Monday, June 27, 2011

MATCH REPORT; Guilford 3 Madison 0

Report by Jodingo!!

To Be Humped, or Not to be Humped?

Ay, there's the was a sunny, muggy morning in Guilford and a pitch infested with swarming mosquitoes helped the Madison Celts squad warm up, like a bikram yoga session, for their important match against rival Guilford Bell Curve. Madison had the numbers though to sub regularly throughout the game as 17 or 18 players were ready and eager to play. With Johnaldo absent, an injured Rugginho attempted to fill his shoes as coach, complete with clipboard and field tactics. The match got off to a fast pace, with both teams looking dangerous and fighting hard for the ball. It was evident that ball control was key and both teams were passing well and concisely. El Flaco and DS subbed in after arriving late to the match, and Flaco buzzed about the midfield taking and stealing the ball at will, and then making deep runs into the Bell Curve's end. It seemed that the Bell Curve strategy was to boot the ball long and have their forwards run after it. It was exactly that tactic that caught the Celtic back line on their heels. With Celtic seemingly in control in the midfield and making a number of dangerous runs at the Bell Curve goalie ( who in his own right, is one of the primary reasons why the Curve has the lowest goal-against tally in the league) it was then that the first big mistake by the Celtic defense was made. A long ball up the center, from their left middie, over the head of Goggs, sent it into a footrace to the top of the Celts' 18 yard line. The Hulk lurched a few steps forward off his line to run to clear the ball, but doubted he could make it out in time, so he stood fast. The Bell Curve forward (a Glaswegian wearing Glasgow Celtic socks even!!), won the race and easily finished off his run with an easy kick into the inside corner. Demoralizing a bit, but the Celts pressed on and after a hard tackle by one of the Bell Curve midfielders, El Flaco lined up for a 40 yard free kick from the left side. He rocketed a shot to the far upper right corner of the goal where the impressive opposition keeper just barely pushed the ball over the cross bar! The first half wound down with hard-fought contests in the middle, especially by Halil and Roniildo, and a number of near-misses by the Celts. The half time whistle blew with the Bell Curve up 1-0, but with Madison feeling they were the dominant team. The start of the second half saw Safet back in the stopper position, and he made the most of it, making a number of sweet defensive stops followed by raging runs into the opposition box, which unfortunately ended in misfired shots. With the teams seemingly evenly matched in the middle, it was again a lone surge by the Bell Curve that would prove the dagger that deflated the Madison hopes to conquer their rival. A run up the Madison right side by a Bell Curve lonesome winger, and then the ball bouncing around the Madison box, and then finding a sprinting forward run right up the gut of the Madison defense, with several defenders either following the Bell Curve player in or simply watching the flow of play as if watching a movie take place before their eyes, left the Hulk no chance and the second goal was scored. Madison Celtic still had some energy left and were pushing hard to get a glimmer of respect back by scoring at least one goal, when a nice short cross from Tano on the right wing found the head of Jorge a foot or two in front of an open net. What appeared to be a sure goal defied the laws of physics as the ball shot straight up and well over the cross bar. It was clear at that point, if not already, that it wasn't to be Madison's day. To cap off the Celts misery, with only a minute or less to play, the Hulk, who played a tough match, picked up a ball in the box and tossed it out directly to the foot of a Bell Curve forward, who simply flicked the ball back into the empty net. So what was an even match, with good ball possession by both sides, and some players thinking Celtic to be the dominant squad, appears by the end result to be a thrashing.

As a famous guy once said;

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them?

In other words the league is not over yet, we have nine games left to get into that promo spot but we have to fight for it! But we sure are making it tough for ourselves!

Man of the Match; A tough spotted dick award this time. Both Roniildo and Halil played well in midfield and my vote just goes to Halil. A tough first game for Ruggerho as coach but he did out Johnaldo!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

NEXT GAME; Sunday 26th June, Guilford!

I can't believe this part of the season is nearly over, but it is. The last game of the Spring/Summer section of the season finishes this Sunday with a game against hot rivals Guilford Bell Curve at Calvin Leete's School, 10 am kick off.

