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