Home cup match played on 12 September 2010.
Kicked off at 1:00 AM

Match report Marauders -Cambodia Semi Finals 12 Sep 2010‏

Marauders FC - Cambodia
Moonshine Fortress
Sun 12 Sep 2010


The squad at the start of the game

goal: Josh
defence: Dempster, Wylie, Nick, Fred
midfield: David (L), Case, Adam, John (R)
front: Mark, Dribble

sub: Shirley

Ref: Pedro

Last minute captain : Fred (Fold felt more comfortable in a WAG position today)

An epic day in the history of the Marauders FC, has finally taken place. After many cancellations due to very bad, mostly horrible weather, the officials found the time ripe on this beautiful summery day for the Marauders to play their first international game ever.
For the occasion, the pitch had been left untouched for several weeks which left the players anticipating  a perfect field without mud pools or anything you would expect on a wintery pitch. They were wrong! Not only had no one played on the field during recent weeks, no one neither had been bothered to keep the grass short. At certain spots, the grass was well over ankle height. And I`m talking Shirley ankle height. It was John`s big come back game too. After an injury that lasted over two months, he had only missed out on three games and he hadn`t missed out on a single lawn mow. That says enough over this winter, I think.

The opposition, most of them probably being Cambodians, most of them definitely lean and fit,  tried very hard to impress before the kick-off. First of all they showed off with their individualized shirts, every single one sporting a different sponsor. Most football teams would find it hard to find a single sponsor, let alone a sponsor for every individual player. Anyway, most curry places in town, seem to believe it`s worth putting their names on these guys` shirts so they`d better be taken seriously.  In order to add a bit of psychological warfare, one Cambodian, even sported his penis in the middle of the field to start a never ending micturition. Adam was tantalized by this event, and instead of telling the guy off for his indecent and shameless behaviour, he nearly went to give the man a shake. This psychological warfare also deeply impressed David, which resulted in a near vomit just before the kick-off.
The trick with the coin was no novelty for me any longer but here again the Cambodians got the advantage. And off we went. The first half started with quite some pace and both teams managed to play the ball around nicely for a while, but then, and the officials obviously hadn`t expected this in any way, heaven opened its gates to unleash a series of showers. Within a couple of minutes Dave`s yellow make-up had faded and his face turned bright red now. Funnily enough, the Marauders seemed to enjoy playing in the rain and towards the end of the first half, managed to create some danger in front of the Cambodian goal with a just miss form Mark. Dribble proved to be a very hard working force, often dropping back to the midfield to help out Case, who was left with the difficult task to bring the ball forward, constantly having to dodge correctly performed Cambodian tackles.
Defence, with Shirley in the ranks, was solid as a rock again, nevertheless Josh had to remain alert for some long distance shots. But it never came to any real danger from the Cambodian side during that very wet first half. The whistle came and everybody was surprised to see that John was still unhurt, in fact still going strong.
During the half time break, Fold saw an opportunity to make up for his absence on the field and presented us some lovely juicy oranges, thanks bro!
The usual pep talk was necessary, cos as we all realized : this Cambodian team was tough, but what else can you expect in International football and a cup semi finals?
The second half rumbled along for about 10 minutes, and then a blessing, in the person of Nathan Wooding came along. It must have been from in the mid circle that he launched his shot, taking the otherwise well performing Cambodian goalie by surprise. A perfect hard hit, just under the crossbar, probably his most important goal of the season, created a sigh of relief.
But it wasn`t quite over yet, the tough Cambodians kept going till the end, many a time creating some near danger but Josh maintained his cool and plucked the ball out of the air several times, each time imposing with a different elegant catch.
The following minute saw Wylie make a long run all the way to the Cambodian box, exhausting himself to the level he had to take a seat to recover from his effort. More effort followed from the tackling front, with Nick being kicked off the field and Dempster, in his true and only Dempster style, managed to catapult a lightweight Cambodian 5 feet up the air to make him land upside down, his beanie to be found 10 metres away form the scene. It didn`t take Pedro very long to find his yellow card to reward for this beautiful capoera performance.
In the very last minutes of the game, Nick, surprisingly back on the field after the harsh tackle undergone just minutes before, found himself in two good opportunities which he managed to create for himself, someway or the other, but his shots went just by. Also John, couldn`t handle his nerves when he came in a striking situation and saw his shot go over by only half a meter.

Altogether, a game where we finally got that bit of so much needed luck, on our side. The Marauders march on!

And then: fines

Dempster, obviously
Fold, last minute cancellation of captain duties, leaving me without bowel preparation
Adam, just the thought of shaking....bad!
that will do


The Marauders Football Club
New Zealand

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