A Long Old Day at the Office
Steve BrownSo the second game of the day for the 55s saw Legends take on old foe Canberra Old Boys and keen to continue our winning ways after pipping them for Gold at last year’s Australian Masters Games. The team lined up Williams, Snowball, Jenkins, Emery, Stafrace, Lamb, Sinclair, Hughes, Park, Harrison, Sims and an elongated bench of Toth, Catela, Boyte, Bongoletti, Samstag, Gammaldi, Atwood. The late afternoon kick off saw temperatures slightly reduced with a light breeze also assisting but with it being the second match there were a few tired bodies even before the game began and it seemed like the gaffer had come up with a master tactic by loading 8 players on the bench even although we only had 18 players registered to play. It soon became clear that the unregistered culprit was Erick Snowball who thought that he only had to register once per day – not once per game. Anyway, the game started with both teams taking it easy and it only burst into life when Sims was tackled in the box and the defender went to ground but the very officious female referee waived away the penalty claims from Legends and only awarded a corner. The PC’s Park, Hughes and Sinclair were patrolling midfield as though they were walking their late afternoon beat making sure the Canberra miscreants were behaving themselves. Chances were few and far between but we were treated to another comical masterpiece when Jenkins for the second time decided to face plant whilst in possession and was forced to play the ball off the ground to prevent the Canberra forward capitalising. The resulting free kick was floated high over the bar thus saving the Gaffer’s blushes. Half time seemed to come at just the right time to allow a re-gathering of ideas and energy. The second half started with Samstag, Gammaldi & Bongioletti all taking the pitch and becoming an amateur reporters nightmare. (in place of Sims, Boyte and Park.) Hughes drove into the box and forced the keeper to clear the danger with his feet and then a series of corners put a lot of pressure on the Canberra defence with one particular occasion seeing Sinclair soar high above everyone only to see his header fall straight into the keeper’s arms. Hughes was having a running battle with the referee and was pinged for a foul throw and then for trying to steal a couple of yards on another throw and he lamented about the poor man who was married to her !!! Another run into the box by Hughes looked to have broken the deadlock but he seemed to tumble at the last moment and hit the ground in a puff of dust and Boyte nearly nipped in to finish it off but the danger was cleared only to Park whose long range effort seemed to be goalbound but just dipped at the end into the grateful keepers arms. As the game wore on the 2nd match effect was clearly showing and both teams struggled to keep any fluency as tired legs tried hard to generate scoring opportunities. However just at the death Canbarra managed a slick move and a long range dipping shot looked destined for the back of the net but a leaping Williams came to the rescue to tip the ball over the bar and save him from conceding a 3rd last minute goal of the day. The corner amounted to nothing and the game petered out to a 0-0 draw which was not the worst result. BMW Man of the Match – Martin Park – was very threatening in midfield and managed a good shot on goal. Muppet Moment – A difficult choice between Snowball for the non-registration and Jenkins for being shot by a sniper for a second time.