Crazy goings on Wednesday at 2nd leg cup quater final between local rivals Avliotes and Karousades. There had been an abandoned game due to no Dr being present and bad blood following. Kick off 3.30pm. During 1st half an incident when Avliotes goalie attacked an opposing player in the dugout who had been abusing the players, delay 1 hour while club officials argue and persuade referee to continue match. Restart and a further 20 minutes delay following an on pitch fracas. At HT referee requested club officials to get police in attendance or he would abandon match. Delay while they turn up. Game went onto extra time and then a penalty shoot out. When it was still level at 9-9 the referee finally abandon the match due to bad light as by now it was 7.30pm and dark with no floodlights available. So a 4 hour match with no result. On Wednesday at 3.30pm exactly the same players and referee will return just to complete the penalty shootout! Only in Greece i hear you say!
On a lovely sunny afternoon in Nymphes yesterday with a crowd just over 50 Sfakera beat Potomos 1-0. A bright start saw the visiting keeper save a header at the back post. Then Nikos in the Sfakera goal miskicked a clearance, the striker lobbed him but it just cleared the bar. He soon redeemed himself with a fine tip over from a long range shot and a fingertip clearance that saw him crash head first into the post, ok after treatment he was still saying it was sore at half time. On 22 minutes Sfakera scored following a corner, the ball dropped lose in the box and a midfielder reacted quickest to rifle home. In the 2nd half Sfakera nearly doubled their lead in identical fashion but the goalie made a good save. A great run and cross saw the attacker just fail to get enough contact on his header in front of goal and shortly after the visitors keeper tipped a long range shot over only for the crowd to be amused when a goalkick was awarded. Often the game was scrappy and there were many bookings including a visiting substitute while sat on bench before he had even come onto the pitch.
One other oddity was that the Potomas goalie was number 13 and the right winger was number 1 !!!
Yesterday afternoon Sfakera made the long trip to Perivoli, approx 72kms from Roda just before you reach Lefkimmi. I was unable to attend. Just 12 players were available with a key midfielder and striker away in Athens on business and others unable to get time from work for the long trip.
Despite the lack of numbers the confidence from Sfakera's recent good form saw them run out 2-0 winners against Kouspades. This was a 5th consecutive win and 2nd successive clean sheet. Goals were scored in 30th minute from midfield and an og in the 42nd minute. The defence held solid in the 2nd half despite tiring and there not being the substitute options, Nikos in goal made 3 fine saves, one following a shot that hit the post where he tipped a diving header away from the rebound (corfu press translation says a 'huge stop' and has a dressing room photo of the happy 12 plus Danny). So a happy team driving home in convoy after a good result on a sunny afternoon in the south.
This weekend sees an early ko Sunday away to Arillas at the ground just outside Avliotes.
An incident packed game at Avliotes saw Sfakera lose 3-2 to 2nd placed Arillas. However it was a game Sfakera should have won had they more tactical knowhow. With the sun shining behind Sfakera in the first half and a strong blustery wind Andonis almost scored in the first minute, his shot going just wide. Then in the 5th minute a throughball found the centre forward in on goal, the keeper rushed out and saved the shot but was outside his box. He was duly shown the red card. Before Arillas had time to sort out their tactics the ball was with Adonis on the left wing touchline, the keeper on ghe edge of his box, a high lobbed shot goalwards, the keeper either lost sight looking up into the sun or the wind affected his judgement but the ball went over his head bounced a yard from the line into the roof of the net. Sfakera seemed to settle and make use of the extra man, two goals rightly ruled out for offside, then a deep corner where Jonathan was ready to head for goal at the back post when the defenders forearm to the head sent him crashing to the ground, penalty for sure but somehow the referee gave a goalkick. Shocking decision. But finally after about 25 minutes the centre forward was through and best the keeper for a 2-0 lead. One would have expected that to be game over but just before half time a freekick from the left evaded the defence and the diving keeper and a diving header saw Arillas score and go in at half time 2-1down.
In the 2nd half Arillas attacked and one would have expected Sfakera to make use of the space behind with their extra man but it wasn't to be and Arillas got an equaliser after the centre forward broke through the defence. Just minutes later and they took control of the game after the ball found its wsy across the penalty area resulting in a tsp in at the back post, the Arillas players went crazy, a sustitute ran the width of the pitch to join kn the celebration, the referee did not book him! Sfakera made a change but not long after coming on the substitute was sent off, given a seemingly harsh yellow card he must have said something to the referee as he was quickly shown a 2nd yellow then red and off. With the teams now 10 a side Arillas showed why they are 2nd in the league and controlled the game. There was still time for a 2nd Sfakera player to be sent off, fouled he responded by giving the offender a push, the player hit the ground as if knocked out by Anthony Joshua! The referee harshly gave a straight red card. At the final whistle the Arillas players celebrated in front of the 70 or so fans. It was three points they did not deserve. Sfakera's 5 game winning run came to an end with the harsh lesson that you must make use of your extra player to pass the ball around and tire them out chasing around. This wasn't done and the great play of the first 35 minutes not maintained, maybe some tiredness following the tough midweek match, allowing what should have been a bolt on win slip through their hands.
