Archive for the 'Reds' category
Firsts Result: CPR Reds Let Halftime Lead Slip, Fall 4-3 to Manhattan Celtic in Back and Forth Battle
On a glorious Sunday morning, 11 fine souls made their way to Glen Cove in Long Island to take up the CPR Red’s coat of arms against a slightly crazy opposition. 11 fine souls would return victorious, but it wasn’t the same 11?! Curious, I hear you say. The stuff of legends, say I!
The day got off to a mixed start. The bus organized by Berto was a touch of genius. Great fun heading off to the game together, as a team, with new faces integrating into the club. Sadly, however, the 8.15 meet (we didn’t actually leave until about 8.45!) was too early for some and we headed to Long Island terrified that we were going to have 9 people and no keeper! The lack of a ball to warm up with also worried the squad, but this was sorted with some quick thinking from BCC and some even quicker driving from Berto. Upon returning to the ground, low and behold two stragglers in the shape of Ahmed and Brian had turned up – we bloody had 11 and had a warm-up! We were ready for this now.
The solid back four made the necessity of a goal-keeper superfluous, with the stand-in skipper taking the first stint in goal and barely having a touch to make, save for almost punching Frank in the face as he flapped at a high ball.
But the Reds had started really well. Moving the ball around the back, Colin providing a very loud and commanding presence at right back, dictating the game with Emilio in the middle with almost a like Alves-Iniesta type relationship. This duo’s flirting bore fruit after 10 mins, with Colin slipping the marauding Emilio through and the young lad lobbing the keeper to give the Reds a well deserved lead.
This lead was doubled 15 minutes later. The whole team were working to hard for each other, talking and giving support both in attack and defense. Gordo on the right, Ahmed on the left were terrorizing the full-backs. Brian was bringing the midfield into play beautifully and after a couple of disappointing weeks previously, we finally seemed to be playing this game called football.
All of this hard work and slick passing led to Colin picking out debutant Tom, hailing from Amsterdam. He picked the ball up, almost let his touch get away from him, and then let fly an unstoppable effort that screamed past the oppo keeper. Two nil – thanks very much.
It could have been three if the aforementioned Dutch striker hadn’t blamed a bobble that let an open goal go begging. No-one knows how he missed it, all we know is that he was lucky to get away with not having a dirty pint at SideBar after.
Brian was recovering from a groin injury (not to be blamed on a successful Saturday night) and so took over in goal, with BCC stepping alongside the martial J-Barbour in midfield. He had been controlling the game with the calmness that one expects of such a statesman of the club, and the team were benefiting from it. The first half ended with it 2-0 to the Reds, with not much more to note except a yellow card for Emilio and the customary outstanding tackling and ball retention from Robin at left back.
Second half was a slightly different story. We were tired and we knew that they were going to come back into the game. We sat deeper and deeper and had less and less of the ball. However, we restricted their strikers to mainly long shots to start with – Brian tipping the ball over expertly on both occasions, but then they started getting in behind us and we had a couple of touch spots. Even with the introduction of Jordan, who managed to make his own way to the game after missing the bus, did little to sway the flow of football. Indeed, the Reds were left to counter-attacking, which we did well and could have had another coupe of goals themselves, but alas the ball kept sliding wide, agonizingly so from a Jordan chip.
So it was the opposition that scored next. After Berto managed the highlight of what was an excellent game by taking the ball off the toes of the striker when he was on the line with the goal at his mercy, a corner soon followed. Frank and the defence had handled these so well to date that they went short. We thought we had dealt with it but then a ambitious ball came in and through pure luck nestled in the far corner, escaping everyone. 2-1 and a big effort required in the last 20 to seal the win.
Sadly, the Reds then lost a bastion of the team to a nasty injury. Their right wing had the ball on the edge of the box and looked like he was going to shoot when in stepped Ahmed and took the ball away. The strikers follow through onto the shin of Ahmed should surely have been a foul, but instead what resulted was a 10 minute interlude where a suspected broken leg caused agony for our fallen solider and frustration for the opposition. This frustration bubbled over and after Frank was pushed onto the aforementioned Ahmed on the ground, a minor scuffle broke out that had handbags written all over it.
The ambulance was called when we moved the lad off the pitch and the game continued, with a breather looking like it was helping the Reds. Nothing quite helped the Reds as much as the ref though, who changed 18 mins to go to 13 and then blew-up, leaving the opposition livid! We weren’t fussed through – it was a deserved win for the travelling pack and SideBar was going to taste juicy! Well done lads on a hard fought victory – let’s get a beaut cup-run going. Would also like to report that Ahmed is OK – partial tear in the shin muscle will keep him out for a couple of weeks though.
A superb Sunday morning in Oyster Bay was the location for the first leg of the journey to State Cup glory, and it was a good old fashioned hammering. The goals described below are probably not in order because of this!
