The second round of groups games at the 2014 World Cup Round eight of the Collegiate League saw Brazil the ‘Glamour’ make the short trip into the Suburbs to take on the old nemesis of Honduras Unley. With the C’s currently sitting (dizzily) in fourth spot on the ladder and only above the Unley on goal difference, it was all to play for.
The C’s are fortunate these days to be able to select from a seasoned and experienced core of players and a smattering of fleet of foot youngsters, with both groups providing the C’s with a smorgasbord of differing Nationalities.
Thrown together they have staked a claim to become the equivalent of a International All Star XI and are displaying an attitude that says they are willing to ‘Risk Everything’, die for the shirt, the Club, their Mum or just beating the ‘Silver Fox’ Dave Forster to the Golden Boot.
Arriving at t
he Maracana Stadium Ranger Park on Saturday afternoon the Whites cast their eyes (jealously) across the wide lush green turf that lay before them. Not an imperfection or blemish could be seen. The green top resembled a billiard table, perfect for the Whites expansive and fluid passing game. Unfortunately the goats in the neighbouring field had the luxury of grazing on that particular surface.
Nature had seen fit to turn the Unley paddock into it’s obligatory mud bath, with artificial cricket pitch inserted for good measure. By the time the C’s took to the ‘Somme’ two other games had already been played, and the Whites own ‘Chairman Plough’ had been doing what he does best and had left many a deep furrow across the pitch.
The message from ‘Hot Fuzz’ was simple ‘Don’t F#@k about with it in our half. If in doubt do a Bobby and belt it into the Torrens. Play football
in their half or on any small patches of grass that you can find’.
Selection had been difficult this week with all those listed in the squad pressing for a start, but following discussions with Top International Coaches
‘Woy’ Hodgson, Vincente Del Bosque, Kev Holohan , Steve ‘The Axe’ Bresolin and Mike Bassett, as well as consulting the ‘Balacco Index’ for the seasons top performers ‘Hot Fuzz’ were able to send out a side blessed with talent, pace and physical presence.
In goal for his second appearance for the C’s was Lewis Whittenbury (Part English, part Spanish, part German and part Italian but 100% Irish).
Experience ruled over youth this week in the back line, with Juan (small Angry Argentinean) starting at right back, George Maratos (Greece), 50% of ‘Hot Fuzz’ aka the Anvil aka Steve Jakubowicz (French sounding but 100% Australian) and Cam ‘Grandpa Boing’ Hopgood (Australia) earning starts.
The midfield consisted of Max Soulsby (England) on the right, Master Bates (England) and Leo (Argentina) in the middle of the ’Somme’ and Rob Scammell (Guatemalan) wide left. The front two continued the International flavour with Adam (Greece), and now of TV dating fame, partnering ‘Wichie Hawwis’ (Columbian origin).
The bench contained an African contingent in Manny and Ben Bol Bol, as well as the Whites very own Avatar Ollie Smith (Na’vi) and boy band member Dan G (Nationality depends on which Country he is supporting at the time).
The remainder of ‘Hot Fuzz’ Matt Hawyes (England) and Whites admin guru/kit washer/supplier of snacks/wife/lines woman/technical director of most things at the Whites Mel Bock (Australia) completed the International feel to the side.
Our International theme was bolstered by our supporters club, which consisted of Whites Stalwarts Steve Saf (Greece/Australia ) who was allegedly sporting a Brazilian to provide more of a South American feel and/or to prevent chaffing when running and our very own ‘Kaiser’ Jan Pfitzner (Germany).
The International All Stars of the Whites took to the field in confident mood, determined not to be referred to as ‘C#%TS’ again in another factual (loosely termed) Unley match report
Kick off saw the Whites playing up hill on the ‘Somme’. The first half was physical with Unley adopting their usual tactics of trying to physically and verbally bully the Whites into submission. Hard tackle was met with hard tackle and verbal tirade with verbal tirade as each and every White gave their all.
Juan was booked for over enthusiasm after welcoming one of the Unley midfielders to the game and letting him know he was there. ‘Foreplay’ pleaded the angry little ’Argie’ trying to look all innocent but our referee was having none of it. The International theme continued with the (obviously Italian) midfielder rolling round on the ground like he had just been shot.
Despite the best attempts of Unley, the Whites kept to their game plan. No nonsense defending interspersed with fluent attacking football down the flanks and through the centre of midfield. Unley attempted to expose the back four by hammering long cross field balls at the head of ‘the Anvil’. The result a no contest as the biggest forehead in Collegiate soccer soaked it up.
The Whites, deservedly, opened the scoring with a real goal of the season contender. Having wasted a couple of half chances, and with the coach close to dragging him for a fold out chair, ‘Wichie Hawwis’ was put through on goal.
With the Unley centre back closing him down at a rate of knots, ‘Wichie’ with a shimmy of the hip (replacements) and Zimmer Frame sold the defender down the river before unleashing a screamer past the keeper, who remained unmoved and certainly unimpressed. One nil and it was all Whites.
Unfortunately our failure to play to the whistle let Unley back into the game, and they nicked an equaliser (undeservedly) with a well taken finish across Lewis. At one all Unley sensed they had the upper hand, that was until Max skipped across the ‘Somme’ surface, skinned several players and delivered an inviting cross into the Unley six yard box. And there waiting to bury the offering was an on rushing Unley defender. Two one Whites.
The second half pretty much followed the same pattern as the first, only with Unley deciding that playing with ten men was a good idea. A yellow card quickly became red as an Unley player dished out a serve of strong language to our referee. Playing against ten men, the Whites became a bit disjointed and made hard work of the extra space available to them.
‘Wichie Hawwis’ finally snaffled a third turning a rather bemused Unley defender inside out and finishing with aplomb with the weaker of his two left feet. Three one and game over or so we thought. Changes were made with Dan G entering the fray to replace Max and Ben Bol replacing out reality TV dating star Adam.
Our referee saw fit to award Unley a penalty, just to spice things up. At three two the Whites could be in for a nervy finish. Up stepped the penalty taker, who dispatched the ball towards goal. In what can only be described as a throw back to Euro ‘96’ and Dave Seaman’s penalty heroics or Sly Stallone in Escape to Victory, the Whites Custodian has flung himself to his left and pulled off a cracking save.
￼The ball, however, fell to the feet of the (now pissed off from missing) Unley player who has smashed the rebound goal wards. Not to be out done our diminutive stopper has sprung to his feet and blocked the rebound with an equally impressive save.
Three one it remained and after the Whites ‘love in’ with Lewis had finished (Greek representatives mainly), we set about making Unley suffer. The ball was knocked about with ease and chances began to be fashioned as the Whites fluid brand of attacking football began to shine through on the billiard table like surface.
Rob Scammell added a fourth for the Whites after waltzing through the now despondent Unley defence and after putting the keeper on his arse with a step over before burying the ball into the back of the net. Four one, job done, fourth spot out right and bragging rights to boot over Unley.
A great team performance from the Whites. Every player, bench included did a job and made a big contribution towards the win. With Pembroke losing to Rostrevor third place is up for grabs in two weeks .
Fantasy Football Points (In association with the Balacco Index) :
- ‘Wichie Hawwis’ 2 goals (6pts)
- Rob Scammell 1 goal (2pts)
- Matt Bates 2 assist (4pts)
- Max 1 assist (2pts)
- Ben Bol 1 assist (2pts)
- Lewis Penalty save (5pts)