Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bruising Victory Over Shamrock Rovers Puts Flames at 4-0

On the wind-swept Darree Fields in Dublin, the Grandview Flames SC on Sunday afternoon began their extended away stand with a fourth consecutive victory to begin the 2010 campaign. The win did not come without its casualties, as there were several hard challenges from the physical Rovers that sent Flames flying, and one member of the Flames Fan Club was sent off by the referee near the start of the second half in a controversial decision.

The Rovers beat the Flames in their last meeting, but the Grandview Juggernaut dominated this stand-off for most of the 50 minutes, and the they won it 4-2 to go top of the Ohio Champions League U10 Boys.

The Flames struck early with a goal by Ben K. in the second minute, which resulted from good short passing that allowed the fleet-footed forward to penetrate close. The long-haired El Mellizo followed that up with a second enterprising goal to make it 2-0 in minute 5. But one minute later, the Shamrock Rovers' American-style physical game finally produced results with a goal in minute 6 that resulted in part from a defensive break-down from the Flames.

The Flames then settled in nicely and began dominating possession. They went 3-1 to close the half when Ben K. laid a clinical right cross to the foot of Wes who finished brilliantly in minute 12.

Early on in the second half is when things got interesting. Faced with a 3-1 score with only 25 minutes to play, the Rovers made a calculated decision to play an even more physical, state of nature form of soccer. What resulted was a spectacle akin to watching the beautiful passing football of Arsenal come up against the likes of San Jose Earthquakes with their "soccer is a contact sport" approach to the game.

As is so often is the case in these situations, the Force was with the team who played the game in the way it was intended: deftly, thoughtfully and precisely.

After one particularly reckless challenge that left Wes with a head wound, a credentialed media representative and member of the Grandview Flames SC Fan Club objectively and calmly expressed his opinion that the contact was so reckless as to warrant a foul.

The referee stopped play and berated the Grandview supporter, who in turn responded with words that in most neighborhoods would be considered tame, given the tone and posture that had been adopted.

Not happy with the words he heard, the referee exercised his prerogative to eject the fan.

"You have 60 seconds to leave the field, or your team will forfeit," he said.

Several thoughts went through the fan's head at this point, most of them not printable in this family-friendly forum. Said fan exited silently stage left.

Not deterred by the street theater, the Flames flamed on, dominating possession with a disciplined and effective passing game the remainder of the match and pummeling the opposing goal with a half dozen shots.

One of these finally paid off, a well-deserved scorcher from Manny near the close to make it 4-2, which proved to be the final.

Sunday's win came on the heels of Saturday's 5-1 victory over the Worthington Crew Juniors Chiefs (Details and stats to follow).

The Flames now have four more consecutive away trips before returning home for the final two regular-season matches May 15 and 16.


  1. Coach Ryan mentioned today that the referee came up to he and Coach Gerdes after the game and stated that the Flames played a very nice European-style of football that focused on passing. :)

  2. Coach Ryan mentioned today that the ref told Coach Gerdes and he/him (?) that he admired the Flames European-style of play with the focus on passing. :)

  3. I saw Coach Ryan today, he said that after the game the ref came up to Coach Gerdes and he/him (gr?) and said that he liked the Flames' European-style of playing soccer with the emphasis on passing.