Rummies red carded in playoff win
Three players tossed from Sunday's semifinal in St. Albert Men's Soccer League
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 06:00 am
The Rummies paid the price for winning a playoff date with GSE in the St. Albert Men’s Soccer League.
Three Rummies were red carded in Sunday’s chippy contest with SA City and the trio isn't expected to be in the lineup for the playoff cup rematch against the defending champions.
“Those should not be red cards but that's what the ref called. Hopefully he’ll come to his senses and make the right decision and give them yellows,” said Rummies’ player/manager Dan Bruha with a shrug of his shoulders after the 5-1 decision at Poplar field.
SAMSL director Nick Algar said Monday he was waiting for the referee’s report but red cards were indicated on the gamesheet.
SA City also lost a player to a red card from the brouhaha in the 73rd minute, and the Rummies in total command at 4-1. After the Rummies were awarded a corner kick, Mark Noskovic – the Golden Boot scoring champion with 17 goals in league play – and Shane Horal of SA City got embroiled in a confrontation while going for the ball that was out of play. Players from both teams soon joined the tussle, which resembled a rugby maul as no serious punches were thrown.
When cooler heads prevailed, the referee, who was abused verbally by both teams throughout the physical affair, banished Noskovic and Ryan Prodorutti of the Rummies and Hordal from the match.
Bruha disagreed with the referee’s interpretation of the incident.
“I don't even know what it was over. The ball was already out of play and their guy jumped our guy from behind and then two or three other guys came in,” Bruha said. “Mark got jumped and got a red card out of it. Ryan pulled one of their guys off by the shoulder and he got a red card for protecting our guy.”
Three minutes before the altercation, Noskovic scored a pair less than two minutes apart to seal the deal.
Bruha felt Noskovic, a gifted centre-midfielder, was unfairly targeted by the opposition.
“That's been a problem in the league this year. When we beat teams as bad as we do, everyone is aiming at you and taking cheat shots,” Bruha said of the 13-0-2 Rummies. “Mark is our best player. He’s got speed and skill. When he gets the ball he attacks. He doesn’t look to pass the ball. He’s got the blinders on.”
Alex Sinclair, another scoring threat for the Rummies, was red carded late in the match after a hard tackle and the Scottish footballer loudly voiced his displeasure.
With three fewer players to work with, the Rummies closed out the scoring on newcomer Phil Brady’s boomer for his second goal of the afternoon.
In the opening half SA City struck first on Dave King’s shot in the 17th minute and a few minutes later the boys in blue missed slotting the ball under the crossbar against keeper Joel McRae.
Penalty kicks by Sinclair in the 38th minute and Brady four minutes later left SA City in a foul mood over the officiating, especially the handball infraction that put the Rummies back on the penalty spot.
Leading 2-1 at halftime wasn’t good enough for the Rummies.
“In the first half we were probably looking to pass too much. Some of the strikers were laying it off versus getting a little greedy,” Bruha said. “We needed to play the easy ball to the feet and start hitting balls.”
The strong play of SA City goalkeeper Ricardo Limon held the Rummies to only three goals despite multiple scoring opportunities.
“We had good habits going. We took over the play for about 30, 40 minutes of the game. We definitely had all the possession and all the chances,” Bruha said.
With three starters scheduled to sit out Sunday’s final against GSE (10-3-2), a.k.a. Green Street Elite, there will be no tears shed for the Rummies – the most despised and decorated team in SAMSL’s 33-year history as winners of 13 playoff cups in 18 trips to the final, in addition to 12 provincial medals.
Kickoff is 3 p.m. at Poplar field, but SAMSL is hoping to move the final to the Victoria Soccer Club.
“Any team we play we want to beat so it will be a good game,” said Bruha, a 42-year-old sweeper in his third decade with the Rummies.
The team’s only loss in league play last year was 1-0 to GSE in the final. It was the GSE’s first playoff cup in its second SAMSL season.
“It’s a bunch of new guys this year. It’s not really the same squad,” Bruha said. “I don't know if we’re better or worse than last year. They’re both really strong teams.”
The Rummies and GSE received semifinal byes as the top two teams in league play for Tier III provincial berths in Calgary. The Rummies were outscored 14-6 to finish 0-2-1 and GSE was outscored 19-2 in three losses. Last year at Tier IV provincials the Rummies won bronze and GSE was 1-3.
“We didn't have the best performance in Calgary but we had a pretty short bench and the guys who did show up really gave it their all,” Bruha said. “We played three pretty solid teams and if we brought even half of our A game we would’ve had maybe a win, a loss and one tie. We couldn’t finish in a lot of the games and we had tons of chances. We just didn’t play as smart as we should've.”
CORNER KICKS: Sunday at 1 p.m. SA City (5-12) and Arsenal (6-8-3) will play in the bronze final at Poplar field or Victoria Soccer Club. Arsenal fell 5-1 to GSE in the semifinals.