After the Turkey got its feathers ruffled the weekend before by the Cockerel the fighting spurs were sharpened and ready for action.
This week facing the mighty Samurai the Turkey was determined to show that last week would not define this proud squad. Messages and meetings and a good training session promised a solid display to come. This is a small but tight knit unit and pride is a great motivator.
Early Sunday morning 15 Raiders turned up at 8am to prepare for what Captain Clemens declares ‘ a six pointer ‘. When Mike Owen committed to riding 60km to be there and Florian promised to play in a cast the die was cast.
Mirko, the hero and villain shrugged it his shoulders ( like only he can) and stepped between the posts.
In front of him Stephan and James (most consistent centre backs in the league ) guarded the gates, flanked by the returning and in form Mark and “3 games in 3 days “ Sipho.
The playmaker trio of Clemens ‘the enigma’, Kevin ‘80 minutes’ Fox and Sven ‘straight shooter ‘ set the tone of the game. From the start they set out to dominate.
Up top Dan ‘I’m working on my anger and going to listen to the coach’ stretched the very capable Samurai defence. Emmanuel ‘back flip’ Mbah and Chris ‘the hardest working Raider ever’ completed the starting lineup.
Secret weapons on the bench were Ben the ‘new silent assassin’, Mike ‘I’ll be there, pal’, Guido the ‘openly viscous assassin’ and ‘peg leg’ Florian.
Coach Colin announced that the 4-3-3 lineup was the same one that unlocked the Viking opposition in Thailand and we’d attack from the get go.
Right from the start the Raiders pressed the Samurai defence and created more chances in the first ten minutes than the whole previous game. We could have taken the lead several times had our attackers tried placing the ball instead of trying to launch ballistic missiles. Coach was calm as he knew so many shots on goal must produce results.
11 minutes in and Chris produces the opening goal assisted by Mark. This was the medicine needed to take the mental pressure off.
The Samurai moved into battle mode 2.0 and it was on.
James Q signalled to the coach that he needed to come off so Mark moved into the central defence with Stephan and Ben M slotted into fullback. Both lads were in top form, helped soak up any pressure and launched counter attacks. Both fullbacks working tirelessly trying to break down the opposition. The game was tight until half time with Raiders probing for that second goal to weaken the Samurai resolve.
At half time, Guido went into the middle for Sven and immediately made his Mark. The opposition number 56 who was their most dangerous player felt the full force of a Dutch assissination attempt. Yellow card but that was the end of that threat. A few more assisination attempts and the ref signalled that a further card was coming so the coach brought the assassin to the side and introduced the Scottish nuke. Immediately Mike imposed himself on the game and he and Kevin F (rolling back the years with a few sweet passes) controlled the midfield allowing Clemens to support the attack. Chris worked tirelessly all day trying to shake off the close attention of their full back and Hoggy continued to probe and stretch their defence. Shot after shot unleashed at the Samurai defence produced no breakthrough until the 32nd minute when Mirko sent a 70m precision pass for Emmanuel to run on to and ghost pass the Samurai defence to give the keeper no chance.
One minute later and Kevin (what’s he still doing on the field) Fox split the defence and that man Emmanuel grabbed his brace and celebrated with his customary backflip. 3:0 and the Samurai was slain by a Turkey.
The lads finished the game looking forward to a great contest next weekend against the cocks.