The marathon threw its traditional wrench into the logistics, but with a far smaller percentage of players living in Manhattan it affected only a couple of players with everyone arriving in plenty of time. Although the weather report was for the chilly low 40’s, with the sun beating down it ended up being quite a nice day on the grass field, with both teams having enough substitutes to make it a good contest. Both teams also showed why they were near the bottom of the table, with defensive lapses and disjointed play making the game appear to be very much an Over 40’s game. One forage down the right wing from CPR resulted in the two attackers being left wide open in the box at the far post, although unfortunately Cyrus was unaware of the time available to him and his volley was unsuccessful.
As is almost a weekly tradition at this point, tied 0-0 at the half the Oranges felt very strongly that they could win the game. They needed to be more disciplined, communicate better, play to the whistle and be patient. Having the large number of substitutes added a disorganized element but also allowed the squad to remain fresh and avoid injuries. The sporadic pressing from the front started to unnerve Doxa, adding to the chaos. The first goal came from an unexpected direction. Cronshaw took a corner aimed remarkably close to the keeper, so close in fact as to take him by surprise and result in a fumble and a goal. Not quite an Olimpico, but the result was the same. With a rare lead the Legends struggled to calm things down, but fortunately the continued pressure resulted in a golden opportunity to double their lead. Piling players forward coupled with the grass field pressured a defender into a hand ball. A couple of players were ready to take the penalty but Valle was the most assertive, and his strongly struck kick fortunately bounced inside off of the cross bar.
Protecting a lead was an unusual occurrence for the Oranges, and it clearly showed. Instead of slowing the game down and maintaining possession to kill off the game, there was still far too much of an attacking element resulting in spaces at the back. Fortunately CPR was not punished for those mishaps and eventually most of the team got the idea that they just needed to see the game out, which they did for their first shutout of the season. Next week’s derby against the Legends is sure to be more challenging.
Competition: Doxa SC Legends, League opposition
Location: Randall’s Island Field 71, Randall’s Island
Conditions: Remarkably comfortable late Autumn morning
Fans: A medley of Legends for a season high (Teesdale, Stower, Tsujita, Subah, Linehan, Mershon among others)
Result: 2-0 (0-0 at H/T)
Goals: 1-0: Cronshaw
2-0: Valle (PK)
Yellow Cards: None
Red Card: None
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: No injuries given the good amount of substitutes
Old Man of the Match: None
Team: Grant Koerner (GK), Manohar Venkataraman (F), Gabriel Cowles (DF), Claudio Schneider (MF), Willian D’Andrea, Steven Morse, Adam Alfi, Vojdan Rosoklija (DF), Rodrigo Valle, Takuna Watanabe, Jason Cyrus, Devin Molina, Hakan Nizam, Darran Cronshaw, Justin Noel, Joji Tokida, C.P.