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SEASON 2022/23 HIGHLIGHTS
Hercues 2nd Rnd
We came up against Hercules after a 3 week break and off the back of an impressive victory Vs South, confident we could give Hercules a game. However knowing that a slim chance at play offs was at stake and we had to throw everything at them for the win. The game started with Hercules dominating the ball as expected and testing Mascarenhas reflexes. However Zoca managed chances if their own through returning Capi Ballester and our top marksman Podesta. The first half was a tight goalless affair till Gracia found some space and slid in Villa on the wing who evaded his marker and crossed the ball ahead of the keeper and into Podesta who rifles home for 1-0. The lead wasn’t to last long as Hercules equalised soon after from a free kick routine. As the half wore on Hercules found the net again after their striker skilfully dinked Mascarenhas. But just before the half ended Balestrino found Podesta who turned his marker and smashed the ball into the top corner for 2-2 at Half Time.
The Second half started with neither team finding much space and very few chances being created. But Hercules for the break as a corner deflected off Ballester to go in for 3-2. Soon after they got the 4-2 as Zoca hadn’t settled after going down. The game was getting away from The Bastion as Mascarenhas pulled off a string of impressive saves to keep us within distance. Hercules made this dominance count as they got the fifth after a near through ball fluid the attacker and after his shot was saved he pounced on the rebound. Zoca finally awoke and pressed Hercules up top creating chances and rattling the post through Villa, Currer & Podesta. But the late onslaught was too little to late as Hercules came away with the points. We live and learn after a valiant performance.
GOAL SCORERS :- PODESTA X2
South Round 2
Matches against South Utd are always feisty affairs and we expected no less in this encounter. Our first meeting was a close call ending 6-3. The first half was a gritty tense to and fro with neither team creating too many clear cut chances, Mascarenhas standing talk when called upon.
Second half got Under way and you could now see both teams intent to go ahead. Garro robbed the defender and closed in on goal l cooly finishing to make it 1-0 Zoca. Soon after South had a man sent off after a rash tackle on the ever dangerous Garro. Zoca didn’t make advantage of the extra man but soon after we went ahead through Podesta’s determination in front of goal. We were in control now, but South pulled a goal back and we feared the nerves would get to us. However Mascarenhas was in inspired form keeping South at bay and on a breakaway from a South corner, Currer countered and finished to make it 3-1 and some breathing space. As South pushed forward to get back into the game the spaces opened up and Gilbert with a neat through ball found Garro who rounded the keeper and made it 4-1 game over and points were secured..
GOAL SCORERS :- GARRO X 2, PODESTA, CURRER
Saxons 2nd Rnd
A match that provided intensity, passion and a rollercoaster of emotions for both sides. Saxons taking the lead after 10 minutes after some end to end football. Zoca replied quickly from a long range equaliser by Karl Balestrino via a corner. The match continued to be very balanced with Zoca failing to put away some chances and heading into Half Time with a 1 all draw.
The second half proved to be nothing less than once again a mouth watering encounter of exciting football providing 8 goals. Saxons going ahead with two quick goals after some Zoca defensive errors taking the score line to 3-1. Zoca showed character and passion coming back from a 3-1 deficit to leading 5-3, goals 3 and 4 scored by talisman Paul Podesta and the quick footed, Carl Linares. Both goals coming from open play with one and two touch passes from the back, resulting in the ball hitting the Saxons net. Saxons on the other hand had other thoughts and continued to push and bringing out the fly keeper tactic. This caused Zoca to reshape and for the remaining 4 minutes of the match seemed to have it under control. With only 1min and 27seconds left, Saxons stepped it up attacking Zoca’s goal which rewarded them with two quick goals and a final 5-5 score draw. Overall a very entertaining match but not the result Zoca were gunning for.
GOAL SCORERS :- PODESTA X 2, BALESTRINO, GRECH, C LINARES
Laguna 2nd Rnd
With only 1 sub we knew we were going to find things tough today. We started off the game strong against a defensively well organized team hitting the post early on and taking control pushing laguna back. As the half wore on, laguna offered little going forward as we again hit the post and had a shot cleared off the line. As half time approached once again we hit the post and cross bar in quick succession but still no break through. Zoca on top and moving the ball well.
As the second half began Laguna offered more going forward now forcing Stefan in to a couple of good saves. Podesta Currer and Giovanni giving us good chances once again on the counter attack. Chances spurned as their keeper once again put in some last ditch saves as clearances were now made off their line. Luck so far was not with Zoca. Things were beginning to heat up as both teams with the clock now approaching full time pushed for the winner. With 1:20 left on the clock Laguna we’re awarded a penalty for a 6th foul and scored. 1:0 the game finished. A game deserved of Zoca for the 3 points, but the cruel realities of football came to fruition.
A valiant effort from the team who gave it their all and truly deserved the win. Luck today just wasn’t on Zocas side.
MOTM:- TEAM EFFORT
Lek 2nd Round
Second game of Round 2 was against Lek 54, a team we'd beaten 7-1 in the first round but had proven to be a tricky team to face with youth pace and skill that we had to be wary of. we started the match confident though after last weeks importnat win Vs Lions Gib FC. We were on the front foot as the opposition did not seem their dynamic selves, Podesta robbing the defence and coming close. Soon after Villa struck for 1-0 after a neat give and go with Podesta. Currer then rattled the bar and soon after got a brace with two well driven low shots into the corner. Again Currer involved as he crossed for Vatvani to tap in for 4-0. We were scoring and Lek were not troubling us at the back, the goals kept flowing as Villa, Podesta, Grech and Currer made it 9. Lek managed one back after a powerful shot was not held by Mascarenhas and rebound made it 9-1 at the break.
The second half started and we knew we could get more goals as Lek were not putting up much resistance. A corner move brough an own goal as the keeper defected into his net for 10. Some very good passing moves working the Lek defence from Currer, Podesta and C Linares gave us more goals and the game was now an exhibition of some neat stylish play by Zoca. Podesta wanted more goals himself and grabbed a few more himself out muscling their defenders and turning well for his goals. Carl Linares finally got his goal after a very good display slotting home for the 16th. Lek managed another in the half as they countered us well and the match ultimately finished 17-2. A good day in the office as we got the 3 points and a healthier goal difference.
GOAL SCORERS :- PODESTA X5, CURRER X 4, VILLA X3, VATVANI X2, GRECH, C LINARES
Lions Gib 2nd Rnd
The first match of the 2nd Round matched us up Vs Lions Gib FC, whom had defeated us narrowly on the opening day of the season, 2-1. The lads were revved up and ready to get our own back. We started fluidly passing the ball about well probing for the opening, Grech and Podesta both had shots saved, whilst the Zoca backline kept firm with Mascarenhas not troubled early on. The first half saw us have the better chances with Currer and Ballester spurning chances too, as the half wore on Lions came into it and started troubling us, taking more possession in the game, but at the end of the first half Currer found Podesta and on the turn he fired the shot in for 1-0 Zoca and it was half time.