An update on the above, the Sfakera player who was sent off following 2 yellows appently abused the referee when dissenting has been given a 6 game ban, much worse punishment than in professional football. The other player has a 2 game ban.
It also seems the the referee comes from near Arillas and owns a gym where many of the Arillas team attend. I would have thought, even on a small Island, they could ensure nobody referees their local village team.
This weekend Sfakera entertain Valanio on Saturday at 15.30. Both teams close in mid table but only because Valanio received a 10 point deduction for a serious misdemeanour, i dont know exactly what, effectively removing them from the race for promotion.
The -10 points followed an unfinished game, stopped due to fight between both teams for 45 minutes to let everyone cool down. Valanio then refused to restart the game, they then were given the punishment.
Yesterday a crowd approaching 60 enjoyed the sunny afternoon at Nymphes where Sfakera played Valanio. An early near miss by the visitors was followed by a chance for Sfakera, the initial long shot underhit and the loose ball scrambled clear. In the 5th minute a save was fumbled by Nikos in the Sfakera goal and a lurking striker had a tap in to put Valanio 1 up. In a even game, with strong challenges, we had to wait until 26minutes for the equaliser, a throw on the left found itscway into the box where a smart turn and shot by the centre forward found the net. Just 5 minutes later following a break a long range shot found the bottom corner to put Valanio 2-1 up. On 40 minutes Andonis was put through and scored only for the lineswoman to flag offside, i was just 5 yards from level with her and it was clearly onside and a bad error. The referee some 20 yards back had no option but to back her call, the crowd were vociferous in their protests. The second half littered with many bookings saw Sfakera push forward and Valanio counter, the visitors also had the added weapon of a player with a very long throw. Nikos redeemed himself for his 1st half error with three very good saves including on with his feet in a one on one situation. Just before the end the inevitable happened in a game of so many bookings and a foul resulted in Messina getting a 2nd yellow followed by the red, leaving Sfakera 2 minutes tobfindva goal withbjust 10 men. It didnt happen so the final score was a loss by 2-1.
The oddity in this game, visiting full back wore odd boots, one blue one black with nike tick. He also had one all black sock and the other black with a thick white top. Obviously a superstitious chap!
Yesterday the village cup final was played at very sunny Kanoni (pitch parallel with runway at sea end) in front of a crowd of approximately 1,500. Plenty flares, firecrackers as teams entered the pitch. A close hard fought game with few chances saw Lefkimmi score the only goal in the last minute of the 1st half, the goalie just failing to tip the header over the bar. Nymphes had just 2 long range shots, both high and wide in the 2nd half, Lefkimmi were caught offside in most of their attacks. Shortly before the end a melee on the touchline following a clash saw one player from each side sent off. Lefkimmi collected the cup and now look set to complete a double as they are currently top of the league.
Oddity, corner markings were straight not circular. Also Nymphes as runners up also received a cup!
At half time there was a young boys game between Nymphes and Lefkimmi.
Yesterday it was back to Kanoni to watch Sinarades v Sfakera with kick off changed to 5.30pm following the clocks going forward. Sfakera were down to the bare bones with 3 players suspended and several others carrying injuries. It was sunny intervals and a light breeze but still warm.
A bright start by both teams but after only a few minutes the Sfakera full back had to go off, he twisted as he fell and agrevated his hamstring injury. In 18 minutes Sinarades took the lead when a cross from the wing was misjudged by the goalie and the striker headed home as they collided. 10 minutes later the scores were level as Sfakera broke through and scored from 15 yards, the linesman flagging offside but the referee overruling as he did several times throughout the game to the confusion of all. A smart save by the Sfakera keeper and some poor efforts kept things level at ht.
A tight game in the second half and more fiesty. The home team got through and from 5 yards hit the bar, a fine tackle by Jonathan denying a goal from the rebound. Later on a 25 yarder by Sinarades crashed against the bar with Nikos well beaten. A few breakaways by Sfakera were foiled by offside, a shot inches wide or good tackles by the defence. About 77 minutes into the game a hopeful lob into the Sfakera box saw a mix up between a defender and the goalie, the ball deflecting off the defender leaving the striker with a tap in. Sfakera didnt give up and shortly after a cross into the box found the unmarked centre forward whose crisp shot from 16 yards again leveled the scores. The final 10 minutes was endvto end as players tired but Sfakera were clearing well but unfortunately in the last 30 seconds Sinarades broke through and scored to win the game 3-2.
