Friday, February 5, 2010

Whoops! That wasn't supposed to happen

A week or so after I counted my chickens regarding La Liga football at Hercules CF in the 2010/11 season, they, (Herc' that is), gently remined me football's a funny old game. Prior to the start, thirty points separated Hercules from Castellon in the Segunda 'A' classification, along with the rest of the divisions teams. So the scene was set then for three more points for the mighty Hercules machine as they trampled all over the bottom club from the northernmost of the regions three provinces. Unfortunately, for the Alicantinos, what actually happened was something akin to lowly Peterbrough heading off up the A1and "doing" leaders Newcastle United in the Coca Cola Championship at St.James Park.

Twelve and a half thousand odd people, a decent turn out for Spanish second divison footy, turned up to watch and ended up leaving for home mighty pissed off. Not to put too fine a point on it, how Hercules rose to the top of the table playing as poorly as this is a bit of a mystery. More to the point, how Castellon are deep in the shit trying to fend off Segunda B football next season playing this well is an even bigger mystery.

Perched pitchside, which goal to sit behind for photographs was a bit of a no brainer, top versus bottom at the Rico Perez in April last season yielded eight goals, not one of which was scored by eventually relegated Sevilla Atletico as Hercules kicked their visitors very hard whilst they were down. Before heading off to sit behind the goal of Castellon 'keeper Lledo, I rashly suggested to my one of the other photographers the score might be about to become a bit lop sided. Cock!!!

Things certainly began well enough for Herc', a competent albeit not that confident start, saw them open the scoring with a headed goal by Romanian striker Danciulescu after eighteen minutes. It was the last time they did. For the remaining seventy two minutes Castellon took the piss, starting about ten minutes later with an equalizer Roberto Carlos would have quite liked. Castellon captain, number 22 Pedro, absolutely tanked into the top corner a shot that would have broken the wrists of  Hercules goalkeeper Calatayud had he tried properly to get anywhere near it. I don't think Calatayud is stupid, the phrase "discretion is the better part of valour" immediately sprang to mind, along with the unpleasant motorcycle accident suffered by Spurs' counterpart Claudio Cudicini. At half time, the scores remained one apiece and Herc' trooped off to await the mother of all bollockings.

Whatever was said had little effect, Castellon scored again ten minutes into the half and led for the first time in the match. Then, a comedy moment none of the locals found funny. Montenegran top scorer Delibasic climbed high with visiting defender Rafita, nutted his opponent in mid-air, came off worse and was stretchered off. I think he was just about conscious enough to recongnise the red card waved at him by the referee as he lay there dazed and confused.

Very generously Las Palmas referee Hernandez Hernandez, no seriously that's his name, added on nearly six minutes with which Hercules could continue to make mistakes and give the ball away. To be honest he could have played a full thirty minutes of extra time, then had a penalty shoot out and Hercules still wouldn't have found the back of the net. Aside from a ten minute spell chasing the game near the end, they didn't come to life all game and got what they deserved. Nothing.  Full time Hercules 1 - 2 Castellon

Top - Del Olmo turns the Castellon full back
Upper middle - Castellon Captain Pedro gets in a header
Lower middle - Stretcher or not, Delibasic would soon be leaving
Bottom - So good they named him twice. Sr.Hernandez Hernandez at work

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