The second half commenced with Lions pushing us deep as they searched for the equaliser, Zoca had a few near misses with some good interchanging up front putting us in front of goal, however we didn't finalise our moves. This came back to haunt us as Lions managed to get an equaliser after capitalising on a loose ball, they slotted home for the equaliser. Zoca felt they should have had more from the game but were not finalsing plays and Lions through a corner routine managed to get the 2nd at the far post. Zoca had to dig deep now, so they did C Linares started dictating our play and through a neat give and go with Podesta we managed to get the equaliser, game on. Both sides were searching for the winner, not contenet with a point, with minutes left, Villa sent the ball down the byline for Podetsa to chase and as he turned the defender he got his shot away and it beat the keeper, 3-2 Zoca and in the lead once again. The drama hadn't yet finished as Lion managed to get a 5th foul penalty with 40 seconds left, could Mascarenhas produce heroics again to seal the win. It was not required as the Lions attacker blazed the ball over the bar and despite their attempts with the Fly keeper they could not find the equaliser and Zoca saw the result through, a vital 3 points attained.
GOAL SCORERS :- PODESTA X2 C LINARES
Our last match up of Round 1 was against the reigning League and Play-off Champions Europa FC. Always a tough fixture but even more so with our growing injury list, we started sluggishly and Europa wereputting us under pressure, with Mascarenhas making a few routine saves. We were under the cosh early on and Europa were looking to get off the mark early and they did just that. After we lost the ball on the halfway mark the Europa attackers combined to put the ball away in the back post for 1-0. Europa then found the net again through a couple of well worked corner routines, before you knew it was 3-0. We were not coping with their intensity and speed of play. However we managed to get up the field and ceate a few half chances but we were not getting up afiled enough. Europa ended the half with another goal through a well worked one two and the half ended 5-0.
Second half had to be better and despite Europa not relenting in their pressure Zoca started better holding firm at the back with Mascarenhas making some key saves. Zoca created a few openings but nothing of significance as we focused on suring up the defensive line. For the most part we held firm however Europa managed to get two more goals through an unfortuante own goal and a direct free kick. This spurred us on and through a great move Villa dribbled through and passed to Sardeña who got a goal back for us. Soon before the end we got another back this time through Grech whose snap shot found the back of the net, 7-2 final score in a difficult afternoon but one we will learn from against quality opposition.
GOAL SCORERS :- SARDEÑA, GRECH
Match Day 9 we came up against last season League and Playoff runners up Lynx FC. A team we have always struggled with owing to their undoubted quality and dominance of this league since UEFA's inception. Like the South game we started fast and before we knew it we were 1-0 up after a great ball over the top to Grech who ran into space ahead of his marker and looked to be brought down by their keeper and the ball was cleared into Serra's path who slotted into the empty net for 1-0. Lynx kept calm and moved the ball around as they know how, whilst Zoca kept their defensive shape, Mascarenhas made a few routine saves, brimming with confidence after last weeks clean sheet Vs Bavaria. Then another long ball up from Ballester found Currer who controlled and flicked the ball into the on coming Jamie Linares who neatly placed the shot past their keeper and it was 2-0. Lynx now knew they were in a game now and ramped up the pressure with Mascarenhas now coming under pressure along with the Zoca backline. Lynx got a goal back after Zoca did not clear their lines and it was 2-1. The game was tense and tight as Zoca looked to hold their lead and Lynx tried to equalise. Sure enough our resistance was broken and a through ball saw Lynx attacker free on goal to poke home for 2-2. Half time and it was all square.
Second half continued with sustained pressure from Lynx and Mascarenhas and Zoca rearguard standing tall, with Lynx intensity now wearing us down. Lynx tricky wingers were stretching us and sure enough one of them found the 3-2 with a sweet first time finish into the top corner. Zoca knew they had to now push forward again and before you knew it a neat passing counter saw Currer find Jamie Linares at the far post for his second of the game and it was 3-3, the game was bubbling nicely. Zoca had a few near counters work out but the final touch or ball just went begging each time as tiredness was kicking in after such a great defensive display. Lynx constant movement and probing paid off as they found their main man at the back post for a tap in and 4-3, 5 minutes left, did Zoca have one more last moment in them. Indeed they did, after a poor clearance from the Lynx attacker Grech fired a snap shot from range and it nestled into the net and it was 4-4, what a match. As the clock ticked towards the end tempers flared and tackles were flying threatening to boil over, Lynx went with the fly keeper but we kept our nerve and achieved what was our first ever points Vs Lynx, a titanic effort Vs the 6 time Futsal Premier Champions.
GOAL SCORERS :- SERRA, J LINARES X 2, GRECH
MOTM:- J LINARES
Match Day 8 we faced off against Bavaria FC, last season saw very much contrasting results as we celebrated a superb win in the first round, contrasting that with a crushing defeat in the second round. Suffice it to say we knew an epic battle awaited. The game got underway with both teams deadlocked not creating much as both keepers made comfortable saves. Tackles were flying in as before we knew it each team were on 3 fouls early on. Halfway through the first half Bavaria lost their talisman Bosio to an injury as he went for a shot. Bavaria did not let it effect them as they started o create chances, albeit from long range as Mascarenhas stood tall. As for Zoca, Podesta tested their keep on a few occasions but he stood tall. Half time and it was all square.
Second half began and Bavaria upped the intensity and showed their intentions as they rattled the woodwork. Bavaria were pressing Zoca back but we held firm and Mascarenhas was looking unbeatable with some fine reflexes shown. And on a Bavaria attack Serra outmuscled his opponent and broke free on the counter, tearing down on goal he was one on one with the keeper and calmly slotted the ball for the 1-0. Bavaria responded with more pressure on the Zoca defence as we were pinned back, but Mascarenhas was on a mission and saving all that came before him and if he didn’t the Zoca rearguard was in hand as Gilbert cleared off the line. Spaces were beginning to open up and Zoca managed to create chances which could have killed the game but we weren’t clinical as Currer, C Linares and Gilbert had chances spurned. With 5 minutes to go and 4 fouls each in this feisty affair, Bavaria captain saw his second yellow handed to him for dissent and he saw red. Zoca couldn’t take the advantage as injuries to Podesta and Villa during the half saw our intensity wane. With 3 minutes left and back to 5 players, Bavaria went with the fly keeper to get the equaliser, we held firm and even had an opportunity to kill tha game off. But with literally 0.1 seconds left Gilbert was adjudged to have handled the ball and Bavaria had their fifth foul penalty and a chance to equalise. Mascarenhas clean sheet was at risk but he had been imperious all game and inevitably he saved from the penalty and there was no turn left, Zoca had all 3 points in a gruelling battle against quality opposition.
