Saturday, September 22, 2007

Result: Reserves 9/16/07: Barnstonworth Rovers Reserves 2 C.D. Iberia 3

Barnstonworth Rovers Reserves 2 C.D. Iberia 3

A disappointing start to the season saw the Reserves drop the points to Iberia 3-2. It was a match the Reserves should have easily won based on chances created, with a 7-3 result more reflective of the play. But in league football, you don’t get any point for wasting chances.

Starting with several new faces in a younger line-up the Rovers dominated possession and should have taken the lead when Lowe finished wide from a Baskin feed. Lowe had a chance to atone minutes later but alone in the box, this time, he was foiled by the keeper. Randi had a header rejected by the far post and Baskin stumbled from the penalty spot. Milo had two chances inside the box with neither hitting the net.

Iberia took the lead with virtually their first threat on goal. A nice through ball caught the Rover defense flat asking for the off-side decision. The Iberia forward collected and beat Zawada. Reserves 0-1.

The official’s fine first half was wasted early in the second. A rush of weird decisions unnerved the players, and then he awarded a penalty for a dive that even had the Iberia players laughing. Reserves 0-2.

Feeling his mistake, he quickly awarded the Rovers a penalty for a questionable handball Baskin buried it. Reserves 1-2.

With more that 30 mins to play the Rovers were confident they had the talent and time to turn the match. But with their first foray into the Rovers area after the restart a Iberia forward walked thought 3 Rovers challenges into the penalty area and finished. Reserves 1-3.

The Rovers pressed and Austin reduced the deficit back to one in the 75th min with a powerful header in the far post of a corner. Reserves 2-3.

Yuri should have tied it when he was put through from a free kick, got to the header before the exiting keeper, only to see it slice wide. Austin should have tied it when he fumbled in front of the keeper 2 meters out after a rebound from a Lowe effort. Stash should have tied it when a through ball put his streaking into the box with only the keeper to beat, but his finish strayed before Yuri had the final chance to do so only to be caught leaning the other way in the critical moment.

The Reserves remained with the “shoulds,” and Iberia with the points.

Team: Mike Zawada, Randi Lee, Vilhelm Klareskov, Brian Schmid, Bobby Hanifin, Alex Carabano, Yuri Krym, Milo Krastev, Stash Rutkowski, Ron Baskin, Mat Lowe. Subs: (all played) Daniel Cardozo, Austin Harris, Hiro Takeuchi, Stavros Zomopoulos

Result Firsts 9/16/07: Barnstonworth Rovers F.C. 5 C.D. Iberia 1

Barnstonworth Rovers F.C. 5 C.D. Iberia 1 (from First Touch)

Over the years, Barnstonworth Rovers have lined up such fine attacking players as Steve Pugliese and former Liberian international Musa Shannon who’ve helped keep the club in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League (CSL) top flight.

This season, Rovers may have acquired a diamond in Jordan Chirico who lit up CD Iberia in a 5-1 romp at Ichan Stadium on the opening day of the 2007-08 season last Sunday. A close season acquisition from relegated Manhattan Kickers, the 23 year-old midfield sparkplug reeled in four goals and had the assist on Colin Marshall’s effort.

Chirico played on two national championship sides with Indiana University and easily ranks among the top footballers in the CSL today with his passing, energy and radar-like vision.

Rovers’ boss Stavros Zomopoulos hopes that the club’s fortunes will change with the arrival of the gifted youngster, who had a stint with the USL’s Rochester Rhinos before joining Kickers last year. “Jordan brings to the Rovers a championship mentality and quality,” said Zomopoulos, whose reserves were trumped 3-2 on strikes by Ron Baskin (pen), and Austin Harris.

“We had enough talent to win the division last year but not the mental strength and commitment. Jordan will help us on that path.”

Rovers’ destruction of Iberia put them in an early tie with Pancyprian Freedoms atop the West standings.

Team: Romain Couture, Vidar Ekehaug, Jon Nessa, Mark Kushemba, Dixon Hayes, Jordan Chirico, Tamu Bowen, Colin Marshall, Andy Abramovits (not the one who fired Murinho), Einar Benedktsson Stephen Pugliese. Subs (played): Mike Alexander, Mat Levine

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Barnstonworth Rovers Thirds 1 - FC Zenit 1 (9/16/07)

Goal: Pek (Penalty)

Played: Zach, Moore, Wine, Pek, Darrel, Eric, Bruce, Bobby, Gavin,
Vincent, Mackers, Donald, Bernfeld, Joe, Juan, Okey, Brown.

Rovers' Thirds had a full squad turn out for the opening game of the season. Amazing, considering we had to cross 2 state lines to get to the field. So, with 17 players, it could easily have got a bit disjointed with the numerous substitutions but this didn't happen and the Thirds played a game that will encourage them for the rest of the season.

Zenit were on top for the first 10 minutes without creating anything in the way of chances, but after the game settled down the Thirds soon took control. New midfield pairing of Gavin and Vincent were running the game and it wasn't long before Gav played a through ball onto Brown who was one-on-one with the keeper and looked a certainty to score. Their keeper had other other ideas, however, and, like a dog on heat, proceeded to hump Brown's leg for what seemed like a couple of minutes. The referee had no choice but to point to the spot, but inexplicably did not show the keeper the red card that he surely deserved. Pek stepped up and made no mistake with the penalty. 1-0 Rovers.

Zenit managed to get back into the game before half-time and got the equalizer after their striker took the ball past the sliding Moore and rifled it into the top corner of the net. A nice finish but against the run of play and the Thirds were confident of getting the lead back in the second half.

Indeed, if the Thirds were the better team in the first half, they were even more in control the second. Creating something on the order of 10 gilt-edged chances that they contrived to miss in ever more elaborate ways. Donald headed onto the corner of bar and post; Gavin saw an audacious 50 yard effort come back off the crossbar into the keeper's hands; and at least 5 other one-on-one's with the keeper went begging.

The game finished tied at 1-1.

Considering their dominance, the Thirds were disappointed with the result but they played well enough to know that the goals will come and hopefully a successful season will ensue.

Pictures from the game, pre-game and after-match festivities, can be found here.