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A Football Season In The Life Of A Murraysworld Member - 2008 Season

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invisibleman18
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So the second instalment begins.

05/04/2008 - First Game Of The Season
Opposition: Manurewa AFC
Venue: Away
Kickoff: 2.45pm
Weather: Warm and calm

Interestingly last season, the opposition in the first game were Uni-Mt Wellington Carlsberg. This year I begin the season playing for Uni-Mt Wellington Carlsberg having joined the club and this team 2 weeks ago.

Arrive at the ground at about 2pm and turns out pitch was the scene of one of the most memorable games I've been involved in. A couple of years ago against this awful Syrian team who kicked and cheated us off the field in our first meeting that season, we beat them in a 4-3 thriller in the worst weather conditions I have ever played in. Well 2nd worst if you include a game another year when the direction of the rain and gale force wind changed at half time so we spent the entire game playing against it, and consequently could not get out of our penalty area! lol

A new kit sponsored by Carlsberg will apparently be ready by the end of April but for today it was last season's shirts. I was handed a Liverpool goalie shirt! Fortunately it was miles too big so I managed to get out of wearing it in favour of my own shirt. lol

So onto the game and we begin brightly having all of the play for the first 10 minutes until they finally get down our end and a ball comes across from our left, and a free man hits it on the half volley running in from the right and I make quite a good save turning it around for a corner. Pleasing first piece of action for the season. They get more into the game after that and on about 25 minutes get a break away through the middle and take the lead with a super finish up into the top corner. They begin to get on top after taking the lead and there is further action for me sliding out to stop a couple of one-on-ones. About 5 minutes before half time one of our strikers goes down under what didn't seem a bad challenge and he doesn't get up. Got taken to A&E by a spectator and it sounds like it's a broken ankle so that's the season pretty much over for him in the first half of the first game. Frown

But there's a bright side, a minute later we get given a disputed penalty for handball. From my end it looked pretty dodgy, seemed like the guy blocked the shot and by accident it came up off his foot and hit his arm. Nevertheless it's given and our guy hits it straight at the keeper who doesn't move and deflects it onto the bar. A scramble ensues and eventually the ball is in the back of the net for 1-1. Couldn't help feeling bad for a fellow keeper after a penalty save though. I remember once making a triple a save from a penalty only for the ball to go in at the 4th attempt (actually against the aforementioned Syrian team in the first meeting with them)!

So we go in happier at half time and they had started to look tired. Early in the 2nd half they get another chance with a guy free on the right. Fortunately he hits it pretty much straight at me and I block it and gather at the 2nd attempt. After then it was mostly all us. We took the lead on about 65 minutes with a bullet shot from out on the right beating the keeper at the near post. They did get the odd chance, and I made another decent stop coming from a cross. We really needed a 3rd to settle it and with about 15 minutes to go it arrived. One of our midfielders twisted and turned on the right corner of the penalty area and curled one into the far top corner with his left foot for what will surely be our goal of the season. Straight from the kickoff we break and score a 4th. Then a couple of minutes later it's 5 and suddenly 3 goals in 5 minutes had sealed it.

Great result from the position we were in late in the first half. Scoreline probably flattered us with it blowing out in the last 15 minutes. 2-1 probably would have been a more accurate result on reflection of the game.

So the unbeaten runs continues. My new team have not lost since the first game of last season, when I was in the side the beat them. This has been helpful in establishing a bit of banter with my new team-mates. lol

Result: 5-1 Win
Personal Performance: Good. Solid with everything I had to 2 and good save early on. The team seem quite happy with me compared to whoever they had last year.

Someone took a video camera and apparently the entire game was filmed by a couple of our spectators. Hopefully some of it will find it's way onto youtube eventually, especially my save! lol
Will post if anything ever does.
[ Last edit by invisibleman18 April 05, 2008, 07:24 AM ] IP Logged
invisibleman18
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Just back from an evening out with the team. One guy's family owns Independent Liquor in NZ and this is where the Carlsberg affiliation comes from. He hired out a bar just for us this evening and paid for everything. Was good to get to know some of the team a bit more having only had 2 trainings with them before today's game, and a couple of them I only met before kickoff as they hadn't been at training.

