The first rival match of Jocks career was upon him and the Las Rozas players, and a strange thing happened as the team were making their way out to the pitch. As was customary in Spain, the referee would go into each teams dressing room, the home teams first, and let them know what he expects and anything of note.
When the door opened in walked 3 men, Jock assumed the ref and 2 linesmen, but he recognised the man who spoke’s face. He smiled, nodded and winked all at the same time, told the team he wants a good clean game and he will be as reasonable as possible with bookings.
As the team went to pitch for kick off, it suddenly dawned on Jock who the man was, he was the fella they walked by at the the Las Rozas stadium yesterday! He seemed to know Angel pretty well, but why would the ref be at the away teams ground the day before a game? Jock didn’t really pay much more attention to this then sat in the dug out.
For a derby game the atmosphere was quite subdued. A bumper croud of over 3,000 fans weren’t making as much noise as Jock would’ve thought, ‘it’s no Motherwell v Rangers at Fir Park is it?’
‘Huh? You say something Jock?’ Vicente replied
‘Oh no sorry, jus thinking out loud’
As Jock finished talking the linesmen waved for a foul on winger Albur and the home fans at that side of the stadium suddenly rose up and made some noise. It did look quite pathetic really, Albur was only touched by the defender. But even before the ref had signaled play on, Albur played the ball in field where the defence weren’t waiting and some were still protesting to the linesmen. As soon as they clicked on they all raised their hands for an offside that never came, the keeper came off his line but Losada had placed the ball high and out of his reach into net to give Las Rozas the lead.
The home bench were going absolutely bananas at both the linesmen and the ref. The ref even sent off 2 members of the coaching staff and they went to the dressing room. A number of players were given a dressing down by the ref and this whole commotion took around 6 minutes to sort out.
As it was happening Angel Moretti was sat in the directors box and muttered to himself ‘just as we requested. He’s a good asset’ and the game continued on.
Rayo Majadahonda were unable to get any decisions from the ref and it seemed as though he was taking the side of Las Rozas for the rest of the game. Foul after foul it seemed as Las Rozas were able to pass the ball around between themselves at leisure as the Majadahonda players stood off in fear of drawing yet another free kick for their opponents. Despite the stop / start nature of how the game continued Las Rozas could’ve, and probably should’ve had at least another goal to show for their efforts.
3 times they had shots that had beaten the keeper only to be denied by the crossbar or a post. The frustration was setting in for the home team and half time couldn’t come quick enough. During the break Vicente kept the atmosphere subdued with the team talk, ‘keep it simple’ and ‘don’t go diving in’ were the main things to come out of the break.
As for the second half, it was much like the first. The ref seemingly allowing Las Rozas to play the game at their pace whilst pulling up Majadahonda for the softest of fouls at any opportunity. The game wasn’t played at a tempo you would usually see a rival match being played, and for the full second half Rayo Majadahonda managed 1 shot on goal, which Badiashile, on loan from Monaco saved with ease.
The game finally came to an end, with that solitary goal from Losada proving the winner. Not only did Las Rozas beat their local rivals (for the first time in 9 attempts, as Jock was constantly reminded after the fact) but this win meant that after 16 league games they had managed to wipe off the 18 point deficit they had to start the season.
There was still a long way, 22 games to be exact, to go between now and the end of the season, but so far they had confounded their early season predictions, as it was largely agreed that after 16 games Las Rozas should still have had a negative points total.
If they can keep grinding out victories, with some outside factors, then who knows? They might just do it after all.
Next chapter – It is a double pleasure to deceive the deceiver
Previous chapter – Become one with the sinking ship
Chapter 1 – In corruption, the foundations need to be built