MKFC Reserves 4 - 0 Manhattan Celtic Reserves
After several days of administrative buffoonery, the Manhattan Kickers finally stepped out onto the field against the Manhattan Celtic Reserves to play a long-awaited make-up match at Randall’s Island’s field 75, on a temperate mid-week evening. The match began evenly, with the Kickers, of the First Division, holding the ball well and creating some dangerous chances. Despite moving the ball well, the Celtics seemed to putter out in the offensive third, cheaply giving away possession at the crucial moment. When the Kickers made the breakthrough mid-way through the first half from excellent wing play, the Celtic heads began to drop. That is not to say that it went all the Kickers’ own way. Had the Celtic been slightly more clinical in the opening stages, the game could have gone quite differently. By the time Almir collected his second goal of the game, off of an incisive central pass, the game started to look more and more like a possible rout. As tensions continued to build within the Celtic team, late tackles began flying in, leading the Kickers to take an equally assertive position. Through a little poor match management, the referee conspired to create an outright hostile situation, with Celtics players showing studs and exaggerating contact all overt the pitch. Both teams were lucky to go in at half time without any major injuries. The second half started much like the first, with the Kickers keeping their shape and defending strongly against an impotent Celtic frontline. When Tommy scored a wonder chip from deep in the left corner, roughly at the edge of the 18-yard box, it became clear that the Celtics were unlikely to make much of a comeback. By the time the fourth goal scored by Fabrizio Lepiz went in, though, the Kickers lost sight of their shape, and had to withstand wave after wave of tepid, Celtic fury. With the game ending 4-0, the Kickers must look ahead to the next round, while the Celtics can rest easily knowing that, at least in this universe, the result was never likely to go any other way.