Players:

Sergey Zhmako
Gerry Keaty Chris Johnson anonymous Scott Clifford
Doron Raviv Phil Alexander Bart Burgmans Sampo Kemila
Anders Rokaas Armand Guri

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Anders Rokaas
  2. Sergey Zhmako

Report

The failure of a new Partisan goalkeeping prospect to show up meant young Zhmako started in goal. We opted for pacy centrebacks Ostrowski and Johnson to cope with DZ's attacking threat and veteran fullbacks Clifford and Keaty to clean up the rest. Burgmans and Alexander took the center, with Kemila and Child on the left and right respectively. Armand and Rokaas provided the firepower up front. It was the first match of the new year and it showed, with out-of-breath and short-of-pace players on both teams - missing passes and tackles up and down the pitch. After a slow start, however, Partisan began to exert some pressure and pinned DZ back in there half for a while, although the strikers weren't given enough time on the ball by the DZ defence to threaten goal too much. DZ also offered a solid counter-attacking threat which paid off when their slightly-slower-but-fairly-hefty forward picked up the ball just outside the box and cracked a shot into the top left corner 1-0. Alexander and Burgmans were working hard in the centre to create chances for the forwards and Partisan came back into it when some neat interplay on the edge of the DZ box led to Rokaas taking the ball and slotting a slick shot past the keeper. We could have taken the lead soon after when Child, who needed to atone for some glaring errors up the right wing, blasted a shot in from the right hand side of the box, but it cannoned back off the post and DZ were able to clear. Rolling back the years, the veteran winger was also on hand to block a shot in his own box when DZ's faster striker worked his way round two of our defence. DZ's centre-backs were leaving a lot of space between themselves and the keeper and we took advantage of this when Armand chased a ball over the top and slotted past the outrushing keeper (clattering him in the process, but we'll take the goal thanks). 2-1 to Partisan. The lead wasn't to last however, as DZ's pacy number 9 made a good run down the left wing and turned a cross in for their right winger to head in across the goal from the far post. Halftime score 2-2. Starting the second half Seblack came on in goal, Zhmako went up front, and Rokaas dropped back on to the wing, as Child made way. Zhmako soon made the most of his relatively fresh legs, bursting through from the middle of the pitch to steer a cool finish from just outside the box. It was a tight match though, and the pressure began to tell as dictator-for-the-season Johnson lost his rag over a Kemila pass that fell short and forcibly substituted the unfortunate winger, who tore off his jersey and threw it away in disgust (and who could blame him?). It was a dual display of petulance worthy of Soccer Saturday, a shame there were no cameras there to catch it. Fortunately for all of us it was all kisses and smiles after the final whistle, and the restored Kemila went on to score a hattrick in our next game, just to show everybody how good he is but that's another story. Away from the handbags then, and back to the football. Armand bagged a second, but unfortunately defensive errors gave two away, so it ended up all square at 4-4.