Kickoff: 2pm Sunday December 19, 2010 at Andy Livingstone (report by Yuda Shih)
A thin Rino’s CAT team took to the pitch against a disorganized ten-manned Club Punjab on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Following a delay, Rino’s started off the game attacking and were all over the home side right from the kickoff, constantly on the attack, generating chance after chance, with Corey Ford and Tim Pritchard both coming close. However, it was the skipper Vince Martin who opened the scoring with a screamer from 30 yards out that blew by the helpless keeper into the top right corner. The goal is a worthy candidate for goal of the year. Rino’s continued to press but were unable to get the insurance marker with Yuda Shih missing twice from close range. The Rino defense was very effective in limiting any Club Punjab attack, and the only scare came on a breakaway but the home side was unable to capitalize on the opportunity. Rino’s persistence on offense was finally rewarded when Corey Ford’s cross along the ground was met by Declan Hill who coolly re-directed the cross into the empty net. The visiting side entered the break with a 2-0 lead.
The men in red picked up where they left off and had the now weary home side on their heels. Rino’s enjoyed the majority of the possession and 10 minutes following the restart, half-time substitute Lishan Sharples played a well placed cross between the two central defenders at the top of the penalty area. The cross was brought down by Yuda Shih who then slotted the ball past the sliding keeper to give the visiting side a 3-0 advantage. The home team’s frustrations soon began to show as an altercation between Ryan and the opposing side’s “big softie/ Adriano look-alike” resulted in a challenge to a post-match date on the streets. However, nothing came of it. Rino’s continued to dish out the punishment as Tim Pritchard netted his third of the season after the keeper gave up a juicy rebound off of Shih’s attempt to make it 4-0. This one sided affair was beginning to turn into a blow out. Rino’s continued to work the ball around efficiently the park and after a series of passes was strung together inside the penalty area, the ball was played back toward the penalty spot where it was met by Hill who made no mistake scoring his second of the day. The visiting side did not look like they were finished adding tallies as Corey Ford was eager to find his scoring touch. Pritchard provided Ford with an opportunity just outside the six-yard box, but Ford blasted his chance wide from close range. It
seemed as if Pritchard would head into the Christmas break with the scoring lead; however, Ford was provided another opportunity by Pritchard inside the penalty area, and this time Ford was not to be denied as he made a nifty touch to get around his defender before tucking the ball away into the bottom right corner, putting him into tie for the scoring lead. Pritchard was in the holiday giving spirit as Rino’s completed the touchdown. Half-time substitute Marian Gabas was finally rewarded for all his attempts on goal after Pritchard played a square ball to Gabas inside the penalty area. Gabas took his chance very well, ripping it into the corner giving him his first taste of glory with his new club.
Keeper Derrick Freedman was up to the task when tested and helped the CAT team attain its fifth clean sheet of the season. Rino’s seem to have found their scoring touch after struggling to find the back of the net during their recent fixtures. The team heads into the Christmas break sitting third place in the standings trailing Surrey United and Westside FC.
Team: Freedman, McArthur, Thompson, Crompton, Hill, Arceneaux, Crowe (Sharples 45), Martin (Gabas 45) Shih (Wilhelm 70), Ford, Pritchard