After three straight league defeats it was time to salvage something from the remainder of the season with a winnable match against Gemadept. Ultimately not as winnable as we thought originally.
Time for the excuses…Song Phat is not the easiest place to play, a fairly big pitch and its resemblance to a beach rather than a grassy area is ever increasing.
The first fifteen minutes and Raiders were pushing hard and passing well, and that saw us take the lead after Laurie put the onrushing Henno through in the box who sidefooted his shot low past the keepers left.
The first half finished with Raiders 1-0 up, but despite all the half time chest thumping about going for the second goal, we were soon pegged back to 1-1 with a Gemadept breakaway. The heavy pitch (excuse) was leading to some tired legs, and Gemadept having a fair bit of pace down the wings they were causing us some problems. Enough problems to then go 2-1 up, the chain of events erased from my mind forever by the built in selective memory involved in recalling football matches we don’t win.
However, it wasn’t all one way traffic and Raiders gained some momentum back. Pressure in the box led to Henno being poleaxed by the onrushing Gemadept goalkeeper in what looked like a well practiced WWE move. Unfortunately though for Henno’s arse this wasn’t acting. Rightly, the referee pointed to the spot – it was at least 2 meters inside the box so the old ‘I’ll give it right on the line even though it was inside’ trick was not applicable. Laurie, perhaps still with visions of projectile shitting babies bothering him, saw his penalty saved and Raiders unable to turn in the rebound.
Salvation was at hand however, as more Raiders pressure led to the equaliser, with Nico and Toby winning the opportunity in the box after it had been crossed in from the right. Toby eventually found himself through on goal and from a narrow angle chipped the ball across goal, over the keeper and into the side of the net – a touch of the Messi in that finish.
Squad: Angelo, Anthony, Luke (with hair), Luke (no hair), Tarek, Andreas, Paddy, Vu, Jon, Fabrizio, Henno, Laurie, Nico, Toby