“Lekker performance, boys” – Jenya Demidenok, 1:30pm
A superlative performance by the Herston Hatchets on Sunday afternoon saw them demolish traditional rivals, Woodridge Rodelu, 6-1. The opposition were simply unable to cope with the pace of the Hatchets attack, and can have no complaints about the final scoreline.
The absence of co-player-manager ‘Krazy Kregg’ Laundon gave co-player-manager Jenya Demidenok free reign over team selection for the first time this year, and he took full advantage. Demidenok, who is widely regarded to be the most Eastern-European man in the QIF Sunday Premier division, made no less than five changes to the first XI and shifted to a new formation in the search for goals. Laundon was unavailable for comment, but is believed to be angry.
However, the one change that Demidenok was unable to make regarded the referee. Academy Award nominee John Hurt returned for an encore performance, once again playing the critically-acclaimed role of a jaded and lonely middle-aged man who has lost control of his entire life except for his time on the pitch as a Sunday-league referee. It was another enthralling performance, and observers were heard to remark that the perverted pleasure on Mr. Hurt’s face as he, yet again, stopped a fellow human from enjoying themselves, was “right up there” with his depiction of Elephant Man in the eponymous 1980 classic.
However, the game continued. A tight first fifteen minutes gave way to a more open first half as Woodridge players began to tire. Sure enough, the first goal came in the 33rd minute. A pinpoint cross from Sam Shum found Demidenok in space, and ‘Yevgeny’ made no mistake. 1-0.
The second goal came not long afterwards. ‘The Irish Terrier’ Adam Irelandes somehow sprung the referee’s offside trap and passed the ball across the face for Andrew Lee to tap in. It was Lee’s first ever goal for the club and the delight was obvious on his small face.
Half-time smoko arrived with the score still at 2-0. ‘Dangerous’ Demidenok was still furious with the boys, and wasted no time in letting them know that he expected more from the second half. So it was a downcast Herston side that re-took the field for the second half, bearing down under the weight of expectation from their loyal brigade of supporters.
Luckily, those supporters didn’t have long to wait for some more action. Irelandes, with an uncharacteristic show of bottle, executed the gegenpressen to perfection and won the ball back close to goal. With cries of ‘turnover’s good!’ from the referee, Irelandes had time to smash the ball into the roof of the net. An exuberant celebration by the man from Mackay ended with a large smile on his tiny face but a disappointingly short knee-slide.
A bit of complacency perhaps crept into the Herston gameplay, as a fast break yielded an excellent opportunity for Woodridge. The opposition striker cleverly realised that, since he had been called offside last attack, it was his turn to be onside. He exploited this to the maximum by taking up a position at least twenty metres behind the last Hatchets defender, but still had to finish smartly. This he did, striking the ball right out of the sweet-spot of his size-four foot and finding the bottom corner.
Herston responded with some intense pressure. The next goal was only a matter of time, and it came courtesy of compact midfielder Michael Alim. The first-year man’s eyes lit right up in the middle of his miniature face as he pounced on a error by the oversized Woodridge goalkeeper and tapped in at the far post. All six of the devoted Hatchets fans that had made the journey out to the game could have been forgiven for thinking the game was over as a spectacle, but they couldn’t have been more wrong.
Minutes later, a seemingly innocuous clearance from a Woodridge player fell to hulking Herston defender Simon Bennet, who had time and space to look up, 30 yards from goal. Bennet initially shaped to pass, but as the cries of “fookin’ ‘ave it!” from serial bum-slapper and #1 Hatchets fan Robert Walsh rang out around Taringa Park Stadium, he thought better of it. Desperately seeking the approval he never got from his father, Bennet struck the ball towards goal. Time slowed to a crawl as the ball curved over the boulder-like goalie. As it settled in the back of the net, Bennet was already half-way to the pavilion, a broad smile gleaming on his massive face. The subsequent knee-slide has already been described as an early ‘slide-of-the-season’ contender.
Minutes later, Bennet stooped to head in a pinpoint cross from Tuscan hard man Steven Cecchi, and the lead had stretched to an insurmountable 6-1. It was no less than the Hatchets deserved for an excellent display. Even the notoriously hard to please Demidenok will have problems finding flaws in this performance.
The next game for the Herston Hatchets is on Sunday 11 May, at Prentice Park. Kickoff will be at 11:30am. Tickets are still available.