Archive for February, 2019
CD Marino Pounding On The Play Off Door

There’s an old saying about keeping your head when all around you lose theirs. CD Marino brought it to mind as they killed off Mensajero with two classy late goals after four players were sent off following a skirmish involving both sets of players .

The 86th minute flash point didn’t change the balance of the game, Marino had already dominated, particularly in the second half, and could have built a commanding lead. The La Palma visitors are always in the promotion mix, and played their usual style of fast breaks down the flanks with big front man Victor the main weapon in front of goal. Kevin Castro tested Kilian in the Mensajero goal with an early cross that was a bit to close to the keeper. Vianney was a danger down the reds left side with full back Azael overlapping. Brandon was taking no chances in the Marino goal, when Victor was racing in for a loose ball the home keeper rushed out and cleared the danger with a strong, decisive kick.

Ahmed nearly unlocked the Mensajero defence with a neat lay off but Javi Gonzalez couldn´t quite connect to put in a shot. Javi was a real handful all afternoon, he breached the defence but fired directly at Kilian. Mensajero were a strong side but found their match in a hard working Marino team, and when the visitors looked to spring through for a shot, they again found Brandon alert and ready to dispatch the ball far upfield. Marino were taking more control as the game went on, Samuel stormed through from the left back slot but his effort was high and wide. A cheeky chip from Jony towards the end of the first half fell just a bit short for Gaizka, and Ahmed created space for Jony to put over the bar just before the break.

Just seconds after the restart, Javi pounced on a loose ball and raced past the Mensajero goalie as he side footed the ball beyond his reach for a 1-0 lead. Omar tried to hit back with a break down the right but Brandon was waiting with a clean take. Marino put the pressure on and lay siege to the visitors goal, Javi could have made a hat trick as he continually beat the defence but was foiled by Kilian. Even a double substitution by Mensajero had little effect, Samuel put in a teasing cross which Kilian caught at the second attempt. Ahmed was also unlucky not to get a better reward for his determined run through the Mensajero defence. Mylan came on for Javi with 15 minutes left and after a clash of heads with Kai, he followed up with a run across Kilian´s path as the ball ran out of play. Oscar chipped in with a few comments and the game was suddenly sizzling.

Brandon snapped up a deflected shot at the other end of the pitch but the action switched to the dug outs when Marino coach Zeben Hernandez reacted to a push by Oscar. Players swarmed around the sideline as the officials tried to calm things down, it all got quite heated and once order was restored the ref sent off Juanmi and coach Zeben for Marino, and Vianney and Oscar from the Mensajero players. Marino kept their composure and Ahmed spotted his chance, winning the ball and walking it into the visitors net.

It was a crushing blow to Mensajero and Mylan went one better as he weaved his way past two defenders and the goalie before adding a third home goal. Mensajero ended the game far from happy with the ref but credit to both teams for ensuring hand shakes were exchanged between both sets of players. Marino now sit just 3 points outside the promotion play off zone where Mensajero hold 2nd spot, the teams may well meet again at the end of the season.

Raised Flags And Lowered Standards At CD Tenerife

On the 12th minute mark, the Heliodoro stadium became a sea of swirling flags and scarves in tribute to super fan El Barraquito (Damian Fleitas), who died a few days before. At the final whistle, the ground became a low tide of despair and disbelief after an inept performance saw CD Tenerife lose 0-2 to struggling Cordoba. Good and bad runs often overlap for the Santa Cruz faithful, but ending a three game shut out and recording a third straight game without scoring was hard to swallow for the 12,596 crowd.

Luis Milla was out suspended and losing his influence in midfield was a huge blow but didn´t account for the negative approach, particularly in the first half. Undabarrena played like a crab in his deep midfield role, sideways and backwards became the home pattern when Tenerife should have torn into the second from bottom visitors. Cordoba were encouraged to have a go and found room on their left against a hesitant Luis Perez. The danger was evident after Dani Hernandez blocked a shot at the post after Naranjo had dropped back and put a half hearted clearance into the path of De Las Cuevas. The forward tried again soon after and drew a diving save from Dani. The home attack was in a shy mood, Naranjo hiding out wide, Malbasic taking one touch too many when he got the ball, and Suso struggling to make an impact.

Borja Lasso made a couple of decent chances for Tenerife and they could have rode out the first half all square if their marking had been better. After 38 minutes a corner from Aquado was headed on by Flaño to Herrero at the post to squeeze past Dani Hernandez with a header. The second half started more promisingly, Borja slipped a little before unleashing a long shot, and Suso started to cut inside from the right to worry the visiting defenders. Malbasic managed a good run and put the ball across the face of the Cordoba goal, sadly there were no takers to finish it off. Alberto put a header over the bar as the Cordoba players began to drop easily to waste valuable time and hold onto their lead. Suso got in behind two Cordoba defenders and looked mightily frustrated when his ball into the box was snapped up by the goalie.

