“Hodor” – Hodor.
A classy Herston Hatchets performance saw them run out comfortable winners over Gustav Hurricanes. The final score of 4-2 flattered the losing team, who were second best from start to finish.
It had been a long five weeks for Herston since their last match (weeks off due to weather, lack of opposition, lack of referee and lack of available Hatchets players have been endured rather than enjoyed). However, the time hadn’t been completely wasted. Crafty yet injury-prone manager Jenya Demidenok was able to use some of his unresolved anger constructively for once, signing central defender Alex Cote on a free transfer. The 6’5″ German was all smiles at his unveiling. “Ja, Herston, ja, I am glad to be here. It was good to win the World Cup last week, but the real challenges are ahead with the Hatchets,” he said.
Our loyal boys in red looked a little flat in the opening exchanges, and were made to pay when a deep cross from the left found its way directly into the net. It was yet another soft early goal conceded, but as compact midfielder Michael Alim often says to himself when justifying his decisions the morning after a big night out – “she wasn’t pretty, champ, but she still counts.”
Fortunately, Herston fought back and were able to carve out several opportunities. In the 22nd minute, top-heavy striker Adam Irelandes took a corner in the direction of Kregg Laundon. The player-manager from North Carolina flicked the ball on into the path of Scott Klass, who smashed it into the back of the net for his first goal of the season. Klass was delighted and his extravagant celebration will be long remembered by all those who saw it.
The Hurricanes were still stunned from conceding the first goal when they found themselves 2-1 down. Irelandes powered a low cross into the six-yard box, which was deflected into the net by a hapless opposition defender. Irelandes brazenly attempted to celebrate the goal, but the Dubious Goals Panel voted 6-1 to confirm it as an own goal (Justice Kirby dissenting).
Half time arrived shortly afterwards, and Herston were certainly the happier of the two teams. In fact, many of the Gustav Hurricanes players looked downright angry as they lit up their Winfield Blues.
A strong half-time team talk led to a strong opening salvo from the Hatchets. Irelandes turned provider again, showing once and for all that you don’t need an aesthetic latissimus dorsi to create goals in this league. His pass from the right found the still-compact Alim, who blasted a shot from the edge of the box. The opposition defender and goalkeeper were both luckily able to dive out of the way, thus preventing serious injury. It is the third net Alim has torn in two this season.
No sooner had Alim finished his knee-slide, though, than the ball was up the other end again for a Hurricanes free kick 30 yards from goal. Hatchets players surrounded the referee, claiming that the opposition midfielder had been guilty of a double dribble in the lead-up to the chance, however the technical foul stood. And it was summarily despatched into the top corner, with goalkeeper Naz Wahab left clutching at the rarefied Lutwyche air. With the score at 3-2, the game was up for grabs once more. Would Herston hold on for the win? See next paragraph for the answer.
The Hatchets began to boss possession once more and really show what they could do with the ball at their collective foot (?feet). Onlookers were at times reminded of Barcelona, however manager Demidenok in his three-quarter-length tracksuit pants could’ve done more to resemble Pep Guardiola. But they were nevertheless rewarded in the 71st minute when a typically dangerous Toby Bronckhorst corner was fumbled by the Hurricanes ‘keeper. Debutant Alex Cote pounced to side-foot the ball into an unguarded net.
With the lead restored to two goals, Herston played out the remainder of the game with ease. Opta stats revealed after the game that in fact, Gustav had only had one shot on goal for the entire game, the free kick. It was yet another strong performance from the defensive unit that has been labelled ‘the strongest in this division.’
Barring further postponements, the Hatchets will be back in action this Sunday against ladder leaders Naita Phoenix at Opperman Park Arena. Tickets are still available.