Saturday 17th May 2003

Attendance 200 - Referee : M. Marey assistants M. Petitmangin & M. Callewaert
Goals : Carles (24) - Lebard (82)
CJ : Kor (85) - Danjou (43), Content (67)

RED STAR : Néret, Dao, Carles, Hammani, Kor, Hamdane, Lakrout (Marques 85), Nemouthié, Fissirou, Delaneuville (Priso-Yaya 70), M'Boungou-Matondo (Ribeiro 54). Coach: M. Ousfane
CHAUMONT : Boulant - Girault, Cotton, N'Tazambi, Mazzolini, Mongin - Danjou (Babin 74), Michaut, Constant, Pierrat, Lugnier - Guérrard (Lebard 60), Pierrat. Coach : Mazzolini


Red Stars' season-long phobia about winning a game manifested itself once again at Bauer on Saturday.
This was indeed a game of two halves, the first dominated by Red Star, already doomed to relegation, and the second by Chaumont, probably doomed but nevertheless still in with a chance of survival if they won and if the other results went their way. As it worked out, the result was satisfactory to neither side.
Red Star opened the scoring on twenty five minutes, a long throw by Julien CARLES in front of the Bauer massive was only half cleared, and the Red Star fullback, following up on his throw, worked his way back into the area to fire in a shot which hit the post before rebounding into the net off the back of the Chaumont 'keeper.
With Lakrout loking lively and Nabile Yessad growing in confidence, Red Star offered their supporters hope of further goals, only for the Chaumont defence to hold solid until half time.
After the break they must have put something in the Chaumont half-time cuppa, as they took the game by the scruff of the neck against a tiring and lacklustre Red Star. The second half belonged to Red Stars' custodian Fred Néret, who pulled off a string of top-class saves in a fifteeen minute period, only to be beaten by the cruellest of circumstances - Kor swung at a mis-cued shot, only to see the ball loop backwards over his head, and over Néret, where Lebard was on hand to accompany the ball into the back of the net.
With only ten minutes left, the game was all but over, despite a couple of final home attacks. Red Star say goodbye to their fans at Bauer (or at least Julien Carles, the rest appeared to have the attitude "Sod the fans", the ones which came over to the stands went to see their mates in the central stand). Well, if that's their attitude, bollocks - thanks for dragging us into relegation, never mind the fans who tried to encourage you each game, home and away.
Red Stars' game once again was screwed up by some rather unfathomable substitutions. Firstly, Ousfane decided to withdraw M'Boungou-Matondo just minutes after the pause. Why ? Why not withdraw him during the break ? From where we were it's always hard to tell if a player is struggling with an injury, but the Red Star forwards looked reasonably dangerous. Then, Yoann Delaneuville had to go off, injured, so Red Stars' playmaker was out of the game, and to be honest Djamel Hamdanes' distribution in this role left a lot to be desired - wayward passes and players straying offside.
Finally, the most bizarre substitution all - Lakrout was taken off, moments after a lovely link-up move involving him and full-back Dao. With the hopeless Fissirou struggling to stamp himself on the game at centre-forwards, Ousfane opted to withdraw his most dangerous player, effectively killing off any lingering hopes of a home win. Most of the Red Star faithful appeared to be dumbfounded by the substitution, wondering why Fissirou was left to struggle on.
So that's it, all over at home, just the trip to Chartres to make. If any of the players were hoping for scouts from other clubs, some will be disappointed with their performance on Saturday.
The ones who emerged with any kind of glory were Fred Néret, who almost single-handedly kept Red Star in the game and nearly put Chaumont in the DH; Dao was sublime in his partnership with Lakrout until Ousfane put and end to that one; Lakrout; and in the first half this sites' player of the season Yessad. As for the rest, could have done better. Story of the season.

© 2003



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