A renewal of acquaintances against old adversaries prompted a couple of changes to the TFK squad. Gar was sitting out the last week of a 3 match suspension and was joined on the inactive list by Clarkeycat who has failed to convince since his return to this level of football. Fats made his seasonal debut in midfield and in an unexpected shuffle of the deck Rocko was picked to play up top as a Hakan Sukur type figure with Cesc4 withdrawing to the midfield tempest.
A timid first half from both sides ended scoreless. TFK certainly enjoyed the better of the chances, Rocko poking one at the goalkeeper from short range and a number of half-chances going a-begging. It wasn’t all one way traffic but TFK had the lion’s share of possession, and bar one early scare, had largely kept Sophis in check. The pedestrian pace of the opening half hinted at the mediocrity that was to follow however and it remains a concern that the team aren’t passing the ball fluidly and once again proved themselves impatient with the ball on the deck.
The game resumed after the interval with the shrill blast of the referee’s whistle and TFK once again endured their (by now customary) start of the second half slump. Careless with the ball and cavalier without, the whole team seemed to lose focus and allowed Sophis too much possession and an abundance of time to do with as they pleased. One such sloppy piece of play allowed Sophis a break early in the second half and despite the unfortunate Bandage narrowing the angle to block an initial shot on target, the ball broke kindly for a Sophis midfielder who knocked it home with all the time in the world.
TFK played their best stuff for the remainder of the game and it’s some consolation to management that the team responded well when the chips were down again. Rocko missed narrowly from close range (I’m sure someone else can provide the details, it was a blur for me!) and other half and three-quarter chances materialised in nothing more than corner kicks and stinging the palms of the Sophis goalkeeper who made a number of important interventions throughout.
Finally Rocko levelled the game just after the midpoint of the second half. Pressing the opposing defenders high up the park he nipped in on the left full back, won the ball, glided past the centre back and stroked the ball home with his weaker left foot. The goal galvanised TFK and the DART green and Wexford Opera House white warriors went close to taking the lead on a number of occasions. Smart goalkeeping prevented Cesc4 from rounding the keeper and strolling home, another couple of defensive efforts denied Rocko a header (cleared off the line) and a chance for Cesc4 that went straight up into the air from point blank range.
TFK pushed on relentlessly and entering the final few minutes the heroes finally went in front. A corner was worked to Jugs arriving late at the edge of the D and the ginger pervert smashed home first time with his left foot. Even at 2-1 there were chances for both sides but the vast majority of those went to TFK. A third goal never materialised but the good guys had done enough to take all 3 points.