With an hour or so expected drive the boys were up early at various locations to meet for the 10am kick off. 5 of us piled into the Woodruff Wagon and did the journey in record time, so we arrived 90 minutes prior to kick off.
The rest of the team arrived and after some bald guy had turned up to steal our match ball we warmed up to get used to the dew soaked pitch, which would test everyone’s touches. Luckily, Mike “second touch is a tackle” Lindley was out injured.
A few changes to the team were needed as Blake and Iano were absent, so the stand in skipper Valentine went to right back and Ryan moved to left back.
The opposition squids warmed up with 7 or 8 guys then the rest showed up just before kick off so we needed to start well to punish them, which is what we did by getting the ball down and hitting Fish and Mack early as we could. 5 minutes in a ball was whipped in which their defender misjudged and fell to Mack in the box who curled in a beauty of a strike.
We went 2-0 up after 15 mins after Timur and Fish took a quick free kick and Fish was allowed a free strike from 20 yards which nestled into the bottom corner. We were all surprised to see Fish hit the target from that distance.
Football was clearly our opposition’s second sport given the amount of diving being performed, which was getting on everyone’s nerves as the ref kept giving them the fouls. They did try to actually play the ball out from the back, but they just weren’t good so not the best game plan. Their best player was a shit Neymar look alike who nicked the ball from some sloppy play from us on the edge of the box and he took his finish well lifting it over Pouria.
We were all surprised at it being 2-1 but we upped the tempo and got the ball out wide where the lads had acres of space. Mack danced past a couple of players to the by line with great feet and cut the ball back to Donal, who took a break from twerking and swept home the cross with his left foot.
CPR dominated the possession from then on with Tinners and Brad seeing a lot of the ball and using the full backs often. We were pressing the ball really well in their half and this led to us nicking the ball and it was cut back to Timur who took a touch and slid it home under the keeper to make it 4-1 at the half.
After the collapse of the previous Sunday no one behaved as if the game was over and we wanted to get the first goal of the second half to put it to bed and get back to winning games. It was game over 5 minutes later when Timur was released and used the defender to bend the ball round into the bottom corner.
The other team inevitably collapsed and we decided to hammer them and ruin their weekend, and put is in a good mood for SideBar.
Skipper Valentine split open the back four with a Pirlo-esque pass (sort of) which found Mack who rounded the keeper and coolly slotted home his second of the day. Timur again took on their defense and as he put a ball across the box he was caught late and the ref gave a penalty, which was dispatched by Brad, a seriously good penalty.
Brad and Timur then both scored from headers before Fish channeled his inner Beckham by bending a free kick into the top corner, hate to say it was a beauty.
Fish then bottled his hat trick by going through one on one and squared it to Timur, who got himself a very easy fourth instead.
A good ruthless performance from the boys on the way to win the State Cup!
MOM – Timur (4 goals, 4 assists) Not bad.
The Reds firsts didn’t come to finish in their first showing of the spring and fall 2-0 in a rematch of last year’s Metro 1 championship. Despite a strong start and several opportunities for a breakthrough, Ittihad was the first to capitalize on a developed play from a cleared finish which caught the Reds out of position. Shortly later, Ittihad struck again on a free kick that was causing confusion and hats off, was nicely struck to the near post to put them up 2-0.
With the Reds shook, the energy in the 2nd half was lifted but to no avail. The Reds couldn’t capitalize on the countless corner kicks and even had several point blank opportunities that were sent right into the opposing GK’s chest. All in all, not much to write about here as the Reds firsts squad look to put this one behind them.
CPR Reds Reserves crushed NY Ittihad Reserves sending a strong message they are ready for the 2nd half of the season with an exciting new 3-5-2 formation directed by Kyle and Kev.
Things looked a little dodgy before the game got started though with Hendo getting a $50 fine for pissing against a tree when the bathrooms were only 30 yards away. Luckily, Luke Flanagan was all focus as the game kicked off and ran through on goal with barely a minute played, slotting in a perfectly timed finish under the keeper. James ‘The Tank’ Barbour dominating the holding position in the midfield battle and down the flanks, Kevin and Frank had lots of success playing balls for strikers Luke and Hunter to run on to stretching the Ittihad defense. One such break found Luke in between two defenders who cut it back to Party Marty who took a touch (away from Hendo who squealed like a little Korean girl having her iphone confiscated) before flicking the ball past the keeper.
CPR continued to control the game physically winning every 50-50 and playing dangerous balls through. Hendo took down one of these high balls, cut on to his right foot before rifling it in to the bottom of the near post to go 3-0 up. He then proceeded to turn to the cop on the sideline and with an imaginary mic shouted out:
“I’m not surprised motherf#@ers – I piss where I want and I score when I want!!!”
