For the second game in a row injuries and travel decimated the Legends squad. In addition the fact that it was a cup weekend and thus potential help from other squads would be cup-tied hurt recruitment chances even further. Casting the net far and wide it looked like the Legends would have the bare minimum 11 but come Sunday morning they were down to 9, an unpleasant prospect against an Over 30’s team. The potential bright spot was that this team had only scored a single goal all season, and soon after the game started it was apparent why. The Legends played in the ever popular 4-1-3 formation, hoping that the front 3 could somehow conjure something out of nothing. Meanwhile 3 of the 4 defenders were aged 47, 49 and 50 but what they lacked in speed and athleticism they more than made up for with communication and knowledge of the game. Keeping strictly narrow and inviting the opposition to cross or shoot from distant worked beautifully as Mega continued to oblige. The few times they did play one-twos down the middle they easily outran the Legends and developed one on one chances. Nobody expected to shut an Over 30’s team out entirely, but keeping them down to 2 goals in the first half was a triumph of organization and obliging opponents. Meanwhile D’Andrea, Frazier and Mckeown continually showed the ability to take on multiple players and weren’t far away from scoring.
Early in the second half the Legends snatched one back, Frazier taking on multiple players resulting in Mckeown having an easy tap in for a goal. With Mega having so much possession and chances they managed to score despite themselves, although 2 goals were from acute angles and one was well struck from outside the box, while another was from what they should have been doing all game and sliding a ball straight down the middle for a foot race. The front 3 of the Legends continued to create chances, with some of the Legends starting to creep up in support. A second goal came in an unlikely fashion with a long punt by keeper Miller being chased down by Frazier who converted past a hapless defence. Unfortunately the game ended with some unseemly shenanigans, with Frazier always one to annoy the opposition and a few of the opponents unnecessarily showboating and tackling hard despite being up 6-2 against 9 old men.
|Apparently Frazier’s secret is that he’s always angry, something his record of getting booked in every game certainly matches
In the end, the Legends can be proud of their effort, and although Mega willingly obliged with inexplicable tactics given a 2 man advantage the Legends gave them enough rope to hang themselves. What was more galling was that with a full team or even one more player there was a more than even chance of winning and advancing to the next round for an intraclub derby against CPR Grays. As it were, a rare kind draw was squandered and the Legends ignominious cup record was dropped to 1-11.
Competition: Mega Alexandros, Over 30’s League Opposition
Location: Randall’s Island #73, Randall’s Island
Conditions: Warm morning
Fans: Mitch’s dogs, who didn’t appear too thrilled with the proceedings
Result: 0-2 HT: 2-6
Goals: 1-2: Mckeown Assist Frazier
2-5: Frazier Assist Miller
Yellow Cards: Once again after a solid start a robust challenge set the red mist going for Frazier who keeps a remarkable 100% booking record going. The fact that none of these has resulted in a sending off is almost as remarkable, the referee phlegmatically and thankfully shrugging off the nonstop berating. Belizan also got a booking for a tackle from behind despite winning the ball.
Red Cards: Thankfully none, with Frazier continuing to tiptoe the tightrope.
Mike D’s aka No Shows: Bradley on receiving an ID reminder the day before mentioned a hurt foot. That’s what the evite is for, and that’s what we count on. Similarly Cristaudo on the day of the game, although this was a more understandable issue in having to play goal for the team he coaches. Regardless, when playing with 9 any missing person makes a huge difference.
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Almost from Teesdale and Conboy which would have been huge, but understandable reasons why they couldn’t.
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Remarkable how there were no injuries considering the stress they were under. Casanova briefly went down with a calf injury but fortunately it stretched out.
Old Man of the Match: Several good performances given the large gap in youth, agility, speed and stamina. As always honorable mentions to Belizan, along with the front 3 of D’Andrea, Frazier and Mckeown. However Miller wins his first OMoM despite conceding 6, none of which were his fault. His masterful command of high crosses along with sure hands and distribution helped improve the confidence of the defence, and one particular long kick resulted in the first goalie assist in Legends history.
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: Mckeown closing down on D’Andrea for the all time goal lead 22-21. Frazier continuing the unprecedented start to his career of 100% bookings and 100% pub appearances.
Team Bar Showing: 4 out of 9 (44%)
Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5. Stayed through the first slate of NFL games along with CPR Reds.
Team (No new profiles this week): Mitch Miller (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Drew Faherty (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Manohar Venkataraman (DF), Simon Mckeown, Tim Frazier, Willian D’Andrea, Manuel Casanova