Coniglio, was given 30 minutes to impress when he replaced Naranjo, but the Argentinian striker didn´t make the most of it. Jorge pressed forward to help the search for an equaliser, a weak shot at the keeper was his best attempt. Another January transfer window addition, Isma Lopez, made his debut, taking over from Undabarrena, and tried to open a channel from the left of midfield. Tenerife were making a few openings but Cordoba had an eye for a break and picked up a free kick a little way outside the Tenerife box. The defence hadn´t learnt from the opening goal and were powerless to stop a well struck goal from De Las Cuevas. The ref wasn´t making things easy for Tenerife, he booked six home players and added a comedy moment as goalie Lavin slipped when walking backwards, he blew for a Tenerife foul even though there was no home player near.

A late bid for redemption saw Tyronne on for defender Perez but it didn´t bring the turnaround, even 5 minutes of injury time couldn´t ignite Tenerife. Coniglio got within sight of the Cordoba goal but defender Quintanilla held him off easily, making the forward look like a light weight. Not a good end to a turbulent week, that saw Jorge sign a 4 million euro pre contract deal that will see the defender move to Valencia in the summer for 5 seasons.

Rocks In CD Tenerife Defence But Pebbles Up Front

Jorge Saenz rejected Janaury transfer window offers from a host of clubs and made light of the attention, showing magnificent form in a battling 0-0 draw at high flying Deportivo. It was a third straight shut out as CD Tenerife dominated for much of the game but once again the lack of fire power frustrated their aim to break their away drought. Storm Helena diverted the clubs flight and it looked like coach Oltra had used the extra time to drum a new style into his back four. Deportivo were left chasing shadows in the first half hour as Tenerife stroked the ball around in defence with a confidence bordering on arrogance. When the chance came to break forward the confidence didn´t stretch that far, Malbasic ploughed a lone furrow for much of the game. Borja Lasso couldn´t make the most of his teams first chance but Tenerife were unlucky with a well worked free kick after 8 minutes. Suso played the ball to Luis Milla who fired a powerful drive high into the box, Jorge got a head to help it onto the target, and only a smart save from the home goalie saved his team.

Deportivo stirred and Caballo tried his luck with a shot that went well over the bar. Malbasic got in behind the home defence but his poor control produced a weak shot. Dani Hernandez was wide awake to thwart Dique, and a late firs t half Deportivo chance went the way of so many of their efforts, high and wide. Dique was severely restricted in the game by another excellent display at left back by Hector Hernandez. The defender was told he should look outside Tenerife in the January transfer window but he opted to stay and fight for his shirt. Midfielder Montañes has been cursed with injuries in his two seasons with Tenerife, he had to be replaced at half time by Jose Naranjo, and may face another few weeks on the treatment table. Racic got into a strong second half position before firing at the home keeper, and Malbasic hustled between a clutch of three defenders before losing the ball.

A booking for Milla after 56 minutes pushed him over the line for a suspension at home to Cordoba, the influential player will be a big miss. Deportivo were finding the Tenerife defence a hard nut to crack, Jorge rejected bids from Valencia, and Fulham, both were willing to meet the Spain under 21 players 3 million valuation but he decided to stay with his home town club. Winning the CD Tenerife player of the month award the last three times has been a rich reward as he has turned early promise into mature, disciplined performances. Naranjo has been one of the big let downs of the season, he is the teams top scorer, but with just four goals, he spurned another chance as the game went into the final phase.

Coniglio replaced Suso for the last 13 minutes, the Argentinian forward is still settling in after being lured over in the window, and added little threat. Underbarrena came on for Borja with two minutes left and his foul gave a free kick to Deportivo. It was heading for the goal until Dani made a double save to parry and then secure the ball and the away point.

Chill Wind Blows Some Good Memories On Icy Oxford Visit

Like the snow that was heading across the UK, I drifted into Oxford for an overdue visit to my roots. It felt plenty cold enough as winters fingers poked and prodded me, but as well as catching up with family and friends, I managed to rub noses with some dark brooding ales, and take some short, bracing walks.

