Players:

Radek Simunek
Doron Raviv Armand Guri Dammy Olubokun Till Janzer
Sam Ross Bart Burgmans Vitaly Klopot Adrian Kieran
Todd Benson Shaz Khaliq

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Sam Ross

Report

Partisan came into Saturday's match with plenty of distractions. Not only had they seen 2008's newcomer of the year Mr. Vinhas relocate back to France, but probable 2009 newcomer of the year, Norwegian golden-boy and leading scorer to date Fredriksen is on the next train out of Holesovice as well. And if that wasn't enough to lose in the creativity department, Partisan were rocked by the recent injury news over 08 Defender of the Year Keyur Patel who will be joining Sablack on the long-term shelf. He's set to undergo a space-aged knee procedure to replace his shredded ACL. None the less, Partisan took to the field against Molly Malone's with the aim of keeping their perfect record of 2009 intact. Before the match had even started, however, Partisan were already up against it. Molly's forgot that you need 11 of YOUR OWN players to field a full squad, and Dan Finlay, naturally, was kind enough to take on the familiar role of pulling on a different club's shirt and deputizing for them. Guri strolled on up to the park right around kickoff to slide in at center back next to Olubokun, with Janzer and Child handling the fullback duties. Burgmans and Klopot would prove to be a formidable first half duo in central midfield with Kieran and Wilhelm-Ross roaming the flanks and Benson paired with Khaliq up front, who was making his long-awaited club debut. Partisan started the game brightly stringing together neat passes and applying pressure on the Molly's defense. Around 7 minutes, a Child cross from deep that wasn't cleared properly fell to Wilhelm-Ross just inside the area. Eager to open his scoring account with the club he hit a low shot that had just enough on it to get past the keeper. 1-0. Partisan continued to press after the goal, and the chances weren't done falling to the winger either, but his next two efforts weren't as memorable as his first, being scuffed and shanked respectively. The flurry of Partisan activity continued still and Benson found himself behind the defense after a lovely through-ball from Klopot, but he too dragged his shot agonizingly wide with only the keeper to beat, a mistake he would later atone for. I don't have much of a recollection of their first goal. Only that it wasn't anything to write home about, but it did knock Partisan out of their rhythm, and neither side managed to create much of anything for the rest of the half. Half Time: Partisan 1 - 1 Molly's The second half saw latecomer Dave "the less you know the better" Sheppard come out of the doghouse and into center midfield sliding Klopot up in support of Khaliq. But for whatever reason the second half started rather sloppily. Neither team could sustain any possession or even keep the ball on the ground, and this portion of the game could not have been too pleasing on the eyes for the handful of spectators that made it out to Table Mountain on this mild Sunday afternoon. This whole spell of sloppiness culminated in a miscommunication in the Partisan penalty area, gifting the ball to a Molly's midfielder at the edge of the box. He made no mistake and cleanly struck his shot into the bottom corner leaving Simunek no chance. Molly's continued to frustrate Partisan. Their goalkeeper made a handful of decent saves, and their incredibly tall center back might not have been pretty, but he was effectively clearing everything that came his way. A lone bright spot in this part of the match were Guri's trademark runs with the ball, driving deep into the Molly's half, but unfortunately they never came to any fruition and Partisan remained rather stagnant. Realizing they were running out of time, and in jeopardy of actually losing the match, Partisan finally found that extra gear and a sense of urgency. Burgmans dropped back to center-back to allow Guri to pile forward and pressure the Molly's backline. Soon after Simunek boomed a punt downfield which Kieran expertly flicked on to Khaliq, who put the ball into a dangerous area. It was Benson (who had come back on for Janzer) who reacted first as he so often does and tidied up the mess in front of the goal to make it 2-2. You would have backed Partisan to go on and get the winner at this point with some 8 or 10 minutes left with their new found momentum and energy. But it wasn't to be. The best chance Partisan could muster was when Khaliq got on the end of Child's superb first-time cross only to see his header bounce back off of the post, off the keeper, and off the post again. Sheppard also had a half chance with an opening to shoot from 25 yards, but his effort cleared the protective netting and might have disrupted someone's tennis match down below. The full-time whistle came and it finished, 2-2. Credit to Molly's for fielding a much stronger team than we faced a few months ago. And kudos to Olubokun for turning in a workmanlike performance as a makeshift center back, with Partisan being painfully short in that department at the moment. At the time, Partisan were no doubt disappointed with the draw, but in hindsight it was probably a fair result, and good to get this performance out of our system before the much anticipated Superleague gets underway.