Players:

Adrian Kieran
Till Janzer anonymous Chris Johnson Endre Szabo
Doron Raviv Dave Sheppard Phil Alexander Dammy Olubokun
Armand Guri Sigve Pedersen

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Sigve Pedersen
  2. Sigve Pedersen

Report

Perfect Saturday afternoon conditions welcomed the visiting London side, Sporting Hackney, to Partisan's favourite ground - Suchdol. Looking like a decent outfit, comprising of what appeared to be strong, skilful players, Sporting looked like they would be giving the expats a run for their money. Partisan had showed good form in the previous 2 or 3 hard-fought games coming into this friendly and were ready for another challenge. Taking 10 or 15 minutes to settle, Partisan were being out-played and consequently went one down from a wide Sporting free kick which was headed in at the back post. Much to the behest of Child, who claimed a push in the back left him unable to defend the high ball. 1-0 Sporting. On the half hour, Burgmans, captaining the side, brought himself in at right back for Janzer and Klopot came onto the right wing in place of Child. Kieran was deputising in goal, as both Simunek and Inning were unfit to play. Not being a keeper by trade, and playing his final game in a Partisan journey, made no impact upon his commitment to the side. Rushing to dive at the feet of a Sporting striker, he made it to the ball first and the striker went down, which is common in such an incident. The referee, who it may be said did not have the best view of things, adjudged Kieran of bringing down the man and getting none of the ball. Kieran and his defenders were incensed, knowing full-well it was the wrong decision. A Sporting player tucked away the spot kick. 2-0. Partisan were unlucky not to get a penalty at the other end - the official missing the blatant push on Sheppard in the box as he was about to meet a low ball from Pedersen. For an English side, Sporting were playing good possession football and had some tricky players in midfield. Ostrowski, playing at centre back with Johnson, was slow to find his rhythm, but once he became more assured, Sporting's strikers were seeing less of the ball. Partisan were also beginning to have some neat interchanges in midfield. And the deficit was reduced when some good pressure from striker Pedersen allowed him to slide onto a short backpass and roll it past the keeper. 2-1. There was another twist in the half to come. Guri, playing in his favoured role up top with Pedersen, was running at the Hackney defence with gusto. One such assault by him saw him get brought down 20 yards from the Hackney goal. Surprisingly, he immediately trudged off, leaving the ball behind, when he would usually have fought bullishly to have a bash at the set piece. Sheppard approached and placed the ball delicately on a nice patch of turf by the referee's feet. Flanked once more by Olubokun, Sheppard was eager to show he has some ability with a dead ball within shooting range. He bent it just over the top of the wall and into the top left corner, the keeper seeming not to move. His second successful freekick in as many opportunities. 2-2 and high fives all round. Half Time: Partisan 2 - 2 Hackney Having made a habit of coming from behind, it looked like Partisan would need to do it again when Sporting's diminutive captain put them 3-2 ahead after slotting neatly past Kieran. The blues were on a bit of a high and playing well though, and an equaliser was always on the cards. The next opportunity came in the form of a penalty won by the tireless Pedersen who duly stepped up to calmly dispatch it. 3-3. How long would this game of footballing cat and mouse continue? Szabo, being harassed with a moving ball, strained a hamstring and left the field after attacking well from left fullback. Sheppard moved out to left wing and Burgmans came into the centre, the tenacious Dutchman breaking up many passages of play from the visitors. Child back on at right-back. Neither side was done yet. Partisan were flooding forward, looking for the winner. Olubokun had been crossing superbly all game from the left and Guri had missed a clutch of good headed opportunities, it clearly not being his strong suit. Hackney were to have the next word however. The right fullback broke upfield to meet a bouncing ball, struck it across goal and saw it elude Kieran at the far post. 4-3. Noone's head dropped and Partisan were soon back in the visitors' half with a freekick deep on the right flank. Sheppard bent the ball into the box with pace, it travelled through a group of players and was finally poked over the line by Pedersen who secured a well earned hat-trick. Just in case there were any doubt, Alexander, also playing his final game for the club, was on hand to make sure the ball reached the net. 4-4. Was that to be all? As it turned out, yes it was. A thoroughly well earned and hard fought draw by both sides. Thanks should go to the referee for at least keeping things on an even keel, with a dubious penalty for either side. The tough succession of games can only be positive for the progression of the team and will no doubt make them stronger contenders in one of Prague's leagues next season. On to the expat league...