“…and here comes Giancaspero on the right side, closed down by Monti but he’s slipped and he has a chance to get to the byline here! Avoids the block, it’s over Kneuss, Badar is at the back post! HE SCOOOOORES!!!! EHSANUL BADAR POWERS THE HEADER PAST VERES AND INTO THE ROOF OF THE NET TO MAKE IT 2-0!!! Thoughts are two goals up here and United look down and out! What a win this will be for Green Thoughts! A fantastic run from Giancaspero and Badar has finished off to finish off United’s title chances! It’s Green Thoughts two, Godwin United 0.”
John Harris, HTTV
The words will still be echoing in the ears of the fans not fortunate enough to get a ticket for the game this Sunday as they witnessed Green Thoughts end the unbeaten run of Godwin United’s season. Manager JDGodwin was speaking to Hattrick TV last night after his side’s crushing 0-2 defeat:
“It’s a bitter pill to swallow. We’ve let the fans down and we’ve let ourselves down with that performance. *Pauses* Looking at the performance, it’s probably more frustrating due to our dominance of possession and our number of chances. Bobi (Kabakchiev), who has been outstanding this season missed a sitter, Abarug (Bakach) has had two chances himself, Fausto (Mengarelli) the youngster can walk away wondering how he hasn’t scored on his debut with three glorious chances. It’s naivety. You can’t come to a place like this, play against a defensive output as impressive as Thoughts’ and not take your chances. I can walk away saying that we’ve played good football but what is the use when we’ve lost two to nothing. *Pauses* The most disappointing thing for me is that it is out of our hands now regarding the title. We had a fabulous chance to make it ours at the end of the season but now we’re reliant on Thatcham dropping points. I don’t think the club has faced such disappointment so far. It is probably the worst day in the club’s history.””
The Bucks faced their league rivals Green Thoughts in the match dubbed as the ‘game of the season’ and it certainly did not disappoint. If United could take the three points, they would have remained two points behind league leaders Thatcham and in with a chance for the title. Green Thoughts had other plans however, as they were placed four points behind United, it was a must-win game if they were to avoid losing touch with the top two.
An impressive crowd of 30,000 packed the stands of Emerald Stadium in the fair spring weather. The tension was high and expectations were higher as the two teams entered the fray. The home side lined up with their usual 4-4-2 formation: Tikka – Badar, Ruech, Bernard, Evans – Giancaspero, Kiggen, Sjöholm, Antonescu – Mannsfeldt, Carli. Star man Christian Kiggen, top goalscorer and experienced playmaker, was looking for his 10th goal this season, despite already more than doubling their second top goalscorer’s tally as things stood.
Early on in the game and it was clear for all to see that United would have to work hard for the victory as Thoughts pressed high up the pitch, something they had obviously been working on in training. Godwin used their ability to concentrate their attacks in the middle of the pitch, rather than on the wings and Maxwell Bernard’s lack of experience almost gave Godwin a goal after 5 minutes, but the shot went right into the keeper’s arms.
It wasn’t quite falling for United despite their dominance but the visitors could have taken the lead from a free kick after 35 minutes, if it wasn’t for the jaw-dropping save by Jussi Tikka. The goalkeeper was in fine form as he saved a number of efforts under constant pressure and their importance was evident as Green Thoughts took the lead through some fine work down the left by Ben Lukas Reuch. Against the run of play, Thoughts had countered Godwin United to make it 1-0 as it stayed until half-time.
United with 62% possession and plenty of chances but no goal to show for it.
The second half was much the same story as Bakach, Mengarelli and Kabakchiev all had spurned easy chances to equalise. On the 72nd minute however fantastic play by Giancaspero meant Badar could head the ball into the net in another fine counter-attack to leave United demoralised and defeated.
The win for Green Thoughts means that the two sides have faced eachother seven times and still find themselves equal.