Radek Simunek
Steve Hornback Keyur Patel Corey Moffat Jerry Lillard
Doron Raviv Bart Burgmans Phil Alexander Endre Szabo
Todd Benson Armand Guri


Scored goals:

  1. Todd Benson
  2. Jerry Lillard


Seeking a record-equalling fifth consecutive victory, Partisan lined up for another tough match against IFC, who had beaten us in our opening game of the year back in February. We were missing a few key regulars but with a centre-back pairing of Moffat and Patel, Burgmans returning in centre-mid to partner Alexander, and Guri partnering Benson up front, the team had a very solid core. The first 20 minutes or so were mostly fought out in the centre of the field. IFC were knocking the ball around well and Partisan's back four were kept busy as our opponents edged the opening exchanges. Our opener came slightly against the run of play and was a bit of a freak goal, although not entirely undeserved. Benson and Guri had been tirelessly running down every half chance and when IFC failed to clear their lines properly Benson came steaming in; the IFC keeper booted to clear but hit it straight at our formidable forward. The ball bounced off his chest, looped back over the keeper and into the goal. 1-0 Partisan. Benson could have had a second not long after when a ball out by Hornback released Child down the right. I'll be the first to admit I'd not got my teeth into this game but this was a peach of an opportunity; first-class cross duly sent in and heading straight for Benson's head as he charged in; IFC defender got in a whisker ahead of him and nodded it clear. Another half chance fell to Burgmans about 25 yards out but his first-time shot went over the bar. Subs were rolled halfway through the half; Sablack on for Alexander, Kieran on for goalscorer Benson, Klopot on for Szabo. Our goal had lifted us and we were pressing the IFC back line more and more. Bizarrely, the second goal was almost a carbon copy of the first. Miscommunication between IFC keeper and centre-back; centre-back fails to clear the ball; this time it's Guri chasing in, again the ball hit straight at his chest and bounces in. That's three goals in three games for Guri and 2-0 now for Partisan. Must have been frustrating for IFC. As the half wore down they pushed up looking to get back into the game, but a combination of good defending and some great saves by Simunek kept them at bay for a while. Eventually they got a goal back when a cross was headed against the bar by one of their big midfielders; the ball landed at the feet of their small fast midfielder who managed to poke it past a scrambling Simunek into the bottom right corner. Half time 2-1. Child, Hornback and Guri off; Benson, Szabo and Alexander back on. In the second half Partisan cranked up the pressure as we sought to restore the two-goal cushion. Klopot was causing havoc up the left wing; one occasion saw him beat the right wing and right back (twice), get to the byline, and send an all-too-easy cross for Guri, who side-footed it past the bewildered keeper... and out for a goal kick. Alexander was also in the mix, flicking in a shot from a Kieran cross that was saved by the IFC keeper, then lashing in the rebound from a tight angle only for it to clip the near post, fly across the goal and rebound out off the far post, just too high for Benson to put in. It took a wonder-goal to seal the match and left-back Lillard duly provided, running onto a loose ball just into the IFC half. Watching from the sidelines, from the second he hit it we could see it was a beauty. Screaming arc over the stranded keeper and into the top-right corner. Bet he replayed that one in his head all weekend. We rolled the subs one more time. Half a chance for me as I came back on with a pass to the edge of the 18 but the first ball was just too far to get more than a glancing touch on and my rebound shot was blocked by a combination of Kieran plus IFC defender. Unfortunately we didn't get much more game after that. IFC's attacking left-winger, known from previous matches for playing as dirty as he can get away with, was clearly frustrated at being on the losing side, not to mention being flattened by Moffat when they went shoulder to shoulder for a through ball in the box. Nothing was given but not long after when a loose ball dropped in the Partisan 6-yard box he went studs-in on Simunek's ankle. Naturally everything flared up, and our least-favourite referee, never one to miss a trick, chose to blow the whistle and end the game 9 minutes early. The IFC guys were so busy slagging Simunek off that they failed to realise they'd cheated themselves out of 9 minutes to try and get a goal or two back. A messy end, but we'll take the win.