He then started firing imaginary bullets into the air with his hands…(it should be noted no further legal action has been taken by the NYPD at the writing of this match report and Henrik Henderson has never even visited Stockton, California)
NY Ittihad showed a flash of Nate Diaz themselves soon after capitalizing on a long ball that bounced awkwardly around Kyle before looping in a shot over the stranded Kyter. Keen to restore order, CPR pounced to take the ball off Ittihads midfielders on the edge of the area giving Party Marty time to turn and curl the ball into the right of the goal past the keeper. The ref unfortunately must have been distracted by the Ittihad players who seemed to have grouped in a circle like they were about to engage in a rock, paper, scissors tournament and blew the whistle in the confusion. Should have been 4-1 at half time but CPR didn’t let the injustice hold them back.
After the break, the rapid Ahmed ‘Roadrunner’ ran down the right flank leaving the left back defender for dead before perfectly curling the ball around the defender to the wide open Mamadou. The tall lad who had impressively out worked the Ittahid defense all game took a touch…then another…then another…then rounded the keeper…then took another touch…and then maybe one more before deciding it would be cruel to score. His name is now ‘Saint Mamadou’. The midfield trio of Hendo, James and Party Marty linked up soon after with short sharp passing on the edge of the box from a perfect Hunter corner allowing Party Marty to turn and slot the ball into the bottom left for his 2nd allowed goal of the game.
At 4-1 just as the game seemed over a Hunter corner came in dangerously to the completely unmarked Aaron (who at 6ft5 you would think would be the only player Ittihad would bother to mark) to volley in from close distance to make it 5 with his unstoppable momentum. He turned around and despite being the oldest player on the pitch suddenly seemed transformed like a young teenage lad running to tell his mates he just lost his virginity – sweaty, surprised, elated and probably should have worn a condom after delivering such a good f#@king.
CPR Reds trekked out to Flushing Meadows for a battle against NYPD Brishna. The social nature of Halloweekend did not bode well for the Reds squad as the team just managed to field eleven. A few players from the Reds Reserves got the call up from the gaffer to fill the void and had a golden opportunity to showcase their abilities. With key starters missing from the lineup, the Reds would need to dig deep to come up with an important result.
From the very start the Reds assumed a high pressure style of play looking to capitalize on any Brishna mistake. Scoring opportunities seldom came about in the first 15 minutes as the Brishna backline held strong to counter the pacey Reds attack. Marathon man Mark Haroussea worked alongside Timur Mone to pressure and create opportunities. Mid way through the first half the Reds seemed to find a rhythm but an unfortunate call led to a penalty kick and a few yellow cards. The referee decided that yellow cards were the new flu shot and every Reds defender needed one to survive the winter. This generosity from the ref only led to greater havoc as the game carried on. At the half Brishna led 1-0.
The Reds came out hot in the second half after making a few lineup changes. Young rookie Andrew Fisher moved over to the right side to work alongside Captain Blake Berg. Things began to click in the second half and more chances continued to arise. The Reds “workhorse” otherwise known as Lance Brune played a majestic ball, paralyzing the NYPD defense to find a streaking Fisher in behind who slotted it home to tie the game 1-1. The high pressure seemed to be paying off as the Reds continued to look strong until Sheffield born Sam Emsell got sent off for his “second” yellow card. This created some serious tension on the field as the referee had mistakenly written down Emsell for a yellow card in the 1st half. The Reds had no choice but to carry on with 10 men determined to salvage a result.
To nobody’s surprise, goalkeeper Andrew Snell stood on his head, making save after save to keep the Reds level as the defense opened up a bit with only 3 defenders. The backline fended off any sign of attack from NYPD and the Reds forwards and wings worked double duty to push for the go ahead goal. Unfortunately the NYPD GK made just as many stops as Snell and robbed Chris Valentine with only moments to go. Or perhaps Valentine decided to do the ol’ pass back on his opportunity in lieu of firing one home. After a hard fought game the Reds came away with a draw even though their performance warranted a win. The real win goes to the referee squad who took over the game.
Great play all around but special mention to Duane Pelz who made some gave saving defensive plays, Ian Nolan who locked down the left hand side, and all those players who actually showed up post Halloween parties Saturday night.
Coming off a 3rd consecutive win in all competitions, CPR Reds Reserves went into the early post-Halloween match against NYPD-Brishna with high confidence.
The Reds found themselves defending a lot in the 1st half and ended up letting in 2 goals off set pieces. The Reds did create some chances down the left flank with runs by winger Ethan and left back Kevin which all started with great defensive plays by CAM Kyle Stephenson and debutant CDM Ben Cole.
Fitness and fatigue set in for the Reds who only had 11 players to start and they fell back 3-0 early in the 2nd half. With about 15 minutes to play the Reds finally got their chance. A mistake by Brishna in the center of the park led to a succession of quick passes and the ball landing at the feet of Marty ‘Party’ Kelly. With a quick look up, he found the run of Hendo who calmly placed the ball into the right corner. It was his 2nd goal of the season and 1st of the game for the Reds.
