses is not bad for a brand new team, and the spine of the team looks to be in good shape. For the most part numbers haven’t been an issue, and good camaraderie has ensued on and off the pitch. The one missing ingredient is a deadly striker, but that could be said for most teams. The Golden Boot at this stage is less of a race than watching old folks in a home jockeying for position in the queue waiting for their pills in the morning.
|The thrilling race for the Legends Golden Boot continued, with Ochoa cruelly denied by the post and Venkataraman’s acrobatics pushing him ahead
Competition: Hoboken FC, League opposition
Location: Randalls Island #74, Randalls Island
Conditions: Damp and a little cold, on par for December
Result: 4-0 (1-0 at H/T)
Goals: 1:0 Pritchard assist Teesdale
2:0 Venkataraman assist Teesdale
3:0: Hahn assist Hodges
4:0 Hodges assist Pritchard
Yellow Cards: None. A couple of hard fouls but in general an even tempered game
Red Card: None.
Mike D’s aka No Shows: None
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Conboy
|Back in the age of the Metroboyz the sight of Conboy galloping through the midfield was a sight to behold. Now? He was frequently caught from behind by the grumpy old northern left back. That’s a paddling
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Looks like we may have to retire the award if the general healthiness continues.
Old Man of the Match: A solid match for several of the usual suspects, even playing against 9 men. Ochoa was desperately unlucky several times, and the defence barely had anything to do except start cheating forward. However for scoring the opening & winning goal as well as creating several chances Pritchard wins the OMoM award.
Old Man of the Bar: Nothing spectacular or noteworthy.
El Presidente (new award for Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None.
Team Bar Showing: 9 out of 16 (56%)
Team Bar Night: 4.75 out of 5: Another banner day with every team from the club represented for both depth & longevity.
Team (No new profiles this week): Jonathan Lerner (GK), Luciano Belizano (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Andrew Faherty (DF), Lars Murray (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Steve Teesdale (DF), Dan Bernoske, Dan Ochoa, Willian D’Andrea, Steve Pritchard, John Hodges, Tony Vamvouris, Michael Conboy, Chris Muro, Manohar Venkataraman