Friday, 16 May 2008

Memorable game #1

Frecheville Blades 3 Beitar Katamonim 2
DFA Premiership, 13th May 2008

Billy Sharp's long-awaited debut ended in success for the Blades. Star attacking midfielder Leonardo Pisculichi spread play wide left to Foster Amadi (No. 11), whose crisp one-two with Sharp resulted in the opening goal on 10 minutes.

The lead lasted for 23 minutes, when a dangerous corner played into the box resulted in a trip by new anchor man Dino Djiba on Beitar midfielder Andrei Ionescu. Edgar Barreto coolly converted from 12 yards.

5 minutes later Beitar suffered a massive blow when £1.1M rated striker Nicolaj Agger was stretchered off, and the Blades survived until half-time with the score at 1-1, despite two good Beitar chances. Beitar had definitely been on top.

The complexion of the game changed midway through the second half. A surging run down the right wing and into the box from Blades full-back Greg Halford resulted in a neat cutback to Djiba, whose powerful shot deflected off the unlucky Ionescu (No. 6) to end up in the net and make up for his earlier mistake.

The lead was extended just two minutes later when Sharp's deep speculative cross found Amadi, who headed back across goal, for the gratefully waiting to half-volley home. In the absence of the recently departed Briand and Montero, it was great to see the two reserve strikers linking up so well.

The Blades switched from their initial 4-4-2 formation to a more defensive 5-4-1, with Sharp up front on his own. Things still got a bit tense late on as Beitar pulled one back when a perfectly timed run from Claudio Acosta allowed him to head home powerfully from Davidov's cross.

Nerves were jangling as the game closed out, but the Blades eventually took the victory, with a tight 3-2 win over fellow strugglers Beitar proving vital to the turnaround in their fortunes. Nine games after this we would travel to league leaders Kaswell and steal a 2-o win there, so this really was a key game.

Beitar had every right to feel unlucky here - they had 57% of possession and 11 shots to the Blades 7. However, they only managed 4 on target, and the difference in quality of finishing proved key. Did the first half injury to their key striker have a massive impact? Who cares - three points on the board!


Andy da dudester Coburn said...

What a waste of money! what a waste of money! ;)

Nik the Mod said...

Us top managers have to get used to this jealousy from rivals...