Players:

Radek Simunek
Doron Raviv Armand Guri Daniel Bugel Jerry Lillard
Mark Matthews Bart Burgmans Dave Sheppard Vitaly Klopot
Todd Benson Alex Fredriksen

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Vitaly Klopot
  2. Alex Fredriksen

Report

The omens were not good from the start of this match with some of the team casting envious glances at the skiers and snowboarders heading to the mountains as we trawled through a blizzard to get to the pitch. We were pleasantly surprised to find the pitch very playable and thoughts of an abandonment (welcome or otherwise) were quickly dismissed. A far from fluent, comically dressed and below strength PP ground out victory against a well drilled IFC team who will probably count themselves somewhat unfortunate not to have taken something from the game. Both teams had countless opportunities to improve their tally, however PP ended up taking the spoils in a 5 goal thriller. Although Horror probably best sums up the key moments in the match. Partisans pre-match routine was interrupted with howls of derision and laughter from IFC who delayed the start to re-check their fixture list to see if they were playing Gangsta Rappers FC. Following confirmation this was indeed Partisan Prague the referee got us underway with a cry of WESTSIDE as opposed to the traditional blow on a whistle. There was a disjointed start from both teams, however Partisan took an early lead when Klopot sprinted down the left and deftly lobbed their goalkeeper who had advanced to the edge of the 6 yard box. Thereafter IFC fitfully threatened (the goal that is), however threats of a more sinister nature were beginning to materialize due to Partisans irascible Albanian, who is to diplomacy what Michael Jackson is to Childcare. More on this later. After withstanding a spell of IFC pressure, Partisan doubled their advantage shortly before half-time when Klopot swung in a corner that caught everyone unawares, other than their goalkeeper, who having successfully palmed it out on the line saw Sheppard smash it into the roof of the net. Half Time: Partisan 2 - 0 IFC With a 2-0 half time lead despite a less than impressive first half, Partisan began the 2nd half looking relatively comfortable. The 2nd half continued in similar fashion to the 1st with IFC looking dangerous on the break and Partisan looking capable of increasing their lead further. Then in a moment of madness that IFC surely found more comical than his appearance (note from Banjo can we please order some shirts that arent extra large!!!!), Banjo - having spotted from 50 yards away that yet another breakaway from IFC could threaten trouble - sprinted half the length of the pitch and having seen Simunek lobbed managed to reach the ball as it bounced towards goal on the 6 yard line. Sighs of relief could be heard from his Partisan team-mates as Matthews half volleyed the ball to safety. At least thats what should have happened. In fact it was total utter disbelief as Matthews managed to half volley it into the roof of his own net under no pressure and with time to bring to down and smash it to safety. At 2-1 things got tense and tempers more frayed. None more frayed than IFCs linesman who, having taken exception at the genial Guris general demeanour, removed his hat, placed down his flag and then sprinted 10 yards onto the pitch, barely breaking stride before head-butting Guri square across his nose. Naturally all hell let loose and whilst bedlam ensued Matthews was busy trying to persuade the ref to call the game off in order for his aberration to be eternally wiped from the records. In what seemed like an age the game re-started and in an exciting finale (for the right reasons) Fredriksen smashed one into the roof of net for Partisan whilst IFC replied to make it a nervy last few minutes for PP to hold on. Special mention must also go at this point to Lillard who made a fantastic interception in the dying minutes, going at full speed as one of IFC's forwards burst into the box, and blasting the ball clear (that's the way to do it Matthews), and Simunek for scrambling down to save right in front of the goalline a minute later. All in all a memorable match but for all the wrong reasons.