Even though we have played a few teams three times already we have only played Guilford once so far. Match report is here;

It was a dour 0 0 game and the one this weekend could be the same or a goal extravaganza. They have the best defensive record in the league and we have the second best attacking record!
We sit in second place in the league on 34 points, 4 ahead of Guilford who have played 3 game less. Bottom line is that we have to win this one. Let's go in and be confident, tight at the back and remember the basics!

Remember the 3 P's!!!!!

I won't be there so we will need some organized planning by Roniildo!

The team has to be there to warm up at least twenty minutes before the game starts!

Oh, and don't forget the Hulk is watching you!

Monday, June 20, 2011

MATCH REPORT; East Haven 1 Madison 4

A fantastic squad turned up for BOR's last game in a Madison Celtic shirt, although being in the annual team pic could also have been a bit of a draw! Either way, a beautifully sunny, warm day was the pre-game treat that was somewhat spoiled by the incredibly soggy and heavy field. The pre-match talk was all about keeping the ball on the wings and taking advantage of our wide midfield players to try and stretch out the tiny field. Of course, no one paid a blind bit of attention to that tactic until the second half. The first half was an untidy central midfield battle with little in the way of cohesive passing or intelligent running. In fact East Haven looked the better team on the attack and came close a couple of times with shots that forced The Hulk to get down fast. The Celts attacks were all down the middle of the field and right into a wall of East Haven defenders. East Haven seemed to have a simple tactic of hitting the ball over the heads of our last defender to an on rushing attacker. And it was this all too obvious move that gave East Haven their go ahead goal. A ball over the defensive wall, a squared ball into the box and an unmarked East Haven player with all the time in the world to slot the ball past The Hulk. In fact the Hulk was in the wars in the first half getting kicked in the face and refusing to come off. The bruising will add some nice color to his face though. To their credit Celtic did not panic after this goal letting setback but continued to plow their way through the middle of the field ignoring the wings with a concerted passion. Nonetheless, even with this fairly myopic tactic Madison began to exert some real control on the game. Strong running by David, Halil and Roniildo allowed some significant opportunities to get to the forward line. And in one such attack Tano found space in an incredibly crowded penalty box and swept the ball into the net for the deserved equalizer and his tenth goal of the season.

The first half ended and some significant tactical changes were made with Talat moving into right midfield and Jorge and Carlos twinned up front. This move seemed to work like magic as Madison looked like a different team at the start of the second half. Talat hugged the line and found himself with great amounts of space and the overlapping runs of Carlos and Jorge were causing a real threat. Wave after wave of attack had East Haven on the rack. Only the wayward shooting of the Madison forward line kept the home team in the game. Then the break through came for the Celts.

The constant motion man, Carlos, dribbled into the box and just as he was about to shoot he was tripped for a clear penalty. Even though it was BOR's last game the tough coach decided that the game was on such a knife edge that they could not afford the luxury of not handing the ball to Roniildo ( was that a double negative?). The Scottish terrier picked up the ball and unceremoniously dispatched it into the back of the net for the go ahead goal. After this the visitors continued to pile on the pressure with great passing moves down the right, although Fribeka and then Safet cut forlorn figures out on the left where the ball was a stranger.

With about twenty minutes left on the clock the constant pressure by Madison eventually paid off when another ball was played across the line of the penalty box allowing Halil to pounce. He settled himself before taking a swipe at the ball. It screamed into the back of the net via a slight deflection off an East Haven defender. Although the Celts were now in a comfortable position a rare attack by the East Haven team produced a fantastic save by the Hulk to prevent a sure fire goal. Straight from this near miss Madison went on the attack to produce the fourth and final goal. Another great attack down the Madison left side ended when Carlos swept into the penalty box before finding the net past the goal keeper on the near side. In the end it was a comfortable win for the Celts and with the news that Guilford had lost to the Eagles it really puts the Celts back into the promotion mix. Next weeks game is away to big promotion rivals Guilford and will be a must win game.

