Players:

Scott Knicely
Sam Ross anonymous Dammy Olubokun Jerry Lillard
Doron Raviv Filip Kudrev Roman Maceska Khyzer Chaudhary
Mark Matthews Armand Guri

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Roman Maceska
  2. Mark Matthews

Report

PP kicked off their 2nd expat season under mottled skies on a balmy Thursday evening. The local mosquitoes proving as much of an irritant as the mercurial Guri. Despite a worryingly quiet dressing room PP had a pre-match swagger about them once out on the pitch for the warm-up, no doubt imbued by the heady cocktail of confidence from some impressive CZ league performances and the knowledge this was Kralovska's league debut. Strains of 'what's that coming over the hill?' could be heard as the opposition appeared through the heat haze. The game started in familiar fashion with Guri attempting to beat the keeper from the halfway line. Sadly, but hardly surprisingly this was not he first time the striker tried to find the net from 50 yards plus. The game began in scrappy fashion and the opening 25 minutes was punctuated with threatening Partisan attacks that amounted to very little. Kudrev and debutant Maceska anchored the midfield well and Child made some great forays down the right, but despite decent delivery the first goal proved elusive, although Guri and Maceska both stung the fingertips of the Kralovska keeper. Then on 29 minutes, a moment of rare quality. Matthews timed his run to perfection and sprinted clear of the Kralovska defence showing the kind of electric pace that Usain Bolt can only dream of. Then displaying calmness, altruism and an awareness that befits Matthews' 35 years on this planet, he coolly rolled the ball to Maceska who deftly slotted home from 12 yards out. Cue floodgates opening and a comfortable PP victory. Unfortunately Kralovska had not read the script and were level 19 seconds later. A hopeful punt from the restart caused chaos in PP's area and although Lillard tracked back desperately he was sandwiched between three Kralovska players, one of whom poked the ball past debutant keeper Knicely into PP's net. The goal gave Kralovska new found confidence and belief, and they continued to threaten until the half-time whistle. No punches were pulled at half-time and the message to PP was clear must do better!!! Half Time: Partisan 1 - 1 Kralovska The 2nd half began as the first had ended with Kralovska in the ascendsy and they deservedly took the lead on the hour. A ball into the Partisan box set off a frantic pinball session which ended when a Kralovska slid into the six-yard box and made a decisive connection. 1-2 The goal visibly rocked PP although this in turn seemed to have a galvanizing effect. There was a sense of outrage at the temerity of these league new boys thinking they could take the lead against the mighty PP. This outrage nearly turned to incredulity as Kralovska could have nicked a 3rd. However PP were getting back into it and Olubokun in his more natural advanced role was linking up well with Guri, while Ross in midfield was providing dangerous bursts through the middle. Then, from a booming Knicely goal kick, Benson leapt like the proverbial salmon to provide a sublime flick-on for Guri who showed impressive speed to nip in ahead of the keeper and duly dispatch the equalizer over the advancing keeper. This came as a mighty relief and to none more so than the aforementioned Benson who had earlier blazed a glorious opportunity high, wide and not very handsome. The flick more than made amends as he had no right to win it. Then, displaying tactical wizadry that a lesser man would not even have considered, Child unleashed a plan so cunning you could have pinned a tail on it and called it a fox. Namely, bringing the very right footed, very attacking Banjo on at left back!!! And so it came to pass that with a pinpoint 3 yard throw, Olubokun picked out Matthews who had advanced halfway down the left touchline into Kralovska's half. Matthews then evaded 2 challenges and ripped a snorter into the top corner. Stunned silence and astonishment swept round the ground in equal measure. PP refocused and ensured they got the job done in the last 10 minutes seeing the last few minutes out for a hard fought but barely deserved victory. Credit to Kralovska who acquitted themselves well on their league debut.