Let me set the scene: it was a perfect Good Friday evening, a balmy 27 degrees prior to kick-off to start our long weekends, and Cooper’s set to be packed with the GA allocation exhausted. However, Adelaide got done by the boys in blue- no, not Victory; they were a piece of cake to overcome 1-0 😛 , but the Red Army Capo faced the Adelaide Po-po in one heck of a stand-off where politics certainly dominated the first half of this game.
Why does the Original Rivalry exist? It’s almost unexplainable, but one thing is for sure; it exists because of the passion of the fans between these two teams. This is always a fixture that you wouldn’t miss for the world. From the Vuck fans who travel a 16-hour round car trip (to leave empty handed), gambling on their lives driving through tiny towns where all our serial killers probably live, as well as risking brake failure on the freeway down track into the city.
From me, who only 48 hours earlier was in hospital following key-hole surgery, heck I could barely put pants on before this game, and yet it wouldn’t have crossed my mind for a second to miss it.
And for Glenn, the Red Army Capo of 9 years, who in his time has only missed 2 games (well, now 2.5….), ready to take one final climb onto the scaffold before he steps down to make way for the next Army leader. Which is why it is always so disappointing to hear reports that the thing that makes our league special, in an era where active support is dying in this country, getting an unfair go from those outside of our game.
From Red Army sources, Glenn, amongst other active support regulars, were denied entry into the stadium by SAPOL, reportedly due to swearing within chants during the march to the stadium. Need I remind you that we are the league where Bruno Fornaroli yelled “and fuck off” during City’s 2016 FFA Cup final winning speech in front of nearly 19,000 fans, 200 seagulls, plus national television audiences.
It made for his pre-game tribute announcement sound more like an awkward voicemail; sorry Glenn can’t be here right now, but please leave your message of thanks and appreciation…
Not only was Glenn missing, but his disciples started to walk in numbers as well. It was shambolic as those remaining tried to pick up the pieces (Good work Chris for stepping up), but trying to keep a beat to cardboard clappers in the absence of drums was a real test.
Thankfully the club apparently stepped in to get Glenn back in. Maybe they told the Copper’s that what Glenn meant to say was Vamos, it worked for Bruno right? Maybe he was forced to apologise for being a West Ham fan, I just don’t know. All I know is Glenn had risen at the 42nd and boy did the atmosphere as well, almost to the point where we missed Victory’s biggest first half chance as Toivonen sent one just wide of the right post.
In terms of the rest of the first half that played out whilst all this off-field drama was unfolding; it was as bland as the no-name Easter eggs that distant relatives buy, as both sides came out cagey. Major talking points included Troisi appearing to pick up a hamstring injury in the 32nd, forcing Muscat into an early change as Antonis graced the safe, always luscious fields of Cooper’s in his place. Honda also picked up a yellow in the 33rd for intentionally dragging Goodwin down in the final third- now pay attention, because this becomes important later.
Victory appeared to come out the stronger of the teams in the second half as Toivonen had several digs at the box in the first 10 minutes of the restart, sending all just wide. There were several calls for handball in the box from both Kamsoba and Honda in the 62nd and 66th respectively, but both were (rightly) let go. But, ready for a call that was not rightly let go? The 71st saw Honda studs up take out Kitto’s thigh for what is clearly AT LEAST a second yellow every day of the week. Peter Green had the chance to show his Mall’s Balls at this moment, to step up and say pschhh I am not afraid to send off your marquee and the league poster boy with just one round left before the finals. But he didn’t.
Victory thought they had the opener in the 79th through Badonkadonks, but Marrone (who played like an absolute gun may I say) had been backed into like a Tonka truck to be fouled in the box, with Green going for his whistle to chalk that one off with reaction timing so great, the ball had not even hit the back of the net yet.
With Adelaide not having scored a second half winner since their round 17 last-minute goal against the Roar, the 81st minute of this match became mighty special. Isaías curled in one beauty of a long-range cross to find the strong head of Blackwood for Cooper’s to erupt.
The result means that Victory permanently cement that third-place position, much to the delight of the Smurf’s who have now secured that coveted week off and home semi-final; I assume we’ll be getting our guard of honour from you boys later, yeah? Whilst the win means Adelaide have it all in their hands going into the last round as to whether we get that home elimination final, and most of all that second chance to do it right by the fans and Kurz one last time. For we are the league of Muscat two-footers, Brosque chewing the ears off of on-field officials, and the Forna fuck off speech; don’t ever let anyone stifle that.
By Hayley Routley