This just in: full match report from someone actually in attendance! Click here for Mike Tuckerman's report on events.
Unbeaten in five, in the semi final of the cup and having just completed the double over a team in sixth - with the right spin, even the most mediocre of seasons can look almost presentable! While S-Pa pummelled the Kashiwa goal, and ultimately claimed their seventh win of the season, yours truly was riding a bullet back to Shiz after a weekend away in Chiba. As a Disneyland virgin, I had a thoroughly good time and would recommend it to anyone, but as seven o'clock rolled around on Saturday, much to the better half's chagrin, my attentions turned to my mobile phone as updates poured in from Shimizu.
It didn't take long for the first goal notification. With Okazaki in the starting line up for the first time since Frontale away, he wasted no time in staking his claim to his place by making it one nil in the first minute. The score was doubled by Edamura on eleven minutes, but when the half time score of 2-2 came through, as infuriating as it was, it sadly didn't come as that much of a shock. Losing a two goal lead to Oita not long back softened the blow somewhat... That said, S-Pa came out in the second half and thanks to Okazaki were in the lead again in less than five minutes. We continued to pepper the Kashiwa goal with shots matching our first half tally of seven. Kashiwa only managed two efforts, one less than the first 45. They weren't helped by being reduced to ten men on 78 minutes.
Time for a little more spin / looking on the bright side: We're now up to the giddy heights of 14th, and are only one win from 9th. We're above Jubilo who crumbled to a 3-1 away defeat and who will probably be in the drop zone once Marinos have dispatched Sapporo later today. Perhaps most amazingly, we've only lost once more than Nagoya who sit in second. However, it's Grampus who we face away on Wednesday - not a game I'm expecting a hell of a lot of return from! Still, we have a habit of rising to the big occasions, and Nagoya may well be knackered from being the first team to beat Antlers at Kashima Stadium in God knows how long, so lets have it!
Here's a couple of personal videos from yesterday's game starting with Okazaki's opener:
Okachan's second to make it 3-2 to the Mighty Oranges:
The obligatory post match celebrations:
BARRY WRITES... I really should have thought of doing this as soon as highlights became available officially on YouTube a while back. Be...