The Desperation Derby reared it’s ugly head on a warm late afternoon in the West of Sydney. The Mariners travelling to Soulless (Spotless) Stadium to meet the Wanderers after failing to keep it up against the Victory and Wanderers failed to make a dent in the scoreline against the Jets.
While the Mariners fans were excited for the trip to the ghetto and all got on the bus for the West Sydney express as they maintained hope that their team could actually get a win. Wanderers fans less thrilled about the match as they are never thrilled about matches these days. You’d have more luck getting a smile out of Squidward than a Wanderers fan right now.
The first 20 or so minutes were spent in the Mariners half with the Wanderers holding possession and forcing a lot of play in Sotirio’s direction, down the shaded right side of the pitch.
Ex-Wanderer Johnathon Aspro-somethinggreekidis copped a bit of a knock to his head from Riera’s elbow resulting in the smallest amount of blood you’ll see in West Sydney this evening but nonetheless giving him the classic mummy look for the remainder of the game.
Unfortunately the little pieces of excitement Wanderers fans hold on to so tightly were shattered in the 25th minute when Yeboah was substituted for Bruce Kamau due to a left groin injury.
As we all started to feel the desperation for a power outage, we continued to experience more slow play and more elbows into faces from both teams.
Jordan Murray and Matt Millar seemed to be the only bright shining light for the Mariners, Murray realising if he challenges Janjetovic in even the slightest way he has a pretty good chance of getting a goal. The only problem was breaking down the lack of press from his teammates to get the ball off the dominant Wanderers.
That right side of the pitch continued to get used more than those less attractive guys that seem to have a lot of connections.
A minute before the end of regulation time Sotirio crosses in his 74th attempt for this first half, successfully finding Riera who hits the post like I hit the corner of the couch with my little toe when I’ve been drinking. Thankfully for the Wanderers faithful, Tarek Elrich seeks Sotirio nearing the back post, crosses his shot in and somehow gets it past Ben Kennedy in goals who very clearly knocked back a greasy HSP prior to the match with those gloves on. Possibly the flukiest goal you’ll see all week (the round is not over) but hell, it’s not very often you see someone score from a cross.
Both teams continued to play in a way that would be increasing Ned Zelic’s blood pressure back at home on the couch, with lots of back passes and thoughtless crosses.
After hitting a new record for the evening of completed passes in a row (5) Tommy Oar concedes a spot kick for Hoole to attempt his magic from last weekend but leaves us all unsatisfied.
As I continue to sit here in complete boredom I can’t help but to be entertained by the ironic cheers from the Wanderers fans when Vedran Janjetovic successfully picks up the ball without conceding a corner or picking up a card for stupidity.
Wanderers fans continue to have their voice heard, very unusual for this bunch, by vocalising their opinion when Riera is subbed off for Mitchell Duke who so far has shown nothing but enthusiasm for this team.
In the 73rd minute Kye Rowles fouled O’Doherty and to be honest I was quite grateful. I just wanted to make sure Sean Evans was still paying attention cos honestly I was in and out.
After what had been an exhausting 77 minutes for Sotirio, he finds a way to beat Kennedy and slides a really, slow, rolling ball into the back of the net. It was rolling so slowly, it nearly broke even my heart as I watched it eventually make its way just inside the net, phew. Don’t know how much more the heartbreak these bastards can handle.
As we all sat here with our ‘the game’s not over til the fat lady sings’ faces on and the fourth official called 6 minutes of extra time, you couldn’t help but to think there was at least 4 more goals in this game.
Alas the final score is 2-0 and the Wanderers get a home win! Both teams needed the win desperately but it seems the less shit of the duo took home the 3 points.
By Rose Valente