Players:

Sylvain Chalieux
Gerry Keaty Chris Johnson Dennis Appel Scott Clifford
Doron Raviv Martin Shields Christophe Reichmuth Mark Matthews
Sergey Zhmako Jerry Lillard

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

Report

Partisan were attempting to overturn a 4-1 defeat from the previous year against UK flyboys Icarus FC. Chalieux was between the sticks, while a solid back four included the dream pairing of Johnson and Appel in the centre, flanked by stalwarts Keaty and Clifford. Shields was running things in the centre of the park, assisted by Reichmuth, and on the wings Matthews and Child. Spearheading it all were poacher Zhmako and the gung-ho Lillard. It was a back-and-forth game, and although the early exchanges were fairly balanced, Icarus were having a problem getting past the Partisan back four to test our keeper, while we were giving them more than a few scares. A loose ball on the edge of the box looked inviting for Child but the hard pitch produced a deceptive bounce and he half-volleyed at thin air. The two wingers then attempted to combine - Child twice trying the famous Spurs corner-kick routine.The first time Matthews stung the gloves of the Icarus keeper, while the second he hit wide. In the air Shields was winning the Battle of Britain so much for the RAF and creating his own fair share of chances. Most of the traffic the other way was going down the right, with plenty of needle between left-back Clifford and their right winger resulting in a lot of hot air and name calling. At half time it was 0-0 with everything to play for, and the sense that whoever scored first would be taking the spoils. Second half subs included Szabo coming on on the left wing to good effect, except when he was falling over. Debutant KP Patel came on up front for the tired Zhmako to try and rustle up a goal (geddit?), while Sat slotted in at left back, getting in some tidy tackles to break down the Icarus raids. And then the breakthrough came. A long ball out of the defence was chased down by Matthews who outstripped the Icarus defence, and with the keeper rushing out of his area, the lad executed a perfect lob into the empty net well, that's what would've happened had the keeper not raised his arms and batted the ball away. Hmmmdeliberate handball, out of his area, last man, denying a clear goalscoring chance how many more reasons would you need for a red card? Well, clearly something was amiss, because inexplicably the referee decided a yellow would suffice and awarded just a free kick. We were incensed but it was to no avail take the goal or take the man advantage, but we were given neither. Anyway, the subsequent free kick from Johnson tested the keeper and Matthews nearly justly turned in rebound, but then Icarus scored against the run of play to really rub salt in the wound. More controversy was to come with their second. The livewire Matthews, again at the heart of everything, had sprinted 50 yards to cover a Partisan mistake, and successfully made the tackle, sending the ball rolling out of play except then the hulking Icarus attacker decided to kick our pint-sized pocket-rocket and things started to boil over. With Child and Keaty running in to sort out the mess and the rest of the team looking on in shock, almost nobody noticed that our gallic goalkeeper had intercepted that "safe" ball and booted it toward the sideline. Whilst all hell was breaking loose in the penalty area, an Icarus winger had in turn intercepted Chalieux's clearance and crossed the ball back in for one of their forwards to double their tally. Ref hello ref, which game were you watching? After that things degenerated a little, with the Partisan players more than a little frustrated with the way the decisions were going. The influential Shields eventually ran out of steam and subbed off and with Icarus rotating from a large bank of subs they were able to put the dampers on the rest of our endeavours. The final whistle went on one of the most undeserving defeats in Partisan's history.