Retribution for City, Rogue Run Ragged

Time: 1pm, January 24th, 2010
Venue: Bai Ling Bridge Riverside Park

By Michael Christie

The last time City and Rogue met, in November, produced an upset and the only loss City have suffered this season. The Rogue were without Canadian Andy, scorer of a spectacular goal in the earlier game, but still assembled a good, determined side. For their part, the Taipei City management team of Ross and Dan urged every every player to maximize their effort levels, and only then would football skill and know-how decide the result. The starting line-up was Alex Moga in goal; Yunusa Njie, Matt Wharton, Tim Murphy and Mamadi Colley at the back; Steve Reymond and Ed Cartee on the flanks with Mike O’Gorman and Ebrima Njie in centre midfield; and the in-form strike partnership of Dawda and Dan (DAD).

The first five minutes were all City. Looking strong and hungry, City put pressure on the Rogue goal. There were good short passes and quick balls to the flanks in equal measure. City were winning all the tackles, too. Still, something clicked for Rogue after five minutes and they proceeded to dominate the next five minutes. They had three or four strong attacks in as many minutes. Undoubtedly the closest they came was when Ian Edwards, cutting in from the left, contained but not muzzled by the shadowing Matt Warton, laid on an inviting ball for Russell Curtis to crack against the bar. The question at this stage was would this become a game of two equally matched teams both attacking with penetration? Unfortunately for Rogue and impartial spectators, this was as good as it got. City started dictating the pace again and after another five minutes Rogue were panting running after the ball, a pattern that would continue to the end of the match.

Calvertn opened the scoring with a near post header from a corner flighted by Reymond after twenty minutes. Then, on twenty-five minutes Calvert returned the favour, laying on a square ball for the incoming Reymond to finish clinically. Not long after that, again through a combination of strength and astute positioning, Calvert was able to lay on another square ball, this time for Dawda to finish coolly with his left foot. All this time the defence and midfield were functioning very well, keeping the ball, making very few mistakes and displaying a considerable amount of flair in some tight situations. Rogue were running hard, determined not to make the game easy for City. Still, they had to contend with an attack of DAD, Cartee, Reymond, O’Gorman and Ebrima all in good form, not to mention City’s defenders, all capable of using the ball well. Not surprisingly, Rogue were tired.

At half-time, two of the best performers of the first half, brothers Ebrima and Yunusa Njie, made way for Michael Christie and Alex Daly respectively. Alex Daly surprised a number of people with his skill and dribbling close to the Rogue box. Christie did not make an impact until a Rogue defender crashed into him! Christie was winded and saw stars, but the Rogue man came off worse because his head smacked right in the middle of Christie’s sternum. Luckily, neither player was seriously hurt.

Calvert made it 4-0 to City with a turn and powerful low shot past the Rogue keeper halfway through the second half. By this time, City were benefitting from their higher fitness levels. Apart from a few good moves involving Brian McGuinness, Gerry McNally, Russell Curtis and Carl Blundon, Rogue were spent as a cohesive force. City were simply enjoying being on top. The biggest scare City had at this time was a ball kicked with force into Mike OG’s private parts, inadvertently of course. The pain was obviously real, but O’Gorman ran it off to complete another excellent performance for Taipei City. Near the end of the game, Calvert took his hat-trick with an overhead flicked volley from a Reymond cross. This was the goal of the game. Possibly City could have scored more, but the new Rogue goalkeeper made some good saves and the Rogue defence played with passion.

In the end, City played a good game with discipline and control. Three points secured.

Taipei City 5, Rogue 0

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