With a few of the stalwarts hurt or unavailable the Legends once again tried to beg, borrow but not steal players. Unfortunately unlike midweek the Bat signal did not result in any caped heroes arriving. Facing an expectedly strong Shamrock side the Legends would only have 10 players, and even those barely made it due to unexpectedly grim traffic from Manhattan. Until Conboy arrived the Legends started in a 5-3-0 formation with Venkataraman tucking in as a fifth defender on the right hand side. Although Shamrocks naturally had the vast amount of possession the Legends were able to keep them at bay without too many last ditch tackles. Once Conboy arrived and Mckeown was pushed as a solo striker CPR had a bit more time in the midfield. Inevitably though Shamrock’s pressing paid dividends as they were able to steal the ball inside the box and score their first goal, soon followed by a second. The rout appeared to be on but on a 2 and 0 breakaway Telly Vamvouris did just enough in goal to force an offside pass. At least that was the charitable interpretation, whereas another referee might well have sent Telly off for a foul or allowed the goal to stand.
0-2 at half time was as good as the Legends could have hoped for, but the Russian Roulette of the high defensive line populated by 40 somethings was asking for trouble. CPR was also caught in a no man’s land of chasing the game to get a goal and get back in while inevitably opening up holes in the back. The beginning of the second half saw the Legends come out very strongly but unable to get the final killer pass or shot on goal to challenge the keeper. Both D’Andrea and Conboy were able to take on multiple players but eventually ended up overwhelmed by sheer force of numbers. Fatigue was also starting to become a factor as the inevitable third goal finally came on a counter. Gaps were starting to open up all over the field and all the Shamrock players were trying to get in on the action. Two goals in quick succession put any remote doubt of the result to rest, and all that remained was for the Legends to not allow a cricket score while trying to grab a consolation back. They had one glorious opportunity where Mckeown found himself one on one with the goalie who made a creditable save given how little he had to do. Meanwhile CPR allowed a total of 6 goals and avoided a couple of other open opportunities while eliciting some quality saves from Telly.
A disappointing score for numerous reasons, not least the fact that showing up with 10 players was always going to make getting a result unlikely. Combined with Barnstonworth’s large win over Gjoa the Legends are now out of playoff positioning and will have to hope they can rally far more squad players to the cause if they are going to avoid an empty season.
Competition: Shamrock Rovers, League Opposition
Location: St. Michael’s Playground, Queens
Conditions: Moderate afternoon
Result: 0-6 HT: 0-2
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: N/A
Mike D’s aka No Shows: N/A
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: N/A
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: The vicious scything of Conboy fortunately happened right at the end of the game but will see him out for a few weeks. He was barely able to walk the next day.
Old Man of the Match: Solid performance by everyone considering the obstacles, but nobody stood out. Tony Vamvouris appears to be making the defensive midfield position his own.
Old Man of the Bar: Good performance by Tier 1, but not OMoB worthy.
El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Paul Vale was summoned from his Upper East Side lair with minimal notice (sans cravat).
Statistic of the week: Nothing notable
Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 10 (40%)
Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. An initial tired crew of 4 started to gather steam with some shots and especially the volcanic arrival of Paul Vale heralding more shots and beers.
Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Tony Vamvouris, Bevan Rosenbloom (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Willian D’Andrea, Manohar Venkataraman, Drew Faherty (DF), Simon Mckeown, Mike Conboy