Match report for Summer Palace vs ISB Dragons, League game, 12th November 2011. Side Gongyuan
It was a beautiful sunny day when Summer Palace met to face a high school team for the second time this season. On the squad were faces new and old. Hailing from old Mexico was Felipe, a young midfielder full of promise, and from Forbidden City we had our old friend Barrie George in goal. In a shocking decision, the captain showed up to the game sans facial hair, perhaps wanting to appear closer in age to the day’s opponents. This flies in the face of the tenants of Movember (moustache month) and everything his club represents (teamwork, accountability, etc.). The defense was also missing some parts, with Peter unavailable and Adam needing to conclude some business at Chaoyang sports complex before coming to the game.
After play commenced both trams began trying to impose their own style of play. Palace opening by trying to work possession and use dangerous wing play to their advantage, and ISB using quick passing and probing with their quick strikers. Both teams had some chances and Palace seemed more like to score after a series of set pieces. Finally after Ben Roberts took a fine free kick, Lee Russell found himself in the right place at the right time and sent a shot through the crowd in front of goal, 1-0 Palace. Palace had no time to relax however, as the young ISB only seemed to grow more threatening after conceding and they had plenty of 13 year old firepower waiting on the sidelines. The score remained the same until halftime, despite ISB having a couples of one-on-one with only Barrie George to beat.
The halftime talk was optimistic, but it seemed that everyone knew there would be more goals in the game. But if more goals were to be had, they would be bloody hard to come by. Time after time Palace’s attacks came away with nothing, and Barrie George kept stunning the ISB forwards with gut wrenching saves. These same young forwards who had taunted the City standout after the halftime whistle by calling him lucky were now finding that Barrie George makes his own luck.
Luck can go both ways, and just when it seemed that ISB simply had to have a bit of luck, Andy Mo found himself with the ball and an open net gaping. No one needs to tell Andy Mo where to stick it 2-0 Palace. That was only justice in fact as minutes before that, the (half-blind?) referee managed to miss that one of the ISB defender had cleared the ball from behind his goal-line using both hands!! Palace then saw the tireless Jason Dorey taking a turn at striker and doing his best to cover himself in glory and getting booked by the ref. Joining him was Felipe who showed a good deal of flair and a penchant for flick-ons. Amir showed everyone he loves being offside as much as he loves herbs.
The game ended 2-0 in favor of the Palace, and the majority of the team stayed to see City give the Barbarians a 4-0 thrashing and then went to the traditional spot afterwards. At Lugas the voting commenced over a bottle or two of tequila and the usual amount of wisecracks. Adam walked away with the donkey with a massive nine votes for being at the wrong field at the right time. Ben Roberts got the Man award with five votes for good play and leadership despite a woeful gaffe with the whiskers and also forgetting sunscreen again. Really, if I looked like that after sun I would wear sunscreen to bed.
Go on Palace!