Players:

Radek Simunek
Sam Ross Dammy Olubokun Stephan Schuchardt Till Janzer
Jerry Lillard Dave Sheppard Phil Alexander Vitaly Klopot Endre Szabo
Alex Fredriksen

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Alex Fredriksen
  2. Jerry Lillard
  3. Vitaly Klopot

Report

Late into the first month of 2009 saw Partisan take on their first opponents proper, on a freezing Sunday afternoon at altitude in Horni Mecholupy. The opposition were a Czech league team adopting the moniker of 'SK Tetin'. There lies a history of Partisan not gaining a victory during their first competitive game of a new year. However, these eleven players were determined to make every effort to dispel this myth. Twelve players may have made the trip. However last years stocky midfielder, Burgmans, who was showered with awards at the end of last season, elected to sit this one out due to a temperamental groin and a snow capped astroturf. The lines had been cleared, as had the shocked expressions of Partisan's more seasoned elite once they saw Tetin arrive. (They were more than aware that it has been know for our venerable Czech footballing compatriots to sit out the odd confrontation, on account of the occasional flurry) Out came a selective array of jogging bottoms, hats and gloves... On to business. With only a few indoor training sessions under their belts post-yule, Partisan began the match in fine fettle and with boundless energy. Tetin exhibited a clear desire to start slowly and size the expats up before committing themselves. They were typically Czech, with slow, short passing with the very occasional break. This worked in Partisan's favour it seemed, as the persistent pressing by Fredriksen as the lone striker and the midfield three just behind him paid dividends. Lillard made a trademark direct route for the byline on the left flank and delivered a low ball into the box which was met by Fredriksen. There may be some debate as to who got the final touch, the afore mentioned striker or an unwitting defender. However it was claimed by the big Scandinavian. 1-0 Partisan. Partisan, still paying in their faithful electric blue jerseys, albeit with the addition of bibs, continued to press and hound Tetin, who were clearly finding their feet but fortunately for Partisan, not the back of the net. It looked at one point like they couldn't hit a cow's ass with a banjo, let alone finish their goulash. Needless to say, one or two opportunities went begging for them. Klopot, in good form as a midfielder playing high up the field, had a good heading opportunity, just wide of the mark. Fredriksen was also working hard and fashioning the odd chance for himself. The keeper making fine close range stops on a number of occasions. The first half was brought to a close by almost constant Tetin pressure and eventually an equaliser. Simunek, keeping goal once again for Partisan had pulled off some fine saves from a variety of Tetin efforts. However he was caught napping on his line and the striker managed to toe-poke a through-ball into the net. 1-1 and half time. (Note: Partisan had been becoming increasingly sloppy as the half progressed and had been weak with marking and passing). Half Time: Partisan 1 - 1 SK Tetin After an all too brief turnaround, Partisan, under the leadership of Alexander, had decided to push for more goals by asking Klopot to play closer to Fredriksen in more of a classic 4-4-2 formation. Tetin had reorganised also, with their long-haired, tricky winger moving inside to try and unsettle things. The first team to capitalise on the wealth on knowledge clearly employed by the coach on the day, were Partisan. Klopot this time, met a low ball from Fredriksen for a considered finish from inside the box. 2-1. A few minutes later, a stray pass in midfield let in Tetin, who caught the defense on the back-foot and the striker charged towards goal. Simunek did his utmost to disable the ball-carrier, which he did. However, the said ball popped loose and with no whistle from the referee, another Tetin striker lifted the ball into the net. 2-2. The Partisan lead had been short-lived. "You have to play to the whistle" could be heard echoing around the pitch. Partisan were keeping their heads and improving greatly upon the way they ended the first half. There was a drive and desire back in the team with everyone looking to attack and setup whoever was furthest up-field. True to form, this was usually the big Norwegian. Fredriksen was put through on goal again by a through ball from midfield. And despite copious man handling by a clearly ageing Tetin centreback, he managed to twist and turn the defense and grab his second of the game. 3-2 Partisan! Around the 75th minute mark, Lillard began a move with Sheppard deep in midfield which ended at the feet of Fredriksen in the box, on turning to shoot he was pole-axed by the keeper and afore-mentioned ageing centreback. Again, the ball came loose and Lillard, who had clearly continued his run into the box arrived in a timely fashion to lash the ball home in trademark style. 4-2. The bebibbed blues were on a role and finding their shooting boots. Lillard again surging down the left flank, pulled the ball back which ended up at the feet of Klopot. Who had been encouraged onto the box for his second of the game. A calm finish. 5-2 now and things looked over for Tetin. Although it seemed they had one more card up their sleeve. They had been knocking the ball around nicely all afternoon and a few of their players could move well. However, in the main, many of their possible attacks were quashed at their conception by an outstanding Schuchardt at centreback. In the closing five minutes however, Tetin manged to get a third. A consolation at this point. Simunek could do nothing, as the clever lob looped over his head. 5-3. Partisan could go home thoroughly happy with their performance. A league team beaten, who were clearly very used to playing together. And still there are many players to return to fight for their place. Up next: Dynamo Zizkov. Lets hope the winning form and high spirits carry the expats to victory again.