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GLENN ARTHUR  Wednesday, January 16, 2002  22:52 GMT

A New Year and all the Madrid players were up for this match, apart from Martin who was somewhat unwell. The first half started brightly with Madrid passing the ball fairly well but this was not to last and they found their passes being intercepted regularly. It was about 15 minutes into the game when Surreal Madrid conceded a goal, a free kick was played into the penalty box and was flicked on to the far post and poked home by a Maritimo forward. The play continued to be scrappy but Madrid started to make an impression on the opposition. On the half hour mark Jamie Phillips tried an effort from range which was deflected into the air and Taff Manton on the 6 yard box executed a Penny-Farthing kick which squirmed from the keepers grasp into the net to level the game at 1-1. It seemed this is how the score was going to remain but unfortunately Madrid were caught out when trying to play the ball out from defence, a defender (who will remain nameless – but you know who you are!) was caught in possession and the ball bobbled free for a Maritimo forward to have a one on one situation with the Surreal keeper, which he managed to score from to make it 2-1 at half time.

The Madrid players were not disheartened and felt they had a good chance to win the match, but this was soon to change. Unfortunately it appeared that the Xmas break had caught up with the players who now seemed to forgot how to the pass the ball at all. Maritimo managed to create a string of chances and eventually converted one when a ball was crossed into the area and was met with a fine volley that gave the keeper no chance. And even though Maritimo created more chances there forth came by way of the penalty spot when the defender, who will continue to remain nameless, competed for a 50-50 ball chasing back to goal, which the referee deemed it unfair and awarded the kick which was duly converted. It was after this that Madrid were reduced to 10 men as Jamie Phillips went off with groin strain. Shortly after this came Madrid’s best move of the match which resulted in Matt Whittaker being put through clear for a one on one with the Maritimo keeper. The keeper however managed to block the shot which then went out wide to Taff Manton, who crossed the ball in to the far post which was met by Matthew Whittaker who redeemed himself by placing a good header inside the post. This ended the scoring which left it at 4-2 when the full time whistle blew. Other notable events included two bookings one for Jamie Phillips (Possible the worst Surreal tackle of recent memory) and one for Matthew Whittaker. Madrid now look forward to the distraction of the Challenge Cup next week.

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