Archive for the 'OldBoys' category

Old Boys Grind Out 2-1 Win vs. Niew Amsterdam

Nov 07 2013 Published by under OldBoys

The great Danny Blanchflower once said:

“The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It is nothing of the kind. The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom”.

This quote has been echoed by footballing purists throughout pubs and bars across the world since the opinion was first aired in the early 1960’s. Whilst this in an opinion I have always harbored, a new light came to mind as the doors of Central Bar closed behind me on Sunday afternoon. Sometimes the game is about going out there and doing the dirty work. Getting stuck in with your mates, and pulling together as a team. Getting ugly when you need to, and standing up and being counted for when the going gets tough. But more than anything else, it’s about killing a few pints after the match with three points in your back pocket and being able to laugh at those failed attempts for idealism.

The 9am Kick-off and New York marathon meant early rises for the Old Boys squad. 6am starts and redirected journeys for all those who didn’t meander across the footbridge to field #83. Hakans Jazz-wagon took a wide venture through the Hamptons, Montauk, and back up through Queens, but still the squad was fifteen strong by the time KO came around. The same could not be said for the opposition who managed a meek starting lineup of nine, to embrace the wind swept conditions.
With nine vs eleven, the game started as you may imagine with the Old Boys dominating possession and Neiw Amsterdam on the back foot. The ball found its way to both wings frequently as Amsterdam packed their penalty box with numbers to stem the advancing Old Boys. Andy Jones quickly felt the taste of the rugged defending as he was callously scythed to the ground, just managing to defy gravity long enough to hold a quick planking pose for the cameras, before audibly hitting the ground. It wasn’t Andy’s only moment on the turf either, as witnessed by the manager Rolling Mick Morse, and the amused subs bench. For only moments later, Mr Jones was also floored by a freak gust of wind that had him sat bewildered on the ground once more. We all saw mate. We all saw.
The match continued in heavy CPR pressure, finally paid off as Stower made a lightening run down the left flank, and before the ball had even found its way into the box, Engler was bought to the ground via an off-the-ball body check.

Cue the Goalhammer.

Calls of “Von Goalhammer” were heard from goalmouth and touchline as the man with ice in his veins picked up the ball, placed it on the spot, and positioned his run up from just outside the penalty area. The referee blew the whistle and all held their breath. All it is bar one nameless spectator with a notably cynical Birmingham accent, who was heard quietly mumbling “I kind of hope he misses”. Skeptic, pessimist, and stepover extraordinaire. I shall say no more.

Nevertheless the goalkeeper was sent the wrong way, and the Goalhammer struck no.5 for the season coolly into the lower right corner.

CPR kept the momentum and were soon two for the good as Creighton tucked the ball away calmly for the second week in a row.

Neiw Amsterdam who had started with nine men were quickly restored to eleven and made the added numbers count. The tricky no.13 winger picked the ball up wide before commencing on a mazy run and releasing a dipping curling shot from the edge of the box, also known as the classic Sensible Soccer finish.

The buoyant opposition now had the momentum and the game became a midfield aerial battle. High balls launched for the flick on from which both sets on center backs were tested in their ability to soak up the attack. It was at this time when Chris Williams, a man always alert to sniffing out disaster before it emerges decided to embrace the Armageddonand did what all men of honor do under such circumstances. No fucking around. The trousers came off.

The loss of Chris’s trousers seemed to rally the Old Boys and Von Goalhammer had the ball in the back of the net again before the break, only for the referee to call wrongly offside and not for the first time that day. Shortly after Hollins struck the crossbar, and Becker had to be alert to keep a shot out at the near post.
The halftime team talk was matter-of-fact and gritty. Stick to your guns and win the hard way. Solemn, stern, and to the point. The stark mood wasn’t helped by the departure of Bill ‘the Don’ Marsillo, but when a restaurant on Mott St. forgets to pay its protection money, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is or where you are. Business is business. We understand Bill, we’ve seen the Sopranos.

