Sunday, June 20, 2010

Valencia versus Murcia

There is never an opportune moment to aggravate season ticket holders, who, through thick and thin turn up to watch throughout the year and frequently find themselves freezing cold, sunburnt, neglected or simply pissed off by a shite performance. Personally, I'd tolerate all of those, and have done at various times during the season because every single one of the above grievances goes with the territory. However, ask me to chip in twice for any combination of those dubious privelages and I'd probably say "Piss off, have I got mug tattoo'd on my forehead?"

Clearly, the probability of that verbose reply was discounted by officials of Elche CF, who still went ahead with a ridiculous plan to charge existing season ticket holders for entrance to the local derby, and potential money spinner, against Real Murcia. The upshot was, areas of the ground normally populated by the more vociferous element ( Peñas) of the home support were empty and the healthy travelling contingent made the most noise in a woefully poorly attended match that had so much riding on it for both Elche and Murcia. Considerably more was occurring outside the ground with protests galore occupying the local law enforcement as resentful season ticket holders (abonados) made their grievances known.

Amidst all the politics, a football match took place and what a good one it was for the visitors who looked sharper upfront and in midfield and really took the game to their hosts. A dismal 4900 bothered to turn up, a gate swelled by at least a thousand Murcianos who left delighted as their heroes avenged a home defeat back in January against today's opponents. In fairness, at times Murcia played like a team struggling for their lives in the 2a basement, for their part Elche, were considerably worse and made their red shirted guests look good. Twice Real Murcia went ahead and only once could Elche respond as they gifted their near neighbours three very welcome points.

Argentine goalkeeper Willy Caballero singled handedly defied Murcia for forty minutes, at which point he was left badly exposed by his back four, as they appealed in vain for offside, Aquino was allowed acres of space and just as much time to pick a spot to open the scoring. The heart rate of Willy boy again went through the roof two minutes later when the same Murcia forward burst through under no sort of challenge to fire a shot just wide. The bollocking that followed from the shaven headed goal-keeper left his defenders in no doubt as to his opinion on their concentration levels thus far. Half time 0-1

I'd hazard a guess that Willy Caballero did the interval team talk in the dressing room because, having failed to come up with a single chance worthy of the name throughout a one-sided first half, Elche, with ears  ringing, got themselves on the scoresheet for the only time in the match two and a bit minutes after the re-start.  Midfielder Perera charged forward and kept on going, riding tackle after tackle to bludgeon his way into the Murcia box to even things up. Perhaps now the difference in league positions would become evident, not a chance!

As Elche scratched their arses in, it must be said, pretty clueless fashion, Murcia regrouped and carried on as before, only that man Caballero kept the red shirts at bay as over and over again the four men supposedly playing in front of him went AWOL. For the final time in the game on seventy eight minutes, at least two of the Elche players erroneously designated defenders, politely said "after you" and Chando rounded the Goucho goalkeeper to make it 1-2. The Murcia coach, subs and technical team went fucking spastic, clearly believing they'd just witnessed a momentous moment in their fight for Segunda A survival. Full time 1-2

At about this time last season, the Elche President Jose Sepeulcre and his Rayo Vallecano opposite number, Maria Teresa Rivero, engaged in a war of words in the press following Elche's 1-2 away win which effectively ended the Rayo promotion challenge for 2008/09. Señora Rivero did not mince her words when openly suggesting that Elche CF had accepted a "prima" (cash incentive) from a Rayo promotion rival in return for defeating the Madrid outfit.

Today, the Elche performance had the same sort of look about it, nothing to play for so why not help out a struggling neighbour in return for some financial assistance!!!!

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