Players:

Anton Polishchuk
Nick Grigorov Gerry Keaty Chris Johnson Scott Clifford
Daniel Jerabek Marc Lehmann Mark Byrne Jaime Martinez
Mikhail Loubov Felipe Martinez

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Marc Lehmann
  2. Mark Byrne

Report

Our last game against these folks was quite a humiliation. So this Saturdays's team was picked on merit, although a lot of our star names were missing - Dennis Appel and Bart "Total Football" Burgmans away, wingman Child picking mushrooms, Dan "Fancy Dan" Finlay also mysteriously away probably at home practicing keepie uppies, and new boy Milan Perazich on Octoberfest duty, we were stripped to the bone. In their places were drafted in a few impressive new boys. Felipe Martinez, younger brother of Jaime, didn't make it the first set of brother to play for Partisan (that honour goes to the Swedes, the Landgrens), but Felipe is a good battler and has plenty of skill. Daniel Jerabek, a young lad from Sweden, who had been in contact with Partisan for months previously about joining the club. Yes, that's how far our name has travelled. It'll be Champions League in 10 years, mark my words. He impressed Keaty with his claims that he used to be nicknamed Nedved back home in Sweden (Keaty was hoping that he meant the footballer and not one the 80 year old Czech folksinger). His form in his one training session with us suggested a cultured right foot, very quick, but also a novelty for us, someone who has a good sense of positioning. And finally Marc Lehmann, who has been training with us in a part time manner for the best part of two years (his work means he's 2 weeks at home in Switzerland and two weeks in prague). Big and burly with a very good touch, and very unselfish, he answered the call of Partisan in her need. And the game. Well, it was almost over withing 15 minutes. First a free kick was parried by Anton "Antoine" Polishchuk, but our players stood around looking while IFC followed in and scored the rebound. Then a few minutes later Johnson gave away a penalty, and Andrea Colantoni, the IFC legendary keeper put the spot kick away. 0-2 to IFC. At this stage it wasn't looking good. Not that we had done much wrong mind you. We'd had more of the ball, knocking it around surprisingly well, and they didn't seem all that cutting in their attacking. On top of that Byrne was having a nightmare in midfield, caught up in handbags stuff with their chunky midfielder, apparantly named Ziggy. Byrne sesnibly requested to trade places with F. Martinez up front, and that worked to everyone's advantage because our forward line to that moment hadn't been setting the world on fire. Martinez jnr. looked comfortable in midfield and Byrne soon astarted causing problems with his pace closer to goal. Jerabek was having a nice game on the wing and from a cross , the ball wasn't cleared and Lehmann, composed as aalways, rifled a low daisy cutter past Colantoni. 1-2 at half time. Much better from us as we could have lied down and let them take over. The second half was another good 45 minutes of football. IFC struck first to make it 3-1. But we kept hoping, and against this IFC, they look decidedly shaky at the back. And sure enough, on about 80 minutes, Byrne, alert as ever took a pass out wide on the left, brushed past a defender into the box, and curled the ball up and over the out rushing keeper. 2-3. Later Byrne praised the goalie but said he shouldn't have rushed out for that particular goal. Game on with 30 minutes left. The game was end to end stuff. Martinez snr. had a stormer protecting their dangerous runs down our left. he spent more time in our own half than I've ever seen before, even when he played in defence once before.Johnson was as impressive in defence as ever, and Loubov tried hard up front. But it was left to Byrne to draw the game. Last minute. long ball up field in his direction. Good control, sweeping past his marker, and a lashing shot, just inside the right upright. 3-3. And final whistle. As good a result as any this year. At 2-0 and 3-1 down we could have easily crumbled. But we kept fighting back, and importantly kept our shape and defended well. We scored 3 goals from open play to their one. Enough said.