Monday, May 21, 2007

What A Difference A Grass Pitch Makes

If seasons could be books, then last year's was an enactment of Volatire's Candide, despite continued disasters and defeats there was always the optimistic prospect of the next game in which fortunes would be turned for the better. Like Voltaire's protagonist not much did go right for DEH last season, a single point and a quarter-finals appearance were the brief highlights of desperate year.

A new season always brings out the optimist amongst us, last year's failings forgotten and hope springing that this year will be alright. The team's first sign that things might be different was the scheduling, which allocated the match be played on a grass pitch, indeed the very same park where our only moment of glory came last year. For the 3 Englishmen in the team the thought of playing on grass wells the belief and girded the loins. So it proved as DEH romped home with 4 second half goals against AC Telan.

The 1st half was a great way to kick off the new season, lost of action, plenty of meaty tackles, shots, saves, misses and an overall high level of play. AC Telan shaded possession, but the bulk of the chances fell to DEH. We should have gone in a goal up as the team's attacking style merited a lead. Thankfully for Jaime the long ball hoof of last season was replaced with a quick pass and move style that resulted in him actually getting the ball in dangerous areas for once.

The weather was hot and sapping and half-time came as a welcome rest bite to rest some weary (and old) legs. David was quite happy to continue as sub and was quite firm in his belief that his contribution should be kept on the leash to be let loose in the last 15 minutes.

The 2nd half started in the best way for DEH, within the first 5 minutes a finely worked goal from a scintillating pass on the half-volley from Jaime arrowed into the 5-yard box to be smashed in to roof by our new 19 year old player. Indeed it was his day, he scored another goal, his presence created an own goal for third and a beautiful through ball was finished off for the 4th.

David did indeed come on for Jaime who was knackered having run around a bit more than usual and anyway if one forward was to go off the one with the teenage legs shouldn't have been the one to leave. Dave playing striker, (he really is turning into Mr Versatile - the John O'Shea of the DEH team) and twice nearly scored. Dan again had one of his imposing games in the centre of defence and the new skipper not only started the season with a win (and so doubling our entire points tally of last season) but also a clean sheet.
All in all a rather good start.

Dan, David and Jaime then headed off the Hiroshima International Airport (even though it no longer flies outside of Japan) for a few beers and a late lunch as well as a bit of plane spotting as Dan especially become quite excited by the arrival of the Pokemon Express Charter Flight. He claimed he wanted a picture for his lad, but....