The second half can be summarized as follows:
- Edmunds invented a new way of heading the ball: The Buddha (the Buddha consists of crouching to your lowest possible standing height, and then launching yourself like a spring the moment the ball has passed your head).
- Kass mowed down the opposition winger with frightening frequency.
- The referee demonstrated that the offside rule is yet to gain popularity in Russia.
- Becker in a spike of temporary dementia thought he was Gianluigi Buffon in Serie A, and spent 25 minutes dribbling the ball into the corner of his area ‘time wasting’.
- A record number of yellow cards were recorded that did not directly relate to fouls.
- Creighton swore. YES, Creighton swears.
- We won. My god we won ugly. But we won.

And so to Central Bar (minus the kits).

Something was wrong the moment we stepped into the bar. A misdemeanor of incredible fluke had occurred somewhere within the astral plane that could not be easily quantified. As the Old Boys and Legends embraced to relay the morning’s events, the inconceivable became apparent. With all the probability of watching the panoramic scenery of the Northern Lights from the depth of a Moroccan wine cellar, Manny had scored the winning goal.

If you had not been in Lower Manhattan on Sunday, if you were not one of the 500,000 runners cornered as they passed back via Central Park, if you had more sense than to remain seated as Manny happened past your table on Sunday with the humble appearance of a peacock in mating season, let me save you 45 minutes of your future drinking time and talk you through the moment.

Something about 17 yards out.
Something about a one-time shot.
Something about a clustered penalty box.
Cue the misty eyes, and facial expression of a prepubescent teenager that has just shot an entire youths worth of bollock yogurt into a leather clad Heidi Klum. I am under no false impression that someone, somewhere, is currently being objected to the step-by-step replay.

Other noted banter from the post match analysis:
Will Sawyer ever reclaim any drinking credit following his demolishment at the hands of Von ‘Jaegermeister’ Goalhammer?
Did he have any credit to begin with?
Beckers epic Breaking Bad costume.
Edmunds amazing Gandalf costume.
Had Edmunds gone naked, would he have made a better Gollum?
Where the feck were the kits?
Can any food be classified more accurately as ‘mediocre’ than that found at Central Bar?

As the author left early, still too frightened to nourish a beer, the epiphany came to light. Sometimes its not about doing it the pretty way. It’s about being a team, getting in the trenches when times are hard, and grinding out those three points. Its ugly but the beer, banter, and great company make it all worthwhile. Nice work fellas.

By David Sawyer

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Old Boys Crush Manhattan Celtic 5 – 0

Oct 30 2013 Published by under OldBoys

As a throng of CPR alarm clocks rang through the state of New York, one man lay in defiance. One man turned his head over and said NO, today is not the day. One man in seeing his lie in slipping away like sand through his fingers embraced his indiscretion, pulled the warm covers back over his head, put his cell on mute, and enveloped in slumber where only the weak-willed dare to lie. That man’s name…?

Daniel Penrod.

Prelude: Let me take you back a week and to the aftermath of our Cup match penalty loss. Under the skeptical eye of Ms. P; Joe ‘Stepover’ P boldly claimed that had he been tasked with dispatching one of the nine CPR penalties, then CPR would be sat proudly in round 2. A daring claim, and one which unfortunately for The Stepover, left a lingering question unanswered in many of the listening minds…

And so to Randal’s Island! With no balls to warm up with and more hangovers on display than a Bradley Cooper film, it was once again left to Sgt. Brindley (who on evidence wears a hangover with the same elegance a horse wears a toupee) to lead the team on a merry dance across the field. Vodka, IPA, and Bourbon Iced Tea wafted across the hallowed turf as Stower took gleeful delight in goading those whose only breakfast had consisted of four crushed Advils throughout the subdued drill. The reluctance stretched right the way through to the management as Becker held out until just two minutes before kick-off before finally changing into Legends goalkeeper kit. It bears no small coincidence that in his reluctance to don the tangerine shirt, Becker could mistake a 4 foot Mexican from 60 yards for our 6’5 keeper. Twice.

