Saigon Raiders Club

Match Report – Raiders Vs. Star United

Why oh why do we do it to ourselves? We know the Tao Dan stadium is hotter than Megan Fox on her summer holidays at the sun but still play games there. Thankfully it must have been a few degrees cooler than previous games because all boots remain present and accounted for with not a hint of melting glue. This is a particularly good thing for the taller/ larger members of the team because boots are hard to come by. (Just ask David Lauman)

With numbers capped at 15 for future games to allow everyone a good runout there were a few who missed the cut predominantly because they didn’t attend training (a warning to all) but the 15 who played put in a good performance to take home a 2-0 victory and gave the management the chance to have a look at some different options.

Raiders started strongly in the first half with new full back making their debuts marshaled by Schreiber and Hepburn and the opposition failed to create much in the way of clear cut openings. A one on one was saved excellently by the ever dependable Curvetta and despite being awarded a dubious penalty for a handball that never was, their striker managed to put it wide of the post. Raiders were creating a few chances of their own, but as seems to be the trend developing during preseason, the final ball was just a fraction to late or too hard meaning Johnston and Andrist were struggling to get shots off to test the keeper. Colebrissi, Muhmood Mears and Vu were causing trouble on the wings as they interchanged but crosses were few and far between as Raiders struggled to make any headway, which left Johnston and Jones chasing a lot of lost causes.

Half Time – 0-0
Ten bottles of water later the Raiders took to the field with an altered formation which proved to be inspired (even if I say so myself). Colebrissi took over from Hepburn as a member of the defence which is no commonly referred to as “No Goal Patrol” and Hepburn moved to Striker which would just as likely mean he would continue as a member of NGP but for the wrong reasons. Muhmood and Mears took to the wings in an effort to inject some speed and tireless running into the team against a side who were starting to show signs of tiring. As is always the way the Raiders are knackered by ten minutes but eventually the opposition tires too and we start to impose ourselves on the game. And so it was – for the most part the raiders had the better of the second half. Johnston, who was clearly trying to impress both girlfriend her father, was taking the game by the scruff of the neck. Picking up a flick on about 25 yards out he held off the defender to score a cracking goal from about 15 yards out. 1-0 to the raiders. And he was not finished there either. An almost identical build up saw him lob the keeper only to see the ball bounce over the bar by millimeters. With ten to go and the raiders getting tired again the defence was called upon to shore up and the opposition was reduced to long range efforts. This would not have been a worry had we not attempted to substitute our keeps during open play leaving Vu attempting to put his gloves on whilst the opposition are shooting. Despite that faux pas, (and the fact that at one stage we had 3 left wingers playing) the raiders managed to double the score. Jones had given an early warning to the opposition when he beat the keeper only to see the shot cleared off the line. Johnston turned provider this time, running to the bye line with the ball and cutting back to Hepburn who beat the defender to the ball and slotted home from 10 yards. All in all a very good performance considering the changes that were made to both formation and players. We managed to take home a respectable victory against a team that would not look out of place in the SIFL.

Lots for the management to think about over the next few weeks as we build up to the ashes. At the time of writing already 10 have signed up for this weekends game so competition for places is hotting up.


P.S. no prizes for Guessing where the ashes game is being played

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