Two games were played against Argo Silver last year, both of them ending in 0-0 draws. Having finally beaten Gjoa at Gjoa last week, the Legends were looking to break the deadlock this time as well, especially with a full complement of substitutes. With the previous game delayed and the referee taking his time with the paperwork it was past twilight before the Rangers took the field. With a 6:40pm scheduled start time the field was assumed to have lights, but what the field actually had could only be considered adequate by the most charitable description possible. The far side of the field almost disappeared in the shadows and passing for any distance took on a Russian roulette tinge, with the purple of Argo and red of CPR merging into one.
Although CPR started brightly (unlike the field), once the ball got to the final third Argo were able to successfully stymie all shots and passes. They were quick and physical, nipping in front of the Rangers on numerous occasions. They slowly started to assert themselves, but much like CPR were lacking in killer instinct or ideas in the penalty box save for one accidental shot/cross that Becker did well to save.
|Yes, the conditions were as dark as they looked|
At half time the Legends discussed matching Argo’s intensity and making a change for the better. Unfortunately during the same break the referee had decided to make a change of his own, from being upper mediocre to bad to horrendous. The “quality” of referees in the Over 30’s league has been well documented, so a competent referee like that from the game against Gjoa allows both teams to play at their best. At the far end of the scale was the contradictory reasoning buffoon from this game. After allowing increasingly physical play the referee started yelling at players for falling over from the hard contact. The inexplicable decisions were legion, starting with a mounted header from behind that resulted in a dislocated shoulder for Venkataraman with a mild talking to, then in the next 5 minutes an ordinary foul by Muro resulting in a stunning straight red. This was soon followed by a booking for a 70-30 play won by two clear steps by Stephan that the referee blamed the ball winner for (something I’ve never seen in decades of watching football). This degenerated a tough hard fought contest into a farce, something completely avoidable by a half decent referee. Although the game opened up with fewer players there weren’t many more clear cut chances being created, and the game ended up in yet another 0-0 draw.
|The card shown to Stephan was the worst in memory to a CPR Over 30’s team on the pitch (off the pitch the booking to Gavin Hamilton for protesting the Referee’s self implemented ban on smoking will never be beaten)|
What started as an absorbing contest will long be remembered for referee inconsistent one sided stupidity and a game that should have required night vision goggles to play in. The Legends fervently hope they don’t see this refereeing clown any time soon.
Competition: Argo Silver, League Opposition
Location: E. 6th street, Manhattan
Conditions: Chilly fall evening
Result: 0-0 (0-0 at H/T)
Yellow Cards: Casanova, Stephan
Red Card: Technically Muro, although it was such a bad decision it scarcely warrants tracking
Mike D’s aka No Shows: None
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None.
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Venkataraman, although hard to call it fragile when a huge galoot comes right over your back with barely a warning from the referee.
Old Man of the Match: Difficult to judge as the overall play was decent but few standouts. Pete edged Luciano for his defensive ability combined with providing a lot of offensive support, something we should look to capitalize on in the future.
Old Man of the Bar: None this night, given the lateness of the game and the still lingering frustration with the buffoonish referee
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 17 (53%)
Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5: Given the lateness of the hour it was good that a decent amount of squad members showed up.
Team (No new profiles this week): Mark Becker (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Drew Faherty (DF), Lars Murray (DF), Paul Stephan, Dan Ochoa, Chris Muro, John Hodges, Tony Vamvouris, Chris Jee, Steve O’Connell, Manohar Venkataraman, Willan D’Andrea, Manuel Casanova, Steve Pritchard
|Team Photo before the game|