Man of the Match; A great second half performance by Carlos and Talat really swung the game for Celtic. On balance Talat's first half defensive performance combined with his attacking second half gets him the MOM. Although it was a short game fro BOR because of his hammy it was good to see him enjoy his last day in the green and white hoops! Have a great time down in Texas and keep in touch!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NEXT GAME; Sunday 19th June, East Haven

Our next game is an away game against East Haven, at Moulthorp Park with a 10 am kick off!'s going to be BOR's last game as he heads off to a sunnier and hotter climate!
We have only two games left for this part of the season and rounding the session off with 6 points would be a great way to have a nice Summer break. East Haven have been a team that so far we have dealt with relatively easily with two wins. See match reports here;

But, we are playing on their Lilliputian field where a reasonably strong kick out from the Hulk and a little breeze could score a goal! Same for them though and we have to be careful not to make mistakes that give them chances that they would otherwise not get on an adult sized field!

We have to create space and keep as wide as possible on this field!

There are still a lot of games left in this league and we can still clinch a promotion spot!

Unfortunately we will be chasing that dream without BOR.... he has been given an offer he can't refuse and will be taking up residence in Texas very shortly. I am sure he will keep in touch with the bhoys through the blog and of course his annual commitment to the Atlantic Rovers!

Best of luck BOR.... and thanks for the memories!

Let's try and get a good squad turn out for Sunday as we will try and get a new team photo! Even if you are injured come and support the team!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

MATCH REPORT; Morelia 0 Madison 2

Madison Celtic returned to winning ways with a comprehensive victory over Wallingford Morelia. From the beginning of the game the Celts looked ready for business and never allowed Morelia even a small foothold in the game throughout the ninety minutes. Strong performances by Jodingo!! and Goggs at the back were the foundation for the Madison 2 -0 victory and a well deserved one it was. The visitors got the game off to a very attacking start with a number of attacks down the Morelia left hand side. The fast running Bambi scorched a ball high over the bar in the first few minutes of the game to serve warning to Morelia followed by a break by Jorge that allowed a shot to go narrowly wide. The bold start by the Celts seem to unsettle the Morelia side who found them selves under attack again from Jorge as he again probed the left side of the Wallingford defense. This time instead of getting a shot off he was hauled to the ground for a clear penalty. Jorge himself got off the floor to smash a confident shot high into the net for the opening goal of the game. Madison went from strength to strength after this great start with some strong possession play from Halil and Roniildo in the middle. Any chance that Morelia would get a sniff on goal was usually snuffed out by the energetic Jodingo!! and the imperious Goggs at the back. Tano was also making some great runs up front and nearly scored after a great pass by Safet. However, the second goal was not long in coming and again it was another great run by Jorge down the Madison right side as he swept unchallenged into the box and lobbed a glorious ball over the goalkeeper for his, and Madison's second of the game. Half time was reached with the Celts in full control of the game.

The second half had few chances for either team although the best ones came the way of Safet, Tano and Jorge but the ball refused to go into the net. Unlike previous games when the Celts had squandered a two goal lead this match looked so one sided that even the biggest pessimist could not see the Celts throwing it away. In fact the lessons were clearly learned from last week as the visitors held onto the ball and made some smart moves over the last twenty minutes to deny the home team any encouragement. David and the rest of the midfield effectively controlled the ball with the runs of Tano keeping the opposition on their toes. The final whistle blew with the three points safely in the bank for the Celts. Strong performances throughout the team helped by a strong referee made this an enjoyable game to play in and watch!

MAN OF THE MATCH; Very strong performances by Goggs and Jodingo!! at the back as well as a season best performance by Bambi on the right side of the field. But the MOM and spotted dick goes to two goal hero Jorge!

Next weeks game is away to East Haven....and will be BOR's last game for the Celts before his big transfer south!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

NEXT GAME; Sunday 12th June, Morelia!

Sorry for the delay in posting....a bit of a busy week

Our next game is against Wallingford Morelia. This an away game starting at 10 AM weather permitting. The field directions are on the pages section to the right of this post.

Morelia are another one of those teams that we find difficult finishing off. If you want an example of that read this match report;

We must start to learn how to be tactically smart! If we are leading with ten minutes to go then we don't need two or three up front ! With this team you have to watch out for them falling like flies in the box... Remember our habit of giving away penalties!

