Saigon Raiders vs. SomeVietnameseTeam FC
“Hepburn has even taken to breaking his own teammates as well as opposition, and is this the end for Weston?”
With a late flurry of sign ups the Saigon raiders managed to get a pretty strong looking team to play this friendly and the sign up was closed early on Friday as we had sufficient numbers to take a good squad on the hour long trip to Than Thai for a friendly against another team in our extended (for 3 months) pre season.
However as in previous weeks things did not quite go according to plan in terms of player attendance. Anderson, Rolf and Potter didn’t show up with no explanation. This writer thinks this may be early attempts to take over from Ben Weston in the “Piss Crook” department as with Weston failing to attend once again looks increasingly unlikely to don a Raiders shirt in the near future. In Potters case there may be a valid excuse as Schaufler received no texts from his irate girlfriend stating that Saigon Raiders were ruining her life which suggests he may not have been out on the drink.
Schrieber somehow got forgotten about at the bar and the team departed without him. So that left us with 10. Roche, who had turned up to support whilst he continues his rehab following injury was forced to throw on a pair of boots 2 sizes too big for him and play against possibly the fastest Vietnamese winger Raiders have come across.
So Raiders took to the pitch to the familiar tune of “we don’t need no substitutes do dah do dah”
Things started off well for the Raiders who took an early lead through Perez. Things looked good as Raiders took control of the game with the new look defence keeping it tight at the back for the first ten mins before a through ball caught out the centre backs to make the score 1-1. However Raiders were back on top shortly afterwards as a long ball from Jonas was seized upon and slotted home by Colebrissi –who should have been in defence but we will let this slip as he did in fact score. Must have been the new boots.
A Goal from Schaufler playing in his penultimate game for the club before his big money move to Thailand, put Raiders 3-1 up but an uncharacteristic mistake from Fransechina allowed the opposing striker to round the keeper to make it 3-2. Schaufler however regained the two goal lead with a free kick which dropped into the bottom corner as Hepburn took out both the marking defender and the goalkeeper in one swoop.
Half Time – 4-2
No Substitutes to worry about again so back on for the second half.
An early goal from the local side put the score at 4-3 but raiders were not finished yet. As with most games the locals eventually start to tire and Raiders, who have been tired from the 2nd minute, start to exert superior strength and ball skills (yeah right) over the opposition. Some sleek passing from midfield found Vu in the 18 yard box and he duly slotted home to make is 5-3. Lars even got in on the action scoring his first for the club (which we will be hearing about for the next ten years).
Hepburn managed to pull a half volley just (4m) over the bar from 3 yards out but not before practically knocking out Schaufler as the two collided in the middle of the pitch. Schaufler took the full brunt of a Hepburn in full flight (which lets be honest is not that fast) clean in the face and likened the experience to being hit by a bus. He did however recover sufficiently to slot another goal home to round the scoring off to make it 7-3 by full time.
So that was it – 7-3 full time. 14 scored in the last 2 games and looking increasingly more comfortable on the ball. Solid performance from everyone involved and Perez managed to break his own personal best by not getting booked for a whole 62 minutes.
Back to the bar for a beer to celebrate – which took almost an hour and a half as the one traffic light in Ho Chi Minh City was out of order causing havoc. All in all a good performance and with some raiders putting their futures at this football club in jeopardy this is the perfect opportunity for those who are not regular starters to make a claim for a starting berth.
One final note – thanks to Sam Peters who now leaves the club to head back to Blighty. He made a significant impact in the short time he was here and even managed to squeeze in a tour for the team. He leaves with our best wishes and we hope to see him in a Raiders shirt in the future.