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Big Bamboo Voodoo 3 Shanghai United 2 The Voodoo ended their recent losing streak with a 3-2 victory over Shanghai Utd. They have taken six points from their two encounters with the team directly above them in the SIFL, a fact that I’m sure ‘certain’ members of United will be reminded of time and again! What are the odds for another meeting in one of the two cups? In a much welcomed change from the previous game the sun had decided to shine and the pitch was in the best condition of the whole season. The Voodoo were lining up in a 5-3-2 formation with Giles having the unenviable task of man marking Uniteds quick footed Moroccan. The Voodoo managed to keep the ball down and put together some decent moves in the first half especially in the first thirty minutes when the influential Hal Stockley was on the field. The first goal came from the Voodoo when after winning a free kick in a dangerous position their ‘set piece specialist’ Mark Kilpatrick curled the ball over and around the wall to strike the crossbar. There was a moment of confusion as to whether the ball had crossed the line before Justin Pau seized on the rebound only to see his effort hit the post, fortunately for the Voodoo Leslie Yap reacted the quickest and headed the ball home from a couple of yards. The Voodoo then conceded two goals before half time with both goals coming from defensive confusion. Neither goal left keeper Chris Kincaid with any chance. At half time there were words of encouragement but no changes to the line up. It was the opening period of the second half when the Voodoo took control of the game and it wasn’t long before they were rewarded for their efforts with two goals from new boy Jamie. The first came when Giles Hayward seemingly handled the ball before dispatching his clearance into space for Jamie to run onto. Jamie grabbed the chance and put the Voodoo back on level terms. The next goal was an excellent individual effort with Jamie running across two challenges before striking the ball from around 20 yards, the ball looped over the keeper, stuck the underside of the bar and nestled in the back of the net to give the voodoo what proved to be the winning goal. There was still some defending left to do before the Voodoo were able to take all three points however they held out well. The one exception was when Utd hit the bar and the rebound fell kindly to their player and when it seemed harder to miss he put the ball over the bar much to the relief of the Voodoo. The one sad note of the match was an injury to Gijs who we all wish a speedy recovery. In addition thanks to Andy for volunteering to drive him to hospital.
Voodoo FC 0 Japan 1 (awaiting match report)
Voodoo FC 3 Azzurri 8 (awaiting match report)
Nov 21 - Nov 25 (full news coming soon) Shanghai welcomes back the squad from their successful 1st Manila Nomads Tour. Rick Howard (mvp) Steve Watson (best half tour man) Matt Emsley (best 'Kitty' holder,(treasury)) Chris Kinkade (best youth scout) Sean Capes (best american commentry) Chris Hughes (best handling of 4 catches) Daniel Foa (Andre) Mark Suchy (Mr Showman) Bryce Jenner (most valuable supporter) Paul Simkiss (best Tea drinker) Chris Golding (best low profile) Mark Bawtree (best Filo GF in Shanghai award) Kit Goodrich (best Rugby loser) Mark Kirkpatrick (best 'last minute' man) Rob Hughes (best 'worst hangover' performance)
Latinos 2 Voodoo FC 1 Saturday saw the first late start for the Voodoo FC this season against the Latinos and the omens looked good for us to cement our position in the league with a win, especially after the Germans lost and all other games ending in draws earlier in the day. Superstar Suchy also brought along some loaned ladies for the day that were more dressed for a porn show than for watching football, but we hoped this would inspire some star studded performances. Voodoo had the luxury of being able to bring back together the strong central defensive partnership of Mark Suchy and Giles Hayward, with Chris Golding moving to a defensive midfield role along side Chris Kincaid. Steve Watson played left back, with Mat Emsley moving to an unfamiliar midfield role. Ben Peters returned at right back with Kit Goodrick in front of him in the usual right midfield role. Rob Hughes and Mark Kirkpatrick partnered up front to complete the starting line up. The Latinos won the toss and opted to shoot with the wind. Voodoo were in control from the start and moving the ball well down both wings and causing major problems in the Latinos defense with whipped in crosses from both flanks. The only concerns in a totally dominated first half was long high balls in the wind which unusually the central defense had problems gauging. After sustained pressure