Lingering injuries and availability issues mean the Legends would look to play yet another 8am game with merely 3 substitutes. Normally it wouldn’t be an issue, but given the mammoth sporting/drinking day before, there was some concern. That concern ripened into deep unease when it appeared that not only would the Legends only have 11 to start the game, but that might be all they had for a rapidly warming day. Meanwhile Banatul appeared to have plenty of substitutes, so it would be a case of keep composed and using possession as an extra weapon.
|A team could survive one Mike D, maybe even two. Surviving 3 separate calamities shows great character by the Legends
Similar to last week against Hoboken, the Legends constantly appear to want to raise the bar of difficulty when its not needed. Against an overmatched opponent CPR would make 3 or 4 simple passes and then eschew a 4th or 5th one in favour of a raking cross field ball, with predictable results. Clear cut chances were few and far between but the CPR defence looked well in control, to the point of taking an executive decision to move a player up into a 3-4-3 formation. With a hyper athletic young goalie between the sticks sweeping everything in his area the Rangers could not quite pull the trigger on anything goalbound. The closest chance occurred when Tony Vamvouris contentiously beat the offside trap and crossed the ball only for Venkataraman to attempt the vastly difficult volley rather than control & placement.
It was clear that despite having 4 substitutes Banatul were far more likely to wear out than CPR in the second half, gaps yawning wide in their defence. Indeed, CPR were able to convert their pressure early on into a nicely worked goal, D’Andrea slipping Solinas in with a nice finish. Soon after, Faherty once again dug in to his Rory Delap bag of tricks for a long throw, and after the ball bounced past several surprised players Venkataraman took advantage of the goalie’s penchant for coming out by blindly chipping the ball over his head and into the side netting. CPR were running rampant and Banatul were starting to hang their heads when a lovely worked third goal was created by Klitz over to Teesdale, whose pass/shot eluded the keeper leaving D’Andrea the easiest of tap ins.
At 3-0 down Banatul switched keepers to allow their young athletic goalie to rampage across the field, and indeed he helped cut the deficit to 3-1 soon after. Although there was some mild concern for CPR it was clear that they were much more likely to score again than Banatul, with both Pattinson & Teesdale going agonizingly wide. The CPR offence remained hungry while some of the Banatul players predictably started turning on each other, CPR, the referee and whoever else they could blame for the hole they created for themselves. Fortunately the young capable referee had the game completely under control to prevent the odd Banatul whiner ruining an Over 35 Sunday morning game with a lack of perspective.
CPR have played some good football the last 3 games but the inconsistency in focus and application will be severely punished by Barnstonworth unless rectified. The 3-0 spot Barnstonworth put up in the first 10 minutes of the first meeting this season should render it clear that the Legends need to tighten their game up if they want to compete.
Competition: Banatul, League Opposition
Location: Randall’s Island #72, Randall’s Island
Conditions: Remarkably warm for 8am, with the heat continually increasing
Result: 3-1 (0-0 at H/T)
Goals: 1-0: Solinas, Assist D’Andrea
2-1: Venkataraman, Assist Faherty
3-1: D’Andrea, Assists Klitz, Teesdale
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Mike D’s aka No Shows: Chris Williams an understandable scratch the night before with an injury flare up. Ollie Roberts with a defunct car, and new boy Todd Baron with no excuse or contact
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Remarkably all 11 players managed to make it through the game with nothing other than extreme fatigue. Ollie Roberts car could probably make the list.
Old Man of the Match: Only 3 people made it to the bar again, so no voting.
Old Man of the Bar: Without a pint to be had, not a chance.
El Presidente (new award for Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None
Statistic of the week: Nothing noteworthy.
Team Bar Showing: 3 out of 14 (27%)
Team Bar Night: 1 out of 5. The Bike tour made it zero chance of heading all the way downtown, especially with a chance the bar wouldn’t even be open. The Legends managed to find the only Irish bar in Manhattan that actually follows the ‘no alcohol before 12pm’ rule, absurdly antiquated as it is.
Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Andrew Faherty (DF), Steve Teesdale (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Randall Klitz (DF), Tony Vamvouris, Tom Pattinson, Ugo Solinas, Manohar Venkataraman, Willan D’andrea