It was crisp and sunny when I wandered down the Oxford canal tow path from Hythe Bridge Street. The grass area was a popular summer sandwich spot when I worked in a nearby George Street Co Op office as a spotty youth, and even though the Nags Head opposite has changed more times than Dr Who, I could almost taste their doorstep hot sausage sarnies. Narrow boats of many years wear lined the canal bank, many paying for long term moorings. Plump ducks waddled along the grass bank, watched closely by a large friendly cat that hopped from boat to boat with ease – maybe an undercover sea dog? I just wandered as far as the lock and bridge, and many other people were taking a stroll too. I made a mental note to do the full hour plus walk to Wolvercote on my summer visit, several delightful pubs en route will keep me cool.

Oxford keeps changing, not always for the good, lots of my favourite old pubs have gone, so it was nice to visit a revived ancient coaching inn, The Plough at 38 (to use the full new title), in Cornmarket Street. It had been Austin Reed tailors for as long as I could remember but the ground floor is now a bar with home brew ale to come, and the gutted upstairs is becoming a restaurant with a chef who trained under Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck. It’s just around the corner from my old haunt, The Three Goats Heads, which is a pale shadow of its old self. The Chequers in High Street was an early watering hole of mine and remains largely unchanged, they helped me to sign off my last night in style with a 6.5 % Broken Dream. It fortified me for the sideways wave of snow that was blasting along the High Street as I left.

Rewinding to earlier in the day, the harsh frost added a white coating to my stroll down from Headington, past the haunting spectre of South Park, where I was tortured by knee deep mud, and flying snowballs on cross country runs from Cheney School. Crossing over I walked through Headington Hill park with its trail of magnificent oaks, pines, squirrels, and robins. The path took me out to Marston Road, I had a brief but mind numbing career with the civil service there, all the buildings have now been swept away for Brookes University’s endless student housing blocks. Over the road and down past the forlorn and deserted Somerset pub, put me on the path into the University Parks. Hedges and trees were a brittle white, and the small brook was glazed over with ice. As I stood on the bridge just before the main park entrance, ducks and geese were bravely taking to the river, and swans swooped majestically to land near their huge nests along the banks.


The Parks were busy with joggers and dog walkers, I found it strange to see the cricket pitch looking as white as an umpires freshly washed flannels. Many a happy hour was passed by myself and friends when the touring international sides played the Combined Universities. We would book the three days off work, load up the cool boxes with beer, and relax in the sun to the soundtrack of willow on leather. I regretted not booking the extra Saturday for my trip, a chance to see Oxford City FC at home. Then the snow came, guaranteeing that match was called off anyway. So the weather was part curse, and part blessing, there’s a special harsh beauty to an English winter, and it is always nice to embrace my home city.

Even Tides In Peach Of Beach Clash

More good vibrations for CD Tenerife as they held second placed Malaga to a 0-0 home draw in an entertaining match. Even with Montañes and Camille out injured, Tenerife continued their revival in form, and only a mix of nerves from new striker Coniglio, and athletic saves from visiting keeper Munir, denied another win.

N´Diaye put an early header over the home bar, Malbasic had a similar miss at the other end, and Munir juggled a long shot before clearing the danger. Hector Hernandez was drafted in at left back and set out to show he wants to stay at Tenerife despite the club telling him he should look elsewhere. The previous weeks debut boys Rasic and Borja Lasso kept the home midfield tight and offered plenty of attacking options. N´Diaye was a thorn in Tenerife´s side, he was involved in most of their best moves and was hard tackling on and off the ball. He tried to curl a shot around the diving Dani Hernandez but sent it outside the upright.

Suso was hustling as always, he pitched up a deep cross from the right which Munir plucked out of the air. There was a rare Scottish born visitor in the shape of Jack Harper, formerly with Real Madrid and Brighton, he was a throwback to the old British forwards, strong and awkward to mark, but his final ball let him down, noticeably after he turned Hector inside out. Tenerife were more adventurous in the second half, Naranjo showed a glimpse of a threat, beating the Malaga defence before putting his shot wide. Coniglio arrived to add to his few brief minutes the previous week, he looked more dangerous than Naranjo who went off for him. Malbasic carved an opening but the tall new strikers header was a little weak. Another chance soon followed, this time a half clearance that came to his feet, he scuffed the shot and it went begging.

Jorge marked his 100th game as a senior Tenerife player with a polished performance but was unable to crown it with a header that went close. A corner from Luis Milla found Borja whose shot was tipped up by Munir, the keeper tidied it up by diving into a crowd of Tenerife players and claiming the ball. Coniglio had one last near thing as he hit a shot into a defender, Suso calling in space might have been a better option. Hector was having one of his better games, a timely intervention on sub Ontiveros prevented a late break, and Dani denied the same player with an injury time save. The January transfer window still has more possibilities to offer and Tenerife at last have a chance to push up the table.