for nearly 20 minutes the deadlock was finally broken with some swift movement down the left by Kit (one eye) Goodrick, which resulted in the ball finding Rob on his favored left foot which he slotted home superbly to give Voodoo the edge they needed to relax and start killing off the game. The last 10 mins before half time saw some superb link play between Steve Watson and Mat down the left and only resolute defending and some wayward shooting saw Voodoo come in at half time only one goal the better. During the break coach for the day Rick Howard tried to discuss with the central defense points regarding positioning and calling which he felt had been missing first half, this however did not seem to go down too well and certain quarters reacted quite badly to the questioning of their abilities in front of such gloriously showy supporters. Second half started where the first left off with sustained pressure and excellent work by Rob was causing so many problems for the Latinos they started to resort to kicking out at the ever efficient forward. With the wind in our favor however we again failed to use the advantage and shots were at a premium although crosses were raining in from both flanks, even the usually reliable shooting boots of Chris Kincaid were deserting him. The tide started to turn however as the Voodoo started to react badly to the Latinos tactics and again got involved in petty arguments. It seemed the tide was beginning to turn after an excellent move down the right Kit crossed only to see his effort hit the inside of the post and roll dangerously across the goal avoiding the oncoming avalanche of Voodoo midfield players. Disaster 1 – on one of the rare attacks in the voodoo half a sloppy corner was given away and from the resulting corner bad communication between Suchy and Giles led to confusion and the ball fell kindly to the Latinos who walked the ball into the net with only Steve Watson on the line to try and protect the goal. This was the start of the panic that had hit the voodoo in previous games and the free flowing football that had been characteristic of the past 70 minutes by the Voodoo just disappeared and the communication in the back line was partial at best. The Latinos were now on cloud nine and they could sense the frustration in the Voodoo ranks as they started to make more inroads through the midfield which had been solid all day, and attacking the central defense which started to look very rocky. Disaster 2 – in not closing down the opposition a sweet shot was allowed to be struck to the right of the goal which was only parried away to the right and with mark Suchy running to the goal line to cover Chris Hughes went to meet the shooter who pulled back for the oncoming striker to slot home with Suchy sitting on the line. In a desperate attempt to reassert dominance to the situation Rick Howard came on for the superb debutant at left midfield, Mat Emsley and Sean Capes came on for Mark Kirkpatrick. This nearly paid immediate dividends with the ever effective Rob winning the ball on the right who pulled it back to be laid across the field to Rick on the left hand side, who had just the goal keeper to beat but he pulled off a terrific save to deny him. Things then turned very ugly as the Latinos were trying every tactic to stall the game and in a fracas the Latinos goalkeeper was then sent off. This was the last thing the Voodoo needed as their record against 10 men had been poor all season and true to form, the Latinos frustrated for the last 5 minutes to hold onto their “smash and grab victory” “Im just really angry” said Howard after the game before he disappeared in to the dressing room. Capes was equally short of words. They now have the task of halting the current Voodoo slide and improving their form. From the last few games, they need to focus on making the most of possession, probing teams with both the short and long ball game as well as handling the pressure as opponents attempt to gain advantage when the game is in the balance. The team now has a free weekend fixture due to their tour of Manila and some time for the coaching staff of Howard and Capes to work on how the Voodoo can turn the corner. With games against the Azzuri, Japan and Shooters next on the schedule, their task will have become all the more difficult and testing. The players, supporters and sponsors will be looking to them to lead them out of this current slump. Its still possible for them to push the top teams in the championship race and to perform better in the forthcoming cup competitions. With a squad arguably stronger then last years, they do have the potential to win something this season. The question is, whether they will as a team, fulfill their potential and ignite the Voodoo spirit.