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The Pelican’s pulled out a 4-2 victory over a better than their record Bafana squad last Sunday. The weather was horrendous at the feaux turf Riverside High-School field. With torrential downpours, and hurricane and tornado warnings througout Roswell, the teams were anxious to get the game started. From what one of the players on the Bafana squad told me, there was a Tidle wave that hit the North end of 285, just a few hundred feet south of the stadium that we were playing at. Yes, it was cold as well. It was a brisk 45 degrees at game start, and definitely was below 0 by the end of the game. Did I mention that we played up hill both halves as well?
Enough about me, let’s get to the game.
The game did not start off very well for the feisty Pelican’s squad. They squandered as many clear opportunities in the first half as the Bafana squad capitalized on. The Pelican’s were definitely looking to assert their posession, but getting accustomed to the turf in the first half proved difficult. The counter attacks came from the efforts of both teams trying to bring the ball down and string a few passes together. The first two goals mid-way throught the first half came on well timed counter attacks. Bafana went up on about the 10-15min mark of the first half, with a well timed counter attack. When the first goal came through, they pierced the Pelican’s midfield and defense like most quarterbacks pierce the Cleveland Browns Defense. They strung a good 4-5 passes together before shooting the through ball in to the forward, who capitalized on his breakaway opportunity. Their second goal came in a much similar fashion just minutes later. Down 2-0, the Pelican’s just wanted to get through the half without getting any more goals scored on them. Believe me, I was there…at least I think that was me. Although the Bleu tried to string passes together, when they would, they were unable to captilize on their attacks, which proved disheartening…all these things against them, and they still went into the half down only two goals, which could very easily have been more.
Now, before I get into the second half, I have a quick comment, which I think most members would agree with. I was very impressed with the way the team came together during the half. Even though many of us were down and upset by the way we played the first half, we all rallied together and came out with a unified mission. To Dominate, and Destroy. A mottow that I like to use when driving across 285 every morning. Although, disheartened by the first half result, we definitely did a number on them in the second half, and we rallied well around each other. If you’re on the team, be it the first or the second, we want you there. Because you have a bad game, doesn’t mean you don’t belong. Everyone who’s on the teams belongs there.
Now, the second half (at least the first minute or so) started out like the first ended. That was until the Pelican’s started sticking in on tackles. We began winning 50/50 balls, and that started to wear the opponents down. I remember right before the first goal, the Pelican’s were working the sidelines, and posessing the ball much better than they did in the first. Cory Morgan just missed on a well timed strike diving across the six yard box, but in his collision with the keeper (who made the save), he injured his knee. If the goalkeeper were not a bit crazy, this would have been one of the best finishes in the game. from that moment on, we scored four straight goals in the next 30 minutes.
The first came from a beautiful through ball to Mike Skurski, who drove the length of the opponents half, and finished with a technical and professional brilliance that he lacked in his first half’s finishes.
After that goal, I remember looking at Garritt, and saying to him, that they didn’t want it, we wanted it more than them. Now, I know this isn’t college, but it sure felt good to see a team crumbling, and "giving up" for a lack of a better term. The second goal came from a perfectly placed corner kick from Lawrence, don’t call me Larry, Monroe. He placed it right between the six and the second six (the pk spot for the leyman), and the one they call Josh, finished with a punishing header. The goalkeeper actually told me he was crying after I scored. I told him that it wasn’t the first time that had happened to me. The third goal, and game winning goal, came with Scooter, again on his horse after his first half’s performance, racing down the side of the field, and getting a cross off…Putting his faith in Luqmon’s clairvoyance (in which The Luq told Scooterski that he would need him at some point in the second half), bounced a cross to the near post at the six. I swear, Luq took 14 seconds to eye the ball up, and make sure that he finished it in the side panel near post. But it did the trick, and the Pelican’s were up 3-2, and dominating play. The Bafana squad was weary, and down, as this has been typical of their squad for the last two years. Solid first half, weak second (sound familiar?). East Cobb Snobbs is what they are…The final "body blow" (Mike Tyson’s punch-out), came in the last 5 minutes of the game, as Garrit scored on an Alexckchs cross.
Demoralized, dominated, and defeated, the Bafana squad just cleared the ball the remaining five minutes of the game. They had a few scrambles during the second half, but thanks to some good saves by Steve, and some great hustle by the defense, they kept the clean sheet the second half. A side note, Alex Cameron had a stellar performance stepping up to help our squad out. He played well, and gave us a boost of speed that we needed against a well rounded team.
Great performance by the squad, and great perseverence by the entire team. Truly a great team performance in the second half. The elements, the pitch, and the referees were all against us during the match. We did not let any of these obstacles get in our way.
Have a great week off, and a Happy Thanksgiving. If you’re out tonight, be sure to buy me a shot…wait, yeah, buy me a shot. I’ll be there in a minute. We return on 12/6, at 3pm vs. Wings Select at ACC. Be ready, run off some of that turkey and stuffing, and be ready for a war. They play similar to Bafana, but don’t stop.
Peace, from Smyrna.
On Sunday the Screaming Pelican’s entered the match fit and enthusiastic to avenge the previous weeks loss vs. Majestic.
