With three CPR Over 30’s teams collapsing into two, the Legends saw an influx of talent similar to last year. The knock-on effect was that previous occasional contributors were now put on the on-call list, and the roster now comprised of a higher level of regular attendees. This was a roundabout way of explaining the record tying 18 players who showed up at the sunshine drenched Bush Terminal Piers Park bright eyed and bushy tailed for the season opener. Well, all except for the predictably late Subah who has singlehandedly resuscitated will he/won’t he/what time, something that needs to be incorporated into the SportEasy app for team management. The change from the stale, jaded Legends management to the new regime was stark as Sawyer bustled about with intent, instructions and a notebook copiously filled with tactical jottings. Printed rosters were handed out, the kit was laid out neatly, the team was aware and ready to go.
|The Legends added a few veterans from the other CPR teams, including Charlie Linehan
The Legends started the game off with purpose, dominating the first skirmishes and setting up camp in the Rovers half. The final third as ever was not friendly to CPR as they could not quite turn their domination into goals. Barnstonworth started to grow into the game and exhibited a more fundamental passing game, basic and safe compared to the adventurousness of CPR. However at this level, basic and safe helped negate the cruelties that Father Time had inflicted on the participants as the Rovers maintained possession with the Legends soon relegated to counterattacks amidst numerous careless turnovers. It took a fortunate goal for the Legends to wrest the momentum back, a hopeful lob from Jones coming out of the sun to elude the opposition keeper. Soon after, an excellent attack saw new managers Stower and Sawyer combine and it felt like a new dawn. However, on the cusp of seizing full control the Rovers stormed back. A left side attack resulted in the ball pinging around the CPR penalty area without being properly cleared, falling to a Rovers attacker who took full advantage. Given life back, the opposition tied the game when a superbly executed scissors kick was cleared off the line by a Belizan handball. The resulting penalty was dispatched unstoppably into the side netting and the Legends were nonplussed to find themselves tied in a game they looked to have in hand. There was a glorious opportunity to regain the lead with the last kick of the half but Belizan’s twist and shot dropped agonizingly over the bar.
The half time talk focused on better communication along with a potential shift to 4-5-1 depending upon the game situation later on. With the heat baking off the turf, the energy levels of both teams were sapped despite the mass of substitutes resulting in open spaces and opportunities for the enterprising. A counterattack on the left for CPR resulted in the lead once again being taken as Subah’s twisting and turning in the penalty area provided a somewhat harmless cross that caused enough confusion for Sawyer to nip in. Meanwhile at the other end the Legends Defenders were getting a crash course in the Adventures of Pablo, as the keeper’s sweeper keeper style resulted in some hair raising moments. Fortunately the Rovers could never quite capitalize, although they were unfortunate on one of the borderline offside decisions that went their way as a long range shot thundered off the crossbar.
As Rovers put pressure on the Legends they opened gaps at the back, but CPR couldn’t kill the game off. One notable attack saw Rosenbloom as the only player in the penalty area outside of the keeper, but the vision and then execution could never get him the ball for what would have been a tap in. Somewhat unusually in the Over 40’s and especially given the late start, the Referee did heed the beseeching of the Rovers for a couple of minutes of injury time, but it was not enough. A good win against a solid team was a great start to the season for the Legends.
|The Legends 2019-2020. Did not have the Sharpie available to draw in the rest of Tier 1
Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Old Boys, League Opposition
Location: Bush Terminal Piers Park, Brooklyn
Conditions: Sweltering afternoon
Fans: 8, Jones’s, Stowers + friends
Result: 3:2 HT: 2-2
Goals: 1:0 Jones
2:0 Sawyer Assist Stower
3:2 Sawyer Assist Subah
Yellow Cards: Belizan
Red Cards: None
Mike D’s aka No Shows: None
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Rosenbloom’s arrival at half time helped with the energy level, especially given his versatility and the injury suffered by Tsujita.
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Tsujita suffered from a leg injury in the first half, but fortunately there were no other injuries other than Hahn’s cramping near the end of the game, which may or may not have been strategic.
Old Man of the Match: With the inaugural usage of the SportEasy app for game management, voting for OMoM is far more organized than before. In somewhat of an upset, Shobowale earned the honors for helping marshal the defence under an onslaught in the second half. The bettors would have lost money on Sawyer, whose two goals and hyper organized management were large contributing factors to the win.
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: Sawyer continues his prolific ways with 11 career goals in 11 games. Rudy’esque, for the Metroboyz.
Team Bar Showing: 9 out of 18 (50%)
Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. A solid wide showing from half the squad, the location of Five Boroughs Brewery around the corner and the early afternoon timing helping people stop by for a beer or two.
Team (No new profiles this week): Pablo Arrocha (GK), Manohar Venkataraman, Neil Stower, Gavin Moore (DF), Bevan Rosenbloom, Ernest Subah, Luciano Belizan (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Takeshi Tsujita, David Sawyer, Danny Azzo, Andrew Jones, Charles Linehan (DF), Tom Pattinson, Jeremy Phillips, Olatokumbo “Tokes” Shobowale, Paul Vale, Pete Hahn (DF)