VPS Vaasa Match Report

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12th August ’99 VPS VAASA 1 DRUNKEN SAINTEES 1

Saints: Main, Weir, Bollan, Keyring, Dassa, O’Neil , Dods, McQuillan, Kane, McMahon, Simao
Given the pre-match build-up in O’Malley’s, it was going to take something darn spectacular to make the game itself even vaguely rememberable – unfortunately, it’s unlikely that in thirty years time that anyone will remember the match, but will talk about the incredible atmosphere the night before, during the Thursday, and the “Saintees marching in” through the streets of Vaasa and arriving at the ground half an hour later – if you missed it, you’ve missed out on one of the biggest parties Saints have EVER had in their history – this was special.

And to the game itself……St.Sandy rang the changes (and given his team selection he must have still had a hangover from the night before) with Simao and McMahon in attack, and Keyring playing on the left wing. O’Neil was on the right, with Dassa and Kane completeing the midfield, while the usual four of McQuillan, Dods, Weir and Blaster lined up in defence. Vaasa had……..ahhh fuck knows.

Saints started by kicking into a bright sun, and a light wind. It soon became pretty apparent that we were playing a bunch of rather shite “footballers,” and that this should have been a fairly easy stroll in the park so to speak. Think of St**h***m**r, Stranraer and you’ll start to get the idea. Either St.Sandy was still trying to lull VPS into a false sense of security, or there is something radically wrong with the Saints team. The latter seems the more likely.

The first half was about as dull as you’ll get. Simao went close early on, with a curling shot which narrowly missed the top corner, and Keyring headed a golden opportunity straight at the keeper just before half time, when it looked easier to score. In one spell around six shots were charged down in quick succession, and O’Neil sliced wide from 18 yards…….getting the picture yet? Vaasa go up the pitch, Main makes a superb save. Then they narrowly miss after Main gives the ball straight back to the Vaasa players, before Vaasa score after another defensive mishap! The ball is thrown into the middle, Dods heads across his own goal, and the ball is squirmed into the net at the far post under Blaster and Jesus.

Infact, it was more fun taking the piss out of the “home support.” They sing “relegation, relegation” and the Saintees respond with “Your going down with the Dundee” – if Vaasa didn’t know who Dundee were – they sure as hell will now! The best chant of the first half thought started as “you only sing when you’re winning”, which soon turned to “you only sing when you’re skiing” before finally reaching a crescendo at “you only ski when it’s snowing!”

By the second half the sun had gone, and the crowd, pissed off at the completely inept performance on the pitch, and only a little tired after drinking Vaasa dry, had quietened down a little. Saints weren’t, much better though, with Keyring and McMahon putting in woeful performances, and it wasn’t long before the crowds calls for Rod the God were answered. Immediately the Legend was putting himself about, and raising the crowd level. He was starting to create space for McMahon, who should have done better with a couple of headers. Nic….Nick…Daso…vic at number four then had a blast from 18 yards which was tipped wide, Kane fired weakly wide from a similar distance and Roddy had a great shout for a penalty.

It looked although the away goal would never come…..enter Sir Nathan of Lowndes. The ginger bomber made the difference, and his pace left Vaasa reeling. A knock back from Dassa was collected, but fired weakly at goal, before Nathan stuck out a boot to divert a cross-cum-shot from McQuillan into the back of the net to provide Saints a vital away goal. Saints then went about trying to win the game. Bollan almost scored with a header, while Roddy was denied late on as his shot was cleared off the line at the near post, when a goal looked certain.It’s ridiculous that Saints couldn’t beat this bunch. We should gub them in Perth, as they aren’t skillful, not very strong, and tired badly at the end – having said that – WE NEED A BLOODY STRIKER! MOTM for me goes to John McQuillan who’s the only one of the back line who looks even moderately safe at the moment. Dods, apparently still suffering from a shoulder injury, and Weir look completely out of place, and Bollan is making mistakes all over the place………and Jesus doesn’t help matters by dropping his crosses, and kicking the ball into the stand at every opportunity.

Overall impressions of the trip. The game was shite, and major disappointment, but the trip has been worth every single last finnish mark just for the sheer party atmosphere that the Saints supporters have created in the town over the last two days. I’ve never seen anything like it, Hamburg veterans haven’t either, and it’ll probably be another thirty years before we get this again – if we do beat Vaasa at Perth – YOU MUST make it to the next game. This is All Saints in Vaasa, signing off………..

 

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