Don't know who the beer boys are for this game

See you Sunday!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

MATCH REPORT; Madison 4 Eagles 4

It was deja vu all over again as the Mad Celts threw away a 4-2 lead with ten minutes left on the clock to contrive a draw! The game started with the usual confusion about who was actually going to turn up for the game. Even though the Celts have a big squad its remarkable how many times we have to guess the defensive line up ten minutes before the start of a match. In such circumstances it is maybe no surprise that the first goal would come from a defensive error. A simple ball over a static back four allowed the Eagles speedy number 16 to outstrip El Gato to confront the isolated Hulk and score a go ahead goal. After that early debacle Jodingo!! slipped into the sweeper role and had an outstanding game. However, the damage had been done and now the Celts had to chase the game. Some petty tackles by the Eagles were missed by the ref allowing the steam to rise on both sides. Luckily some of that hot air was dissipated when a simple ball into the box by Carlos saw several failed attempts at taking a clean shot on goal before Halil finished the confusion by blasting the ball into the net. Unfortunately Madison were still allowing the Eagles to play their type of disruptive game and when not fouling they were falling over in the box. It was on one such occasion that the Eagles won a penalty as BOR was adjudged to have pushed down an Eagles player. Harsh to say the least, but we have been giving away a lot of penalties recently! A second goal was swooshed past the Hulk allowing the Eagles to go in at half time 2-1 up. After a rather unusual and unorthodox speech by the referee at half time the game got underway again. Madison then really took the game by the scruff of the neck with some great possession and great passing. Finally the game was going to plan and a great move allowed the equalizing goal for the Celts. The ball was moved down the Madison right side and into the box where a great ball over to Ruggero allowed him to slot the ball past the goalkeeper. His first goal for the Celts and the start of a period of total domination by the home team. Lots of shots and chances came for the Celts over the next fifteen minutes as first Tano and then Jorge all came close. The break through came for the Celts when Tano passed a great ball over to Talat who scored from one yard out allowing the Celts to take the lead. The icing was apparently put on the cake when a Carlos special was delivered from a free kick a good 30 yards out. The soccer magician floated in an unstoppable shot, over the head of the opposition goalie for an unassailable 4-2 lead. Did I just say unassailable? Unfortunately for the Celts, with only ten minutes left on the clock, the unassailable position turned into the unbelievable position as they dropped two stupid goals and two very important points. It has to be said, it will not be remembered as the Hulks best ten minutes in a Celtic shirt, although there was plenty of blame to go around. The first sign that the wheels were about to come off the Madison bus, for the second game in a row, was a terrible defensive scramble in the Madison box. One attempt after an other failed to clear the ball and just as it seemed the ball was going out the Hulk pulled down an opposition player in the box. Pulled down is maybe too fine a description ....from the sidelines it looked like a a full blooded rugby tackle! Another penalty, another goal and another path set for a soccer meltdown. Unbelievably, even with only a few minutes left on the clock, Madison pushed players forward to try and score another goal. Unbelievably, even though possession of the ball is probably the most effective way of stopping the opposition from hurting you Madison kept wastefully thumping the ball up the park. And then, all too believably, we let them score in the last minute..... another scramble in the box , a ball fumbled, and into the net it went. Unbelievable, but true....4-2 up with ten minutes left and yet another draw. This was more painful than the 6-2 loss to Orange!

The mercurial ref then rounded off a bad day at the office by giving us all an end of game speech about the three P's of soccer.... possession, position and passing! Just what we needed to hear!

The great thing about our team is that win, lose or draw we know how to have a good picnic! Some fantastic food was supplied after the game and even better company.

The next game will take care of itself, but both Orange and Guilford will be 8 points ahead of Madison if they win their games in hand. Still 12 games left in the season but we are making it a tough road to travel.

MAN OF THE MATCH; Seems odd to say, that in a 4 4 game where the team has let the points go so late in the game that two of the best players were defenders. Both Tom A ( in his return) and Jodingo!! had outstanding games with Jodingo!! earning the spotted dick award for his tenacity and consistency during the game