News on the injured guy is not good. Broken ankle in 2 places and he was having surgery this evening at Auckland Hospital so it's a really bad one. Season certainly over for him just 40 minutes into the first game.
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invisibleman18
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Playing Western Springs Choppers tomorrow so it will be a very bad tempered game. Not really looking forward to it much.
You may remember my reports from playing them last season. Appalling team and certainly live up to their name by cheating and kicking you off the field. Personally I came out of the first game with a severely bruised lower leg/ankle and the 2nd game with several more knocks and bruises and I was only in goal. Apparently it was even worse against my new team last season as they lost to the Choppers on the field but it was so bad that they actually put in a complaint and were successful in having the result reversed to a default 3-0 win! Our coach was going to request an official referee and given last season's circumstances, one should be provided. Hopefully we get one or I certainly see additions to the injury list.

They came 5th in the league last season anyway so I don't understand why they have been put up a division. confused
[ Last edit by invisibleman18 April 11, 2008, 12:42 PM ] IP Logged
invisibleman18
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12/04/2008 - Game 2
Opposition: Western Springs Choppers
Venue: Home
Kickoff: 1.00pm
Weather: Calm

So I arrived at about 12.15 thinking I was late but there was no sign of anyone else from either team. I had missed training in the week due to Uni work so was starting to wonder if perhaps the time or location had changed and noone had thought to tell me. Finally a team-mate turned up at 12.30 and had no idea where everyone else was either. Eventually players started to turn up and then opposition arrived and we started about 15 minutes late. lol

Unfortunately we did not manage to get an official ref so allowed their guy to ref the first half to set the standard for how we would ref then 2nd. And amazingly he was ok. Perhaps due to all the complaints last season theyare not going to cheat as much anymore. They were still pretty scrappy and fouled a bit but it was nowhere near as bad as last season.

First half was a very scrappy affair. There were no real chances at either end aside from a couple of reasonable set pieces from us that troubled the keeper and while I was busy claiming long balls and through balls I wasn't forced into anything too difficult. It seemed the late turn up was a sign of things to come as we were far superior to them as expected but we were playing terribly.

It came to life more in the 2nd half. Chances started coming at both ends and I made a couple of good blocks before one of their strikers found himself free in our area. He beat me but fortunately our left back had got back to clear off the line. We created chances ourselves but never really tested the keeper. Then with about 20 minutes to go they got a breakway from one of our corners and it was 3 on 1 defender in our half. Their left winger played a good ball to the edge of the box and I managed to get there and deflect the finish out for a corner. Cracks were starting to appear in the defence and again they played a defence splitting pass through the middle which forced me to run out the box and clear the danger just before the striker got there. I was busy but I admit I was loving it. Last season my team won easily most weeks and although I usually played well, a good save at 4 or 5-0 never really meant anything apart from goal difference. Been a couple of years since I've been involved in a tight game like this that goes to the wire and it was good to make saves at 0-0 to keep the team in it.

So with 10 minutes to go finally we broke the deadlock. Free kick curled in from the right found our striker whose finish went straight at the keeper who parried it and someone else finished off the rebound. Defence got tighter and we held on right till the end. Then in the final minute they forced a corner and after a bit of head tennis in the box the ball found the top corner.

There was still time for them to have another chance and I did well to palm a good shot away.

Absolutely gutted. Deserved that clean sheet and was very annoyed at the end. If I'm honest we didn't really deserve to win as we didn't play particularly well. But 'deserving to win' is not always the same as winning as I very well know being an Arsenal fan!

