Another Great Viking Battle
Viking culture has always been rich in stories, tales and poetry. Brave heroes, dangerous journeys, battles, fearsome dragons and untold otherworldly creatures have all featured heavily in Scandinavian folklore - Saturday's clash with brave Hotspurs provided many examples of exactly this.
After the previous weeks defeat at the hands of GSAS Vikings were determined to make amends. Before kick off we agreed that we needed to be highly charged from the off, the battle hardened starting 11 didn't disappoint. Vikings went hard to work and looked strong across all areas of the pitch, pace and power was evident throughout the side and it seemed inevitable that it would only be a matter of time before the goals would come. A number of well worked chances were fashioned but the finishing touches seemed to be eluding us, what had we done to upset the on watching gods (Domino & Groenbech). Viewing from the side it seemed that our high pressing game was working well and that we would surely take the lead! Oh how the beautiful game can be so cruel, in the blink of an eye and with the ferocity of Thor's hammer a superbly worked move from our opponents resulted in the boys in red falling behind. Silence descended and a disbelief that we were behind started to take hold! A nervous 10 minutes followed in which Hotspurs, buoyed by their success, started to believe that their first three points of the season were a distinct possibility. Both sides went close with a number of efforts, Vikings grazing the bar and Hotspurs heading over from inside the six yard box. The first half was coming to a close and it looked very much like Vikings would be behind until a totally needless challenge, on the lively Tjalfe, resulted in the most blatant penalty, VAR not required. Our trustworthy striker, Mele, coolly finished from the spot to level the game, nothing more than we had deserved.
The half time team talk was a much easier one, our heads were up and theirs seemed a little lower. We all committed to go hard and fast the second period, our leaders had the scent and were looking to take control. I think it is fair to say that what followed was a good showing of how to go after the win. The team seemed adamant that they would take the 3 point prize, pressurising high up the pitch and hunting whenever they could. This resulted in us taking the lead when Mele netted his second of the day. Vikings mentality was to raid further and gain a comprehensive victory, a long throw from the newly introduced Dragsbaek resulted in the ball finally being bundled in by our Czech poacher - first hat trick of the season. Celebrations were short lived as the linesman on the far side was spotted flagging frantically claiming that our dragon had committed a foul throw. The next period of the game was played out around the centre of the park and little goal mouth action was witnessed. Then bang, another bolt and Hotspurs were level! A corner from the right bobbled and bounced over our defence and was headed past our keeper Bart! Wind taken out of our sails once more and the calm waters we had recently been encountering became a little choppy and daunting for the next few minutes. Hotspurs, invigorated by the arrival of some lively substitutes started to believe in their own mission and had their tails up! Moments before the water break Vikings managed to carve out a great opening on the right and an excellent delivery into the box was met by the powerful Dragsbaek, hovering like a hummingbird some say, who guided the ball into the net with his left ear, shoulder, cheek...... Who cares, Vikings up 3-2.
The final 20min saw Hotspurs run out of steam and constantly being hit on the break as they searched in vain for the equaliser. A great piece of play, by man of the match performer Andreas, resulted in Mele going clear and unselfishly squaring for our dragon to notch his second. The victory was sealed and moments later the referee drew the encounter to a close.
Hotspurs worked incredibly hard throughout the game and were tough opponents. They showed strong resilience and good determination. We wish them well for the season ahead. Thank you to the referee and his assistants for constantly talking to the players and justifying your decisions.
We move on to our next tale as we look forward to facing Aioli on Friday eve.