SportsReach Austria 2014

SportsReach Austria 2014

22 May

SportsReach 4 – 4 Selzthal

This was a very exciting evening for us.  A new team to play!  The contact came from the girls team playing Selzthal girls in October and we asked then then if they would be open to play our mens team in May.  What a warm and friendly welcome we received.  There was a good number who came along to watch the game, including some of the girls who we had met in October.  A great game followed, played in a very good spirit with both teams playing hard but fair.  After showering we were invited into the clubhouse were they served us drinks and bread and cheese spread and crisps.  They listened very attentively as Will shared testimony and then we engaged them in conversation and discussions.  We have never known so friendly an atmosphere from a team especially with it being our first visit with them, with a warm invitation to return and their looking forward to the girls team visiting later this year.  Conversations continued for over an hour before we returned to Tauernhof, via MacDonalds, for a well earned rest.

Selzthal are currently top of the league and their facilities are very good.  The pitch was large and immaculate, the best we have played on this tour and in fact for a few years!  A large pitch was not really what we wanted to see though, with it being our ninth match in eleven days, a small squad and with them being such a strong team.  We started very lethargically (understandably) and fell behind almost straight away.  1 – 0 down within two minutes!!  One thing this team has though is a great team spirit and tremendous work ethic and encouragements flowed towards each other and we dug deep and equalised with a header from Fabian.  Bill Gibbons soon reaped reward for his tireless running and closing down and scored to give us the lead 2 – 1.  A third soon followed again from Bill and we were 3 – 1 at half time.  Into the second half and every player was giving their all.  We had no strength of our own left but knew His strength in abundance.  In fact one of their players asked afterwards where we got our energy from.  They could not believe that we could still play and encourage each other having played so many games and there being only just enough of us to make a team.  They scored twice to equalise (3 – 3) despite Sootys tremendous performance in goal.  Again we dug deep and Brandon scored to take us back into the lead 4 – 3.  This was a scoreline we have become fond of this tour with three games already finishing 4 – 3.  A certain penalty for hand ball was waved away by the referee and they broke through to the other end to equalise with only a couple of minutes remaining!!  4 – 4.  Even then we had a shot from Joel saved, with Craig pouncing on the rebound and his deft chip coming back off the bar and a resulting header going over the bar.  Game over and although our winning run was also over we were still unbeaten!  The joy and excitement of the football paled into insignificance though when compared to the opportunity to share the Gospel afterwards.

SportsReach team: Sooty, Jonny, Caleb, James, Mark, Craig, Will, Joel, Brandon, Fabian, Bill,

Ref: Graham

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