Strikers v Cosmos

Round 26 report by David Marshall
Brisbane Strikers v Canberra Cosmos

This was a strange evening. My son is in NZ and my usual mate in China, so I fronted the Paddo expecting to pick up a few of the regulars. There was one only there. What you might call a low key start to the evening.

We strolled down Caxton Street and there were few punters on the streets - the Studs Up vendor said he had sold 4 in the last hour. Inside the ground was fuller than I expected, but didn't see Crofty and no Taringa lads in sight. A very quiet crowd and the Strike Squad were almost mute.

Knipe sang the national anthem to get things off to an unusual start - I wonder if Japp Stam does it for Holland?

The game itself was a bit strange too. Another very dominant display by the STRIKERS, but this was again not reflected in the scoreline. We should have had 8 to 10 and ended up with 3. Two to Knipe and one to the Mad Bull - the latter from a very rare variation on a corner. All year either Kasey (with a K) or TMB have dropped balls into various parts of the box from corners - this time Wehrman rolled it out to Nick at the edge of the box, unmarked despite some frantic signalling from one of Canberra's defenders, he had time to tee it up and smacked a left footer (what else?) past the keeper who, BTW, bears an uncanny resemblance to T&T at first glance. What was stranger was the injury count for the Cosmos. I didn't think it a vicious game, but poor Canberra suffered the loss of three players - two by stretcher, the latter (I think Zelic) of which looked quite worrying. Anyone know if he is alright?

At half time an attractive and very shy young married lady (I know because she said so) was the recipient of a mobile phone, compliments of the sponsor, for being the 1,000,000th NSL spectator this season (do they include freebies, and how do they cope with the :"about 2000" and so on from some grounds?). Anyway, it was a nice bit of fun and a promotion, although I didn't hear anything of it before the game except for a posting on the Ozsoccer list.

Kossie should be looking to Bushells as a sponsor if that is tea that he sips all match. What ever it is, it seems to keep him calm to the point of stupor. Is he laid back, or what? Perhaps he did over-indulge because he brought the OHY on for Tullamarine late on.

He flapped and ran and looked quite active, but didn't actually achieve a great deal. I find a perverse pleasure in watching him off the ball. Somehow he never appears to be creating anything - more reactive than proactive you might say. I'm not sure he was a good buy. What the STRIKERS really need, ironically, is a striker. If we had, say the Frogger, we would, IMHO, be near top of the league, instead of being in danger of being also rans. I think the side has looked as good as any team, and better than most this year, and it's dead frustrating. I'll tell you!

Right at the death a STRIKER - I think Kasey W, who had a better game, but still not as good as I have seen him - rolled a terrible schoolboy howler of a pass square across our midfield, with most of the team going forwards,where it was gratefully gobbled up and duly stuck in the net. I do hope we don't dip out by one goal on goal difference.

3414 said to be present, which may be down to the hard core following in view of our league situation. Our progress into the top six is well and truly in the hands of others this weekend, but if the cards fall right, it still is not out of the question. CC very few - he came on late, and didn't impose himself excessively.