The Marlins aimed to return to winning ways following their narrow defeat to Century Park. In their way stood a Gremio side with some shinpadless players and a general sense of unfamiliarity as they delayed kick-off and pre-match rituals trying to establish who played where.
Prior to the game, Pete Rosselli and Simon Moore requested to use the club’s toilet facilities and lose some weight in the process. They were advised to make use of the often broken and paper-free portaloos instead of the normal toilets they were standing next to.
After initially dismissing the offer, they came across a female worker at the club who spoke enough English to explain that the toilets are for club members only. Despite the team having access to the pitch, they are unable to have access to anything else, so Moore’s first offer was to leave his personal mark on the pitch. That was ignored.
He then protested the clear stupidity of it all and asked the woman if she thought it was ok to not let them use the normal toilets? She nodded and said, “Yes.” “You’re a terrible person,” replied Moore, whose finger pointed directly at the socially inept woman to ensure she knew he meant her.
The perplexed duo made their way to the local hut and its holes in the floor before preparing loosely for a game with as much significance as a Ligue 1 match.
Once the game got underway, Shanghai Marlins in their white parachute tops, took control of proceedings. A series of openings were created but thwarted by a combination of good goalkeeping, poor finishing and/or terrible officiating. Like, really terrible.
Trying to explain the basic rules of football to both opponents and officials, some of the Marlins’ players were encouraged to remain calm and ignore the nonsense. Jamie Gerrard was accused of being uneducated in his evaluation while Rosselli was introduced to the versatility of the word ‘fuck’ by being called as such as he requested the opponent to not ask for cards like a slimy, Mediterranean twat.
Fabio Gillue was unable to fill that quota in the Marlins’ side as he was nursing a back and hip problem that has plagued his performances both on the pitch and in the bedroom for years.
After constant plugging away (ala Gillue), Shanghai Marlins took the lead thanks to a towering, uncompromising, bullet of a header by Moore. That is of course, if he knew anything about it. A great delivery by stand-in captain, Wilson Scott, pulled the keeper into no-man’s land, otherwise known as ‘the club’s facilities’, and Moore was there to nod/face the ball into an empty net.
Dave Watson put the shame of Newcastle’s attempts to win at Villa Park to one side by producing “a great touch.” But Alejandro Ossandon’s opinion of Watson’s work on his beaten balls is his and his alone. Watson also controlled the ball really well at one particular point.
Half-time came with the Marlins’ holding a convincing one-goal lead. Manager, Steve Fishwick, wanted more patience on the ball and his side to stop missing so everyone could relax a bit more.
The second half was much the same as Jamie Lally, Scott and Rosselli all came close to doubling Shanghai Marlins’ advantage. The Gremio tactic of shouting when a player was about to shoot seemed to sit better with the referee than the Marlins. This led to Watson performing some sort of carking sound and arms flapping by his side prior to the Gremio keeper’s goal-kick.
Gremio equalised against the run of play and bird impressions, when a player (they probably didn’t know his name either) toe-punted his shot in at the near post.
This was a game the Marlins could not lose given their dominance and they retook the lead when a Gremio player labeled ‘Precious’ by Gerrard hauled the Middlesbrough fan to the ground. That’s Middlesbrough of the Premier League now, Dave.
The Bearded Magician, Scott, stepped up to score his second penalty in as many matches.
Further chances and opportunities were squandered but the win never looked in doubt, unless you’re Steve who fails to be remotely calm during any football match given his experiences with Man City.
Full-time did arrive and the Marlins deservedly claimed all three-points in what was a fairly turgid affair with little enjoyment for the spectators. Think any Adam Sandler film in the last 10 years.
Dan Griffiths and Dave Watson shared the man of the match award thanks to their solid defending, ball tampering, unpunished fouls and attempts of distraction.
Dale Johnson played in goal. Scott has two sacks.