Result: 1-1 Draw
Personal Performance: Good. Kept us in it in the 2nd half and would have deserved a clean sheet. A busy 2nd half but I really enjoyed it. Been a while since I've had the chance to really contribute to a result having had a couple of seasons of winning comfortably each week and making saves at 0-0, 1-0 and 1-1 always feel better than a good save at 5-0. Team said I was 'player of the day' afterwards so it's been pleasing to make a good start with a new team.

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Allan
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You could end up your team's player of the season if most of your games are like that. lol
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invisibleman18
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lol
Well that's hardly a priority but it would be great to have good tight games like this all season.
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Sir Panda
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0/2 clean sheets?! If you were my keeper, I'd be transfer listing you!

Only joking Alex, congrats and well done. Very Happy
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invisibleman18
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Next week should be a tough game. The opposition have won both their games and won 6-2 today against the side who beat the Choppers 3-2 last week.
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invisibleman18
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League table so far:



Three Kings Elk Hider are this weekend's opposition so it's a good chance to establish ourselves as firm title contenders. On the other hand a loss will see us well off the pace already. Not sure if Elk Hider is somebondy's name, or if it's supposed to sound like a well known terrorist group. lol
May only be 2 games but it's always nice personally to have the least goals conceded. Looks like a much stronger league than one below where we played last year which is good. Last year my newteam Carlsberg, Metro Wong and my old team Fencibles were miles ahead of the rest. The Choppers and a couple 2 or 3 others were in the middle, then there were another 3 who lost in double figures every week. So far from the first 2 games it looks like Manurewa are the whipping boys while everyone else should give everyone else a decent game. I know Metro Wong are strong as they were the only side my team didn't take a point off last year while the new team also had difficulties against them. Ellerslie had a draw with them so they must also be reasonable while Bay Olympic beat the Choppers so should also be strong. The 2 Three Kings teams look strong from their results too. Should be a good hard fought league with a few teams in the title race.

Also pretty interested in seeing what Eastern Suburbs are like. They were a team who contacted me while I was looking for a team before the season. Their training happened to be the same time as Carlsberg's and I had already told them I would come along before Suburbs got in touch with me. Things worked out and I joined this team so it will be interesting to see where I could have played if it hadn't worked out with this lot.
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Allan
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Why is there 2 teams with the name 'Three Kings' at the start?
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Neil
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Why is there 2 teams with the name 'Three Kings' at the start?


Guessing same club.
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top_spin
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Surely just 2 clubs from the same place/uni etc named Three Kings Think
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invisibleman18
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They are 2 teams from the same club, Three Kings AFC. That's always allowed at this level and as Three Kings are one of the biggest clubs in NZ, they generally have at least 1 team in every single division. Elk Hider and Gomez are presumably the names of the coach/person in charge of either time in order to distinguish them from each other (Elk Hider may possibly be a pun on a famous terrorist organisation!). Just like Carlsberg distinguishes us from other Uni-Mt Wellington teams in other leagues. Last season we had 2 teams from Ellerslie in our division.
Eastern Suburbs is the biggest club in NZ I think. Like Three Kings, there's always at least 1 of them in every league.
[ Last edit by invisibleman18 April 19, 2008, 12:03 AM ] IP Logged
Neil
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Why no stick with 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc etc. lol
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invisibleman18
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What do you mean by that? 1st team, 2nd team etc?
Of course every club has an order of teams but some clubs like Three Kings and Eastern Suburbs for instance are big enough such that they actually have more mens teams than the number of divisions so there will be a couple of leagues where they have 2 teams.
Of course another possibility is that you have a Three Kings team who finishes mid table so remains in the same division and another one either comes up from the league below or down from the league above (since they have at least one team in every division). So the next year there will be 2 in this league. That seems to be what has happened here. Looking at last season's results, Three Kings Elk Hider have come down from the division above (even though the standings show them finishing 7th out of 10 so they should have avoided relegation - interestingly the 2 who should have come down are still in the above division this year Think) while Three Kings Gomez finished mid table in this league last season so remain in this one.
[ Last edit by invisibleman18 April 20, 2008, 05:02 AM ] IP Logged
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