Pelican's First Team is Triumphant vs. a gamey Bafana squad 4-2
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.