Match Abandoned on 84 minutes (Note – Match subsequently awarded to AP)
A somewhat disappointing and sad end to 2011 for the 1st XI, as the shameful behaviour of our opposition’s manager left the referee with no choice but to abandon what had been a well fought, although not very entertaining, game.
In the last game before Xmas, a buoyant 1’s assembled early in their best festive jumpers, gave our beloved but wet facilities a bit of TLC, and prepared for cup action against AFC based Globe Rangers.
Having agreed to maximise use of the flanks and avoid slogging it out in the ‘ sticky ‘ middle, AP set about the game in determined fashion, which was best exemplified by the impressive Thrale’s crunching tackles! The best chance of the first half fell to Spencer, who saw his effort go wide from a tight angle. Globe were well organised, with their no. 10 skipper prompting most of their attacking play. However as the half wore on, frustration set in, particularly as our movement was poor and the final ball lacking, and the old AP ‘ niggle ‘ crept into our play.
So half time arrived with the game finely balanced at 0 – 0, and a calm but assertive direction from the gaffer as to ‘ team ethic ‘ and the need for greater concentration and discipline. A better second half saw a debatable off side given against Spencer, who had squared for Kenga to slot home, and an ingenious Kelly early chipped free kick from 45 yards, which hit both posts before being gratefully collected by their recovering keeper.
But the breakthrough wouldn’ t come, and as the game appeared to be heading for extra time, Globes discipline collapsed, as they increasingly challenged every refereeing decision. Whilst the referee had an average game, it certainly didn’ t excuse the appalling behaviour of the oppo’s manager. Having again contested a decision in a prolonged abusive and aggressive manner, he was sent off, but refused to give his name or leave the field of play, and the game was subsequently abandoned with 6 minutes to go. AP’s finest stayed calm, and to their credit didn’ t get involved, and we now await an AFA decision on the matter early in the new year.
So 2011 ended in disappointing fashion, but with the 1st XI very well placed to challenge for both league and cup honours in the second half of the season. The squad can be rightly proud of their exploits so far, having played 20 games since early august, winning 14, drawing 4 and losing only 2, whilst also boasting the only unbeaten league record in the SAL..bring on 2012…AP till I die !.
(Editor’s note – since this report the AFA have announced that AP have been awarded the tie and progress into the next round. Congratulations guys.)