It was meant to be a bye for BXVI this week. A bye that many in the team looked forward to, to recover from injuries, have a night off, take a well earned break. However, it was not to be. Tom Cats, who you remember from an earlier report are not terribly good, forfeited for the second week in a row, so Revolution Sports offered to Melis that we could take their place against Floreat Frogs.
Unfortunately, Justin Carrick was unable to play, but Chris Laundy was, along with all the other regulars (Mike, Cat, Dave, Melis, Marguerite & Monty).
The game started well for BXVI, with Mike controlling a well timed throw from Monty, turning and shooting past the hapless keeper. Moments later, Mike and Chris combined for Chris to slot home the second goal. Mike came off for Dave who tore the Frogs’ defence to shreds a number of times and was unlucky not to score. He finally got the breakthrough before half time, nutmeging (passing the ball through the defender’s legs and collecting it on the other side) the Frogs’ best player to score a brilliant individual goal.
The first half was not without incident, however. Floreat’s diminutive players decided to play a physically aggressive style of play. Not a terribly good decision for their part as the BXVI players were up to half a metre taller and 40 kg heavier than the Frogs. After the initial disbelieving shock that such tiny people were actually trying to beat up their much larger opponents, BXVI stood their ground as the tiny Frogs bounced off them. The referee wisely (IMO) allowed play to continue in this manner as it was clear that any physical contact sustained by the Frogs was brought on by their own actions. Though the referee did become a little inconsistent as the game wore on, giving Monty a yellow card for a save that took out the opposing player and probably deserved a free kick, but definitely not a card, given the play that the referee had allowed to go unpunished. More on this later.
Monty stayed in goals in the second half, performing excellently on the few decent opportunities the Frogs had. Dave and Chris had a superb run of play for a few minutes, with Chris scoring twice. Mike replaced Chris, then Chris replaced Dave soon after. Mike and Marguerite combined for an easy goal for Mike, then a minute later came the second easiest goal Mike has ever scored (in 12 years playing competitive soccer). Chris stole the ball from the Frogs in BXVI’s defence and ran forward through the remnants of the Frogs’ defence. He had only one player to beat to be one-on-one with the keeper, but the keeper came right out of his area to stop Chris. Mike had also sprinted forwards to the goals and Chris slotted through a perfectly timed pass to Mike who was a metre from goals with the nearest player 10 metres away. Mike calmly controlled the ball, walked it forward and tapped it into the net.
Unfortunately, as Mike was jogging back to the line for the restart, his right knee twinged and that was the end of the night for Mike.
BXVI’s success in the game was largely due to the superb defence of Melis, Cat and Marguerite. Because they so effectively shut down the key Floreat players, it meant BXVI always had a guy free for a quick counter-attack. Every time the Frogs went forward, the girls cut off their options and forced them to make errors. Their praise cannot be sung highly enough, as with Monty, who was rock-solid in goals and provided the impetus for the counter-attacks on more than one occasion.
Floreat’s frustration was evident at the end of the game, when Chris ran past Floreat’s worst offender in the “playing dirty” stakes (we’ll call him Mr Richard Head for obvious reasons). Richard didn’t like someone taking the ball off him so easily, so he charged at Chris well after Chris had run forward and passed the ball to Dave, knocking him to the ground. Obviously this sort of cowardly behaviour incensed Chris, who turned on Richard and asked what he thought he was doing. Richard promptly tried to start a fight with Chris when Dave stepped in telling Richard to back off. At which point, Richard’s sister stepped in an mouthed off at Dave, causing Richard to accuse Dave of “touching his sister” (Dave must have had long, invisible arms to manage that feat!). Finally the referee stepped in to break up the situation. It was all quite amusing really. We think Richard picked on Chris because Chris was the closest in height to Richard, maybe only 10 cm taller, but Chris would easily be 20kg of muscle heavier than Richard. And of course
Dave just looked like a giant compared to Richard! What made it funnier was that Richard’s sister was even smaller and lighter than Richard, probably the same size as an older primary school kid!
BXVI won convincingly 7-0, with Monty keeping a clean sheet, Mike and Chris scoring 3 each and Dave scoring one to remain top of the league.