With this Wednesday's game deferred a week, it gives time for recovery and at least one of the suspended is due to return.
Yesterday a group of 19, myself included, set off on the long trip to Strongoli, the ground with 200 red and blue seats nestled in the olive groves some half mile outside the village. A hot afternoon and no shade for the players. Sfakera were stretched by suspension, injury and absence and lacking height at the back with Jonathan.
The game ko at 4.30pm started briskly, early save by Sfakera followed by a cross nuts by Andonis that evaded everyone in the goalmouth. A few early yellows by the referee, harsh but he probably thought would slow the tempo. However on 25th minute Sfakera no 6, who had dropped to defence to replace Jonathan, was sent off for a 2nd yellow after a badly mistimed tackle. Just 2 minutes later and a cross found an unmarked player at the back and it was 1-0 to Strongli. On 33 minutes Nikos in the Sfakera goal made a flying save high to tip a free kick away, 8 minutes later he dived to intercept and punch away a cross. HT 1-0.
The 2nd half started even, Sfakera clear a header of their line, shortly after Messina was through but incorrectly flagged offside. On 55th minute a Strongoli player flicked the ball over a defender, ran onto it and shot in off the back post, 2-0. Sfakera hadn't given up and Messina was again caught offsude when well placed, his shot hitting the post, on the hour. 64th minute and another fine diving save at the foot of the post by Nikos. It was clear Sfakera were tiring in the heat with just 10 men, after one attack, 4 players were all walking back offside leaving midfield exposed. However on 66 minutes Sfakera were given a penalty, the referee seeing an incident as a free kick was played into the box. The young midfielder scored to make it 2-1. Sadly there was no comeback as just 4 minutes later a throw in, taken a good 15 yards forward from where ball left ground, resulted in a breakaway and the winger lobbing the goalie. 3-1 and game over, you could see the heads drop and a couple players almost gave up in the heat. Further breakaway goals scored all too easily on 80, 83 and 85 minutes gave the game a 6-1 scoreline that was hard on Sfakera. FT blown 86 minutes, often the case here referee blows 5 minutes early if result beyond doubt.
So the long trip home, not so happy. A stop for a gyros and to forget and start to prepare for the next game on Wednesday.
janiemou: Are you surviving the rain Kaz?
Jun 12, 2019 16:35:23 GMT 2
kaz: Just about janiemou..its raining now,,grey skies and windy its " s'windy, loved your pics of the sea....not been up on the sea wall since accident, maybe soon,getting around I bit better now............rain just stopped!! strange weather?? take care xx .
Jun 13, 2019 10:30:37 GMT 2
kaz: Hope you are both well Jan & Steve and enjoying the Roda sun!!!....the days here have been dry but humid,phew..........not able to get to Roda again this year ( I miss it so much) never mind, one day..take care, love Kaz & Rosie xxx
Jul 15, 2019 16:43:37 GMT 2
janiemou: Hi Kaz,I had pretty good weather when on quick trip back to the UK, not been so good since I have been back. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow.
Jul 16, 2019 14:36:06 GMT 2
kaz: Hi Janiemou.........as you may have heard, we had a Heat Wave for two days here.....my was it hot?? shouldn't complain though only it hasn't stopped raining to-day...we can't win can we?? Hope you and Steve are keeping well and still enjoying life.........
Jul 27, 2019 16:04:20 GMT 2
kaz: Not able to make Roda again this year.....family holidays in progress!!!So it will be just me n Rosie up on the sea wall!!! take care..love Kaz xx
Jul 27, 2019 16:07:29 GMT 2
janiemou: Oh Kaz, we will miss you, as will Roda.
Jul 27, 2019 17:37:57 GMT 2
kaz: I will miss you to...............one day a?
Aug 3, 2019 13:00:50 GMT 2
kaz: Nice cooling rain here in Kent after 2days of sweltering SUN...shouldn't complain though should I.....I have friends on their way to Roda at the wkend staying at the Afroditi, I expect you will know them..........just wish I could be there with them. Enjoy
Aug 28, 2019 20:34:49 GMT 2
kaz: Just got on my 'puter..thanks for missing me!!...I am there in spirit (always)just wish my BODY was !!!never mind, next year with luck ( before I have to use a walking frame!!!)glad the weather is good for you all....hold on, just want to wipe the tears
Sept 11, 2019 19:50:02 GMT 2
kaz: Now my puter is playing up.......I cant win
Sept 11, 2019 19:53:37 GMT 2
kaz: Hope Forum meetings are going well?? I miss them too xxxx
Sept 11, 2019 20:01:03 GMT 2
kaz: Weather in Kent is very hot...........still not as nice as being in Roda!!!
Sept 17, 2019 16:19:06 GMT 2