MARAUDERS CRUSH PORIRUA CRYOVAC
16th May 2010 v Porirua Cryovac
Venue: Fortress Moonshine
TEAM: Fold; John. Fred, Dave, Matt; Jason, Gordo, Adam, Dempster; Tim, Mark.
Needing to triumph in emphatic fashion this week, most of the Marauders assembled at the fortress in good time for this much anticipated encounter against the new Porirua team. However there was one notable absence, Shirley. Much to the skippers dismay a text was received at 11.54am informing him that Shirley would not be able to make it and that he was moving to Auckland in 4 weeks.
Porirua Cryovac was the opposition hoping to spring a surprise and be the first Porirua team to beat the mighty Marauders FC. A victory would have seen their name in lights at Working Men’s’ Clubs all over New Zealand. It’s fair to say they were an eclectic bunch, a couple of pairs of fancy coloured boots gave the impression that they may have some ability amongst their predominantly short and pot bellied folk. One of their seven dwarfs promptly asked if we had anyone who was short as he was going to oppose them. Luckily or not for Jason he participated for only 10 minutes of this encounter, 5 at the beginning and 5 at the end!
Questions were raised last week about the Marauders desire to earn the win and so a committed performance was required this week against the unknown team. The mood in the camp appeared buoyant and a festival of football was hoped for. It seems that 1 player in particular was so ‘moved’ by the weekly ‘G’ up that he was full of nervous energy and the only way he could get rid of this was by multiple visits to the lavatory. Bizarre that as a GP the best solution he could come up with was to s##t …. A lot!!!
Needing to triumph while hoping rivals slipped up again in order to create some breathing room at the top of the table, the Marauders started in confident fashion passing the ball well(ish) between players as talked about pre game. There was plenty of movement early from players whilst in possession of the ball but a couple of defensive lapses allowed the bizarre Cryovac team to gain confidence. On a juicy ‘fortress’, much to their surprise it was the away team who broke the deadlock. After a lacklustre start to the match they took the lead on 13 minutes. A comedy of errors by the Marauders saw the ball fall at the feet of their Kosovan striker who made no mistake and confidently drove the ball low and between the legs (and hands) of Fold. Incidentally this was Fold’s first professional start of the season in goal!
The Marauders did not panic and indeed continued to play some wonderful passing football and show little in the way of urgency to tackle or clear the ball from danger! I’m not sure how this looked to our glove custodian but to me it was quite a funny spectacle. For those not at the game the rest of the half paned out like this… the Marauders passed the ball well amongst a couple of players then a dreadful touch/pass allowed the opposition the chance to either yelp or pump the ball down field (or both) and allow us the relatively simple chance to make hard work or regaining possession. Interspersed amongst this was countless corners taken by our very own Mark ‘DC’ Anderson who repeatedly put the ball on the penalty spot only for a great Marauders header to be either saved or hit the woodwork. Fair play Mark, your corners were certainly accurate and fair play to Adam, Matt and Dempster for rising well to almost score from what usually seems to be the Marauders achilles heel… aerial prowess!
After another corner and scramble by both teams, the ball fell to Tim who after turning buried the ball past the keeper. Now to some there was a slight deflection but to anyone else who has scored this way there was no deflection. The goal was just reward for his efforts against the 7 man defensive strategy that they seemed to be employing against us.
Numerous chances fell to the Marauders after this but they all came to nothing. Most notably the skipper did his best to avoid getting a goal during this game something the referee comically pointed out at halftime. Other good chances fell to Mark, Gordo, Tim and Jason who again showed that size is no issue when it comes to football.
John who was looking to conquer the offside rule was forced off much to his frustration due to another hamstring injury. The skipper’s advice would be to try yoga and Mark’s advice is to try stretching before games. It pays to look at why Fold spends so much time on the sidelines and not copy his mistakes. Hopefully John will be back next week to christen his new shirt (and no I don’t mean Kristin’s pastel offering) with a goal.
The halftime whistle came and it was Dempster who seemed to be the most relieved after an interesting 45 minutes of Marauders action. The half-time chat was like an episode of Billy Irish’s stand up comedy routine, 1 man talking and the rest emotionless. However it was nice to see the mood not too sombre due to the lack of half time oranges. I in particular was looking forward to the imported offerings as I needed a boost and a different taste in my mouth from Long Island Ice Teas! So without too much fuss the Marauders went out to the second half with the strategy of not letting the final score be 1-1.
Soon into action the Marauders seemed to up the ante as the Cryovac pot belly effect hit. Good movement of the ball from the back saw it come into the centre of the pitch before distributing laterally to the wings. Fred seemed to enjoy the amount of ball he was getting and from the way he was distributing it the nerves must have left for another day. Some fine left foot driven balls found Tim and Mark on the edge of the box ready to pounce. It was from a Fred and Gordo combo that Tim got his second just 42 seconds in the 2nd half. The ball was tantalisingly knocked back and luckily for Tim’s ankles he was the first there to side foot the ball home. Marauders 2-1 in front.
At this point Cryovac still gave you the feeling that they could sneak a second goal from somewhere so it was a relief to see Gordo get the third goal and ease any horrible fears the skipper had lingering. 10 minutes later and it was Jason’s turn to get in on the action after a cross from Gordo went right across the box only to find Jason ready to pounce from what appeared to be the tightest of angles. Jason coolly lobbed the ball over both the advancing defender and the keepers head to make it 4-1 to the Marauders. A rout now looked on the cards so as promised to Fold the skipper swapped positions and took custody of the gloves for the last 20 minutes and for a moment it was like a game of chess with Dave moving forward to take Tim’s position up front and Jason, Fred and Kristin advancing also in a new FIFA 2010 3-4-3 formation.
The outcome of the game was then put beyond doubt when Matt (inspired by his Chelsea shirt) who was now in midfield dusted himself down from his earlier exchanges to rise high and bury home via his head from another good corner from Mark, much to the evident disappointment of the skipper who couldn’t believe Wyllie was to score before him. Marauders 5 – 1.
Disaster briefly struck when another Cryovac long ball was challenged on the edge of the box by Dempster and the Kosovan who just got his nose in front to then have a shot saved at point blank range by the skipper (if you were in my shoes wouldn’t you talk it up also??). However the attack was not over as from the parried ball the race was on (3 metres) and from the Kosovans stupid dive and cry a penalty was awarded. Despite having visions of an amazing full length dive to my right to make the save the ball rolled past me to allow Cryovac their second.
From this point the Marauders ran riot as Mark scored directly from a corner to make it 6-1 to the Marauders much to the amazement of the Cryovac faithful. It seemed like a perfect example of Mark taking it into his own hands of finding a way to score from a corner. Unfortunately his next attempt was not so flash!
Dempster, now at the heart of the defence was quick to shut down any Cryovac attempt with his trademark slide tackle and then start the counter attack which led to the Marauders final goal of the game. Dave who had worked hard since finding himself up front, even attempting a Marauders first – a diving header - lunged onto a low cross from his replacement centre back Tim.
Final score – Marauders 7 Cryovac 2.
With the game over the Marauders went to their Upper Hutt local for another first – pool competition – and to discuss the first function of the season. Details to be released shortly.
· Shirley – Late notice and therefore leaving us a shirt short.
· Tim – Hat-trick avoidance
· Adam – Giving away a penalty
· John – Not stretching a dodgy old hamstring
The Marauders Football Club