Players:

Anton Polishchuk
Dan Finlay Mark Byrne Dennis Appel Milan Perazich
Doron Raviv Gerry Keaty Endre Szabo John Macey
Jaime Martinez Darren Mellis

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Jaime Martinez

Report

Game 1 in the Prague Cup 2005. Runners up in 2004 after a very gritty 1-0 win against Dynamo Zizkov. Although a little understrnght for this tournament with last minute pull out from Burgmans, and Zhmako gone away at the last minute "on holiday", we were able to welcome in Team USAer John "Arnold" Macey, to bring a bit of huff and puff to the left wing, Mark Byrne back just for today playing with only one good leg. As well, we had a strong bench with Stockport County supporter Steve Hickinbotham, Simon Orr playing supersub, and Nick "smokin'" Grigorov to lull the oposition into a false sense of security. Partisan opened the tournament with a match against the unknown quantity Eurolines. Wed been hoping for a bunch of fat coach drivers to show up, but unfortunately that wasnt the case they were solid enough opposition, but nothing spectacular. Eurolines played typical Czech football, a lot of push-and-run, very good at pinging the ball around the edge of the 18-yard box, however, they lacked the final touch, and were a bit shaky at the back. In the Partisan squad were debutants Team USAer John "Arnold" Macey on the left wing and Steve Hickinbotham as a substitute winger, while Orr continued his return from injury as a substitute striker. Mark Byrne made his second appearance despite a hamstring problem. Appel was doing his usual competent job at the back, with Byrne partnering him, which left Keaty and Szabo free to run the centre of the park. After the opening exchanges, Partisan began to up the pressure, and soon had our opener. The ball broke to Mellis just past the halfway line. His lay-off to Martinez was, in his own words at least, breathtaking, and as the goalkeeper rushed out to block, our man had plenty of time to pick his spot and slide the ball past him and into the net. Half-time 1-0. In the second half, our opposition were forced to come at us in search of an equaliser, and so it was that we caught them on the break. A very long clearance from defence by stalwart Appel was chased by Perazich, who had shifted up front from left-back at half time. In the rush to beat the keeper to the ball his touch was a little off, but had enough momentum to wobble past the keeper and into the net. 2-0 and we were cruising. The meltdown (something that ought to be added to our Partisanisms dictionary as a regular second-half occurrence), not uncommon in Partisan experience, occurred about six minutes from the end, as we had sat back and let them run at us for some time by then. A tussle in the box with a Eurolines striker led to Appels ire getting the better of him and the striker falling over while screaming like a little girl. The resulting penalty was duly dispatched to give Eurolines a lifeline. The second goal came a minute from the end. While we couldnt be accused of trying to sit on our lead, our push for a third goal was ultimately our undoing. Despite a very good run up the line by right-back Finlay, none of our forwards were able to connect with his cut-back across the face of goal, and Eurolines broke fast. Right winger Child, who probably should have been providing more cover for Finlay, chased back the length of the pitch, but despite getting a toe to the ball as he slid in to tackle, it wasnt enough to stop the strike, which was well placed past Polishchuks left hand into the bottom left corner. From a near 3-1 win to a 2-2 draw, it was clear wed thrown that one away as the whistle blew shortly after the restart.