The Marlins were looking to get their first win of the season as they came up against a Bulls side, which had claimed a 4-1 win against ERS the previous week. After a sloppy start against Shanghai 2000, gaffer Steve wanted everyone to up their game and concentration levels from the first whistle. That was helped by a couple of players returning to action. Chatty Dale was back from his tour of Beijing and between the sticks, while Shanghai’s biggest set of calfs and dirtiest nice guy, Will, was back to bulldoze a couple of Bulls.
The game kicked off with the Marlins playing a new formation and they got off to a great start when Zhu played a well-weighted through ball for Pete Rosselli to pass into the corner of the net. It was nearly 1-1 soon after but for a great save by Dale who thwarted last season’s top goalscorer. The boys in blue were probing for a second but lacked the necessary cutting edge in the final third. They weren’t under any real threat from the Bulls who were well tamed but for the odd mistake or complicated passing by Shanghai Marlins.
At half-time, a couple of changes were made and Banksy went clapping mental as he gave an English lesson in syllables.
The second half saw the Marlins continue to create chances but fail to gain the all important two-goal cushion. The Bulls were restricted to long range shots, which rarely caused Dale any problems. There was nearly a Brazilian-esque goal when Dave (left-back) crossed for the onrushing John (right-back) to shoot, but unfortunately the moaning German keeper (Oliver Kahn) got in the way. The Bulls were lacking in fluidity and a mistake saw Ignacio go through on goal. The last defender brought him down just outside the area and duly received his marching orders. Soon after, the second goal for Shanghai Marlins finally arrived when James flung a left-foot at the ball, 25-yards from goal and watched it arrow into the top corner. Kahn – like Alejandro in Manhattans – had no chance! Nor does anyone else of winning the goal of the season award. A fantastic goal all but sealed the three-points with the Marlins playing the remainder of the game out and very much in control. Before the final whistle could be blown, a Bulls player did a two-footed lunge despite already being on a yellow card! Referee Kevin had little choice but to send him off for the stupid and crazy act. It was almost like some animal in a shop full of fragile items…
The game eventually came to an end and the Marlins head into the ‘international break’ with a win to reflect on. James meanwhile will be tugging furiously for an eternity over his personal achievement. Other mentions:
Banksy got nutmegged then pretended to be injured. Will got a yellow card in his first game of the season. Dan’s daily lunges paid off as he performed a terrific last ditch tackle. Loic wanted peace and quiet…Banksy the clapping monkey didn’t. And McGoo became Bambi on ice when in front of goal. A much better performance and something to build on after the two-week break.
Well played lads and enjoy the holidays…not too much though you tubby t***s.