Lakeside 2, Polonia 0

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Lakeside 2, Polonia 0

Post  Matt Marcin...z on Sun May 15, 2016 11:01 pm

Wind, the smallest of snowflakes, bad officiating from the center ref, one-then-zero subs for Polonia, and a Matt Marcinkiewicz own goal--if you want the Twitter/TL;DR version of the recap, there it is.  I'll attempt to make the longer version worth reading.

Arriving at Sahlens around 5:45 (I took the scenic circuitous route there, through East Aurora, for a little effort at a psychological boost), I wasn't necessarily encouraged by what I saw: snowflakes, but not many Polonia players for said snow to fall upon.  I knew we were going to be without Derek and Aaron Andrews for this one, but the early returns were telling me that their road trip to Colorado might've turned into a teamwide trip.  George had apparently suffered an injury on Thursday, and his absence for this particular game turned out to be pretty significant, because Lakeside offered us plenty of passing lanes and a good amount of time on the ball--I think George would've picked this team apart.  Not that we didn't have some good spells of possession and tic-tac-toe (plus a few more tics and tacs) passing sequences without him, but in all honesty, George was probably the most significant absence today.  Overall, we began the game with 12 while the yellow and blue had 13.

Lakeside had the wind for the first half (even if the wind was blowing moreso from the direction of the Sahlens indoor facility to Seneca Street, if you're familiar with the layout of the complex there--that's to say that the wind was mostly blowing from one sideline to the other, but it did also aid the team attacking from the north) and they certainly had the better of the chances.  Acheampong and Brobbey have pace, and their midfield was springing the former pretty regularly in the first half (Brobbey seemed to become more of a factor in the 2nd).  Their outside midfielders, numbers 19 and 22 being the ones I noted, were getting in plenty of crosses--I won a few and substitute sweeper Dave Ciepiela (who had a very strong game) won the majority, but there were threatening opportunities created.  The wind and longish grass may have interfered with a couple final balls (Acheampong sure thought so, and I'm not going to argue him there).  Brian was called upon to make a couple point blank saves, keeping the score 0-0.  Maybe 35 minutes in, a diagonal ball was played towards Acheampong and myself.  The sun and my fucking long hair both conspired to cause my first touch to be suboptimal.  I got a second touch on it (I believe the progression here was chest, then header), and the ball was still no closer to being under my control (this was perhaps just inside the 18).  At this point, I was losing my balance, and I briefly considered making no further effort at the ball and hoping that Brian would bail us out yet again with a sick save from close range.  Instead, I decided to go for a prayer of an attempted clearance--I knew I wasn't going to be able to get off an overhead kick, so I basically just wanted to put it over our own bar, or (ideally) towards the sideline, if I could manage to get the outside of my foot on it.  Unfortunately, I kicked it entirely straight on, and as the ball was in flight (a flight which seemed to be occurring in slow motion), I realized there was a decent chance I had just chipped Brian, Garrett Robinson-style.  Sure enough, Brian's effort at keeping it out was much like his retreating effort at saving Robinson's much-more-intentional chip from last week, but unfortunately, the result was the same.  Hey, I hear that in some subcultures, having an OG next to one's name is something to respect.  Guess it's time for me to suit up for Compton FC (or Polonia, were it actually based in the Polonia section of Buffalo).

So 1-0 Lakeside, 35 minutes or so in.  I got some touches on the ball immediately after the next kickoff, helping to facilitate the forgetting process.  I really wanted to get forward this game, as Lakeside seemed kind of beatable to me defensively (and I saw their scoreline from last week).  Ultimately, although I certainly was pressing towards the end of the second half, I didn't accomplish as much offensively as I wish I did (even if I don't think I gave the ball away once today, in possession).  Anyway, the halftime whistle blew (seemingly prematurely to both Dave and me, but it's always difficult to judge the time in-game without the benefit of the scoreboard.  Certainly wouldn't have faulted the ref for shaving a few minutes in those conditions).

Halftime, our elder statesman Chuck Donner announced he had an injury that he probably shouldn't play through, but given our numbers and Chuck's intense competitive spirit, it was no surprise to hear he was going to attempt to play through it.  He'd apparently been injured on a scoring chance where most people were preoccupied with Chuck's attempt on goal, but given the vehemence with which he protested to the AR about being fouled, you knew something had occurred.  Chuck said that the defender (not sure which) made no attempt to play the ball and induced a calf injury in the process.

