What started as a drunken idea in a bar has morphed into this - a fantasy football podcast from me and my mates. The goal: make an interesting and entertaining fantasy podcast that might help you do alright, but hopefully not as well as me. We've heard what's out there, and we reckon we might be able to do just as well as those other duffers, maybe even better.

There's also some FC Tokyo stuff on here, but I now blog on all things Gasmen at On the Gas (click on link below).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

FC Tokyo 3 Shonan Bellmare 0

20,508 made it to the ageing but 'holy' (at least according to one FCT blogger) Kokuritsu stadium on a warm October afternoon for this one. There are few expressions more cliched that "must win game" in football, but that really was the general pre-match feeling of followers of the Gasmen prior to kick off. One banner in the home end read "We believe in you Tokyo", but such confidence seemed to be baseless when the last six games were taken into consideration (1 point), or indeed when pondering on the club's home form (1 win all season, in the dim and distant March). Nevertheless there was a determination amongst the fans to get right behind the team, and a realisation that against the weakest team in the division, it was now or never to find some form.

It was however, largely the same old story for the larger part of the first half, i.e. the lion's share of possession for Tokyo, but a mysterious force field around the opposition's 18-yard box which our out of form attack rarely seemed like having the ability to penetrate. Indeed, it was the lime greens from Hiratsuka who created the clearest-cut opportunities in the first third of the match, forcing a fine left handed save from Gonda and rattling the crossbar in just two of these occasions. The feeling then, when Oguro hooked in Konno's header down from a corner in the 38th minute, was one of unexpected relief. Indeed it seemed to take the home fans at the other end of the ground a few moments to register that we had actually scored. That feeling, though, soon gave way to something more joyous as a dispirited Shonan defence failed to keep up with Ricardinho's sprint down the left, and from his cross Hirayama laid it off for Ishikawa to smash it high into the onion bag. Suddenly a two goal lead in a matter of minutes and a much happier National Stadium.

The second half kicked of with Tokyo trying to extend the lead, but when that spurt of pressure tailed off Bellmare came right back into it, forcing at least 3 quality saves from the newly selected Japanese international Gonda, in front of a doubtless impressed Zaccheroni. Frustration was settling in amongst the home support, with Ricardinho having opportunities to get behind the Bellmare defence but looking horribly ineffectual. It was, then, another nice surprise to see him find a burst of pace from somewhere, followed by a lovely curling shot from outside the area that nestled in the net behind the keeper's outstretched left arm. At last, 84 minutes in we could all relax and down the Malts Premium a bit quicker.

In the aftermath, we should be able to take a lot of positives from this despite the fact that the opposition was clearly the worst in the league and our goalkeeper was MOTM. Confidence, confidence, confidence. It is an over-used word in football, and I have just used it three times. But hopefully our previously misfiring attack will take heart from the goals and the defence will be able to build on a scrambled clean sheet. The next two matches are absolute monsters; away to Sendai and home to Albirex, before a tough-looking set of games against the higher echelons of the league.

Mon' the Gas!

Tokyo Bairn

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