The match finally got underway as the Old Boys eased into action. Steve ‘Jagger’ Morse (kudos to those who get the reference – sorry Steve-O, get well soon!), donned his Ron Atkinson trench coat and set to wringing the tactics from the touchline. In support was the Dogmatic Chris Williams, barking orders and enforcing the instructions. The pitch was about 3cm larger than the CPR Home pitch but how those 3cm make a difference. As the team adjusted to the greater space the Old Boys gradually took control of the passing. On the tenth minute a CPR corner was knocked away to the edge of the box where Engler teed up a thunderous volley, and smashed the ball home with aplomb. The opposition barely had time to adjust when Sawyer tucked in no.2, before putting a header down to Creighton who calmly tucked the ball home as if ice ran freely through his veins. Williams then introduced himself into the foray and Old Boys found themselves at halftime four to the good with no reply, as Williams’ cross into the area was accidentally steered into his own net by the Manhattan Celtic center back.


He may have the haircut of Skeletor, well he now has the dictionary. These three words will forever sit like a beacon in the memory of all those fortunate enough grace the field this day (obviously not you Dan Penrod… have I mentioned Dan didn’t turn up?). Destroy. Their. Souls.

Gone was the team that entered the arena, as the CPR eleven that took to the field for the second half stood tall and proud, men before the boys of only 45 minutes before. The half started at a frantic pace as the Old Boys pushed to sink more goals in their favor. The Stepover had clearly packed his bag of tricks as time and time again he shimmied and turned, danced and pirouetted, held the ball like a feather and had the opposition chasing shadows with the slightest drop of a shoulder. The CPR subs could do little but applaud and watch in admiration.

It wasn’t long before Jens ‘Von Goalhammer’ Faulhaber chased through a ball and smashed home goal no.5 past the goalkeeper at the near post. The right wing was having the better of things with the Jones/Ault/Engler combination moving the ball well up through to the strikers, whilst the rotation of Kass/Edmunds/Clarke held sure at the back.

Celtic rallied and pressed and for long periods but the CPR defense closed down well. The larger pitch took its toll and the subs rang with increased frequency as Morse looked to enforce momentum.

Credit must go to the referee for the second week running. Despite missing a blatant penalty and then handing out a dubious yellow card (the author bore close witness to both moments and say with a complete unbiased certainty that the referee was wrong on both occasions. And so it was written…) the referee made amends by finally awarding CPR the penalty that their previous play had deserved.

Cue the lingering unanswered question…

As Joe ‘The Stepover’ P’s penalty sailed WELL wide of the goalmouth, a wry smile came to all those fortunate enough to witness this moment of footballing magic. Not often does football, soccer, or any other broadly supported sport return such epic moments of smugness, yet this one will be cherished for years to come. The referees whistle blew moments after and at with a 5-0 scoreline to take back to the newly furbished Central Bar clubhouse, a rapturous entourage (minus Dan Penrod) made its way home to sample the new – and clearly watered down – Central Bar IPA.

By David Sawyer

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Old Boys Defeated 9-8 in Epic State Cup Pen Shoot Out

Oct 22 2013 Published by under OldBoys

The Old Boys faced a first round State Cup tie against NY Polet this weekend, having finally turned the tide the previous week with a comfortable 3-0 win.
Having gone out in the first round of both cups last year on penalties, Déjà vu and superstition are clearly considered puerile nonsense by the Old Boys hard core, who were there in good numbers for a 10am KO – admittedly 50% of whom were under the supervision of their nanny (I’ll take a blonde next time if you have the option Brindley. Chaps? I digress….)

CPR lined up with a new look midfield of Jens and Dan Ault in the center, with Hollins and Stower running the wings. The game started at a good tempo with both teams displaying good passing ability. Although the opposition pressed heavily into the CPR half, it was the Old Boys who had the best chances as the counter attack and quick passing up the field provided the best opportunities in front of goal. Jens went close one-on-one, Sawyer saw a header glance wide, and Hakan had a volley that missed the top corner by inches. In contrast, the opposition worked the wings well, often pulling back to the fullback to deliver a cross or play around the edge of the box to try and find a shooting opportunity. The CPR midfield held deeply though and soaked up the pressure as a unit. The best shot of the opening half saw a pile-driver from Stower smash past the right hand post from outside the box and disappear somewhere into Manhattan. The author reserves the right not to publish the profanities that followed.

