Based on recent form this match was always going to be an intriguing one; BH United have steamrolled every opponent this season and the good guys coming in with three wins on the bounce. With United’s penchant for crab-assing at the ref and playing a very physical game, the game plan was clear from the off – work the possession game, be ready for the physical challenges, and frustrate them into capitulating.
From the the very first kick of the game, it was obvious to everyone, but BH United, that this would be a much different game than the 5-1 mauling laid on the Old Boys back in June;
a) the Old Boys had plenty of subs this time around, and
b) the new signings have turned the SOBs into a well-oiled machine.
Capitalizing on BH’s weakest component, Manager Sindt put his fastest players up top and the move paid dividends immediately; Campbell and Clayton causing the lackluster BH backline many problems. On 5 minutes, the Old Boys nearly completed their dream start – Clayton being played into a breakaway by a beautiful through ball only for the atrocious turf to cause a scuffed shot. A minute later the SOBs were almost put to the sword for that miss but Bryan Larson acrobatically came to the rescue.
After 15 minutes, the Old Boys finally broke the stingiest defense in the league. Another scything through ball shredded the BH backline, but Clayton was forced to turn back and feed his on-rushing teammates. The pressure being exerted by the SOBs forced poor clearances, eventually the ball falling back to Clayton’s feet. He laid the ball off to Paul Shanafelt who curled a side-footed effort while the goalie could only stand there and watch it tickle the side netting.
Ten minutes later, after some back-and-forth play Ryan Haeg introduced himself to the stats column by playing a slide-rule pass for Mike Ozruh to run onto. Ozruh coolly finishing past the on-rushing keeper. The second tally forced a defensive shift by the away team, pulling their most effective and fastest attacker back into the defensive line, which paid off since he continually shut down the SOB attacks; most notable was his effort in the second half to recover and thwart Zach Riggot’s break-away.
While the move paid dividends defensively it significantly alleviated some of the pressure on the Blues’ back line.
The last 65 minutes of the game could only be described as “interesting.” The Old Boys and BH continued their attacking forays, only to be thwarted by poor grounds keeping, and poor finishing. The most intriguing action of the remainder of the game was BH United’s insistence on time wasting tactics and unnecessarily lengthy diatribes towards the referee.
Manager Sindt on their “dark arts”: “It’s obvious that they’re not used to playing from behind because they couldn’t break themselves of their time-wasting habits – hoofing the ball as far out of bounds as humanly possible. I don’t know how many times I trudged down to the swamp to retrieve a ball today. It got really ugly when their fans began parroting their verbal assaults on the referee, but they’ve failed to display any modicum of class towards the officials in any of the games we’ve played against them.”
15′ G: Shanafelt, A: Clayton
25′ G: Ozruh, A: Haeg
Man of the Match: Mike Ozruh – four goals in four games. Enough said.
Starting XI: B. Larson, Pomeroy, Johnson, Savitt, Erzberger, Haeg, Shanafelt, Farrell, Riggot, Campbell, Clayton
Subs: Sindt, Gorrell, Ozruh, Carney, Belz, Zimic, Hauter