Produce Sparta 1 Sredjna Vas Albion 0
Gutsy defending by the visitors, atrocious weather and a brief alien pitch invasion certainly made this Western Bohinj Division Two derby game a tricky one for Sparta.
Produce manager Rietz Allot, speaking after his side was abducted (News) was delighted with the win but admitted it was tough going.
“I think we deserved the points,” he said, “but only just.
“Albion really had us on the rack for a while at the start of the second half. I think the alien landing gave us time to compose ourselves and we got our act together. The winner came late… but it came, that’s all that matters.
“Losing my entire team though has been a bit of a surprise blow. That could cost us dearly if the league makes us forfeit our points in the games ahead.”
Ukanc Park isn’t a happy hunting ground for the Sredjna men and boss Harry Dean Stanton was furious that his side had dropped a valuable point.
“We’re away from home, the weather’s lousy but we’re still holding our own,” he said. “Then the aliens land and our concentration just goes.
“It really is a sickener. This is a professional game and we need to keep our focus for the full 90 minutes.
“Exactly the same thing happened last year when the Messiah appeared and that cost us a crucial promotion point.”
Certainly the homesters, with Jann still out through injury, opened strongly with Moore and Truce linking up nicely in the 12th minute, slicing through the visiting defence before releasing Lather who scraped the upright with a blistering 18-yard effort.
Cotolo and Van Horn both came close but the best chance for Sparta came when Allen-Rosario suddenly found himself in the clear in the 20th minute.
Breaking up the right, he outstripped the full-back before whipping over a cross which was met by the in-rushing Rossity at full stretch.
With a thick haar from the lake covering the ground, the Sredjna keeper saw the header late but still managed to get his fingertips to the ball. Manboobs pounced on the rebound but his close-range effort was driven straight at the goalie who tipped it away for a fruitless corner.
Flashing lights and a loud grinding noise appeared to be getting closer as Terzella and Van Horn started to make their presence felt in midfield. But the visitors, spearheaded by the productive Traps and creative Nitrate, were still managing to cut up the flanks and always looked dangerous.
Then, in the 56th minute, play was suddenly brought to a halt when what appeared to be a flying saucer descended on to the damp Ukanc turf.
With the 120-strong crowd silent and the players motionless, a door slowly opened and a number of alien lifeforms floated on to the pitch.
Referee Helium was having none of it.
With whistle blowing angrily, he approached the space travellers with arms gesturing to the sky. The aliens looked surprised at the verbal onslaught then one, which appeared to be the leader, put his hand over its mouth in shocked embarrassment.
Communicating briefly with the others, the space travellers waved apologetically to the crowd, went back on board their ship, and then silently took off. The whole incident lasted less than three minutes and left the crowd frozen in disbelief.
But the ref was more composed and immediately pointed to the flattened grass at the centre of where the ship had landed and ordered a bounce up.
Sredjna went straight on the offensive, Traps rattling the crossbar twice and Nitrate having a penalty claim in the 72nd minute rejected by Referee Helium.
Then in the 87th minute, against the run of play, Sparta were in the clear when a hasty midfield clearance fell to Steepdog.
Rossity was released on the far right, twisted through the defence like a snake, then proving just as dangerous by firing in a stinging cross. There, unmarked and enjoying a wide-open box, was Banks who, once again, freely offered that ever-reliable head to find the target.
Then, just after the referee blew the final whistle, Ukanc Park witnessed one of its most bizarre incidents since the lead scorer in the women’s team turned out to be a man.
As the Sparta side gathered round to congratulate one another and began their good-natured and traditional ridiculing of the losing side, the alien spacecraft suddenly reappeared overhead.
Without a single warning, or even time for a wail of protest, the entire Sparta team simply dissolved before everyone’s eyes.
Next week Produce Sparta, should they reappear, meet Bled Athletic in the second round of the Slovenian Alpine Cup.