With a couple of late scratches the Legends had a lopsided look about them for the game against Banatul. The norm this season had been about 16 squad members but for this game it was to be 14. One look at the ten men of Banatul and it appeared that complacency would be the biggest enemy in this game. Sure enough, the Banatul goal led a charmed life in the first half. Enticott beat the offside trap for the first of many times but his cross was whiffed by Venkataraman. Soon after Simic thundered a cracking shot against the crossbar and Enticott headed against the woodwork when it was easier to score. From 3 yards out Venkataraman hit the ball straight against the keeper and Enticott sent straight through hit his shot wide. The gegenpressing was working in creating mass turnovers and chances, but the xG map must have showed a mass of quality chances not being converted.
Finally with irritation at a scoreless half looming the secret El Presidente weapon was unleashed up top. A rampaging Solinas run on the right resulted in a beautiful cross and a diving header hammering the back of the net for the lead. Although some of the tension was lifted a second goal was urgently needed as Banatul showed signs of being able to score one goal but not two. After relentless pressure the dam finally broke, with Enticott finally getting the goal his efforts deserved. Soon it was an onslaught as a long cross from Vamvouris saw Enticott pound his own header in. From an opposition goal kick, Pattinson directed his header to Venkataraman who dropped it on a dime for Enticott to complete his hat trick. With everyone hungering for some action a cross from Enticott saw Solinas trying to bundle the ball over the line, Venkataraman tapping it in from a yard. Enticott soon scored another as the Legends were running rampant.
|The supporting forward players both chipped in but the CPR Messi added to the unofficial all time CPR goals list with a majestic 4 that could have been 8|
Unfortunately as per usual Banatul handled adversity with their usual petulance. Understandably unable to keep up with the Legends movement with only 10 players getting worn down, they started fouling with increasing violence. They had no problem using physicality but bleated when any legal physicality was used on them. With Hahn taking a player on in the box and both fighting for it, their player connected with a vicious kick. Fortunately the referee was watching and sent the player off, but it did not seem to have any cooling effect. Indeed, after persistently whining to the referee to blow the whistle the game was ended a full 10 minutes early. On the one hand this is an Over 36 league so allowances should be made, but the manner in which it occurred left a bad taste in the mouth. The Legends are chasing a title and goal difference is a big part of that. It is not CPR’s fault that the opposition brought 10 men and got one of themselves sent off. A few Banatul players did indeed apologize for their surly teammates, and the fact the Legends did manage 6 helped ease the pain. Players who didn’t get the minutes they expected due to the early cutoff were able to look at the bigger picture. On to Hoboken.
Competition: Banatul, League Opposition
Location: Randall’s Island #74, Randall’s Island
Conditions: Brisk morning
Goals: 1-0: Faherty Assist Solinas
3-0: Enticott Assist Vamvouris
4-0: Enticott Assists Pattinson, Venkataraman
5-0: Venkataraman Assists Enticott, Solinas
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Mike D’s aka No Shows: Williams with another late scratch, Paul Vale called into work.
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Hodges with a late yes, welcome as the numbers were uncomfortably tight this week
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Fortunately none, with the adrenaline and blood in the water superseding any issues. With the dirty tackles flying in late though it was fortunate that there were no opponent caused injuries.
Old Man of the Match: Faherty was a shoe-in for OMoM with the critical diving header for the game winner, until Enticott had the rudeness to set a Legends record with 4 goals.
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
Statistic of the week: So many (which tends to happen against Banatul). Here are highlights:
- Venkataraman ties all time goals lead with 15 to match D’Andrea
- Enticott sets record with 4 goals in a half/game
- Legends score 5 goals in a half for the 4th time (unsurprisingly previous 3 times were Banatul twice and Hoboken once)
Team Bar Showing: 6 out of 14 (43%)
Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. Fully a third of the team stayed out for a good portion of the day, with plenty of other teams also present and socializing. Actually got the Red Bulls game on, but result not so good.
Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Pete Hahn (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Sergio Tache (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Steve Teesdale (DF), John Hodges, Ante Simic, Tony Vamvouris, Ugo Solinas, Tom Pattinson, Manohar Venkataraman, Drew Faherty, Rich Enticott