GOAL SCORERS :- SERRA
Matchday 6 saw us take on title hopefuls Hercules with a new look squad. We started tight at the back and Hercules found it hard to break us down as did we agsinst them. But Hercules found the opening after a neat move and toe poke to the bottom corner, 1-0. Soon after Villa pressed up top and won the ball and his shot hit the outside of the post. Soon after Hercules got the 2nd and again straight after we came close as Podesta hit the post thois time from the free kick, it looked like it would be one of those days. The first half now was tight as Hercules protected their lead and tried for the counter as Mascarenhas held firm. Zoca could not break down Hercules but again just before the half time break Hercules found the net and again Zoca came close straight after with Linareshitting the bar, not much luck went our way in the first half.
Second half we knew we would have to up our levels to get back into the game. We pushed further up and tried to press Hercules and we started finding moreof the ball as we pinned them back, to try and get a goal early 0n. The match was more of a stalemte now with few chances as both teams tussled for possession. However after a good ball up top to Podesta, Grech managed to get into the box and get his shot away as keeper saved it, Grech bundled rebound in and we had a goal back. Unfortunately this sprung Hercules into action and they got their 4th to keep us at distance. Immediately after Serra found Sardeañ with a well placed cross into the box and Sardena headed in for 4-2. Next goal would be key and we pressed hard up top to get the goal but Hercules back line kept firm. As we pushed forward Hercules countered and got the 5th. We attempted the fly keeper but our chances were not clear enough and after a mistake at the back we conceded the 6th, a game that could have been closer was perhaps a step too far with limited numbers.
GOAL SCORERS :- GRECH, SARDEÑA
MOTM:- PODESTA, VILLA
Matchday 5 brought us up against South United who had strengthend well this season, looking to go further up the table. We were looking to bounce back from back to back defeats in the league and Rock cup. we could not have started better with The bastion taking a two goal lead early on. First gilbert strick from a well worked Free kick and then Carl linares fired home from the corner pass. This of course awoken South into action, they tested Mascarenhas and he stood up to their attacks, however a well worked cross to the backpost found the South attacker for 2-1. Soon after a counter from South saw them get back to level terms at 2-2, game on with both teams not backing down. Carl linares straight after the equaliser found himself with a lobbed pass in front of goal but his cip went over the bar. South completed the comeback when their attacker dribbled into space and smashed into the roof of the net. Zoca however felt the game was there to be taken and a superb team effort with over 10 passes strung together ended with Currer squaring for Sardeña to tap in, 3-3 and half time what a rollercoaster.
Second half began and South turned up the pressure with a high press, keeping The Bastion pinned back, Mascarenhas making some good saves to keep them at bay, Podesta on the counter broke free and nearly put us back ahead but his save was blocked by the keeper. The game started going from end to end with South pushing hard to go ahead and they eventually took the lead with a well placed shot into the corner. Zoca immediatley hit back with Podesta smashing the woodwork, so close now with both teams looking for the win. But South made the all important break through and took the 5-3, Zoca pushed with the fly keeper and again came close through Currer & Podesta but we didnt manage it and eventuallly paid the price of the risks of Fly keeper abd South countered for 6-3. We gave it a titanic effort but ultimately fell short, we can keep our heads high after such a gruelling an epic battle.
GOAL SCORERS :- GILBERT, C LINARES, SARDEÑA
ROCK CUP 2022/23 MATCH REPORT
Zoca started the match strong moving the ball well with chance after chance failing to hit the back of the net. Strong goal keeping from the Stallions goalie keeping Zoca at bay. As we pass the half way mark of the first half we have limited Stallions to 2 long range efforts so far, though some lacklustre defending concedes a free kick on the edge of our area. The free kick is taken and its fired in. 1:0 to Stallions. Once again we pile on the pressure creating chance after chance but their defence holding firm. A counter attack out of no where brings us to 2:0 followed shortly after by another free kick. 3:0 to Stallions at half time.
As the second half begins we get a goal back through some good team play though a quick fire response brings the score line to 4:1. Zoca had it all to do in the remaining 10 minutes. Fly keeper now being utilised we get a couple of goals back bringing the score to 4:3. Once again our defending let us down with a quick counter attack resulting in a 5:3 scoreline to end the game.
Its fair to say this is not a result we would have liked, having tested their keeper on a heavenly scale, but it proved to be some errors defensively that cost us.
GOAL SCORERS :- PODESTA, CURRER, GRECH
MOTM:- C LINARES
Another newly promoted side awaited us on Matchday 4, this time it was Saxons FC. A side we'd faced in the Capurro Cup this summer in what proved a very tricky tie, which we won 1-0. We knew it would be achallenge and it proved to be. the game was slow and nervy to begin with Saxons and Zoca not creating much, rather feeling their way into the game. It took a while until the 15th minute when from a dead ball situation, Saxons too the lead with a powerful free kick. it would prove to be our undoing in the match, set pieces. We started getting a hold of the ball but again the match was very scrappy and chances were few and far between and Saxons got the second with a neat finish in the bottom corner. This finally woke Zoca up and as the half came to and end Gilbert found the ball to Currer who jinked into the box and slotted home for 2-1 at half time.
The gaffer gave the team a dressing down as this was not an acceptable performance thus far. We started to try to get the ball forward quickly and we started creating space and a few half chances but Saxons kept tight at the back. Then in a crazy few minutes Saxons had a player sent off for dissent and were down to 4 men, from a subsequent kick in they managed to take a 3-1 lead. Zoca poured forward to try and get a goal with the man advantage and with a long range shot we managed just that as Gilbert reduced it to 3-2. Our tails were up now and we felt we had momentum, podesta muscled himself onto the defender to win the ball back and fired the ball in for 3-3, game on. Zoca knew the game was there for the taking, we pushed forward and pressed there backline and they had no answer out from the back. Currer then got onto the ball and crossed into the open box and Jamie Linares poked it home for 4-3 Zoca, we finally were ahead in the match. We had the match in our favour but we didnt take advantage and Saxons used the flying keeper well in the last 4 minutes seeking the equaliser, we didnt clear our lines and it fell to the Saxons forward and he slotted home for 4-4. the game was on a knife edge and both teams wanted the win, Podesta had a shot whistle wide and then a powerful shot parried by the keeper, we were close but in the final minute, once again from a kick in Saxons got a shot away and it bobbled into the corner for 5-4 and game over, a tough defeat to take but we keep our chins up and work had for the next games.
