Monday, September 27, 2010

Match 2: Marinthians vs Agenda 21

Match 2 couldn’t come soon enough. Although the Marinthians may have lost, spirits were still high. There were plenty of pluses to take from the performance, and for a first outing of a newly formed team, the Marinthians had performed well, albeit without a victory. Most of the team could actually run and shoot, and considering the sheer amount of alcohol this team probably consumes in a week, its admirable that they managed to keep on running through to full time without anyone suffering a serious injury. We trusted in Le Plop.

The line up against Agenda 21 had a familiar feel, with one new player in the starting line up, and one on the bench. The core of the team remained the same with Le Plop leading the line and Two marshalling the defence. As soon as the imaginary whistle blew, it was evident that this was going to a more physical. The overnight rain had not helped matters and those without shin pads were immediately regretting their decision. The first two minutes started at a fierce pace, although neither team could find the breakthrough until Willie manage to slot one in. Grizzlees physicality was proving a thorn in Agenda 21’s side and it didn’t take him long to bag one for himself, 5 minutes in and it was 2-0.

It was 4-0 before Agenda 21 finally made it onto the score sheet, with Razor having belted one in and Willies superior pace and energy proving the deciding factor for the fourth. Marinthians were looking comfortable, although Le Plop was clearly frustrated with his inability to bag one. However, 4-1 swiftly became 4-2 and the jitters began to show. Surely we could not suffer another collapse synonymous with the English cricket team?

Luckily Two steadied the ship with an assured strike to make it 5-2 and the Marinthians started to regain their composure. The next 7 minutes remained goalless, mainly due to excellent defending from both sides. Agenda 21 were consistently outhustling the Marinthian forwards in the corners and on the fence, allowing them absolutely no time on the ball, whilst Marinthians had Two barking orders and Grizzlee putting in the tackles. One in particular had half the crowd cheering and the other baying for blood as Grizzlee launched himself full blooded into a sliding tackle, winning the ball cleanly but taking down his fair share of man in the process. There were a few words exchanged, but mostly polite and both players dusted themselves down and got on with it.

The next 5 minutes either side of half time were a bit crazy with goals being scored regularly. Willie completed his hat trick to make it 6-2, with Agenda 21 scoring again swiftly after to make it 6-3. Plop finally got onto the score sheet just before halftime, and goals were scored by Willie and Razor just after. The next ten minutes were a more sedate affair punctuated by a few goals. Agenda 21 got onto the score sheet again to notch 4, whilst Plop continued to get frustrated with numerous efforts going marginally wide. Whitestick kept plugging on, opting for the role of goal facilitator rather than goal scorer.

The last ten minutes were a bit crazy as tiredness was clearly beginning to show on the players. Agenda 21 had arrived with just 5 players and although it helped keep them a more organised unit, it really impacted upon the fitness of their players. 7 goals in total were scored in the last 10, with Razor and Plop completing their hat tricks, although Le Plops third was somewhat controversial. Striking the near post crossbar, it appeared to cross the line before the goalie scooped it out. Plop claimed it but surely just another justification for the implementation of goal line technology. Willie managed to notch yet another to make it five for his haul for the day, whereas Agenda 21 managed to score a further three (including a late penalty) to make the score a respectable 13-7.

The post match analysis in the pub after the game was a much more jovial affair. Both teams had enjoyed the game and Marinthians had finally broken their duck. The 13-7 score line may have seemed a little harsh on Agenda 21 who were an organised and proficient team, but I think the talent of the Marinthians was beginning to show. There were lots of pluses to take away from the game. Le Plop finally found his scoring boots, Two managed to score one striding up from defence (two if you count what happened back at the bar) and Grizzlees tackled will fondly remain in our memories as long as we live.

This week we face off against OMD UK, a mighty proposition and fresh off an 8-0 victory against Carat. If you’re free, head on down to Waterloo and support your Marinthians!

MARINTHIANS 13 - 7 Agenda 21

• Willie x 5 (2:30, 9:30, 23, 26, 44)
• Grizzlee (5)
• Razor x 3 (8, 27, 46)
• Two (16)
• Plop (24, 40, 43)

Agenda 21 Goals on 12, 13, 23:30, 30, 42, 44 and 48 (pen)

(times of goal on brackets. 2 x 25 min halves)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Match 1: Marinthians vs OMD International

Last night saw the inaugural match for the newly formed Marinthians, a fivesome born out of passion for the beautiful game. You could feel the tension in the office as the first match against the unknown force of OMD international drew ever nearer. Jerseyless, they waited with bated breath for a special delivery all the way from Hertfordshire, and when the courier finally burst through the door at the 11th hour, the team was revealed. Marinthians was born.

The first match was an intriguing encounter. Held in the wastelands of Elephant and Castle, you could smell expectation in the air (or dog shit from the surrounding park, one or the other). The late of arrival of OMD I did nothing to settle the Marinthians nerves, and when they produced a mixed bag of continental Europeans, the unknown element of OMD appeared to start unsettling the Marinthians.

Two twenty minute halves, and it was all action from the first minute. The first five minutes elapsed and no score, the two teams were clearly sizing each other up. Both sides looked surprisingly sharp, with Two maintaining a strong presence in goal and orchestrating attacks like a general leading his army. It wasn’t long after that Willie, a hot new signing for Marinthians and full of running, broke through the OMD defence and powered the first past their keeper.

It wasn’t long before goal number 2 was again tucked away by the lively 22 year old. OMD were on the rocks. Approaching halftime, the score was 4-1, with Wicka scoring his first of the season and Razor shooting from distance. Even with supersub Alan trudging off with a case of stitch and dodgy shoes, it was looking all too easy for the Marinthians.

Unfortunately, the substitution of Two saw a reversal of fortunes for the Marinthians. With Razor sent in goal, a position he is clearly not accustomed to, and with no organised defence, OMD took advantage. The next 15 minutes, elapsing either side of half time, saw a total of 6 unanswered goals. From a position of dominance, Marinthians had slipped to 7-4 behind. I think the lowlight was probably Le Plop’s sloppy backpass, poor work from the Frenchman come Scouser. Disappointing from someone who once claimed to have played at the second highest junior level at the age of 15 in France (who are now incidentally 27th in the latest World Rankings). A case of the runs some might say...

The Marinthians swiftly saw a change in fortunes. With Two back on the pitch bringing physicality back into the game, and the ever reliable hands of Wicka in goal, the Marinthians slowly clawed their way back into it. 7-5 with some good play from Le Plop and a second from Razor made it 7-6 with minutes to spare. The last few minutes were frantic, with a few people starting to suffer from fatigue and a case of bruised shins. I could see the anguish in Le Plop’s face every time the ball was booted out of the pitch. The seconds ticked down and the final whistle was blown (well, the groundsman came round to lock up). Marinthians had lost.

Post Match analysis occurred in the Albert Arms, where every aspect was dissected. On the whole, although the players were saddened by the defeat, there were many pluses to be taken from the game. Willie was instrumental with breaks down the wing, his youth clearly a secret weapon. Razor and Two were solid in defence, and Le Plop’s passion shone through, with Wicka’s safe hands ensuring Marinthians didn’t concede any further goals.

Next match is against Agenda 21, be there, or, you know...

Marinthians 6 - 7 OMD International
Willie x 2
Razor x 2
Le Plop un
Wicka x 1