Well, sure enough, not long after he subbed into the game in the second half, he was down for the count.  Mo assisted in the effort to guide him off the field, which provided a few chuckles.  So we were subless at that point (not that Lakeside had massive numbers themselves).  As mentioned earlier, Brobbey was starting to make his presence felt more in the second half, with some dangerous runs through the middle of the pitch where he'd beat a few people, then typically pass to an outside midfielder or forward Acheampong (often the one on my side, as I'd be forced to challenge him lest he walk into our box and pick a corner).  Aside from one point blank shot that knocked the wind out of Brian, Lakeside were getting fewer quality chances than they did in the first half, even if they probably had more attacking third possession in the second half.  Polonia is a team that commits to team defending no matter what eleven players happen to be out there, and today was no exception, even if there were a few more gaps at times than there might've been on another day.  The effort will always be there--or so I think.  M Adam Funke does a terrific job battling defensively week in and week out, and the same can be said about M Dan Helman (who returned from injury today).

Speaking of the latter...here's where I can segue into criticizing the middle official.  Female, not sure of her name, but...she had a pretty poor second half in my opinion.  There was one second half Polonia counterattack where we built out of the back--Dave to LB Chris Knauser, who found either Adam or Mo, who in turn found Dan near the center circle, who fended off a challenge before springing F Justin Bracci right down the middle, and Justin had a step on the nearest defender, and there's no one between him and the keeper...until the ref blows the whistle and signals a free kick for Lakeside at the spot where Dan had passed the ball.  I'm not really one to stifle myself in criticizing what I perceive to be legitimately bad calls (my yellow card against EA was for dissent), and I immediately started yelling about the obvious fact that, you know, we'd had possession that entire sequence--where could there have been a foul?  I asked, half-jokingly, "did he stiff-arm him?", which drew laughs from the nearest Lakesiders.  Hearing from Dan after the game, apparently there had been a collision with a Lakeside midfielder after the breakaway-creating pass was made, and because the Lakeside player had fallen as a result, she called it back for a foul.  Ugh.  Given some of the no-calls in this game (more on that shortly), it's pretty poor/weak that that would be the call that gets made.  In a game where we had few quality chances for the most part, it's not easy to see one get sacrificed at the altar of, ahem, questionable officiating

Game goes on; we're still down 1-0, but our possession is getting a bit more dangerous overall--a little further upfield, a few corners, a free kick from a dangerous spot, etc.  Trending up.  Dave moved up to defensive midfield, and he was spurring the momentum.  Then with about five minutes left, I thought we had the equalizer.  The sequence is difficult to describe, because multiple players were involved, two fouls could've (I complained about the one in particular, but F Justin LeVasseur was calling for a red card and a PK for the one that I didn't see) been called, and I thought we'd scored twice...but ultimately, with the help of a handball that was the source of Justin's complaint, Lakeside evaded equalization.  Mo basically got football tackled in the box early in this sequence...I still thought he was going to score (and I assumed that's why there was no call at that point).  But then when the ball was (apparently) kept out via handball...well, I didn't see that so well, and I guess the referee didn't, either.  I still thought the first foul was glaring enough to complain about pretty vociferously.  We ended up with a few consecutive corners at this point, everyone up, applying the pressure...but once a clearance was made to near midfield, where our goalkeeper stood, M Andrew Brobbey was just a half-step quicker to that ball, and he had 55 yards all to himself.  A Lakesider near me said "ten bucks that me misses this"--I don't know if Brobbey has a poor track record in practice of shooting on open goals, but I said "I'll take that bet" as he dribbled on with a couple Polonia players in not-close-enough pursuit.  He waited longer to shoot than I thought (making me wonder whether his teammate was right, before finding the...corner...(Lakeside's apparently informed prop bettor: "Side netting?").  2-0, an EN goal to go with the OG, and that about did it.

Good game to Lakeside and GL the rest of the season

Matt Marcin...z
EPL
EPL

Number of posts : 286
Team : Polonia
Full Name : Matt Marcinkiewicz
Registration date : 2013-06-28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum