Div 1 Match 6 2013/14 – Richmond FC Hibernians

Rino’s welcomed Richmond Hibernians to Point Grey with a big Céad Míle Fáilte, as the Club Ireland team, with FAI crests proudly adorning their chests, took to the field for the pre-game handshake. As it turned out, an old fashioned Canadian ‘Howdy’ may have been more appropriate as the Irish side seemed firmly onboard with the Jack Charlton era selection policy. Even at that there were a few more Cascarinos on there than Townsends I’d say.

Another clear sign that this team was as Irish as Thierry Henry’s left hand was the highly un-Irish 100% record they brought into the match up. These Plastic Paddies meant business.

Right from the outset Richmond set their stall out as a fast paced attacking side, with a strong physical element to their play. Although not initially paying dividends it certainly held Rino’s to half chances as we struggled to match the pace of this once great club. But as time went on Rino’s settled into the game and found their feet, keeping the score 0-0 while doing so.

As the game progressed it became apparent that Jack Charlton’s selection policy wasn’t the only thing mimicked by Richmond, as

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long ball after long ball came flying from their backline. Rino’s were not faring much better however, with few spells of good possession for either side. The breakthrough for Richmond came on the hour mark from a set piece, teasingly clipped between the defence and keeper, where it was met by Cascarino himself to head into the vacated net.

Rino’s tried to find an equaliser, but other than a couple half chances it was Richmond who looked more likely to score again with holes being left as we pushed on.

Final score was 1-0, with Rino’s slumping to their first defeat of the season.

Man of the Match went to actual Irishman John Bligh, the big fella at the back… because he’s pure daycent

Team: Thom, Atleo, Petersen, Bligh (Ire), O’Genski, Billingham (Twat), Greenall, Hauk, Norton, O’Sullivan (Ire), Pickett (Ire)
Subs: Duff, Carr, English, Moore (Ire), Stoakes

Div 1 Match 5 2013/14 – Binger’s Army

Week 5 pitted Rino’s, off the back of consecutive wins, against old rivals Binger’s Army, off the back of taking their first big scalp of the year, Shaheen. But Rino’s, and in particular man of the match Atleo, had Binger’s own scalp firmly in their sights.

The game started at a frenetic pace with Binger’s showing their early league results were a blip, and not to be the norm. Rino’s were somewhat disjointed, with Bligh still mending on the sideline as he rested his groin for an upcoming visitor from Ireland. Both teams traded spells of possession, Binger’s edging the encounter through sheer energy alone, but solid defending kept them at bay, with no chances of note to show for their efforts.

It was a typically physical encounter between the two sides, and as always, Rino’s knew it wouldn’t be long before either Andrew Cook or LG lost their cool. Biding their time Rino’s kept their tempo up and pushed for the lead, all the time knowing it couldn’t be long now. Right on cue the straight red was handed out. This time to LG, taking some of the work load from Cook, as he attempted to nut the smallest player on the pitch, little Ali ‘Butter Wouldn’t Melt’ Pickett.

This proved the turning point, with Rino’s taking the lead a few minutes later. Great build up, with Norton to Pickett, Pickett to Billingham, Billingham sending English into the right corner with an uncharacteristically beaut pass, English whipping it across the face of the goal, Moore can’t connect, defence can’t connect, Norton can’t connect, nobody can… bang, 1-0, who else but Greenall at the back post for his third consecutive game winning goal against Binger’s. You’d think by now they’d mark him back there.

Rino’s, who were 2-0 up last year when Binger’s took their traditional red, were well aware that the game was not over. Binger’s came back to 2-2 that time, with Greenall scoring at… well just read the last description. Binger’s showed the fighting spirit they are known for and continued to apply pressure. But having gone 3 at the back there was more space for the Rino’s attack to play into.

This freedom of movement lead to Moore being played clean through on goal twice in a short space of time. The first resulted in everyone turning away afraid to make eye contact with him, but the second lead to a penalty when he was bowled over in the top corner of the box. Moore was glad of the lie down after another huge effort up front, chasing passes and defenders all night.

Chris English stepped up to shoulder the responsibility, and dispatched the penalty into the corner, with Critter just unable to keep it out. With the 2-0 cushion Rino’s were assured the victory, but the defence continued to prove impassable as Binger’s tried to salvage some pride. Atleo, Petersen, Southern, and O’Genski all putting in solid performances against the mixed threat of freakishly tall and somewhat fast strikers of Binger’s.

Man of the Match went to Tyson Atleo, another solid performance from the star full back

Team: Thom, Atleo, Petersen, Southern, O’Genski, Billingham, English, Norton, Pickett, O’Sullivan, Moore
Subs: Duff, Bligh, Greenall, Stoakes

Div 1 Match 4 2013/14 – GN Sporting Club

Week 4 saw the arrival of GN Sporting to Point Grey Fortress (technically a school). Having gotten back to winning ways against Akal, Rino’s were confident of taking the 3 points, but just like Luke’s new girlfriend, a tight affair was expected, with GN coming in to the game with 0 goals for, but only 2 against.

The fans were expecting too, with the biggest turnout of the year, Paddy, Emily, Tash and Hurley. Paddy expecting beer more than anything.

The first half, as predicted, was a close encounter, with Rino’s having the better of it, but not creating any great chances. The teams were set to go in even at the break before Moore stepped up with what is a contender for goal of the season. Norton, free on the right, wearing a yellow jersey for some reason, clipped a ball to the top of the box for the unmarked Moore. With all the time in the world, he deftly chested the ball up, caught it on the back of his neck, rolled it down his back, back heeled it over his head, controlled on his thigh, and side footed past the goalie. Horrendous defending, and GN were made to pay. Luckily Luke had his go pro on, and had his usual amount of movement around the box… Wonder Goal I

There was still time for one more chance right before the half time whistle, this time falling to GN. On a rare breakaway the striker shot low to the corner, but the shot was brilliantly stopped by returning Rino’s legend Marek ‘The Flying Slovak’ Gasperik.

After the break it would be Moore again to find the net, taking his tally for the season to 3, overtaking his nemesis O’Sullivan for top scorer. If the first goal was good, this one was, well, not as good, but still quite good. English clipped in another cross to Moore, this time actually marked, but a quick thinking, overhead kick into the top corner beat the flailing keeper. Note: Rino’s had to change kit at half time, Billingham unhappy with how small he looked in an adult male sized jersey. Rob on the camera this time, hence a bit shaky, and dodgy editing… Wonder Goal II

Rino’s settled in to the 2-0 lead and were looking comfortable until a fluke goal was conceded, only the 2nd of the season. The blustery conditions carrying a whipped in corner to the far post and going straight in. If Rino’s were a bit more edgy after this, they were outright panicking at the site of talismanic captain, mentor, and friend, John Bligh having to go off with a grade 7 hamstring tear.

Rino’s knew a 1 goal lead would not be enough now, and pushed for the 3rd. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and it was Mike Carr who delivered the death knell. Another delivery from English, and a powerful thunderbolt drive to the near post put the ball and the keeper into the back of the net, unstoppable.

Rino’s would somehow keep GN out for the remaining minutes, and made it back to back wins for the first time this season.

Man of the match went to Geoff Stoakes for his tireless efforts up and down the left wing… ah to be young again.

Team: Gasperik, Atleo, Petersen, Bligh, O’Genski, Billingham, Stoakes, Norton, Hauk, O’Sullivan, Moore
Subs: Thom, English, Carr, Duff, Pickett

Div 1 Match 3 2013/14 – Akal FC

Rino’s took on former Div 1 power house Akal Friday night in what turned out to be a very (read that with emphasis, hence bold, but still, add some more, because I mean we fucking slaughtered them) one sided affair.

The game got off to a great start, with Haydn’s simple directions being followed to the letter. “Score early David”, “Yes Haydn.” and it was 1-0. A deep corner was artfully cushioned down by Billingham (who was to go on to have a monumental performance) and Moore was on hand to blast in from close range. The first of many goals to come for Rino’s, and hopefully the first of many, many goals to come from Moore (although not in this game, just the one).

Rino’s continued to push in the first half, but Akal, unaware of the futility of scoring just once, were having their fair share of attacking play, and tied the game late in the half. A clearance from the back falling to an Akal striker, who let loose with a great strike just inside the post, Thom with no chance.

That late goal meant the two teams went in at half with very different perspectives, but again Pritchard was to inspire the troops. “Score 6 more”, “Ok Haydn”, “Sure”, “Yeah, no problem”, “Consider it done”, “Happy to oblige”.

Some changes at half time, with English and Atleo introduced, seemed to give the team more attacking impetus, and right from the whistle Rino’s were breaking down the Akal back line at will. The game winning goal came off a corner, delivered deep to the box, and met by O’ Genski with a looping header that deceived everyone and dipped under the bar for 2-1.

The goal celebrations were barely over when Rino’s were 3-1 up. Again a corner, this time a scramble in front of goal, and Billingham stuck the boot in to drive it home. Akal left reeling after a quick fire double.

The next few minutes saw Rino’s waste some golden opportunities, but any fear that they would end up paying for them were put to bed when English skinned the Akal full back, not for the first or last time, and whipped in a ball across the face of goal, to be met by the diving head of O’Sullivan.

4 quickly became 5 when English cut inside the full back yet again and unleashed a strike to the far post. (That may have been the 6th or 7th goal either, I can’t remember the order any more)

More chances went begging, with the Akal keeper having a great performance despite the cricket scoreline that was forming, saving from close range a number of times to deny English and Moore. The 6th came from a fortuitous bounce after Moore broke through the middle and cracked a shot off the post, but the ball fell kindly to O’Sullivan to tap in for his 2nd of the game.

Not content with only terrorising Akal’s left back, Kook got in on the action dazzling their right back and pulling down his pants before whipping a low cross to Greenall, who took a touch to settle the ball, and hammered it to the keepers right.

That goal finished off the 7-1 rout, in a game that could easily have seen double figures for Rino’s. We go on to face GN Sporting at home Saturday, while Akal go on to another tough test against, you’ve guessed it, Vancouver Olympics.

Man of the Match was a unanimous verdict for Chris English, who had a huge impact when he came in, scoring one, setting up at least 2 or 3 more, and just in general making fools of Akal’s ‘defenders’.

Team: Thom, Petersen, Southern, Bligh, O’Genski, Billingham, Stoakes, Norton, Greenall, O’Sullivan, Moore
Subs: Hayward, English, Atleo, Kook

Div 1 Match 2 2013/14 – Serbian White Eagles

Rino’s desire to mimic last season exactly took another step in the right direction after a 0-0 tie with Serbia.

Rino’s started brightly, holding possession well, and created an inviting chance for Norton in the 10th minute after some sexy build up play through the right, but the shot was too close to the spry ‘young’ Serbian keeper.

What happened next was nothing short of shitting the bed, and for the remainder of the half Rino’s lived a charmed life, with Serbia’s inability to field good strikers the only thing that kept the score 0-0.

A more even 2nd half ensued, but neither side created any clear-cut chances. A quick shot on the turn from O’Sullivan rattled the Serbian bar, and a beautiful delivery from O’Genski was met by Bligh to yet again head the ball just past the post, but that was all that Rino’s produced (or all that I can remember 6 days later) in a frustrating 90mins. A sense of inevitability set in with 20 mins to go, that for the third meeting in a row the two tams would share the spoils.

Serbia look a much improved side from last year, with their tactic of sitting more Serbians on the bench, and non nationals on the field seemingly a wise decision.

Man of the Match went to David Moore for tirelessly working up top trying to force the breakthrough off broken supply.

Rino’s go on to face Akal on Friday night, while Serbia, as with

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Campobasso last week, go on to face Vancouver Olympics, which will in fact be the team most teams face after playing Rino’s due to some lazy scheduling by the VMSL.

Team: Thom, Stoakes, Southern, Bligh, O’Genski, Billingham, Norton, Greenall, Duff, O’Sullivan, Moore
Subs: Atleo, Carr, Hauk, Dodich

Div 1 Match 1 2013/14 – AC Campobasso

The 2013/14 season kicked off in identical fashion to the previous campaign, with a 1-0 defeat of AC Campobasso.

The new pre-game handshake and photo-op added a sense of professionalism to the occasion, however Campo’s first few touches quickly dispelled any delusions of grandeur.

Campo, having lost the jewel in their crown (last years MVP Paraic Phelan) to Div 1 rivals Ajyal Tigers for an undisclosed fee, were flattered by the 1-0 scoreline. They produced no shots on target during the contest, whereas Rino’s were guilty of missing some gilt edged chances.

The Rino’s side had a familiar look to it, but as with the start of every Rino’s season opener, there were a handful of debutantes on display. David Moore, Jamie O’Sullivan, and Aussie keeper Patrick Hayward, donned the Rino’s Blue for their first competitive match, while Summer League signings Mark Norton and Ash Southern (who take our English contingent far too high) took their VMSL bow for Rino’s. All 5 are great additions to the squad, and provide us strength in every position.

The game got off to a great start, with Rino’s holding the ball for decent spells, and 10 minutes in produced what proved to be the only goal of the affair, from the unlikely source of Ali Pickett. Some possession atop the Campo box was broken up, but a poor clearance fell to Pickett who made space for a shot from 25yards. The strike squeaked through, and despite the keeper getting hands to it, crept into the corner of the net. Pickett looked as surprised as anyone that he was celebrating a goal at this level.

Rino’s looked dangerous down the wings after that, with Hauk, Duff, and later O’Sullivan and Kook getting in behind the Campo full backs, but were unable to find anyone in the middle to double the lead. To Campo’s credit they defended well in the final third and Rino’s were left with few clear-cut opportunities by half.

As the second half got underway though cracks bean to appear, and the humidity seemed to get the better of Campo, with only the post, some rusty finishing, and last ditch defending keeping the game alive. A delicate chip to the back post found Billingham alone for a free header, but the tight angle left a difficult finish, and the shot came back off the post, with Campo quickest to react and get the ball clear. A corner shortly after produced another header at goal, this time from Bligh, which flashed (slowly) just past the post.

Some strong wing play was now paying dividends, and a couple of balls found Greenall and Norton in the box, but the former was unable to keep a zippy ball down, and the latter unable to make the space for a shot before being closed down.

As chance after chance went begging Campo were buoyed by the slim margin holding firm, and indeed nearly stole a point late on when a deflected free kick wrong footed Thom in goal, but sailed just over the bar. Some late pressure from Campo resulted in consecutive corners, but nothing was to come of them, and Rino’s walked away with all 3 points.

Man of the Match went to Brent Petersen for his role in limiting the Campo attack to just a few speculative shots.

Rino’s move on to Serbia next, for their home opener, while Campobasso have another tough tie away to newly relegated Vancouver Olympics.

Team: Thom, Atleo, Petersen, Bligh, O’Genski(Southern), Billingham, Hauk(Kook), Norton, Pickett(Carr), Duff(O’Sullivan), Moore(Greenall)

Div 1 Match 12 – NK Hrvat

Rino’s took on NK Hrvat this Sunday in the first game of the second half of the season. The final outcome was identical unfortunately with NK salvaging a point in the last few minutes, for a 1-1 tie.

Match Report

A nervous Rino’s side took to the field at Point Grey on Sunday, aware of the hole left behind by the absence of their captain, and mentor, John Bligh. A few anxious glances were exchanged in an uninspiring pre-game huddled and then the game was under way. NK came out very strong, buoyed by the General’s absence as much as Rino’s were distraught by it. But Rino’s somehow battled on bravely, with Marek or Jeff presumably having the game of his life as chance after chance mounted for NK. But completely against the run of play something amazing happened. Rino’s managed to pretend they hadn’t noticed I was gone and took the lead after a blistering run by someone, or perhaps a cross or some nice passing, which lead to someone scoring for us.

Rino’s couldn’t believe it, they had done the unthinkable, but alas, inevitably the lead could not last forever. Eventually something had to give, and with a few minutes remaining the keeper was finally beaten, presumably a gaping hole in the middle was exploited.

The draw will feel like a loss for the guys, but realistically it is a result they would have been happy to take at the start of the game.

Man of the Match: Marek or Jeff

Div 1 Match 1 – NK Hrvat

Hey there sports fans. The much anticipated kick off to the VMSL 2011/12 season finally took place last night, despite talks of a player lock out over wage demands.

It was a familiar team, with a few notable absentees and additions… So not as familiar as I would lead you to believe.


  • Rino’s said farewell to it’s captain, and father of the team, Jordan Haas. Jordan has hung up his tattered boots, but will no doubt be seen roaming the sidelines from time to time perving on the the U21’s that step up.
  • Andrew Wade was lulled away by the bright curries of India. He is thought to be bringing the ‘War on Terror’ to their doorstep, and has hit the ground running.
  • Charlie Carrick has taken a sabbatical from Rino’s and traveled to Toronto to recruit some actors for a feature length movie documenting his 18 goals in 18 games last season.
  • One blessing was the departure of Laurie Flynn, he won’t be missed.
  • I have no idea where Peter Bohdal went.
  • Rino’s also said farewell to it’s coach of 3 seasons, Ken Adloff. Rousing pre game talks and finishing 3rd in the league were trademark characteristics of his reign. Commitment to practices despite the trek from Surrey every week, and getting the team back on track were also trademarks, so thanks to Ken for all his effort over the last few years.


  • Cody Levy, although not a new player, has finally said ‘Fuck You’ to his native US and opted to winter in America’s Hat. A much needed boost to our US contingent since Andrew left.
  • James Duff has stepped in to replace Div 2 captain Vincent Martin as our ‘Plastic Paddy’. He has the unenviable task of filling Charlie’s boots, but based on last nights performance he should be up to the task, and may even get his own movie some day.
  • A raft of U21 players will be stepping up this season to help us out. Much needed support, and each one of them has the caliber needed
Step Ups:
  • Haydn Pritchard will be making the move from his successful tenure as U21 coach to a berth as the new Div 1 coach. The long time Derby fan has made a move reminiscent of Brian Clough’s switch from Derby to Leeds, hopefully with better results.
  • Steve Moloney, Jordie Atkinson, and Jonathan Cooper will be stepping up to the Div 1 team from last years CAT after strong winter and summer seasons. Best of luck lads.
Now, after that long winded intro, let’s get to the game.


NK Hrvat 1-1 Rinos Vancouver

What has 2 goals and ends up with shared spoils? A 1-1 draw. Joking aside, that’s what the result was last night.

This was a tale of missed opportunities and heartbreak, frustration and 2pts lost, but also one of hope, desire, and perhaps a brighter future for Rinos. Although only coming away with 1pt, Rinos also came away from Van Tech last night with a sense that, yes, this could be our year. Bonds are beginning to form, understandings and mutual respect growing, the pieces are all there, we just need to put them together, and when we gel fully, that puzzle, and our bonds, will be unbreakable.

Rinos came out of the blocks last night with a display that could be equated to

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a dirty diamond, a little lackluster. An innocuous looking play down the right led to the opening goal of the game. A floated cross to the heart of our box was met with a first time volley which shook the back of our net, but also the cobwebs from our rested boots. And Rino’s response was almost as instant as a nice cup of Nescafe.

From an NK venture into enemy territory the ball broke to Brent Hanson at centre back. A quick pass to Ally Gray in the middle of the park was complimented by another ball slipped out wide to Jordie Atkinson, who sublimely dazzled his marker and broke down the wing. Still with work to do, Atkinson, 34, picked out John Marsh at the back post, with the finest looking cross since Jesus died for our sins. Marsh, having run from well inside his own half reaped the reward of his extra effort when Atkinson’s cross swung directly into his path. A strong header left the NK keeper with no chance and the game was finely poised at 1-1… And Rinos were sparkling again.

Rinos went into the half time break with their tails up, and duly began the second half with the belief that the 3pts were theirs for the taking. Swift passing and moving had Rinos a cut above NK and numerous chances were created, but ultimately spurned by Rinos.

It was a whipped in corner that had the NK keeper sweating like a paedophile in a Barney costume. A glancing header by Brent Hanson beat the entire NK team, but unfortunately struck Jonathan Cooper on the line. Cooper then, with a carat dangling in front of him, had his subsequent shot blocked. The rebound was met with another header from Hanson that struck the bar, and we began to realise it may not be our day.

An equally frantic spell came after James Duff was mercilessly hacked down in the NK penalty area. Stepehen Moloney stepped up to bare the weight of responsibility that has so often affected our spot kick takers. It is this pressure that creates the diamonds of my running reference, but on this occasion it didn’t have the desired effect. A low shot to the right was gathered by the goalie… but distributed straight back to Rinos. Ally Gray leading the charge back across enemy lines, striking the cross bar from an acute angle seconds after the penalty miss.

More chances came, more saves were made, alas, no breakthrough. A solid performance though and one that bodes well for games to come, in what is probably the toughest Div 1 any of us have played in.

We were brilliant at times, lacked clarity at others, but our true colours will shine through as we prove we can cut it at any level, and eventually be as a paragon. Carat.