The second half saw the Old Boys grow in confidence and produce some of their best football this season. Credit here must go to the democratic approach of the Morse halftime team talk, and the introduction of Edmunds bite sized bananas – which actually do provide stunning additional stamina! Where are these mini yellow dianabolic bananaroids grown?!? If you believe in guilt by association, it’s probably best not to ask.
Back to the match. Chris Williams had two volleys palmed away by the Goalkeeper, and the build up play down both flanks was impressive. It was totally against the run of play when a corner fell down into the CPR penalty area, and was scrambled over the line on the 70thminute.

Morse acted decisively and rang the substitutions. Swapping over the wingers to favor the inswinging cross, it was through one of these that Stower found the back of the net as a curling cross (even by his own admission) sailed over defense and keeper and into the far top corner. As it was the game ended, and without extra time it went directly to pens.

In 200 B.C., Sun Tzu wrote the definitive work on military strategy and tactics of its time, The Art of War. In 2013 A.D., Mark Becker devised the definitive over 30’s strategy for scoring Penalties, The Art of Score.
Unlike its predecessor, The Art of Score is a somewhat racist hypothesis evolving round the notion that only players who do not originate from the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom may take penalties. Failing to comprehend that England never signed the declaration of Independence and therefore technically America is still classified as a colony, the Art of Score was nonetheless a well-received strategy.
Becker in his 30 minute cameo as manager (which is 30 minutes better than last week, depending on how you view these things…) had wisely chosen the 5 man penalty dispatch team prior to KO.

Jens ‘Von Goalhammer’ Faulhaber cooly dispatched pen no.1 with the stone cold finish that is only bred in the Black Forest of southern Germany. The opposition tucked their response away before, Engler put the Old Boys 2-1 up. Penrod then saved low to his left before cool finishes from Morse and Hakan saw the Old Boys lead, with the opposition responding well.

Williams stepped up to put the game to bed looking like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. For all the Good Will, the Hunting was foiled as the keeper guessed correctly. Sawyer and Hollins both scored, before Andy Jones saw a Julian Dicks-esque thunder bolt parry back off the keeper and away from the goal line. The opposition responded by shooting wide. Brindley, who had opted to take penalty no.6, then presented with the ball opted for no.7, no.8, and then finally number 9, took the final CPR penalty. I will save any further embarrassment (Stower gleefully leading the post game ribbing) by saying that the Art of Score, by M Becker, will be available at all good Central Bars as of next week.

The banter at Central Bar afterwards was high. Joe ‘stepover’ P claiming mid-cheeseburger (and in front of a skeptical looking girlfriend) that he will be taking all future CPR penalties, whilst some cheeky fact hunter claimed Sawyer recorded a personal best of SEVEN passes throughout the game! A refutable number, confirmed by OptaStat to have actually been no more than four.

-By David Sawyer

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Old Boys Back on Track – Beat SC Eintracht 3-0

Oct 13 2013 Published by under OldBoys

SC Eintracht entered this morning’s game undefeated with 2 wins and 2 draws sitting in second place. They arrived early and with substitutes ready for the early 8am kick-off, and appeared to have confidence enough for the task. The morning was decisive though, as CPR were equally ready and comfortably dispatched the opposition 3-0, with the outcome never really in doubt.

‎CPR played with a cool confidence, playing high up the pitch and happy to knock the ball around and maintain a collective, consistent pressure that SC Eintracht could never sort. On their back foot throughout, they were never able to move forward with clear vision, and often were unable to maintain much significant possession as CPR often quickly took the ball back in comfortable areas of the pitch. Dan Penrod made the plays that needed to be made and was never severely tested.

Outside backs Joe Phillips, Andy Jones and Willie Boyle were often involving themselves in the offense as evidenced by Boyle’s opening tally in the 15th minute, assisted by a Steve Morse flick on.

Wings Neil Stower, Bill Marsello and Eric Engler linked very well with forwards Dave Sawyer, Hakan Nizam and Chris Williams more often moving in small angles and cuts and maintaining possession well.

