Players:

Radek Simunek
Doron Raviv Garrett Parker Keyur Patel Endre Szabo
Mark Matthews Dave Sheppard Vitaly Klopot Dammy Olubokun
Shaz Khaliq Armand Guri

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Armand Guri
  2. Garrett Parker

Report

With the first day of the season already upon us, Partisan faced up against Zabehlice, as the away side. Sterboholy grass pitch was the ideal playing surface and the sun was shining. Partisan began in a disciplined manner, holding a tight line and not pressing too high up the field. Newly appointed captain Sheppard was keen to stress that the opposition was not a quick team but played decent football therefore needed to be marked tightly. The team in white would need patience. It wasn't long before Guri, being partnered by Khaliq once again up front, broke through the back line and dribbled towards a lone keeper and slotted calmly home as the keeper lost his footing. 1-0 Partisan. Patience was being rewarded more quickly than expected. It was clear that the official for the day didn't appreciate too much contact from the expats in the tackle. Sheppard was pulled up on more than one occasion when it was obvious to everyone involved that he won the ball cleanly. At one stage, he even picked up a caution for one such innocuous challenge. None of this was a factor 15 minutes later when Khaliq got off the mark for the new season with a well controlled ball and low shot into the bottom left corner. 2-0 Partisan. The away team was winning the battle for possession, they only looked vunerable when coming under fire from shots from outside the penalty box by, it has to be said, remarkably accurate opposition. Simunek was doing well with his shot stopping. Until, in the dying seconds of the first half, Patel was closing an effort on goal, didn't succeed in blocking it enough and the effort looped over an outstretched Simunek and nestled top corner. Half Time: Partisan 2 - 1 Zabehlice Partisan highlighted a few points at half time that needed addressing and duly were the more composed team in the second half. This did not, however prevent Zahbelice from grabbing an equaliser. A typically short corner was laid back for yet another one of their long-range specials. This one needed no deflection to come off the far upright and into the back of the net. Simunek easily beaten this time. 2-2 One of the home team's target men up front then got a knock and had to leave the field, which meant Partisan played with a one-man advantage for much of the half. However, this did not deter them from playing some neat, tidy football at times. Sheppard struck the bar with a dipping 30 yard free-kick, Olubokun had numerous chances to slot the ball home after making splendid individual runs. One feels like he could notch quite a few goals again this season if he finds scoring form. But the eventual winner came as a result of Guri making a trademark dribble into the box and being caught. Parker made it 3 from 3 spot kicks. Partisan victory 3-2. There is a real expectancy in the Expat camp this season, that we must improve on last year's succession of needlessly dropped points. On the evidence of this game, Partisan mean business.