Players:

Kenny Haig
Christophe Reichmuth Gerry Keaty anonymous Endre Szabo
Colin Sablack Chris Johnson Bart Burgmans Jaime Martinez
Dan Finlay Armand Guri

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Armand Guri

Report

A glorious day on a freshly-turfed pitch at Maly stadion Strahov for the latest duel with Prague stalwarts IFC. Partisan fielded a strong line-up with Keaty, Ostrowski, Johnson and Burgmans at the heart; Szabo and Reichmuth as full backs, and Seblack and Martinez feeding a pacy new-look attack of Guri and Finlay. There was also a notable return from Haig, fresh from his trans-siberian adventures, slipping on the goalie gloves. The game started off at a high tempo. IFC were very quick to every ball and challenge but Partisan were playing with organization and efficient passes and for the first quarter of an hour or so it was deadlocked. The first chance fell to IFC after some great work by their right winger, but their striker couldnt find the target. In the middle of the park Johnson and Burgmans were dictating the play and some good balls were giving the strikers plenty to work with. It was from one such opportunity that we took the lead. A through ball from the middle of the park found Guri outstripping his marker. The IFC keeper did well to get down and block his first shot but our Albanian avenger was first to the loose ball and rounded the stranded goalman to slot into an empty net. 1-0 Partisan. The rest of the half followed the same pattern, with disciplined play from Partisan limiting IFC to few chances. A great through ball for Finlay was incorrectly ruled offside by the ref who admitted his mistake (after some vocal derision from Clifford and Child on the sideline) and awarded a drop-ball; tempers flared later after a 50-50 ball in the air between Guri and IFCs Glaswegian defender ended with said defender on the floor. Fortunately for all involved the ref blew for half time not long after and we could regroup. The second half saw Child come on for Reichmuth at right back, Clifford in for Szabo to add some pace at left back, Zhmako on up front with Finlay while Guri shifting to the right wing (to put a little distance between him and his defensive nemesis) with Seblack dropping to the bench. IFC were pushing hard to get back on level terms and on more than one occasion Haig had to come racing off his line to intercept a long ball over the top before their forwards got to it. Nevertheless, Partisan were a constant menace, Burgmans battling for everything in the middle and pushing up whenever possible to support the strikers. And it was on one such occasion as he burst into the box, that an IFC defender tripped him and without hesitation the ref pointed to the spot. Finlay stepped up to take the kick and coolly slotted it - despite the keeper guessing correctly - into the bottom left corner,. Our second-half formation appeared to be working as well as the first, however things started to unravel a little soon after the penalty. Guri got hemmed in at the sideline by IFCs left back and left winger and when one of them tried to go through the back of him he finally lost his cool and the infamous Albanian death-grip came out again (rumours abound that he is competing with Matt Ostrowski for the title of most-likely-to-get-sent-off at this years awards). Players from both sides moved in quickly to separate them, but for safetys sake we decided to take him off the pitch and Seblack came back on again to the right wing. Soon after that the unfortunate Clifford, on the pitch for not more than 20 minutes, caught his foot in a divot and sprained his ankle, heading straight back to the bench, allowing Reichmuth back on again. Partisan had lost their momentum a bit and IFC took the initiative to pull one back, with a corner headed in at the far post. The last 10 minutes were a nervy affair as IFC hunted for the equalizer, hitting the side netting at least once, with Partisan defending desperately and at times quite poorly and Haig again coming to the rescue a few times. But we managed to hang on and complete a decent 2-1 win a welcome companion piece to the 4-3 defeat of Zizkov two weks earlier.