“Get it up! Get it up arrrhh!! No, no, no! don’t pass it sideways! Get it Up!!” The portly gentleman next to us continued this stream-of-consciousness analysis for the entire game, pausing only to observe with exasperation that Culina “should have been a hairdresser”. As entertaining as this was, the enjoyment paled in comparison to listening to Gold Coast Utd nauseating theme song over the sound system. Watching large beer swilling Gold Coast fans shrink visibly with embarrassment to the sacerine melodic strains of Eurovision winners Botherhood of Man's "United we Stand" was worth the price of admission alone.
70's gay pride anthems aside, the involvement of the disappointingly sparse 10,000 fans was more 14th green than Kop end and the ground anouncer was a little to the Bernie Fraser side of animated. Polite applause was the highlight of the first half apart from some isolated attempts at “Gold Coast Clap clap clap” and a brief but concerted effort to boo the referee after a blatant penalty shout was refused. After Gold Coast hit the lead the crowd were finally caught up in events and atmosphere over the final ten minutes was jubilant only spoiled by the anemic strains of “United we Stand, Divided we Fall” at the full time whistle.
There are plenty of match summaries floating around the interwebs so I won’t bother going over all that. Basically Fulham looked much the better team in the first half, Murphy scored with a brilliant free kick. Tiered and rearranged, Fulham fell into disarray after half time. Gold Coast attacked wildly, throwing plenty of haymakers but landing nothing. Tahj Minecon injected some much needed pace and penetration upon his half time substitution and in the end Gold Coast deserved their win and could have had a few more but for wasteful finishing.
While the result means little, it would be an ardent Roar fan who refused to be impressed by some of United's payers' performances - So let the record show that we were officially unimpressed.
However, Adama Traore showed great skill and pace going forward and while Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora (or Robert Zomoro as the lackluster ground announcer would have it) caused the left back the occasional moment of defensive panic, he wont have to deal with that kind of quality week in week out in the A-League.
Joel Porter and Shane Smeltz provided plenty of evidence to suggest that Tahj Minniecon might be the team's best striker. For his part the
greedy,traitorous memercenary ex Roar starlet proved that he can create panic among defenders of any pedigree.
Michael Thwiate impressed, particularly after moving into midfield from where he made numerous penetrating runs and took a few good shots, even executing a neat Cryuff turn which failed to impress the gallery "Get it UP! Fa #*$%s sake foward!"
Of the other central midfielders, Griffiths was combative, Culina was predictably classy (despite an apparently maddening penchant for passing the ball wide) and after a slow start, in which he appeared to be well behind the pace of the game, dwelling on the ball and getting caught in possesion, Brazilian Robson settled well into a holding role.
Through gritted teeth, we cant deny that Gold Coast showed enough to convince that they will be a serious force in the coming A-League Season, so long as none of the players are stuck down by 70's pop schmaltz induced paralysis.