The Team That Was
Six Minute Blitz
The West derby between the team that never was and Grilled Birds was decided within six rousing minutes, as Simon, Spirig and Martinsson swallowed their chances whole. Grilled proceeded to clam up against never's imposing wing attacks, but will look back at the loss of Martinsson with some regret.
never were eager to wipe away the memory of Vaios Rodostoglou's hattrick against them in their last league game against Team Singapore, and nearly got off to a flying start when Stefan Nilsson read Fredgård like a book in the second minute of the game. Fredgård had stepped back to cover Davidsson on the right side, and Nilsson took the opportunity to stay onside far enough for a defence splitting pass to reach him. His strike across the face of goal elicted groans from the stands, though.
Both Simon and Martinsson have scored against never whenever they appeared against the club, and they would keep the fire burning in the third meeting between the sides. Simon was the first to extend this record, as van Liere's switching of flanks kept the never defence guessing, allowing him to dig out a tasty cross for the Belgian forward to score from in the 20th minute.Dani Spirig
was next in line to enjoy van Liere's largesse, as the Dutchman swayed his way past Argentine fullback Ernesto Enrique Alameda with terrific speed. Spirig had just failed to connect with a creative through ball by the Dutchman, and was not about to fail him again; He whizzed into van Liere's pass even as goalie Kalle Riis clattered into him, making well sure that the ball hit the back of the net.
Martinsson then made it three goals in three games against never as Grilled's central midfield showed that it could attack too. It was the old warhorse Shen Kek-Tjiang
who made space with some uncharacteristically nimble dragbacks, and Han Kok played it well in front of the rushing Martinsson, inviting him to shoot. The Swede didn't disappoint, but did the job with a delicate chip to bamboozle Riis, who was expecting a hard shot.
Grilled weren't seriously threatened as never were engrossed with finding the right balance between defence and attack, and were close to making it four when Paullin exploded past their central defenders into the box. Paullin followed up by drawing Riis out before going past him and pushing the ball towards goal, but the young Danish keeper exhibited impossible agility by springing back and clambering his way back in time to stop the ball on the line.
The Birds would lose the services of their most prolific striker for the next month or two, sadly, as veteran Swedish striker Johan Davidsson made a worse-than-typical striker's challenge on his countryman. Davidsson appeared to try and kick through Martinsson to get the ball, and ended up hamstringing Martinsson, who could not have been mistaken for faking a dive.
The seriousness of the situation struck when Grilled's medics had to get an oxygen mask on Martinsson as Davidsson stood mortified, not even noticing that the referee had awarded him a yellow card. Martinsson could at least grasp his replacement's hand and give a feeble wave as he was stretchered into the tunnel, to the relief of the spectators.