GOAL SCORERS :- CURRER, PODESTA, GILBERT, J LINARES
This game saw us face off Vs Champions of 2nd Division Laguna FC, a team we'd faced before and had many battles in the past. The game got under way and there were chances few and far between, with both teams playing defensive low blocks. No one wanting to show their hand, but today Grech had his shooting boots on and after a good find from Ballester Grech blasted home the opening goal into the top corner 1-0 Zoca. Soon after Laguna started fighting back and Mascarenhas kept our goal secure with a few decent saves from range. However Grech was in the mood and this time got past his marker and fired a low range shot at the keepers near post and made it 2-0 Zoca, we were in command now. Laguna huffed and puffed but Zoca were playing well and not looking to surrender their lead but Zoca's ill discipline got the better and they conceded a double foul but the first free kick was blazed over and the second well saved from Mascarenhas. But just before the half Laguna pegged one back through ex Zoca player Kaylan Rumbo after he fired his shot low from the corner, at half time it was 2-1 Zoca.
The second half got under way and we were in the ascendency with Gilbert going through on goal but hos shot was saved. Soon after a good combination from Podesta and Garro made it 3-1 and Zoca had their cushion. The game was now in the balance as Laguna searched for a way back but Zoca held firm at the back and the same combo proved fruitful as Podesta riolled his marker and found the on rushing Garro for 4-1 Zoca. Laguna now poured forward to revive the game and managed to get a goal back at 4-2 with a well worked move into the box. Laguna now playing with the flying keeper were throwing everything into the mix to get back into the game and late on Garro retrieved the ball and beat the keeper from range to end the game 5-2. A great result as Zoca showed their grit and determination.
GOAL SCORERS :- GARRO X 3, GRECH X2
The game got under way with Zoca handling some good early pressure from Lek. Huart in goal with a good save early on to up his confidence on his debut. As the game went on, Zoca got on the ball more and a long drive from Giovanni Villa found the back of the net. Shortly followed by well worked team play front back to front finished off by Giovanni Villa once again though this time, the shot went over the bar. Zoca now growing in confidence. Another Zoca debutant in Sykes Garro bagging himself a goal from an indirect free kick made possible by the quick thinking of the ever threatening and tenacious Sean Grech. A third followed moments later from Sean Grech after some great play cutting through the heart of the Lek defense. The Bastion now went in to half time at 3:1. Lots of work to be done, but seeming more than up to the task. It must be said that the tenacious defending from Gilbert and Balestrino from start to finish gave Zoca the platform and confidence going forward. Fantastic efforts from our pillars at the back!!
The second half began with Zoca knowing that the next goal was key. It was a tense affair, end to end for the better part of the next 10 minutes, though the dead lock broken by some intimate play between Garro and Carl Linares in a very tight space before C Linares fired home. 4:1 to Zoca now. Lek feeling the pressure and beginning to tire, we sensed it was now time to push on and see how much damage could be done. Sykes Garro followed this up with a further 2 goals, and with Lek playing fly towards the end, the ever impressive Villa read a wayward pass, latch on and slotted home in to an empty net.
It is also worth mentioning Podesta, our top goal scorer of last season,did not get on the score sheet, though was at the forefront of everything that was positive about our game, bringing others in to the Frey, using his physicality and ability, particularly with his back to goal to enable the other to find the net through out the match. Ever impressive and tireless in his work rate!
A great team effort bringing the Bastion their first win of the season.
GOAL SCORERS :- GARRO X 3, VILLA X 2, GRECH, C LINARES
MOTM:- GARRO & HUART
Season 22/23 got underway Vs Lions Gib FC whom we had played only recently in the final of the Capurro Cup, losing out to on penalties. The game started slow with both teams feeling eachother out, no major chances and very tight and tense. Lions had the first chance with a well worked routine from a kick-in resulting in a close call at the far post. We started getting the feel of the ball and Carl Linares began getting openings and time on the ball, he hit the post with his first chance and then Podesta had a few close calls himself. However Lions got the first break as their keeper pumped the ball into the box and the big Lions striker, with an ever so subtle touch flicked it past Mascarenhas for 1-0. This sprung The Bastion into action and we started carving out chances and beaking through Lions defence as Carl Linares came close with his own flick just past the post. Grech then came close too with a close range effort just wide and a shot parried by the keeper, momentum was on our side and we were playing well but Lions held firm till half time and it stayed1-0.
Second begun and we created an early chance though a Serra dribble and fierce shot, but their keeper was alert for the block. We pressed higher up but Lions defended well and we found it hard to break through, until the Lions keepers pass went wayward and straight to Podsta, who slotted home into the open goal for 1-1. Lions now broke through the press and created some good opportunites, rattling the bar and getting the ball past Mascarenhas, but not Serra who cleared off the line. Gilbert the had a shot just whistle wide as Grech laid it off to him, but Lions were now creating more and the Lions striker got the break through after his snap shot went in for 2-1 with only minutes left. As we pressed forward for the equaliser, Lions broke and Gilbert saved on the line. Mascarenhas then in a last ditch dive flicked the ball over as he ran back to keep it at 2-1 as we threw everything forward to equalise. A diffucult first result to take but we learn and move forward to better results.
GOAL SCORER:- PODESTA
SEASON 2021/22 HIGHLIGHTS
We started our rock cup campaign Vs Premier Runners up Lynx FC, a daunting task for our second round tie (after a first round bye), made even harder with a depleted squad of only 6 players available to us. However we were ready for the challenge and up for the battle ahead, with departing Steven Soussi as Captain for the day and the returning Jared Buhagiar making his second debut. Lynx started rapidly looking to put the game to bed early on, creating a few decent chances, but Mascarenhas was ready for the challenge, coming out well and saving all before him and if he didn't the post came to our rescue. We started getting into the half keeping possession well, knowing that we could not be chasing the game with only one sub. Soussi & Linares starting to control the ball and chances started coming through Buhagiar and Sardeña coming close but the keeper standing tall to block. As the half wore on Lynx grew frustrated having not found the net and despite a few more close calls the Zoca defence and Mascarenhas had stood tall, with seconds left of the half though Sardeña put Soussi through with a lovely through ball, he rounded the keeper but his shot was cleared off the line, at the break it was 0-0.
Second half got underway and Lynx kept the ball well and we could see tiredness creeping in from our guys, this was evident as Lynx got two goals from crosses at the far post with runners coming in quick into the box. This didn't deter us as we looked to keep the game tight but give it a go and we surged forward with Linares coming close and Buhagiar getting off a few shots just wide. We could feel the pace of the game now and Lynx started picking us off making it 3 and 4 nil on the counter. Mascarenhas was keeping us going with a string of fine saves and Sardeña & Soussi holding the line up top well but we could not keep up and Lynx quality shone through as game ended 6-0 and Lynx through to the quarter finals. We gave it our all with every player leaving everything on the field and Captain for the day Soussi bowing out with his last appearance for The Bastion.
