Where’s the beef? Not on the scoresheet. Stegman’s Old Boys blanked BEEF United 3-0 on Sunday in a hotly contested match.
The Old Boys were looking handsome as ever in their away blues and lined up in an experimental 4-3-1-2, looking to take advantage of the space of the pitch and speed of the field turf.
Old Boys were on the back foot almost from the opening whistle, as United completely overran the midfield. Pace was their weapon as time and again they would look for the through ball or the ball over the top to their onrushing strikers. The defense was stretched to the limit, with Mark Schmitt making a number of crucial interventions.
Things did not get better for the SOB’s as flying winger Jon Scott was forced off only 15 minutes in with a recurrence of his hamstring pull. He was replaced by debutante George Hanscom.
After nearly a half hour of one-way traffic, frustration began to show on both sides. A heavy challenge from centerback Dan Hoedeman flared up into an off-the-ball incident that saw the gangly Dutchman booked. That, coupled with United’s inability to create actual chances – for all their pressure, they had managed only one shot on goal and seen another effort go wide – seemed to frustrate the home side and force them into misplaced passes.
And it was an errant pass that changed the game.
A poor pass out of the back was intercepted by Dave Tesch. Quickly controlling the ball, the big striker took one look up and, seeing the goalkeeper off of his line, blasted a looping shot 45 yards and into the top right corner. It was a strike of thrilling audacity and stunning technique.
“I’ll be honest, the best thing about scoring from 45 yards is not having to run that far,” Tesch said after the game, “and it was also great that the supporters gave me a couple of Hamm’s after I came off in gratitude. Our supporters are as good as my goal.”
The goal seemed to deflate United and allowed the Old Boys to begin to play themselves into the game. Good work on both flanks, where Alex Haueter and George Hansom were excellent throughout, brought some balance to the proceedings as the half wore to a close.
It took a smart tactical switch at the break to end the contest as a competitive affair. Jon Bisswurm, with a Mourinho-esque tactical masterclass, added an extra man to the midfield and ordered the Old Boys to play on the counter-attack.
The switch paid off brilliantly. With no Plan B, United offered nothing threatening to the Old Boys, who almost mockingly challenged United to attack. And when each attack foundered on the sturdy Old Boys defense, it was off to the races up the flanks. And it was with good work down the right that the ball was fed in to Nick Sindt who laid it off to Dan Erickson, charging up through the middle, who finished elegantly with his left into the bottom right corner.
United threw everything at the Old Boys, but still struggled to create clear chances. A corner saw an unmarked United midfield head embarrassingly over the bar with United’s only shot from inside the area. An attack down the right brought an exceptional shot from the deep corner that skimmed the top of the crossbar. But the chances ended there as the defense, well-marshaled by Schmitt, remained unbreached.
On 70 minutes, Old Boys were again off on the counter. Working through the left, the ball found the captain, Jon Bisswurm who danced past two flailing challenges before playing through Haueter deep on the left.
Haueter stutter-stepped, spun past his man and sent a cheeky finish near post past the keeper from an impossibly acute angle to make it 3-0.
“The goalie bit on my head-fake and left me his near post,” Haueter said, “but I am willing to give credit for this goal to Sindt-y if it helps him get laid. I hear his wife demanded a goal before letting him back in bed.”
At 3-0 the game was well and truly over, though there was still time for United to get tetchy. A very poor challenge on Hoedeman resulted in yellow, and the player was lucky not to be sent off after his outburst at the referee.
“We didn’t go into the game trying to send a message,” said Hoedeman afterwards, “to be honest they were just a step quicker and that resulted in a challenge or two coming in a bit late. But the tackles and their subsequent temper tantrums threw them off of their game, and we took advantage. We also abused them tactically and gave them a tutorial on finishing.”
The Manager, Jon Bisswurm, was ebullient after the victory, “even with the supporters barracking me late in the game when I was just trying to play smart, having a tactical plan that United simply had no clue how to effectively challenge makes this win feel really good.”
Stegman’s Old Boys (4-3-1-2): Horstman, Erzberger, Schmitt, Hoedeman, Peichel, Polukeyev, D Erickson, Scott, Bisswurm, Sindt, Campbell
Subs: Dzelzkalns, Savitt, Hanscom, Overlie, Tesch, Haueter, Gorrell