Rino’s Fury 1 – 0 Caspian FC
In the second match of the season, Rino’s Fury faced Div 2 debutantes Caspian FC, who’s staunch defending proved a tough nut to crack. Eventually a fine bit of service from Rino’s new-boy Diego Marchi was spectacularly finished by Ian Solven to give Rino’s the all important 3 points.
The match began with the Fury boys dominating possession. Caspian it seemed were content to play with 11 men behind the ball, waiting for an opportunity on the counter. The centre back pairing of O’Carroll and Hanson were again dominant in the air, limiting the Caspian forays forward which were often based on a long ball to chase. In fact the only chance Caspian had in the first half came from an errant goal kick by goalkeeper Verbeek who was clearly put off by the paparazzi filming his every move. Fortunately for him the Caspian forward spared his blushes by missing the net with his strike that was a good 10 feet wide. Rino’s most notable chance came on a well worked move up the left side of the pitch. The ball was pulled back towards the top of the penalty area and a low drive from Wilhelm was smartly saved by the Caspian keeper. Despite the dominance in possession which was roughly 70-30 in favour of the home side, they lacked the cutting edge and came off the pitch at half time with the scores knotted at 0-0.
A shift in formation saw Rino’s return to the pitch for the second half in a 4-4-2 and instructions from the manager to focus on wing play and a focus on attacking the far post. Substitutions saw the introduction of Diego Marchi and Emmanuel Orech, both who would play key roles in the remainder of the match. In fact, it took less than 15 minutes for Marchi to make his impact as he whipped a cross towards the far post that striker Ian Solven powered into the net beyond the bewildered Caspian keeper. With the deadlock finally broken, Caspian began to throw men forward and space began to open up on the field. A fine throughball found Orech in behind the Caspian defence, but in rounding the keeper his touch was heavy and it was all he could do to keep the ball from crossing the endline, nevermind getting a sight of the gaping net. A Caspain free kick from 35 yards was driven towards the top corner, and Verbeek did well to catch and hold it. The teams traded chances again as a Caspian corner kick was headed at the near post, deflected by Verbeek, and cleared off the line by Orech. Shortly after that a Rino’s counter attack saw substitute Crowe running at the Caspian defence and taken down by their last man just outside the penalty area. The referee however only opted to issue a caution to the Caspian defender and Rino’s attempt at the free kick was wasted. Rino’s then held firm for the remaining minutes and celebrated their first victory and clean sheet of the season.
Man of the Match: Keith O’Carroll
Team: Verbeek, Gazin, Hanson, O’Carroll, Hawkins (Marchi), Wilhelm, Sanders (Arceneaux), Cougny (Crowe), Pace (Orech), Bradbury, Solven (Packham)
Goals: Ian Solven
Assists: Diego Marchi