LYNX ROCK CUP
Our last game of the league season against the league leaders Europa FC, was going to be a tough game, even more so with them gearing up for the play-offs. We came into the game though with nothing to lose and confidence after our win Vs Lions the previous week. Europa got the stand in keeper Vatvani working early on, forcing him to save with his feet for the first chance of the game. Soon after Grech put Serra through with a sublime ball but his shot was saved by the keeper. Europa took the lead with a powerful shot into the roof of the net for 1-0 and soon after it was 2-0 when a good one two was finished by the Europa attacker. We knew we were in a game now as their quick play was becoming hard to track but we kept at it and weathered the storm, creating a few chances for Podesta and Ballester. Europa being kept at bay by Vatvani with some good saves with his feet. Europa then got the 3-0 with a well placed shot into the bottom corner of our goal and soon after made it 4-0 when a miscontrolled ball from Ballester let in the Europa attacker to fire home. With the last passage of play Zoca knocked the ball about well and Podesta found Linares whose shot was well blocked by the keeper. Half time 4-0.
Despite the scoreline we were in good spirits having vreated a few good openings in the first half and as the second half started Serra and Linares both came so close to getting our first goal but we were thwarted by the keeper and Europa last ditch defending. We were playing with confidence now and the match was end to end with Vatvani saving all before him and Grech having a few chances saved by the keeper. But such is the quality of Europa they made it 5-0 after winning the ball on the half way line they moved forward for the simple pass into the attacker to slot home. Zoca carried on attacking and attempting to get the goal we deserved with Podesta having a few chances but ultimately it wasn't to be and the game ended with the scoreline not reflecting what was a very good performace from the lads, ultimately Europa's quality was the factor.
We started the game strong moving the ball well and dominating possession. The team was eager to keep the momentum going after the win Vs Stallions the week before and had a positive mind set moving into the game. Lions were pressuring up top with 2 attackerswhich enabled us to utilise our back 3 to play through them. We created a number of good opportunities going forward and through some great forward play breaking the press with numerous passes from the team Podesta bagged the first goal, 1-0 Zoca. Lions though quickly replied on the break after Mascarenhas saved down low and they converted the rebound for 1-1 much against the run of play. We didnt let our heads drop and kept creating chances and soon after Grech's low drive at the near post made it 2-1 Zoca. We started enjoying ourselves moving the ball round and creating space, with Serra nearly converting but the keeper saved well and than podesta rattling the post. Soon after our dominance paid off and we got the third through a neat move when Currer found Grech with the long ball and he left it on the plate for Podesta for 3-1. Half time and it was 3-1 Zoca.
Second half got underway and we knew Lions would change their tactics and begin to press man for man to put us uner pressure. We began though to stretch the pitch in possession and this enebled our forwards to have several one on ones and with some brilliant support play we got the 4th through Serra.Lions now began to pile the pressure on searching to get back into the game, creating a few decent chances but Mascarenhas and some last ditch defending kept them at bay. Lions now went all out with the flying keeper, with 8 minutes left we were holding firm but we conceded the second with a defelcted cross being poked in by Serra, game on. With Lions playing the flying keeper we knew we may get a few chances with the goal at pur mercy and Vatvani had two shots just wide after some good defending from the team. With only 2 minutes left Lions got their 3rd with a long range effort which went through many bodies and caught Mascarnhas unsighted. With not much time left Zoca back line held firm and we saw out the game to secure the result and an important 3 points.
GOAL SCORERS:- PODESTA X2, GRECH, SERRA
LIons Gib 2022
We came into this match after a humbling defeat the previous week looking to make amends. We started the game quickly immediately getting a chance which Stallions blocked, but Ballester ran onto the rebound and placed it home for 1-0. The perfect start though did not materialise into more chances, with Stallions settling down and putting us under pressure at the back. We looked slow and they were making runs in behind which we were not tracking as a team. We came out of our shell as the game wore on and Currer smashed the post, despite the slow start we got a few more chances as we gradually got more of the ball with Linares and Grech coming close but the half ended 1-0 with all to play for.
Second half got underway and after a dressing down from the gaffer, the lads looked hungrier and upped the intensity. Vatvani showing this with a noce piece of skill beating his man and then getting a powerful shot away which the keeper was equal to. Soon after Linares dribbled forward and got a shot away and his shot also was saved by the keeper but it fell to Podesta who blasted home for 2-0. Zoca now had a cushion and from a wayward throw from the keeepr Podesta headed towards and Guerrero cheekily chipped the on coming keeepr for 3-0, Zoca were now in control. Stallions took the risk with the flying keeepr and as we have seen this season it did not pay off as Podesta cooly robbed the ball and lobbed in for 4-0. We had control of the game as Mascarenhas looked comfortable saving low and playing well with his feet at times too. Podesta then made it 5-0 with a well taken half volley to the near post. Currer was unlucky not to get onto the score sheet with the keeper in inspired form saving numerous chances from him and Lombard. Meanwhile Guerrero saved bravely on the line with Mascarnhas beaten, heading the ball clear. Grech got on the act as he made a good tackle in defence and ran the free ball down then beating the keeper going round him and slotting into the empty net, 6-0 Zoca. With minutes left Podesta bagged his 4th after Lombard won the ball at the halfway and Podetsa drove on and smashed it home for 7-0 and full time.
GOAL SCORERS:-BALLESTER, PODESTA X4, GUERRERO, GRECH
MOTM:- GUERRERO, PODESTA
This match was always going to be high stakes as Bavaria wanted to make up for their loss to us early on in the season and they looked hungry for it from the get go. We started slowly and Bavaria took the lead with a long range effort which squeezed past Mascarenhas. Soon after from a corner routine they blasted home the second, we had made it difficult for us once again, but we slowly got back into the game, creating a few openings, however our play was not showing our usual intensity and Bavaria now with the two goal lead were sitting back absorbing our pressure well. The first half frustrating as it went was still with in reach for us with a few half chances not going our way, but now in an effort to peg them back we were living dangerously and Bavaria hit us with the 3rd. Half time 3-0.
Second half and Bavaria picked dup where they left off rattling the post, showing their intentions to not let the foot off the gas. We probed and tried to push forward but our attacks were disjointed and not getting through, we did create a few chances which their keeper stood tall to and these were the moments which needed to go our way but luck was not on our side. The game was getting heated with tackles flying in and it was threatening to boil over which was ultimately disrupting our play and suiting them. they got the 4th and then Serra saw red for a second bookable offence, we held on with the man less but with the last few minutes seeing the game totally stretched they got the 5th on a counterattack and game was over. Not a good day at the office, but this is when you learn most about yourselves , through defeat.
Matches against the all powerful Lynx are never easy so the lads were ready for an uphill task, no Mascaranhas with Super Vat deputising. We started tentaively holding back whilst Lynx probed and it didnt take long as their movement got the better of us and they snuck in for 1-0 at the back post. We responded immediately with a few good attacks with Soussi coming close and Serra testing the lynx keeper after surging from the back. Lynx however are an experienced team and kept doing what they do best moving the ball quickly and creating speaces, Zoca holding firm waiting for the break. Lynx though after confusion in the Zoca defence found a second and mistakes were creeping in as Lynx found a 3rd soon after. Zoca pushed forward in search of a response but Lynx looked up for it tonight and they managed to finish the half with a cute lob over Vatvani for 4-0 Half time.