Halftime was positive, with CPR knowing the outcome was in our hands if the game plan was maintained.

Paul Clarke, Mark Edmunds, Creighton Mershon and Dan Ault won nearly every ball in the air and completely controlled the center of the park all day. CPR’s second goal came ‎in the 60th minute from a forward push from well-deserved goal scorer Dan Ault, after a neat layoff by Dave Sawyer.

After this, the outcome was determined, and the game was seen out with a professionalism reminiscent of many 2012-2013 matches. ‎Maintaining a high pressure, with SC Eintracht increasingly losing their will, Dave Sawyer added to his season tally in the 70th minute.

To a man, CPR played with an easy, happy confidence. Postgame was filled with smiles and pats on the back and a good showing at the pub (joined by the Legends). ‎One-third of the season down, with two-thirds of the league and cup games to go, this morning’s match was the reminder of what CPR is, and will be the springboard needed to begin the ascent to the top of the table.

-By Interim Player-Coach Steve Morse.

Some pics, courtesy of Drew:


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Old Boys Win 5-1 the Hard Way to go 2-0-0

Sep 19 2013 Published by under OldBoys

As the clubbers, ravers, and night owls of New York City returned to their resting places in the silver dawn of Sunday morning, the CPR Old Boys ventured north to the hallowed turf of Randall’s Island. In force of number, the CPR warm up drill marshaled by Brigadier Brindley goaded the lowly opposition ranks by flanking the breadth of the field in an organized platoon. The high knees the bayonets, the steeled glares the fight, the pitch the trench from whence battle would commence.

The teams lined up eleven vs. nine, with Becker’s orders still ringing clearly in the player’s ears. Five in midfield, four at the back, one in attack faced down nine men of dubious footballing heritage. An easy 3pts already seemed the choice of conversation for the weekly Central Bar review.


Then came the strangest six seconds in CPR history.


A two touch kick off, a long ball threaded through the heart of our defense, One Eye almost connected with a header back to Becker but the opposition striker pounced and amidst gasps of disbelief from the touchline, the ball found the back of the net. 0-1 to the enemy.

The scouting reports had clearly not prepared our master tactician for this cunning advance and so as Becker’s voice withdrew faster than Russia’s support for Syria, Chris Williams took to barking orders from the touchline.

The next ten minutes played out as Williams coached and strategized with the players at his command. Were the CIA ever in need of rescuing hostages from an American Embassy in Iran, they would have been impressed by what they saw. Gradually the tide slowly began to turn, and in the tenth minute CPR finally sliced through the opposition ranks. The balls which had been menacingly delivered from the right flank finally found there mark as Andy Jones smashed the ball into the back of the net from close range.
The opposing goalkeeper was still adjusting from the turbulence as a ball was lofted over the Partizani defense moments later, only for Jens ‘Von Goalhammer’ Faulhaber to smash the ball across keeper and into the far corner. CPR regained the lead and the momentum, and now the man in the Orange shirt found song like a canary that has found light in a cave.

Faster than a Joe P stepover, Partizani rallied, so often the high balls into the heart of the CPR defense putting the center backs under pressure. Edmunds, One Eye, and Brindley were having none of it today and as if the poppies glared from their chests the attacks fell like water on stone. A literal reference for Edmunds.

The second half was a one sided affair with the Partizani players deftly applying further time wasting tactics to an array of athleticism that wouldn’t appear out of place on an Olympic diving board. Hakan received a yellow card as the referee asserted a booking for a foul more heard than seen, and then was lucky to escape a second yellow as the theatrics continued.
Broken legs, mid-pass strokes, and bouts of yellow fever continued to strike the opposition with alarming frequency, until Bill Marsillo put the game to bed with a strike from inside the box. A final flurry of attacks from Partizani saw them concede two goals on the counter attack, which tied the final scoring up at 5-1.

-David Sawyer


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Old Boys Win Season Opener vs Gunners 2-1

Sep 09 2013 Published by under OldBoys

After CPR missed nearly a dozen quality chances, the Brooklyn Gunners scored first, against the run of play, in the 60th minute. Jens then put in 2 goals in the 75th and 78th minutes to secure the 3 points.