The final score was 4-1 and the Reds win streak ended at 3. They will look to rebound against Stal Mielec on Sunday.
CPR Reds traveled north to the Bronx for a Sunday night lights show down with Sporting Westchester, coached by the Brazilian legend Reinaldo Rei. The pregame warmups were sponsored by some guy behind the Reds bench on the street blasting reggaeton on his Honda Civic, a sure way to get the Reds ready to go.
The Reds came out hot, trying a new ultra high pressure system to try and force their opponents to make mistakes or play long into the tall Reds defense. Perhaps a similar system to the gegenpressing and Dortmund under Klopp or perhaps similar to the 2015-16 Red Bulls under Jesse Marsh. In any case, it worked out pretty well. Sporting Westchester struggled to generate much offense and only found light up the flanks of the field where their pressure was not much of a threat. The Reds however, after the first 10 minutes failed to generate much or when they did have an opportunity they struggled to finish. The half ended 0-0 with neither side having the real advantage.
2nd half started a bit differently with the Reds knocking it about a bit more. The Reds, also rather shorthanded due to gametime and location, started to breathe a bit heavier but kept pushing thru balls in hopes of finding the feet of newly signed Brad Janes or the ever dangerous Timur Mone. Finally the breakthrough came when Janes got his first career goal off the left foot on a beauty strike to put the Reds up 1-0. Unfortunately, the Reds defense couldn’t hold and succumbed to a late goal on a corner kick and a failed clearance. The Reds continued to threaten with a few beautiful swinging balls in from Blake Berg who slid up to right midfield but the Reds just couldn’t find a way to finish.
The match ended 1-1, and for some reason the Sporting Westchester team walked off without shaking hands. Perhaps a mistake they might regret in a future match.
CPR Reds came out Sunday against Doxa FC who came into the game without a loss….of course also without having faced the CPR Reds. The refs showed up late and only with 2 referees, an interesting play on their part with one AR watching the line on one side and the other as the field referee. The Reds came out shorthanded with several players away for the weekend forcing them to play undermanned with several players from the reserves who had already put in 90 min earlier that day. To make things worse, rookie speed demon Andrew Fisher went down in the first 2 minutes with a pulled groin. Neither team really controlled possession in the first half as Doxa’s strategy was the direct long ball over their CMs and into their strikers and the Reds ended up on the defense most of the first half holding strong winning just about every ball in the back. When the Reds did have possession, they struggled to work in several consecutive passes until they drew Mark Haroussea into the central midfield. Strong initial play from Lance Brune once again helped the Reds as well in the middle of the park as Brune made his triumphant return to wearing #6. The Reds were able to break through for a lead on a counter attack nicely slotted ball to Quentin Albrecht who did what he does best and finished to put the Reds up 1-0. It would stay that way until the end of the half. The first half was full of dangerous tackles and smack talking from the Doxa players and coaching staff which set up for quite the intense 2nd half.
The 2nd half started with Doxa putting 3-4 men forward and playing even more direct looking to beat the Reds over the top, forcing the back line to play an ultra conservative deep line to prevent a big gap from forming between their own goal and the defensive backs. The Reds controlled well for the first 15-20 min and #6 Brune stepped up on a wonderstrike free kick to put the team up 2-0. The Reds sat back a little more, as Chris Valentine was the next to go down with an injury to the already depleted Reds roster. This perhaps was the demise of what seemed to be a sure win. With players on the Reds starting to lose energy and the game turning even more aggressive with the referee handing out yellow cards like Pablo Escobar handing out money to the poor in Narcos, the momentum started to shift to a Doxa side who deserved nothing in the game. Doxa was able to catch the Reds defense off guard on a quick restart from a throw in and had a man up opportunity in the box and were able to slot home a goal to make it 2-1 with 20 min remaining. Doxa continued to play long but the Reds defense held off everything dropping into more of a 4-5-1 to help win second balls in the midfield. However, Doxa once again capitalized off a restart and after a failed clearance on a corner kick, received a fortunate bounce right to into the hands of Doxa player on the 6 yard box who calmly dropped the ball to his right foot and kicked it home for the equalizer. Perhaps an obvious handball call, but perhaps the hands were a part of the body in that situation with his hands hanging down naturally. In any case, the Reds ended the game in a 2-2 tie which surely felt to be a loss. One that seems obviously preventable had they had a full roster that day.
But that’s the way the cookie crumbled. The quote of the day comes from the Doxa coach who calmly approached Lance Brune after the game calling him the only good player on the Reds squad insisting that he is playing alongside a bunch of “pork chops”.
Expect if there should be a rematch later in the season that the Reds will come out firing on all cylinders.