After last week’s inaugural win confidence was high for the cup game against Long Island team Baldwin, especially with potentially 16-18 players available to run against the opposition. With everyone ready to go and a large opposition squad also ready, the lack of a referee was concerning and generating conversations about what the unpalatable options would be. Fortunately he was spied amiably ambling along from what must have been a late game elsewhere, so crises averted. With the game starting about 20 minutes late, both teams started as if they had time to make up. The Oranges were fortunate that the opposition strikers apparently only had a nodding acquaintance with the offside rule, while for the Oranges there was a lot of sound and fury in the final third with not a lot of danger inside the penalty box.
A fairly even game left the CPR eager and excited at half time. Slight tactical tweaks were discussed about as usual making sure the far side of play contracted to the center defensively to congest the way forward. However in the second half CPR ended up far more open at the back on the right hand side. After several clear warnings where they survived thanks to the profligacy of the opponents, the open invitation was finally taken as Baldwin took the lead, the ball finally hit into the net instead of ballooned over the top. The Oranges did display more of a threat than they did in the first half but rarely threatened the opposition keeper. Meanwhile they opened up further and further at the back, with chance after chance offered to Baldwin. A one on one ball gathering outside the box mercifully only received a booking instead of the straight red, which resulted in nothing. A long distance rounding of Koerner and ball into the inside netting was heroically saved by Aldi (Narrator: It was not saved, it was a clear goal but the referee must have offered sympathy for the effort to the incandescent fury of the opposition). Finally the second goal that was coming did arrive, a looping ball over the top that saw the Baldwin strikers run unchallenged from the halfway line to put the ball away.
This was a tougher loss than some of the others as this was a winnable cup game and the mistakes made were mental and not physical. The lack of familiarity with each other is one issue, but having 2 defenders against 4 strikers again and again shouldn’t happen. At the other end there needs to be more of a cutting edge, and more of a presence inside the box. There was an improvement in keeping possession which was good to see, and hopefully as time goes by the leaks in play will be fixed. This is a capable squad and should be able to produce more.
Competition: Baldwin O-40, LISFL
Location: Randall’s Island #73, Randall’s Island
Conditions: First chilly Autumn day, pretty chilly under the bridge, nicer on the sun side
Fans: 2 (Alfi’s 2 kids)
Result: 0-2 (0-0 at H/T)
Yellow Cards: Koerner, whose plaintive appeals to the Referee miraculously worked, a true Over 40’s call from a magnanimous Referee. A one on one grab well outside the box was as clear a sending off as possible, but the myriad painted lines on the field saved Koerner’s bacon (despite none of them being white lines)
Red Card: None, luckily for Koerner
Mike D’s aka No Shows: George arrived again in the second half, a suboptimal way to stay in the squad. New boy Devin Molina was also a no show.
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: None
Old Man of the Match: None
Team: Grant Koerner (GK), Manohar Venkataraman (F), Claudio Schneider (MF), Willian D’Andrea, Steven Morse, Bevan Rosenbloom, Adam Alfi, Nathan Appel, Rodrigo Valle, Jason Cyrus, Darran Cronshaw, Najib Majaj, Justin Noel, Ted Elkington, Danilo Crestejo