The Sunshine Saints sparkle in a September Spartan shootout
Spartan South Midlands League, Division One
Buckingham Athletic FC 3 v. St Panteleimon FC 7
Scorers: Cruse 3 v. Massey 5, Tajbakhsh, Monti
Ground: Stratford Fields, Buckingham
St Panteleimon have always wanted to fly their flag proudly. The flag of respect, fair play, good football, sportsmanship and their ethnic heritage in the English National League system. The club now has seven different nationalities among its players, and while it revels in its Greek Orthodox roots, it embraces everyone that comes into its sphere.
And on a bright Buckinghamshire day last Saturday, 7thSeptember, the team did their best to uphold this tradition in sparkling fashion and stay top of the league.
At the home of Buckingham Athletic FC, it took about sixty seconds for the Saints to open the scoring, with their first attack. Courtney Massey finished well and set the Saints off.
Within 13 minutes Massey had a hat-trick. Some good interplay on the right and some sharp passes from Noyan Tajbakhsh and Roberto Katsikas made Massey’s runs on goal pay off in lightning fashion.
A penalty for Buckingham and a nice close finish after a free kick, made the score 2-3 at half time.
Within five minutes of the second half starting the Saints were 2-5 up. A lovely through ball from Tajbakhsh gave Massey his fourth, with a sublime chip, lifted over the keeper. And then Guilherme Monti, gave Buckingham an exhibition of his silky skills and close control, as he found space and shot sharply to make it 5.
Then some fatigue and mistimed tackles saw Demetri Anastasiou sent off for the Saints when he received his second yellow card on 70 minutes. A Saints penalty then gave Tajbahksh his chance to score, and he did so with a superb Panenka style chip, to make it 2-6.
But the game wasn’t finished. In the last five minutes, Massey got his fifth, and the home side earned a penalty to make it 3-7.
An entertaining afternoon and three well-earned points from the hard-working Saints. Top of the league with 28 goals in 6 games.
Next week the Saints travel to Bedfordshire to play Ampthill Town FC.
Reporting from Iacovos Neophytou