|Miramar Rangers 1 v BNU Pilsner 2 - 15/04/11|
Altered Images and Happy Birthday storm up the charts.
Yep Pilsner are Altered Images alright. Gone is the lack of self belief, the sometimes playing without team spirit, in the crappy old kit. Now the lads are rocking, enjoying their performances and playing like the tight band we all knew they could become. Even the steady drizzle at Te Whaea, one of their favourite venues, failed to put a damper on things, as each member put in a display full of passion and desire.
Miramar in contrast are odd bunch of dudes comprising a few old rockers and loads of Justin Bebo lookalikes, so no wonder they failed to gel on the night. Still they kicked off the evening brightly enough, prompted by their diminutive but experienced player-manager in midfield and one or two of the Justins looked briefly threatening, if there is such a thing.
Pilsner gradually began to find their rhythm, with John in particular enjoying the wide open spaces down the left and although they lost Shane early on, a goal from one of their typically swift counter attacks was always on the cards. Meantime Dan came in for some rough treatment as he was cynically blocked off when bearing down on goal – Simply Red the guys were yelling – but the gaffer, reffing the first half, showed leniency and kept the card in his pocket.
No worries, a few moments later John was through again and finished in trademark style for 1-0, after a good build up. He soon turned provider, putting in several inviting crosses, but the supporting midfield crew were slow to arrive. No keeping the front man out of the limelight though, as he then hit a bum note by missing a sitter from inside the 6 yard box. At the other end birthday-boy Don was marshalling the back line superbly and anything that did find its way through was capably dealt with by cool-hands Richie.
After the interval there was a special guest appearance by Jacky and he turned on the style just as the fans knew he would. However the show took a momentary turn for the worst when Miramar’s player manager took over the whistle and centre stage by awarding a well-dodgy penalty, as James was adjudged to have fouled Justin, or was it Justin, as the ball rolled harmlessly out of play. Richie got a hand to the kick but it was tied up at 1-1. Dan was reluctantly withdrawn, but this allowed Jacky to play up front and after a couple of near misses, he then nailed one into the top left corner for 2-1 lead.
Despite a spirited response from Rangers, the Pilsner defence was outstanding, and the likes of Carl and James in midfield worked their socks off. As the game became increasingly stretched, Charles in particular had several opportunities to put the game to bed, but his final deliveries were a bit off key. No arguing when full-time was up, as the stadium lights went out, so the ref couldn’t add any more than the 5 minutes of additional time that he had already mysteriously allowed.
So to the Southern Cross, in the early hours of Saturday morning, where I felt a bit like the band’s lead singer Claire Grogan. You know - the scene from Gregory’s Girl - where she’s laying on her back looking at the stars and doing the wacky legs-and-arms-in-the-air dancing thing. Just celebrating a very Happy Birthday with The Don, his great man of the match performance and a well deserved three points, that put Pilsner up to joint second spot in the charts.
Don’t Talk To Me About Love. Just footie.
Team: Richie (8), Pete (7), Mike B (8), Don (9), Mike H (8), Doug (7), Carl (7), Shane (7), James (8), John (8), Dan (8)
Subs: Charles (7), Jacky (8), Ed (8)
MOM: The Don
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