As the match started, they controlled the tempo, working the ball up through the defense, up to the forwards, dominating posession. Havoc had few chances in the first half, but those that they did, were on counter attacks, just missing target three times. The tempo was with Pelicans, though, and they seized the moment about half way through the first half. After playing a ball into a checking Lawrence Monroe, he laid the ball off to a streaking Ricky Wells, who played a beautiful through ball off of the right wing to Garritt Tucker. Tucker, then inside of the 18, tucked the ball with professional composure and skill, into the left corner. The build up play was brilliant, and lacked little in the finish, as the Pelicans were confident going into the end of the half.
The second goal came shortly after (goals follow goals), as a strong and confident Diapa, worked hard to get through the defense on the right side of the oppositions box. With plenty of time, he played the ball across the mouth of the goal box, with Scooter Skurski coming across the top of the box, he left it for another streaking midfielder Abebe, who with similar skill to Garritt, tucked the ball into the right corner. Brilliant play again from the Pelican’s side, as they took a commanding 2-0 lead at the half.
The second half was a total turn of posession after the first 10 minutes. The pace of the game took that of a high-school soccer match, as both teams played a bit of kickball to start the half. Havoc had a change of formation, as their central midfield had been unsuccessful in their attack in the first half. Havoc’s first strike of luck, came after about 10 minutes into the half where their left midfielder found a crease in the defense, and beat the side near post. Momentum was starting to change, as about 15 minutes later, they found another small gap in the defense and midfield, and a streaking forward finished a cross to the keeper’s right side. Match tied 2-2. The remaining 15 minutes, was well fought, and battled. Although evenly matched, there were several iffy whistles, that left Pelican’s players scratching their head. These extra whistles were definitely unbalanced, and may have played significantly into the momentum changes during the match. Finally, it all came to a head in the 89th minute, as Havoc was attacking from their defense and midfield. They crossed the ball in, and in an attempt to make a diving header, Havoc lead Punk, #7, flopped as he missed goal. The referee, in stunning, lazy fashion (as he had all game), blew the whistle, and pointed to the spot. He had called a penalty kick, on a forwards attempt at a diving header.
The penalty was executed, although Pelican goalkeeper Steve Cantonis made a great effort and almost got a hand on the kick.
As the whistle blew to continue the match, with Pelicans down 2-3, there was little if any time, and the game ended shortly thereafter.
Pelican’s were left with a feeling of being violated. Like going out with your buddies, and getting hammered, then waking up, not knowing where you are, and looking around to find you’re in a cell with a big ugly guy named Ox. It wasn’t a good feeling.
To all the Pelican’s, a great effort, let’s work on our fitness a bit through the week, and come back gunning. If you need some visual stimulus, other than watching Rehab, Party at the Hard Rock, you can watch Arsenal vs. Sunderland. Have a good one, and if you enjoy reading my articles and want to be cool, vote for # 13 for your MOM each week (just kidding).
Our next match is Sunday, November 22, at 11am, vs. Bafana. The match will be at Riverwood High School, on their turf.
Not only did the Screaming Pelicans FC squad suffer defeat, losing 1-0 on a late counter attack goal, but they lost 2 starting strikers due to injury. Bryan Hollaway went down early in the first half with a badly sprained ankle leaving SPFC side to play much of the first half with 10 players. Having only 10 players did not slow down the SPFC attack as possession and scoring opportunities were clearly in favor of SPFC. A late arrival by Aleks Zhelyazkov put SPFC back to 11 players to finish off the 1st half. Overall, SPFC was clearly the more talented team, but AC Majestic hustled and used a deep bench to continually pressure and foul SPFC. The second half saw SPFC continue to push the attack creating several good chances. A good save midway through the 2nd half by the AC Majestic keeper kept the game at 0-0. A well timed ball sent SPFC striker Braden Overbeck through on a clear breakaway, however as he went straight down the middle the keeper came out. Braden beat the keeper pushing ball past him only to have the keeper take out his feet and in the process breaking his leg. No penalty kick was awarded nor was a red card. The SPFC side was now down to 10 men with 3 injured players on the bench. SPFC continued to fight and dig deep, especially after not playing for 3 weeks. A late counter attack by AC Majestic saw one of only 2 real scoring chances beat the SPFC keeper for the game’s only goal. It was tough loss as SPFC not only to lost to a side that was clearly dominated throughout the match, but also lost 2 SPFC players in the process. SPFC looks to get back on track next Sunday against Havoc FC, 3pm at ACC.
Screaming Pelicans FC is set to take on AC Majestic this Sunday at their home field (Atlanta Christian College) at 3pm. AC Majestic is a newly promoted D3 team, formerly AC Terminus, who joined the Majestic soccer club.
The Pelican side will be looking for their 3rd win in four attempts this season. The expectations are high for this team as they are the 2nd highest finisher in the division from last season.
The attack minded Pelican FC side will look to come out and press early to test this newly promoted team, but will also be cautious to feel out their new opponent.
The Screaming Pelicans FC squad backed with 3 reserve team players (Warner, Lamond, and McAbee) came away with an impressive win vs AMG Silverbacks. 5 goals were notched on the day that saw a dominating performance with little work for the Screaming Pelicans FC keeper. However, AMG did not give up and got a last minute goal to keep Screaming Pelicans FC from getting their 2nd clean sheet in 3 games. Goals were scored by Braden Overbeck (2), Bryan Hollaway, Josh Abebe, and Jay Hornback.