Vikings “Voodoo-ed” In a Remarkable Comeback

Posted by Ben Peters on Feb 28 2004 at 04:00PM PST
Big Bamboo Voodoo 4 Vikings 4 On the back of 3 wins and a draw in 2004, the Voodoos’ confidence was high coming into the game against the Vikings as they looked to maintain their unbeaten run this year. Despite being upbeat, the team, especially manager Rick Howard, was cautious not to underestimate the Vikings as the draw in the earlier half of the season against them was still fresh in the minds of the Voodoo players. Despite being at the bottom of the league, the Vikings have improved by leaps and bounds this season with some fresh faces and a stronger will to win games. Due to injuries and personal commitments the Voodoo team was stripped to their bare bones having to play with just 11 players on a wet and early morning. Players were given instructions to pace themselves as no substitutes were available and they took the words literally. The team looked lost, disjointed and couldn’t string two passes together as the Vikings camped on the Voodoos’ half from the whistle. They took a deserved lead and added another two to make it 3-0 in just 30 minutes. What must have gone through the minds of the Voodoo players at that stage? A couple of them did mention after the game that they thought it was another ‘Italian Job’ referring to the forgettable game against the Azzuri earlier in the season. The Voodoos were given a glimmer of hope as they pulled one back within the next 10 minutes. A throw-in down the left side resulted in the ball falling to the feet of left back Matt Elmsley. Looking up and seeing that the opposition goalkeeper was not really concentrating on the game, he hit a 40 yard chip from the left which sailed through the air as well as the fingers of the keeper right into the Vikings net. A goal David Beckham would have been proud of. Just as things seem to be improving for the Voodoos, it took a turn for the worst. Goalkeeper Daniel Foa a.k.a Andre who was having a decent game under the difficult conditions was challenged by a Viking forward as he came out to gather the ball. He landed awkwardly and dislocated his shoulder, the third Voodoo player to do so in the last five games. Two goals behind and down to 10 men, the Voodoos left the field without knowing what to expect for the second half. A spell must have been worked up by the team manager during the break as the Voodoos looked determined stepping onto the field while the Vikings went a gear or two down. From a Viking corner the ball was cleared to the middle of the park where Voodoo forward Leslie Yap who was having a quiet game having not seen much of the ball in the first half nodded it on to flying winger Kit Goldrick. With the ball at his feet, Goldrick took off attacking the Vikings on the right of midfield. He slipped a pass on to Hal Stockley who was supporting with a run from midfield and Stockley picked up where Goldrick left, with a darting run pass the Viking left back and sending a teasing cross into the penalty box from the right. Yap, who managed to get into the six yard box finished the move with a volley pass the Viking’s keeper. 3 – 2!! And with lifted spirits, the Voodoos continued to press on the Vikings, chasing every ball, keeping the pressure on and it all paid off with the Voodoos winning a couple of corners. It was from one of these that the Voodoos drew level. A lovely corner was whipped in by Goldrick and met with a thumping header by center back Mark Suchy, sending the ball to the right corner of the Vikings goal, far from the reach of the outstretched keeper. The Vikings did not know what hit them. When they finally came to their senses the Voodoos were level but the spell was wearing off. With over 25 minutes to go in the game, the story was not over. The Vikings hit back with a quick goal as a through pass from the center of the field put a Viking forward on a run into the Voodoo box and he finished clinically to the bottom left of the Voodoo goal leaving stand-in keeper Chris Kincaid with no chance. The Voodoo players kept their heads up, working harder with every last bit of energy that was left in them and yet again their persistence paid off as they won a free kick just outside the Viking penalty box. Up stepped manager Rick Howard to send a sweet curling left foot shot pass a sea of heads into the top corner. 4-4 ! Unbelievable! Both teams continue to look for the winning goal with play switching from end to end but there were no further goals for the remainder of the game. Under such circumstances, the Voodoo team must have left the field feeling victorious despite the draw while the Vikings left cursing how they let a 3-1 lead slip with a one-man advantage. Overall it was seen as a good team effort as the Voodoo defense held out well despite being bombarded by crosses from midfield and easily 10 corners that the Vikings won in the game. This game will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the classic comebacks of all time in the Voodoos’ short club history. Team: Daniel Foa, Ben Peters, Mark Suchy, Steve Watson, Matt Elmsley, Rick Howard, Hal Stockley, Mark Kirkpatrick, Kit Goldrick, Chris Kincaid, Leslie Yap Subs: NONE


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