Despite the scoreline we felt we were still in the game with Lynx not having created a hell of a lot in the first half more so dominating possession. But they immediately made us pay going 5-0 and we needed to settle quickly and we did soon after. We started creating and Lombard went through on goal but tyhe keeper stood tall. Currer then found his feet and got a few shots away which could have brought us back but one went just wide and the other saved well. The game was now back and forth as Lynx created chances but Vatvani and the Zoca defence were holding up well with a few goal line clearances. Guerrero found himself up top and had two chances himself to get a goal but again denied by the keeper. Lynx eventually got goal 6 after aun unfortunate ricochet off Vatvani hit the post and went in. We finally got some luck ourselves as we got a 6th foul and a direst free kick was blasted in by Cuurer for 6-1. Late on Lynx got their 7th and the game ended that way, Zoca losing out but making Lynx work for the win.
GOAL SCORERS:- CURRER
MOTM:- KARIM VATVANI & CURRER
This match brought togethet two teams who had come off decent results in the previous round, with Zoca defeating Spartans and Hercules salvaging a draw Vs Bavaria. Zoca started the brightest going in 1-0 up with a wonder strike from far from Currer. However Hercuels imeddiately responded catching Zoca cold with a neatly placed strike to make it 1-1. The half comntinued from here with chances few and far between with both teams probing but not much going on in either final third. Until Hercules stole the ball at the half way line and countered effectively and ruthlessley to make it 2-1. Soon after Zoca had a similar chance with a counter but Vatvani could not capitalise as the ball just got ahead of him. Half time and it was 2-1 Hercules.
Second half got under way and Zoca had two great chances after the high press to equalise with Serra hitting the post and then Currer's square ball to Vatvani just being toe poked away from him. again the chances were few and far bewteen as both teams battled for dominance, the game looking scrappy. As Zoca piled pressure forward Hercules were looking for the counters and sure enough found the opening which they took advantage of for 3-1. Zoca felt like they hadn't got their just rewards with chances being spurned at the crucial time. The game now felt as if was heading to its finale with both teams stretched and pushing eachother back as a few half chances were spurned from both sides. The game ended in a disappointing loss for The Bastion 3-1.
GOAL SCORERS:- CURRER
MOTM:- AIDAN SERRA & JAMIE CURRER
A match we were looking forward to after our first round game with them ended in a controversial defeat full of incident. We had felt good after the Christmas break and ready for the challenge ahead, starting on the front foot with an early chance after Serra dribbled free to cross for Currer with the goal gaping, but the ball just behind him. It didn't take long though and Podesta fired us ahead with a blast into the top corner. However Spartans reacted and in the space of 3 minutes they showed their class and went 2-1 up, we were behind for the first time in the game and needed a reaction. The lads in previous times would have perhaps panicked but this side is made of sterner stuff and we regained our composure and started knocking the ball about making Spartans work for possession, staying tight at the back. Then Ballester was put through and he slotted home for the equaliser, soon after Jamie Linares smashed home a direct free kick for us to take the lead. We were back into the groove and the lads feeling confident as we supressed Spartans attacking threat and from our good play Serra and Podesta put us further ahead for 5-2. We had our tails up playing some great football, but two quick yellow cards for Payas saw him see his marching orders and we were down to 4 players with time running out in the half. We held on for nearly the two minutes but Spartans found the 3rd goal to make it 5-3 at half time.
We had played a great first half now we needed to show our dominance in the second half too and so we did with ,Linares and Currer combined with a one two and Linares picked his spot and we were 6-3 up. Podesta was then put through on goal and bagged his first Hat Trick for the club, 7-3 and we were in total control, Spartans didn't have any response. Spartans decided to throw caution to the wind and implemented the flying keeper, dominating possession now, however our defence stayed tight and composed throughout with Mascarenhas saving when needed. This tactic though played into our hands and twice we caught the keeper off guard with Serra finding the goal from long range and then Vatvani being put clean through to make the game secure at 8-4. Currer finished the job with a clean finish into the bottom corner to make it 9-4 and the game won.
GOAL SCORERS:- PODESTA X3, SERRA X2, BALLESTER, C LINARES, VATVANI, J LINARES, CURRER
MOTM:- PAUL PODESTA
Our first game of the second round came Versus South United after the Lynx match had been postponed. We had beaten South 1-0 in a tight explosive affair in the first round and we expected the same sort of game this time round, Carl Linares captaining the team in the absence of Ballester. We started the game superbly well and in our first attack put together a number of passes from kick off, before Lombard on his return, scored a screamer into the top corner, 1-0 Zoca. From then on we continued to push forward creating a host of opportunities but were unable to capitalize on our good work. This cost us as midway into the half South scored two goals with good one twos, playing off their pivot, taking the lead in the game. They hadn't created much but had capitalized on their chances and it was 2-1 at half time.
We felt, despite being down we could get the 3 points & early in the second half, Podesta got us right back in it with the equaliser for 2-2, after a great passage of play with almost 15 passes strung together and Serra finding Podesta to finish the chance, game on! We felt we could now take the lead and created more chances including several 1 on 1's and 2 on 1 chances but their keeper stood tall to deny us the lead. The game was becoming heated and the officials were losing control with both teams on edge. With a minute left on the clock our accumulated fouls got the better of us and we conceded a direct free kick which South took advantage of to take a 3-2 lead. Even with little time on the clock we felt we could have a penalty with Lombard through on goal taken out by the keeper, but the refs waved it away. A valiant performance, which with some stronger refereeing and more clinical play up front, could have gone our way. So close yet so far.
GOAL SCORERS:- JOSH LOMBARD, PAUL PODESTA
MOTM:- AIDAN SERRA & CARL LINARES
A game Versus Bavaria is always going to be a rollercoaster of highs and lows and this match was no different. A point seperating us and with last seaosns last game defeat still on our minds, we went in to the game hopeful and expecting. But at Zoca we like to do things the hard way and despite having the best chance of the early stages when Grech hit the post, we went 1-0 down after the high press caught us out and the ball was squared for 1-0 Bavaria. Before we could settle down a cross into the box was met by the head of the Bavaria attacker who looped it over the on rushing Mascarenhas, 2-0 Bavaria. We finally settled into the game and calmed ourselves down, beginning to create chances with Serra and Podesta coming close. Then we got our deserved break through, Soussi dribbled through and got the ball to Podesta who slotted home for 2-1, back in the game. We were know feeling confident on the ball and playing some good football, again going close to getting the equaliser as Bavaria were feeling the heat. Just before the break we got our reward as Serra found Linares from the corner and his low shot squeezed beyond the keeper 2-2 at the break.
