J2 Matchday 12
Well this is a brief one as neither of us really got to watch this, what with family commitments and the vagaries of Justin TV. I really thought I might be able to survive without seeing all the away games this year but it is proving very frustrating, I might have to go back to skapa after all.
Anyway from what little I saw this was a good, professional performance from the side, the kind of thing I expected we would get from the team this year seems to finally be materialising. The Gasmen lined up with the same side as the one which saw off Tokushima Vortis in the previous effort, Shiota keeping his place as Gonda had just arrived back from his Olympic qualifying exploits a few hours before kick off. Tatsuya was also back on the bench after his injury layoff.
A rather poor an uneventful first half gave way to an incident crammed second period, as far as I could work out from my constant F5 pressing. Morishige whipped in a lovely free kick and Hokuto was fouled as he charged into the box, giving the improving Casualyama the chance to slot away the spot kick. Mito got back into it though when the ref somehow managed to interpret a great ball winning tackle in the box from Hideto as a foul. I really don't know how that decision could have been made no matter what the angle the whistler had, and he might have been trying to "even things up", although the earlier foul on Hokuto seemed pretty clear cut. Anyway Shiota did well to block the resultant penalty before the taker followed it up and knocked it in. Shortly after the man in black proved he really was enduring a prolonged brain farting session as he had to be reminded he had already booked the Mito defender Okada, who was eventually given an early bath. Supersub Ishikawa (let's hope not for much longer!) then seemed to seal it with a driving finish after one of his trademark diagonal runs into the box had been cleverly spotted by the great laid back one. We were not to be bestowed the relaxing last few minutes we have been waiting for all season though, Murata cracking in a great long range effort past a firmly rooted Shiota in the 89th.
All in all a satisfactory performance away from home on a dodgy pitch with an even dodgier referee. Great to see Kajiyama and Ishikawa getting back into form, and with us climbing into 3rd, now miraculously only 2 points off Tochigi and Jeffrey, what a weekend it was for those associated with the Gas. But more was to follow, yes more, Lionel, is that you?