The struggle to cobble together even 11 players continued for the Legends. After casting their net far and wide they looked to have 13 until the Mike D of Randall Klitz. Fortunately their 12 looked very healthy in comparison to the 8 players that Barnstonworth scrounged up. The 7pm start time might have been early for the average New York worker, but no less to blame was the bitterly cold and windy night that encouraged everyone to get the game started and moving as quickly as possible.
With no idea of whether Rovers reinforcements were on the way, the Legends started at a quick tempo and tried to press to keep the pressure on. Although ostensibly a 4-4-2 Swinkels was privately encouraged to attack as the formation became an unofficial 4-3-3. Despite being severely outmanned Barnstonworth showed some nice touches and dribbling ability but due to the sheer force of numbers were simply unable to get out of their own half. After some near misses CPR finally struck with a nice finish from the outside of the left foot by Mckeown. Soon after a corner caused some confusion at the back for Rovers presenting Swinkels with the easiest of tap ins. After a couple of strong runs on the left Swinkels was rewarded again with sliding the ball through the keeper after the initial save. A pass down the middle from D’Andrea set Mckeown free for another smart finish, and D’Andrea finished off the scoring for the first half.
A couple of reinforcements did arrive for Rovers at half time and so the Legends were now facing 10, still with a one man advantage. Their initial break occurred when the referee seemed oblivious to a player several yards offside who then marched down half the field to score while CPR players stood around bewildered at such an obvious blunder. The goal now gave Barnstonworth some hope and they quickly scored a second on a great counter, aided by Legends greed and the perennial lack of football situational understanding that afflicts some of their players. Having 7 players in the penalty area when leading 5-1 allowing a counterattack is simply foolish. Fortunately the game was opening up in both directions and a Man of the Match performance by Tony Vamvouris was capped by an admittedly wind assisted lob from outside the box. At this point the 4 goal lead looked safe, although Telly Vamvouris made his own excellent save on yet another counter attack by Barnstonworth.
Regardless of how it came about, a first cup win was most welcome and allows the Legends to play another game in the usually sparse spring. Goals scored are always good for the confidence and hopefully the Legends can do better rallying players and playing well the rest of the Spring.
Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans, League Opposition
Location: Randall’s Island #75, Randall’s Island
Conditions: Freezing windy evening
Result: 6-2, HT: 5-0
Goals: 1:0 Mckeown
4:0 Mckeown Assist D’Andrea
5:0 D’Andrea Assist Hodges
6:0 Tony Vamvouris
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Mike D’s aka No Shows: Randall Klitz was supposed to be the prodigal son briefly returning but never showed. Fortunately he was not needed.
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Very fortunately none.
Old Man of the Match: Lots of candidates but Tony Vamvouris in a very disciplined defensive midfield position gets the nod, with his goal while the Legends were starting to be pressurized ending any real threat of a Barnstonworth comeback.
Old Man of the Bar: None.
El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None.
Statistic of the week: Tony Vamvouris gets his debut Old Man of the Match. Mckeown continues his prolific goal scoring, rapidly rising up the all time charts with 17 goals in 23 matches.
Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 12 (33%)
Team Bar Night: 2 out of 5. Made it to Dive 96 for a quick bite and a beer.
Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Tony Vamvouris, Bevan Rosenbloom (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Willian D’Andrea, Manohar Venkataraman, John Hodges, Drew Faherty (DF), Simon Mckeown, Ronnie Swinkels