Second half we expected to be a different ball game as Bavaria started off well pushing us back, with Mascarenhas pulling off some key saves to keep us in the game. We wanted this game and you could see it in the lads faces as we defended well and were winning the 50/50's as Serra drove the team forward from the back. Podesta again came close and Ballester hitting the bar, the goal for the lead was there and then Linares obliged with another long range effort and we were ahead 3-2. Bavaria were stunned and threw everything forward but Mascarenhas was not to be beaten in this half as he pulled off some important saves, the defence holding firm and working together as a team, throwing in tackles and blocks to preserve our lead. As Bavaria looked for the equaliser, they went for the flying keeper and nearly grabbed the equaliser as the extra man was finding space, but we held firm and in the last minute Soussi saw his opportunity and went for the spectacular lob with no keeper in goal and we won the game 4-2, cue wild celebrations, Zoca victorious.
GOAL SCORERS:- PAUL PODESTA, CARL LINARES X2, STEVEN SOUSSI
MOTM:- AIDAN SERRA
The games don't get any easier at the top level and now it was time to take on the league leaders, after a tough but plucky performance Vs Europa the week before we knew that this match wasn't going to be any easier. We got off to the worst start when Mons robbed the ball and played a one two into the area and took the lead. We settled down and got into shape and were hard to break down, as Mons probed we waited for the counter and managed to get up the field and create a few half chances. The game however was tight and both teams searching for space but keeping things tight. From a Mons corner though Linares anticipated the cross and surged forward on the counter, he found Serra in space crossed and he tapped home for 1-1. Mons now started pressing higher up and this opened up space for us as we managed to get some decent counters in with Vatvani, Linares and especially Serra off the post coming close to take the lead. The game was on a knife edge and just before the half ended Mons took the lead with a good one two that was placed low into the corner for 2-1, just before the break.
Second half got under way and we started confidently after our good first half showing, pushing further up the field looking for an instant equaliser, this however created spaces at the back and Mons came close early on but Mascarenhas bailed us out with some fine saves. Mons though took the 3-1 with a toe poke that found the corner. We pushed forward and created some good chances but again our final ball and finish wasn't clinical enough. This ultimately cost us as Mons now smelt blood and were finshing the spaces we were leaving at the back, as the game was stretched Mons picked us off in the last five minutes and made it 4 & 5 -1. another valiant effort against the league leaders, but their quality was the difference in the end.
GOAL SCORER:- AIDAN SERRA
MOTM:- CARL LINARES
Mons Calpe 2021
The league doesnt forgive and it was time to take on the champions so we had to lick our wounds from the Lions game and go head on. Europa were still showing their usual quality and came into the game confident after defeating Hercules convincingly. The game started with the expected rhythm with Europa dominating possession moving quickly and looking for the space in behind. Their speed was hard for us to manage and before you knew it they were ahead and in a blink of an eye 2-0. We knew we were in a game, but we pressed on and tried to take the game to them, with a high press pushig them out of our area, harder then we expected as their ball retention was on another level, but we crunched into the tackles and made sure they knew they were in a game. Europa took the 3-0 and we settled down pushing further up as Vatvani cat like reflexes kept the score down. Half time came and we had weathered the storm.
Second half began and we were looking more comfortable without creating much and as the tackles flew in the cards were coming, both teams playing at a high intensity, so much so we committed the cardinal sin against a team of Europas ability and Podesta received a second yellow and his marching orders. We held off europa nearly perfectly with 3 outfield players but a defelcted shot off Currer made it 4-0. We decided to go all out for the response and pushed men forward with a few gilt edged chances coming Serra, Lombard and CUrrers way with the keeper only to beat but we didnt take the advantage. Now with the game stretched we knew Europa had the skill and guile to pick us off, Vatvani keeping us in it, but as expected as we poured forward they got their chances and made us pay, the game ended 7-0, but the lads put in a massive effort against the league champions and we held our heads high.
MOTM:- DANIEL HERBERT
This match came off the back a good 3 points Vs Stallions FC, so we felt a renewed confidence all the while knowing that Lions had a very young exciting team ready to fight just as hard for the 3 points. The game got under way with the best possible start, when Podesta robbed the ball and fired hard and low to make it 1-0 Zoca. This awoke the Lions team straight away and they went on the attack aggressively looking for the equaliser creating various half chances and hitting the post. The warning signs were sent that Lions were going to be no pushovers. The game seemed to be going back and forth now with not a clear dominant team and both teams were not creating clear cut chances rather half chances, Lions did seem to be on the up as the game came to the half time whistle and looked the more likely to get the next goal. But half time came with Zoca 1-0 up.
Second half got under way and Zoca knew another goal was needed as despite the game not having a clear dominant team, Lions were always looking dangerous. We found a few chances come our way but Lions keeper was on good form as he thwarted some good chances for us from Podesta and Sardena. As the game wore on play seemed stretched with anyone looking like they could score now but as last ten mins closed in, Lions attacker turned smartly in the area and was brought down by Ballester, penalty which was converted for 1-1. The game looked disjointed now and Zoca pressed for the winner as well as Lions, with chances coming from both sides, Zoca had a few close calls whick past the lions keepers post. But with minutes left a Lions attacker got through our defence and smashed the chance home, 2-1 Lions. Straight from the kick off we had the chance to equalise as Podesta rattled the post. But with little time left Lions held their nerve even with all out pressure from us including the flying keeper and took the 3 points. A disappointing match for us but we had a good battle with a plucky Lions side.
GOAL SCORERS:- PODESTA
MOTM:- JAMIE LINARES
A new venue, Europa Sports Complex and new opponents awaited us in the form of newly promoted side Stallions FC. A combatitive side with quality amongst their ranks this was going to prove to be a tricky match up. We settled in well into the match with Soussi starting up top holding the ball up well and linking up for Zoca to create a few decent openings. It was however a sub who got us off the mark, Serra robbed the ball from the last man and rounded the keeper for 1-0 Zoca. Stallions pushed forward searching for an immediate equaliser, but Zoca & Mascarenhas held firm at the back not allowing space for Stallions to work with. A good interception from Payas came into Soussi's path and with precision he volleyed home for 2-0 Zoca. We were now feeling confident and Serra danced into the area and was brought down for a penalty, Ballester converted for 3-0 Zoca. And just before half time Serra intercepted a pass and ran through on goal and as the on rushing keeper came out he slotted home for 4-0 and that was half time.
