6pm Sunday evening was not ideal, but that was what the schedule threw up. The Legends certainly wanted payback against Argo after their ignominious draw during Sandy weekend which saw them unable to score against 9 players, although the referee’s shortchanging the game by a hard to believe 16 minutes certainly contributed.
A typical 15 man squad was available although positions were somewhat off balance given Muro’s rare absence. The fact that field #85 was of a diminutive size similar to #74 helped with the dearth of central midfielders, but conversely also diminished CPR’s advantage in substitutions. Within the first few minutes CPR had the benefit of the wind and Argo on the back foot. One snap shot was hit tamely to the keeper while a few other shots could not be kept on target. Play appeared contradictory, with players finding the ball in plenty of space but the smallness of the field resulting in immediate pressure. This put a premium on first touches and quick thinking, but outside of D’Andrea this was in short supply. Over elaboration proved to be another thorn in the side of the Legends, attempted passing moves eschewing the more profitable strategy of “getting it into the mixer” that would have tested the keeper.
The most notable thing about the first half was that when the referee called it at 40 minutes, he actually listened to both teams protesting and had them come out and play the remaining time. In contrast to the previous game against Argo, this was a refreshing understanding by the referee of his role in a Sunday afternoon old man game. Of course, the added on 6-7 minutes were as uneventful as the previous 40.
After a brief tactical discussion the Legends were ready to go but were kept waiting by the opposition as their coach had some in depth tactical nous to bestow upon her charges, oblivious to the lack of lights and the rapidly failing twilight (perhaps that was her tactics, who knows?). With the wind against them CPR were initially under pressure but slowly started to pass the ball around and regain control of the game. The Referee made up for his light touch in the first half by letting some blatantly physical play go, unnecessarily escalating tensions. Clear chances proved scarce, the best of them falling to Pritchard who hit the side netting from one and provoked an excellent save from another. Meanwhile the defence was proving capable in snuffing out most chances at the other end.
A final flurry of activity was kicked off by yet another hard foul that was needlessly escalated by an Argo player, resulting in his sending off. The extra player advantage was mostly nullified by the small field, but opened up the game at both ends. In fact, it was Argo who had the best two chances at the end on counter attacks, the first blasted into orbit from a superb position by an attacker whose eyes must have been as big as saucers, the second was a somewhat difficult header with the goal at his mercy.
Two games, two 0-0 draws, not exactly an advertisement for the beauty that is middle aged Sunday Football. The best thing that could be said about the game was that nobody got hurt and the beer was cold afterwards.
|Pritchard huffed and puffed but couldn’t extend his goal tally|
Competition: Argo Silver, League Opposition
Location: Randalls Island #85, Randalls Island
Conditions: Surprisingly chilly spring evening
Result: 0-0 (0-0 at H/T)
Yellow Cards: None.
Red Card: None
Mike D’s aka No Shows: None, with Panu Purhonen giving enough notice regarding work issues
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None.
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: None.
Old Man of the Match: Some good performances including honorable mentions of Pete Hahn & Luciano Belizano at the back, but nobody outstanding.
Old Man of the Bar: None.
El Presidente (new award for Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None.
Mr. “Bed, Bath & Beyond” (Season award for least appearances as a full time squad member):
Realistically it’s hard to expect anyone to out ghost Mike D, but Silver & Bronze absentees are still up for grabs, and a single game here or there might drag down Walby & Teran into the battle
Season Appearances (Games = 15)
|Michael ‘Mike D’ Douglas||
|Mark ‘Tactics’ Dean||
|Manuel ‘Essentially’ Casanova||
Team Bar Showing: 7 out of 15 (47%)
Team Bar Night: 2.5 out of 5: 5 guys came and watched the Man City vs Chelsea FA Cup semifinal which was an absorbing game, but not that much more staying power after that.
Team (No new profiles this week): Mark Becker (GK), Luciano Belizan (DF), Dan Bernoske (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Lars Murray (DF), Andrew Faherty (DF), Steve Teesdale (DF), Dan Ochoa, Steve O’Connell, John Hodges, Milan Gupta, Tony Vamvouris, Manohar Venkataraman, Willan D’Andrea, Steve Pritchard