As always with the Old Boys, there were positives and negatives to take from the game:


  • 3 points to start the season;
  • CPR Old Boys played pretty well most of the game (should have had at least 2 or 3 before Gunners scored);
  • CPR showed great determination by fighting back from a goal down;
  • All the defense played well- including those coming in and out (we were overloaded with defenders this week and subbing in and out is tricky – everyone back there played great- excellent attitudes);
  • While not tested too much, Dan Penrod in goal had a solid debut;
  • Becker (Mourinho)’s tactics worked- he stuck with the plan and we won in the end.


  • We missed way too many chances, so could easily have lost to a very average team;
  • Closing down, tackling, passing/moving, communication all need to improve;
  • Their goal was obviously sloppy (though otherwise the defense played very well).
  • We missed Chris Williams’ enthusiasm – get better soon mate!

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Old Boys Win International Friendly 2-0

Jul 20 2013 Published by under Club, OldBoys

CPR Old Boys beat Canadian Oakville FC to win their first International Friendly of the summer. Probably their only International Friendly of the the summer. Oakville is from Toronto and contacted CPR to play a game as part of their road trip to NYC. CPR obliged and the Old Boys won a closely fought contest 2-0.

Older than CPR, but not better.

Goals from Bill Marsello (assisted by Willie Boyle) and Andy Jones (assisted by Chris Williams) sealed the victory.

Jones dedicated the goal to Leo Jones (born 7/14/13) and marked the moment with the baby celebration…

Edmunds and Jones recreate the celebration post match for the official CPR photographer.

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Old Boys Beat Partizani 2-1 To Chase 2nd Place

Apr 28 2013 Published by under Club, OldBoys

CPR Old Boys arrived at Randall’s Island in time to congratulate the CPR Grays on securing the Over 30′s 2nd Division title. The Old Boys are hoping to make it a CPR 1 and 2 finish.

Beating old foes Partizani 2-1 put the Old Boys within 2 points of the current 2nd place team, Hoboken, with each on equal games played and Hoboken having to play the newly crowned Champion Grays as one of the last 3 games. Partizani are on permanent probation with the league and are forced to provide three match officials for every game, which seemed to help as the game was largely incident free.

After a bright start, but many missed chances, the Old Boys finally made a breakthrough with Hakan setting up Chris Williams for a well-taken header. Three more chances went begging with Dave Sawyer finding acres of space but unfortunately not the back of the net.

In the second half, Eric Engler made it 2 nil with a well taken strike that cannoned in off a combination of goalkeeper and post.

Partizani threw numbers forward and eventually scored a consolation with 4 minutes remaining, leading to a nervy finale, but the Old Boys held firm and picked up a valuable three points. The defense and midfield earned particular praise during the post-game beers.

Competition: Partizani FC.
Result: 2-1 (1-0 at halftime).
Goals: Chris Williams (asst Hakan), Eric Engler (assist TBD).
Location: Randall’s Island #74.
Fans: Stevie Morse’s family continue to provide loyal and much appreciate support.
Yellow Cards: Willie Boyle.
Red Cards: none.
Old Man of the Match: Willie Boyle, Scott Brindley and Chris Williams tied it.
Manager of the Match: Despite having a weaker squad, the Old Boys cheekily voted that Partizani’s coach gave Becker a masterclass in management.
Team: Telly (keeper), Joe Phillips, Morse, Dan Ault, Brindley, Stower, Engler, Creighton, Sawyer, Chris Williams, Andy Jones, Willie Boyle.

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Kiwi Departs: Farewell Jesse

Apr 14 2013 Published by under Club, OldBoys

CPR Old Boys’ Jesse Phillips will leave New York and CPR on April 30, 2013 and return with his family to his native New Zealand.

Teammate Andy Jones led the tributes:

“In case I forget to say it in person, or find it too emotional, Jesse – we’ll miss you Big Fella. We know the challenges of playing abroad though and you return to your Native land with our blessing. Obviously the terms of your severance prohibits you from playing top level of 30s football for the remaining 2.3 years of your contract but thereafter we hope you find a new team and end your playing days where they started. It was an honor to serve with you on the field of battle.”

