Players:

Anton Polishchuk
Gerd Lemke Laurent Juli Craig Hurry Jerry Lillard
Till Janzer Phil Alexander Colin Sablack
Armand Guri Sergey Zhmako Jaime Martinez

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Jaime Martinez

Report

The Partisan boys struggled in the heat this week. The combination of playing at a new pitch, resembling Table Mountain, with steep sloping banks at either side and a frankly incompetent referee made any kind of free-flowing game impossible. One moment the ball would bounce over the ludicrously low fence and down the bank, thus stalling the game for several minutes, while, moments later, the ref would blow his whistle for a simple shoulder charge or for someone running too close to a member of the opposition! The game started badly for Partisan with poor Alexander losing sight of the ball amongst the suns rays and inadvertently allowing it to strike his elbow just inside the penalty area, within the first five minutes. The resulting penalty was dispatched into the bottom right of the goal, leaving Polischuk with no chance. The rest of the first half was a reasonably even affair without much incident. Janzer and Sablack went to work chasing down every ball on the park, while Martinez and Zhmako ran tirelessly, but too often getting pulled into wide positions to compensate for the narrow midfield formation. The only Partisanian highlights were Zhmako managing to nick the ball into the Zizkov goal, only for our friendly ref to rule it out for offside, and one of the Zizkov defenders heading past his own keeper, only for the two to combine to scrape it off the line for a corner. Meanwhile, at the other end, Partisan were often forced to rely on their centre backs lofty clearances in order to save them from shipping more goals. At half time Partisan opted for more width, switching to a more conventional 4-4-2 formation with Martinez and Sablack taking to the right and left wings respectively and the quiet Guri pushing forward to where he generally does the most damage to the opposition. Child replaced Lemke at right back, while Burgmans brought his calming, patient influence into the centre of midfield, replacing Janzer. These changes seemed to bring a little more stability into the performance with the fullbacks looking better protected by the midfield wide men. Partisan began to push forward for that equaliser with Guri, in particular, getting much more time on the ball and license to run at the defenders. As often happens, however, the opposition counter attack proved deadly. A sweeping move from one end to the other left us stranded with too many up front and a Zizkov cross from the right to the far post was put in by one of three possible free men Refusing to get too downhearted, Partisan headed straight for the centre circle to restart only for the referee to compound their misery further by awarding a second, much less valid penalty only minutes later. Lillard slid in to prevent a cross coming in from the right and the ball struck his hand which had not left his side. There was clearly, neither intent, nor any way he could have prevented this but the ref had already decided who he wanted to win and it wasnt the boys in blue! A second penalty was fired into the opposite side with similar accuracy to the first, leaving Partisan with seemingly no hope of recovery. However, the invitation to lie down was not accepted and Partisan quickly replied with two goals of their own (arguably the best of the match). Both were the results of fine passing moves beginning with good work from Burgmans. For the first, he slipped the ball through to Alexander along with the instruction to turn. Alexander did so and found he had some space to run into. Nearing the box on the left hand side, Alexander slipped the ball across the face of the penalty are to the awaiting Martinez who cooly sent the ball past the keeper from 18 yards, with a weel placed finish. The second was a faster affair with Burgmans again trying to find Alexander, only for Lillard to appear from nowhere and take it away and towards the area. He in turn had the ball stolen from him by Guri who side stepped one defender, touched the ball just inside the box and ruthlessly fired past the helpless keeper. Unfortunately, the comeback did not last long. Despite hard work from the defence, with many important headers won in the air by Hurry, a shot, parried by Polischuk was tapped in to pretty much put the result beyond doubt. Partisan almost got some joy from their corners with Hurry winning a header but failing to direct it and Alexander cutting the ball back for Martinez whose deft chip finall forced a meaningful save out of the severely under-tested Zizkov goalkeeper. Right at the death, Partisan were denied a legitimate penalty for hand ball by the spineless referee, only for Zizkov to add one more to their tally after a mix up between Laurent and Polischuk. Hopefully we can have a match decided on football and not some pitiful refereeing display in the next game.