Zoca started off the second half slow and Stallions had a few chances which Mascarenhas saved well from. The gaffer urged more intensity and he got it as we bombed forward searching for more goals. Serra to Jamie Linares and his pass was handled in the area and it was another penalty, which this time Carl Linares cooly dispatched for 5-0 Zoca. Stallions were tiring now and our passing was crisper and we showed no signs of tiring, as we started playing some good football. Payas this time ran into the area and Ballester found him, he turned and got his hot away low into the corner for 6-0. Zoca were in complete control but a lapse in concentration gave Stallions their best chance of the game which fell to their most lethal striker but he blazed over, it looked like the luck was on our side. Our last moves on goal gave Guerrero a chance to get on the score sheet as Jamie Linares squared to Guerrero but his shot one on one was saved, a minute later the same combination this time found the net as Jamie Linares perfect cross was met by Guerrero for a tap in and 7-0 Zoca. The game ended with a comfortable victory on a new surface and confidence for the next game.
GOAL SCORERS:- SERRA X2, SOUSSI, BALLESTER, PAYAS, CARL LINARES, GUERRERO
MOTM:- AIDAN SERRA & LIAM PAYAS
We played against league leaders Hercules coming off the back a topsy turvy match vs Spartans, where we felt we hadn't done ourselves justice. So we knew we had to come out with all guns blazing and be assured of ourselves as Hercules are a very good technically gifted team. We set our stall to be tight at the back and contain their possession football, chances were few and far between as both team struggled to get through each others defences. On the 11th minute Linares got the ball and jinked in to the Hercules half and dribbled past two defenders cooly slotting home 1-0 Zoca. Hercules now went on the offensive searching for a quick response, but Zoca were strong at the back running down every ball and flying into the tackles. Zoca were looking to gain an advantage on the counter attack but Hercules were now ramping up the pressure and we started getting stretched, but Mascarenhas held firm with the defence and we kept it 1-0 at Half Time.
Second half got under way and Hercules started strong and it didnt take long to get off the mark. From a kick in they got a shot away which Mascarenhas parried into the danger area and Hercules striker fired home the rebound for 1-1 . We needed to settle down as Hercules were hunting for the lead but we got hold of the game and things started to go end to end in the game with Mascarenhas making some fine saves and Hercules keeper likewise. The game was looking like it could go either way but Hercules found the way through and took the lead after the a longe range shot hit the post and the rebound again was fired home. Zoca kept the game plan going keeping it tight and lookinng for the one chance to get the equaliser but now game was stretched and chances were being created from both albeit half chances, the next goal could be crucial. In the last 5 minutes we threw ourselves into attack and with a last long range shot from Grech their keeper dived well to tip over the bar, not enough time left and game ended 2-1.
GOAL SCORERS:- CARL LINARES
MOTM:- CARL LINARES
We came into this match on a high after a tough battle Vs South United obtaining our first 3 points, realising that Spartans would be another tough match Vs an experienced and technically good team. We started feeling each other out with chances few and far between, however after a good passage of play from Spartans they snatched on a cross into the middle and went ahead 1-0. We didn't lose our cool and carried on probing for the equaliser. On came Vatvani who gave us a burst of energy and he stole the ball high up the field squared to Podesta who drove his shot low to the corner and it was 1-1. We were now in the game and pushing to take the lead, grech got onto the ball and whipped a cross in and Serra leaped into the air and looped a header over their keeper for 2-1. We'd deserved the lead and were showing our dominance now. We created more chances and Guerrero one on one with the keeper had his shot saved, minutes after a low cross into the box was met by Linares who skied over. We went into the break 2-1 ahead.
A game of two halves was a suitable term for this game, as we started the half keeping possession without creating much, all of a sudden a breakaway from Spartans left our keeper scrambling and after his first save they got the rebound on target and Serra cleared off the line, the ref deemed it to be hand ball, how we don't know and he was given his marching orders. Spartans converted the penalty and it was 2-2. The game was still there for the taking and we bombed forward searching to regain the lead, but it was now becoming stretched which didn't suit us, a long ball from the keeper reached their pivot who poked it past the onrushing Mascarenhas and now Spartans were ahead. The game was on a knife edge and we still felt we could take something from the game, but we lost composure and after words with the ref we had Podesta sent off, we were now down a man and with backs against the wall. We held on so close for the two minute period with 3 outfield players but just before it ended Mascarenhas conceded a penalty, which they converted for 4-2. With not enough time left we bombed forward searching for the goals to put us back in the game but we couldn't find it and the game ended 5-3, with Currer grabbing a late consolation.
GOAL SCORERS:- PODESTA, SERRA, CURRER
MOTM:- SEAN GRECH
Spartans Highlights 2021
Our match Vs South United we knew was going to be tough, they are a physical but technical team. We waited for them in our half as they dictated the psce of the game, probing but noit finding any space. From a South corner we coumter attacked well with Currer driving forward looking for the shot/pass to Vatvani who was racing foward, but the keeper saved well with his legs and on came Podesta to the rebound firing it into the roof of the net, 1-0 Zoca in the first minute. Great start but still a long way to go, South continued dominating the ball, without finding any openings as we stayed compact and hard to break down. South now were moving well and Mascarenhas made a few vital saves as we started getting stretched, but as the games stretched we found a few colunters but their keeper was always alert and smothered any openings. Half time 1-0.
Second half commenced with South piling on the pressure but we were now defending very well not allowing them to get in behind us and when they did Mascarenhas was in inspired form, it was going to take something special to beat him now. South came closest rattling the post but now Zoca started pushing higher to get the all important cushion goal, Currer found Podesta and his shot saved by their keeper and again Vatvani with a great chanve but South cleared the danger. It was becoming tense at 1-0 with either side now capable of the all important next goal, but as the minutes started fading fouls were getting more frequent with both teams now at 4 fouls. Mascarenhas made another vital save near the end and we held our nerve for all 3 points, what a match and we got off the mark in the season.
GOAL SCORERS:- PODESTA
First match of the season vs the most successful Futsal team in recent history Lynx FC. We got off to the worst possible start when they went ahead after a minute, however immediately we recovered and one of our debutantes, Paul Podesta scored his first goal of the season, back on level terms. We gathered our composure and we felt our way into the game, defending deep against the free flowing Lynx. they kept probing but we felt comfortable without creating too much. Lynx started upping the intensity and eventually took the lead, 2-1, they now were feeling their rhythm and grabbed another two goals before the break. Despite our low block and resolute defending Lynx pace on the ball got the better of us, half time 4-1.
Second half commenced and the pace of the game was again electric, with Lynx dictating it, before we could react it was 5-1 and we were in danger of losing touch. Zoca now started to realise that we had to go on the offensive, we pressed higher up and started to cause Lynx problems and created a few good openings, but when we missed they scored and Mascarenhas was being kept busy. Before we knew it, it was 7-1 but then Podesta tackled their attacker and the ball fell to Currer who jinked past the defender and smashed it home for 7-2. We felt we could get more goals now, but despite some close calls we couldn't get back on the score sheet. Lynx finished off the game with their 8th and the match ended 8-2. A valiant effort in our first game of the season against very tough opposition and five new signings settling into life at Zoca.
GOAL SCORERS:- PODESTA, CURRER
MOTM:- PAUL PODESTA
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