Shane Bury Badgers In Feisty Encounter
The Mighty Shane got their season back on track with a big win over an in-form Badgers side last weekend. Despite a shaky start, the Shane boys controlled the game and came away with a well-deserved three points that leave them within striking distance of the top half of the table.
Under the warm October sun, the game started at a frenetic pace as the Badgers came out of the gates already at a sprint. Their early aggression was almost immediately rewarded, as Badgers captain Rojen Fletcher collected the ball on the wing and whipped a dangerous cross into the Shane area. A calamitous series of whiffs and miscommunications led to the ball bouncing tamely into the net.
Badgers 1:0 Shane.
Disappointed, but as determined as ever, the boys in white surged forward after the restart in search of an equalizer. Their efforts almost bore fruit early on when some tidy play through the middle ended with resident drunkard Patty Swandell finding space on the left side and nearly dropping it into the far corner of the net with a deft chip.
The equalizer came only moments later, however, as unintelligible Georgie winger Jayke Langley beat his man on the far right side, carried the ball to the touchline, and delivered a divisive cross that left the keeper wrong-footed and only able to get the slightest of punches on the ball. Fortuitously, it fell within the radius of Ronaldo-wannabe midfielder Zach Paruch, who made some space for himself and fired a quick, left-footed shot into the far side of the net.
Shane 1:1 Badgers.
Invigorated by the restored parity, the boys in white continued to pour forward and lay siege to the Badgers’ area. The improved possession and increased confidence culminated in some neat work down the left side, as Shane’s all-time most carded player and perennial badboy “Dapper” Dan Wilkinson linked up with Zach, who found the onrushing Jamie Smith at the edge of the box. Unfortunately, the captain launched the FIFA-approved football into low orbit, putting several East Asian countries on high alert with concerns of international airspace violations.
The rest of the first half was a cagey affair, with both teams battling resolutely in the midfield and on the wings. Special mention must go to ghost month’s mascot Jack Snart, and the Mighty Shane’s centerback pairing of football player look-unalike James McGuirk, and the most American person in Taiwan and also America Pete Williams, who maintained an airtight defensive line and kept us entertained with talk of points, jerseys, cleats, hustle, quarters, soccer, rosters, people named Bruce, apple pie, the word “ya’ll”, NASCAR, the word “dude”, calling someone “bro”, KFC’s double-down sandwich, pronouncing “Iraq” and “Iran” as if they were new Apple products, “USA USA USA”, and any monetary conversion to the American buck.
The boys went into halftime with a goal apiece.
Following a rousing pep talk and some inspired substitutions by preteen manager Sam Thompson, the Shane boys looked a different team in the second half. Stringing passes together, completing take-ons, and making smart runs, the Mighty Shane were knocking on the Badgers’ proverbial door.
That knocking turned into demolishing, when a slowly sobering Patty Swandell directed a great header into the path of quietly Colombian winger Diego Ballesteros, who duly took a few touches and calmly dinked the ball beyond the keeper and into the far corner.
Shane 2:1 Badgers.
The Mighty Shane’s dominance continued as Sam, never-on-time midfielder Mamadi Colley, and Zach all hit shots of varying accuracy toward the Badgers goal. That sustained dominance was rewarded when some chaos in the Badgers’ area resulted in one of their players handling the ball. The ensuing penalty was coolly slotted into the right side of the net by a now-thirsty-again Patty Swandell.
Shane 3:1 Badgers.
Despite the lopsided score line, the result was far from certain as the Badgers pushed forward in search of goals. A cleverly timed long ball from the midfield found an in-stride Badgers striker just outside of the 18, who rounded the inexplicably-fond-of-brisket Shane keeper Toby Shaw with a heavy touch. As the striker closed in on the ball, a goal to the good for the Badgers was all but guaranteed. Amazingly, the smoked-meat-filled Toby dove back toward his own net and parried the ball away from the goal and out for a corner.
As the game wound down, the Mighty Shane reasserted their dominance and tightened their grip on proceedings. When the fulltime whistle was finally blown, the boys lumbered off the pitch knowing that they had secured an important victory.
Final score: Shane 3:1 Badgers 1.
Shane take away a vital three points from the game, and will go into their next fixture with confidence and expecting to win. The returns of Brazilian-Spanish-Catalan-7-1-winger Daniel Busquets, long-term absentee Dusty Staats, American stalwart Jeremy Tipton, and Polish hard man Bartek Rys are additional reasons for celebration, as their presence will only make the team stronger and put Shane in a position to succeed.
The Mighty Shane are back in action with a very-winnable fixture against the Celts on November 5.