There’s something special about the collegiate cup, a competition where minnows take on CSL giants, cricket scores are plentiful & the occasional upset can happen to any team on cup day.
The Uni Whites 4’s have made it through to the second round of the cup a couple of times before, but facing Uni SA 2B promised to be a daunting task. Not only were they 2 divisions higher than us, but they’d also finished runner up in 2B last season scoring 88 goals! So we were expecting a tough encounter.
Coach Brez though had done his homework… This was a game that was going to be won in the dugout… On Thursday, instead of a big training session, we spent 45 minutes in the clubroom looking at a whiteboard. Brez made the bold decision to name his team the night before the game & he’d set us up with tactics to pressure our more highly rated opponents.
Of course much of what we saw & heard on Thursday night was quickly forgotten, but we did learn who has the guts to call out a weak link in the team (thanks Adi), and that no matter what happened on Friday, we’d be the first team – either through to the next round, or to have the long weekend off. the important thing was we’d be first.
Friday arrived, and unsurprisingly there were some late withdrawals meaning the author made the starting XI and young buck Jason Nichol was promoted to the bench.
This was a first night time outing at Magill & the lights could be described as adequate rather than dazzling. What wasn’t adequate though was Uni SA’s organisation. Kick off was 20 minutes late as the Uni SA boys dilly-dallied with the team sheet & most of the Whites boys were cold when the whistle finally arrived.
Early on Uni SA showed some quick movement & passing and pressured us from the outset. They scored after 10 minutes with a flowing piece of play in which no Whites player touched the ball from behind half-way until it was plucked out of the back of the net.
Our boys responded strongly though, with Bez and Saber working hard in the midfield, we managed to get a lovely through ball for Wez whose shot was well saved by the youthful Tony Zollo i