Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The old boys return

Nope, not a Manchester pub in a popular television show but the story behind Santa Pola's most recent three points, taken from a team featuring a couple of their former players. Of the two blokes in question, one was out of luck and the second was a right jammy bastard!

For years attacking midfielder Toni Giminez prompted his 'Pola team-mates and probed away at opposing defences for the benefit of the cause, chipping in with crucial goals and numerous assists. During 2008/09, his last season at Santa Pola, he was much less effective and for large parts of many games appeared totally anonymous. Clearly, the June transfer to rivals Benissa was sufficient re-motivation, Giminez is playing well and amongst the goals again as his new outfit sit in a handy second place, eleven games into the season.

For game twelve, a rugged looking Benissa side, captained by former 'Pola centre-back Cristian sought to avoid only their third defeat following a decent start to the campaign. With the Els Ciprerets pitch suitable only for moto-cross or something agricultural, permission was granted by the FFCV for Santa Pola CF to use the larger, plastic surface of the Pereira facility, on which for the previous couple of weeks the squad had been training.

The game itself was a bit of a good 'un, Benissa are by a distance the best team Santa Pola have played all year, physical, strong and with loads of height throughout the side, they looked a handful, especially upfront where that man Giminez eventually gave all four Santa Pola defenders a pretty good work out, creating most of the good stuff for the visitors. There was nothing streaky or undeserved about the 2-0 lead Santa Pola had opened up at the interval, the real fun and games though began as the second half started.

A very obvious and correctly called yellow card for the bearded Cristian for a none too subtle shove in the back on Paloma, was soon followed by his second. A disappointing and error strewn return should have ended early, instead, and despite the linesman politely volunteering, "I think you've already booked the away number 4" he stayed on and almost changed the game. Inexplicable refereeing oversight aside, there was still a game going on and a good one too. Benissa pulled a goal back before 'Pola extended the cushion to two.

Cristian, who on any other day would have been back in the changing rooms blow drying his hair, eventually racked up two yellow cards, ninety odd minutes, a goal and an assist. His goal, Benissa's third, was a free kick heaved in from long range to make it 3-2 with ten minutes left. Chema's second of the half kept the Marineros two ahead before, yup, the very, very lucky Cristian set up Nestor for the last goal.
Final score 4-3

Had I been sat next to anyone else other than a muscular coloured lad in a Benissa tracksuit, I would have been just a tad cross at the refereeing bungle, instead I spent quite a large part of the final twenty minutes being obsequious to chummy next door. Nothing at all to do with the fact that shortly after the start of the game, he'd mentioned he's Benissa's starting striker but is presently sitting out a three game ban for violent conduct, honest!!


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