Spartak who have climbed to 3rd recently after six successive wins, were looking for another 3 points to help with their promotion bid.
With close relative connections within the Spartak team I have endured taunts and jibes over the last 4 weeks about them destroying us and that our team should give up and fold. My uncle runs the team and my cousin who at 17 is a regular Barnet player, were baying for Spartan blood.
Michael had yet another re-shuffle as injury lists have grown and others retiring gracefully (Nick). So Andy begun in goal again, with Tesh and Mike the Gaffer holding down the central defence, with Silv and James K as full backs. The midfield consisted of Steve Pavlou, George Neo, Lucas Maximus, and Tal. With the two D's up front. (Double D? DD?)
Confidence shone through, from the beginning of the game, early challenges were won, headers claimed and passes came together. D missed an early chance, a diving header put wide of the post. Several more crosses came in thereafter, and our wingers stretched the play.
On the half hour mark, a Spartan free kick was played deep into the box, the opponents failed to clear their lines, D miss kicked the ball and it bobbled to Steve P who strikes the ball perfectly across the face of the goal and into the back of the net.
Spartak came close a couple of times, before the half was over, but were mostly contained to shots outside the area.
Spartak came out fighting, and wasted several chances within 10 minutes of the restart. Andy pulled off two magnificent saves, diving down to his left and tipping over the bar. The closest Spartak came was a shot that crashed onto the bar and dropped down only to be rescued by Andy once more.
Spartans soaked up the pressure and released the ball to Demi and D, as we hit Spartak on the counter. Mazy runs by both players could have led to another goal, but good defending kept our strikers quiet. Spartak did equalize a scrappy goal that will soon be forgotten. They scored from 6 yards.
And so the game was poised at 1-1 for a long spell in the second half. Both teams cancelling each other out. One last drive forward from the captain, to lift his player’s heads, one last call from the gaffer to not let anyone pass them. We had earned respect for 88 minutes, and we brought the ball forward for one last time. A corner was won, but Spartak cleared into touch, Tesh’s throw was once again cleared by the Spartaks defence. Tesh run the width of the pitch to take the next throw, shouting to the players it’ll be aimed at the back post.
And our inspirational moment came.
The ball sailed passed both Spartak and Spartans players, in what seemed like an eternity, the ball eventually came down and D expertly headed into the back of the net.
It was a great game to play, I think our experience was key, and the fact we listened to Mike for once. Lets keep the ball rolling boys. See you all on Thursday.