The only thing worse than the infamous Sunday 7:30pm Pier 40 Kickoffs are the 9pm Kickoffs. The solace was being able to watch most of the NFL games and also the glorious temperatures to play in, even if the lighting was typically murky. Despite the lamentable kickoff time the Oranges were able to rustle up 14 for the 3rd consecutive game, with the players finally starting to learn each other’s names and proclivities on the pitch. With the enormous field size once again it was impressed on the team that pressing in the opponent’s half was a waste of time, along with the need for patience in possession. Initially Celtic had the lion’s share of the ball, but CPR was able to keep them at bay. However, once the ball was cleared the isolated strikers had little chance to retain possession and soon it returned right back. On one such sortie Celtic took the lead, a cross cum shot looping perfectly in the gloaming over the unfortunate Koerner. Despite that, the Oranges started coming in to their own and raising the threat level for Celtic. As has been the case this debut Over 40’s season, CPR never quite got the little bit of luck they needed for the ball to bounce right in the penalty box.
Still, at 0-1 down (just like the previous 2 games), the hope was that the Oranges could build on the small patches of consistency. Unfortunately, things got worse in the second half. Tactically they baited the Celtics into long balls, however the opposition were able to make full advantage, especially when Cowles limped off. In addition, Celtic hungrily hunted down the makeshift Orange defence in packs, causing consternation and turnovers galore. Meanwhile, CPR reacted to every 4th or 5th possession pass as if the ball had Covid, launching it speculatively down the field as opposed to maintaining intelligent patient possession. Only when the game was out of reach and every Celtic player was searching for glory did the Oranges start to attack with purpose into the newly opened spaces. One such multiplayer move resulted in their solitary goal, a chip by Venkataraman aimed at Klopf resulting in a desperate defensive chip over their own keeper.
The Oranges aren’t far away, but they need more patience, a deliberate offensive plan and discipline if they’re to avoid becoming the Norwich of the league.
Competition: Manhattan Celtic Masters, League opposition
Location: Pier 40, Manhattan
Conditions: Gorgeous Autumn evening
Fans: 1 (Somebody’s kid, I think Alfi’s?)
Result: 1-4 (0-1 at H/T)
Goals: OG Assist Venkataraman (controversial, but we’re going with Fantasy football scoring in this case. Author’s prerogative)
Yellow Cards: None
Red Card: None
Mike D’s aka No Shows: None
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Numerous. Valle was still hurt from the first game, Cowles came off in the second half, Rosoklija hurt himself in the warm ups but still managed to play
Old Man of the Match: None
Team: Grant Koerner (GK), Manohar Venkataraman (F), Gabriel Cowles (DF), Claudio Schneider (MF), Willian D’Andrea, Steven Morse, Bevan Rosenbloom, Adam Alfi, Vojdan Rosoklija (DF), Nathan Appel, Jordan Klopf, Rodrigo Valle, Juan Pablo Asburn, Takuna Watanabe