Coach Becker organized a fitting farewell and had this to say:

“It’s the end of an era. Thunderous headers will be in short supply once Jesse packs up the family and moves back to New Zealand in a few weeks. Let’s send him off with some beers this Thursday at Central Bar. 6:00-6:30ish after work.” [Editor's Note: the farewell event has been rescheduled details TBA].

Anyone who knows him will appreciate that Jesse embodied what CPR looks for in its players: a great soccer player and a top guy who always made an effort to socialize after the game. Farewell Jesse!

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Niew Amsterdam, Same Old Story: Old Boys Draw 1-1

Apr 07 2013 Published by under Club, OldBoys

By Dave Sawyer:

The Old Boys, traveled to deepest darkest Brooklyn to face Niew Amsterdam this weekend. Numbers were quickly reduced from 15 to 14, as Edmund’s self-diagnosed ‘bruise’ did turn out to be the pulled hamstring two doctors had counter diagnosed, and so Crèche duties were duly engaged.

Once Manager and Referee finally agreed upon which pitch was to hold the showpiece, both teams locked horns under gale force conditions.

The Old Boys took control of the early exchanges as Hollins drilled one wide, and Sawyer saw a lob fall the wrong side of the post. Amsterdam’s goalkeeper was quickly off his line to chase down a few one-on-ones as the wind sped the ball through the opposing back line, and the play started to consolidate in the opposing half.

Both teams were enjoying their football and the game was being played with good temperament. The winged blur of Engler’s fluorescent boots, the spraying of the ball from Morse’ boot, Jesses head on anything that rose above the ground. The opposition too were growing into the game, and a few runs proved they had nouse enough to pull enough passes together when the ball was grounded.

Blind to the collective enjoyment the referee was slowly warming into his stride too, and casually called a few innocuous fouls that drew complaints and brewed animosity from the games competitors. Amongst this, Old Boys saw a shot saved on the line from an almost un-missable angle (the author feels complelled to leave the culprit unnamed), and another Hollins effort whistled inches past the stanchion.

Then, a moment of brilliance.

A goal that will be talked about in Central Bar for weeks to come, and the Stower household for generations. The ball sailed deep into the opposition penalty area, where Neill ‘Van Basten’ Stower struck a one-time volley that flew into the top left corner of the goal and left the goalkeeper flat footed.

Confidently, Old Boys went in 1-0 up at half-time, yet knowing they should be 3 to the good.

The second half started as expected with Neiw Amsterdam using the increasing winds to their advantage. Telly was forced into an early save, as an inswinging cross was met with a glancing header that looked destined for the back of the net until two large white gloves palmed the ball around the post for a corner.

The referee continued to call offside’s, fouls, and disciplinary actions that neither team could interpret until a gold bedecked finger was pointed in either direction. The interjectory stop to referee a game, whilst en route to Ez Pawn, started to take its toll as more contestable decisions were called from distance, their intrinsic makings known only to the man in the woolen hat.

It was from one such decision that a corner was incorrectly awarded. Old Boys failure to deal with the ball in the air fell unkindly to the Amsterdam midfield who finished well, past a well defended goal line and into the upper far corner of the goal.

Chances were then wasted at both ends. Although Old Boys didn’t test the Goalkeeper, chances flew over and wide of the post, whilst at the other end, the away team had Telly to thank for some reactive saves that had J Philips remarking “It’s just like watching an American David de Gea”.

The game fizzled out under furious winds, both natural and those verbally directed at the referee. A decent draw for the Old Boys having won the home leg, but unlike the youthful crowd, one in which we would next year aim to put to bed earlier.

Competition: Nieuw Amsterdam FC
Result: 1-1 (1-0 at halftime)
Goals: Stower
Location: Verrazano Sports Complex
Fans: A lot….Jenny, Robin, Michelle, Maddy, Meredith Wylie, Engler’s in-law, lots of kids,
Yellow Cards: Stower, Hollins, ?
Red Cards: none
Old Man of the Match: Telly, great saves to preserve the point!!

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