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Saturday, 10 August 2013

S-Pulse 3-1 Shonan Bellmare


S-Pulse 3-1 Shonan Bellmare
Radončić 8, 36 ----------- Kikuchi 82
Murata 85

Att 15395
Saturday August 10th, Kick off 6pm
Nihondaira Stadium, Shizuoka City

Line Up

GK Kushibiki

DF Yoshida (29)
DF Jong-a-Pin
DF Hiraoka
DF Lee Ki-Je

MF Muramatsu
MF Honda
MF Takeuchi (65)
MF Kawai

FW Radončić (37)
FW Takagi

Subs Used

Ito on for Radončić (60)
Murata on for Kawai (79)
Musaka on for Takeuchi (90)


I had a feeling we had some goals coming our way, and there you go. Three at home against Shonan Bellmare. Biggest news was of course the Caron Baron Radončić getting two on his home début to add to last week’s strike at Niigata. Three goals already from the big man, one more and he’s equalled Bare’s league haul for the first half of the season. I’m not having a go at Bare, but goals are a forward’s currency, and what they ultimately get judged on.

So far (he’s only been with us barely a fortnight, remember) Radončić has slotted in to the team seamlessly. Both goals were from wide crosses, and that’s where his size and positioning really come into play. The first goal, after 8 minutes, saw him get on the end of a fantastic Takagi cross (more on him later) and while Santana in the Shonan goal made a complete pig’s ear of it, the move was a good one.

The Montenegrin’s second saw him rise to beat two defenders and power home an unstoppable header. I say unstoppable because it was within the keeper’s reach, but just had too much on it. The cross came from Lee, back from suspension. 

2-0 at half time, Shonan came out in the second half giving it everything. Kushibiki played a blinder those opening stages with a string of stops maintaining our two goal cushion. The way Shonan were playing a goal at that stage would have made it a very different game, but as the half wore on we had more an appearance of biding our time than being purely on the back foot.

The heat and humidity in Japan right now has reached the point that you break into a sweat just picking up a beer. I have every respect for those 22 men working so hard in such conditions. It inevitably takes a toll though, and Shonan faded as the second half wore on. Toshiyuki, possibly buoyed by news of Genki’s (now confirmed) return to Shimizu, was looking a lot more like his own self. I love seeing him running at defenders and on one that occasion that he did just that, the visitors couldn’t deal with him at all. His shot glanced the outside of the post, but he’s getting back in the zone, and the goals will come.

With 16 minutes to go Shonan brought on defender Iwagami and with 14 minutes to go the referee sent him off. Kawai had got behind the defence line and was chasing down the ball when he got bundled over by the number 15 for a straight red card. Two nil and a man up, we maybe relaxed a little bit too much as Bellmare hit us with a sucker punch shortly after to pull a goal back.

Nerves (mainly mine) may have jangled for a few minutes, but on the pitch we responded brilliantly. Ito had a header turned onto the post and soon thereafter substitute Murata picked up the ball from Takagi, (who had cut inside beating his marker) he took a step or two and stroked it home to put the game beyond reach. I have a lot of time for Murata. He causes the opposition all kinds of problems out wide and creates opportunities.

We remain in 13th, but the gap between us and 14th shows a clear split in the table. A couple of results over the next few weeks and we could jump up to the top ten. Keep the faith! I’m not going to be at Cerezo (away) or Urawa (home), instead being at a Brighton game or two, but I promise to keep the site, and my Twitter, updated, so don't go anywhere! 




Our goals in super slow motion. No sound.