Players:

Radek Simunek
anonymous Garrett Parker Christos Theodoropoulos Endre Szabo
Sam Ross Dave Sheppard Bart Burgmans Dammy Olubokun
Pejman Taghavi Shaz Khaliq

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Dammy Olubokun
  2. Shaz Khaliq

Report

The Bear Hug Heard Round Mecholoupy It would be a memorable Saturday morning, mostly for the wrong reasons on match day 20 in the PFL. Partisan remembered their 3-2 loss at the hands of Bohemians earlier this season, so we knew not to take these wily elder statesmen lightly. There were some notable absentees from the decorated veteran line-up. The fabled grey fox, who singlehandedly beat Partisan with his hattrick back in the fall was traded in for a humpty-dumpty version of a striker (more on him later), and a certain one-armed right back also didnt make the trip out east. Partisan were looking sharp early, creating a couple of chances through some nice passing through the middle. Pj, Shaz, Dave and I all had decent shooting opportunities, but none of us could make it count. It was an encouraging start and once Partisan were able to slow themselves down and play disciplined, it would only be a matter of time before the breakthrough would come. Radek and the rest of the defense didnt have much to do in the first half, and Bohemians werent giving Partisan much trouble at all with the center back pairing of Garrett and Theo looking especially comfortable. There was one nice diagonal ball played through which gave Bohemians' striker half a chance to lob the keeper, but Radek made himself big and saved well and the striker went down in a heap as if hed been knifed by Radeks flailing hand. The opening goal finally came around 30 minutes with Dave sending a nice through ball for Dammy who showed his teammates how to finish, rifling his low left footed shot just inside the far post from a tough angle. 1-0 Partisan. Just before half time the entire complexion of the game was changed. After the referee had given a few yellow cards for some fairly innocuous looking fouls, Partisan were shocked to find themselves on the right end of a controversial decision. PJ and their big capitan of a centerback were both going for a ball inside the Bohemians penalty area, when PJ got there first and was shoved off the ball illegally so deemed the referee. Despite a certain number 8s best effort to put Garrett off by moving the ball after he had already placed it, (stay classy praha) old man Parker coolly dispatched the penalty into the top left hand corner leaving the magenta-flower-clad keeper no chance, (his shirt was never going to escape this match report). Half Time: Partisan 2 - 0 Bohemians The second half started similar to the first, and just 5 minutes in Partisan had their third. After taking countless goal kicks short, their center back decided to go for the long one and kind of scuffed a low line drive, which Dammy headed straight to Shaz who was left unmarked right at the top of the box. He had more than enough time to pick his spot and deposit his shot safely into the bottom left-hand corner, the third in a trio of excellent finishes on the day. Unfortunately there wouldnt be any more finishing or anything for that matter, because what would come next would be a footballing or should I say sporting first for everyone in attendance. After a fairly routine contest between Shaz and their center back trying to see the ball out for a corner, the ball went out for a goal kick. There were some protests perhaps as to whether Shaz committed a foul, should have been booked, or what have you. Bohemians' striker from the first half (Club co-owner and former Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler Michal Vejsada - Fact Ed) who was now the linesman had seen enough, and threw in the proverbial towel for his team, by flinging his linesmans flag in the general direction of the referee. On his nonchalant stroll back to the bench he uttered a no-no word, to which the ref told him to hit the showers, showing him a red card. The wrestler didnt take very kindly to that: before we knew it, he had cling-jerked the poor ref into a bear hug and hoisted him high over his head and was calculating his next move. When he first picked him up, it almost seemed comical, but the look on the refs face told a different story as he went limp as a fish and was making a concerted effort to not fight back, presumably as hed been trained to do in such circumstances. Anyway, much to Christos disappointment, the ref wasnt suplexed, but rather placed carefully into the undersized waste bin, and sort of shoved into the netting there. Understandably the match was immediately abandoned with little protest, especially from the Bohemians players who seemed relatively amused by the entire episode. This was a new low, even for this sorry excuse of a league. Things like this make me glad that I grew up with proper coaches and role models who taught me how to play the game the right way. Where the Prague league can go from here is anyones guess. Special mention to Endre who went above and beyond the call of duty and escorted/drove the ref back to his home where he could only try to get on with his day.