After last week’s heartwarming draw against the Cozmoz juggernaut the Legends knew they couldn’t afford to let their momentum drop. Apparently the message got through as they had their largest attendance of the season so far at 16. On arriving at the field it was clear that it was more like 15 as Ollie Roberts looked like someone who had hosted a holiday party the night before. For once the Legends didn’t have to stress as their opponents looked in even worse shape, with only 9 players available and hints suggesting that that would be the sum total for the whole game. Having stretched themselves well after the arduous trek to Union New Jersey the Legends were up and eager to get at it, immediately putting pressure on the opponents. Quickly CPR stormed in the lead, the massed numbers too many for Hoboken to handle as the wide open Rosenbloom crashed the ball against the bar with Venkataraman available to clean up the mess. The referee appeared to take pity on Hoboken by giving them the benefit of the doubt on a few offside decisions including a sumptuous volley from an irate Mckeown. Not to be denied he soon notched up his first followed by Venkataraman’s speculative long shot taking a deflection. The surprise was that the Legends weren’t able to score more, but Hoboken as usual kept battling and working hard against the odds.
Despite the large numbers of substitutes the Legends continued to efficiently self manage their playing time and the pressure continued to pile on. Mckeown scored again and was denied by the crossbar. Venkataraman shot straight at the keeper and headed wide from a promising position. El Presidente got into the act, scoring to atone for his miss in the first half before missing an even more promising header. The goals and chances started to flow, and for the most part the Legends eschewed selfishness to keep the ball flowing and set people up in good positions in the penalty area. Mckeown completed his hat-trick with a gorgeous shot from outside the box that was almost matched by a long run from Hahn followed by a powerful low drive. Hoboken gamely tried to keep up and indeed ruined the Legends chances for their 3 shut out in 4 games with a good corner and great header. By the time Casanova scored and inappropriately celebrated the 9th goal it was clear that the referee would mercifully end the game early for Hoboken.
The Fall part of the season was challenging from a numbers perspective for the Legends, making their second place playoff position feel all the more satisfying. With 6 games to go and a 3 point lead they will need to make sure they recruit well and hopefully have players returning from injury to help cement their playoff position.
Competition: Hoboken FC 1912 Legends, League Opposition
Location: Phil Rizzuto Park, Union NJ
Conditions: Chilly December morning
Fans: 2 (Doug and Owen Faherty).
Goals: 1:0 Venkataraman assist Rosenbloom
2:0 Mckeown assist Hahn
5:0 Faherty Assist Conboy
8:0 Conboy Assist Mckeown
9:1 Casanova Assist Belizan
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Mike D’s aka No Shows: None, although Ollie probably wishes he was one
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Although hangovers shouldn’t count, Ollie’s was the most spectacular since Resnik at Red Hook post St. Patrick’s day 3 years ago (still being drunk doesn’t count). Too many subs rolling in and off to have anyone in any danger of getting hurt.
Old Man of the Match: Plenty of candidates but the tight race came down to Conboy narrowly edging out Mckeown. Mckeown had the statistics with 3 goals and an assist (and unfairly denied a goal for “offside”) while Conboy had the tireless field length running both offensively and defensively. Hopefully they will both have plenty more chances to vie for the award in the spring.
Old Man of the Bar: None.
El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Honorary mentions to Meridyth, Kaitlin and Doug.
Statistic of the week: Venkataraman was a couple of glorious chances away from tying D’Andrea for the all time goal lead, his 2 goals now leaving him one behind at 18 and with 50 goals all time for CPR. With Faherty rotating up top Resnik was able to gain full custody of the all time Defensive assist lead. The Legends also set a new record with 6 goals in a half, beating 3 previous occasions when they had scored 5. The 9 goals in the game also tied their previous high against Banatul in 2012, and but for a good Hoboken header would have tied that game’s all time biggest victory.
Team Bar Showing: 7 out of 16 (44%)
Team Bar Night: 4 out of 5. Almost half the team showed up for at least awhile, while Tier 1 stayed for all of the first NFL games with Tier 2 putting in a shift.
Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Steve Teesdale, Ollie Roberts (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Tony Vamvouris, Mark Dean, Bevan Rosenbloom, Manohar Venkataraman, John Hodges, Drew Faherty, Mike Conboy, Simon Mckeown, Manuel Casanova