I’ll like to tell a story on the blog today. A story that involves our League engagement this weekend. As you all know, Enyimba is away at Lokoja where we face Niger Tornadoes, a side from Niger State but has made Lokoja, an intensely hot city I lived in for 3 years, their home.
This fixture last season was my first official assignment when I was still part of the Enyimba media team. I travelled with the team and I did a very nice match preview (by my standards, you don’t have to agree) on the club’s official handle. I even got quotes from Mr Aigbogun. I was very optimistic that we would have a great game and in fact we would beat Niger Tornadoes. I wasn’t even going for a draw. I was that expectant.
The match did come and we lined up Musa Najare and Alloy Brown up top. Mfon was on the one flank and Oladapo at the other. In Central Defense, we had Emma Anyanwu and Thankgod Ikeh with Uche John and Chima Akas for company. Everything was well and nicely poised for a good result for us or so I thought.
We did have a couple of flashes in the opening minutes and I think Alloy did come close twice in those early moments until we stopped playing. The gaffer had the team all defensive hoping that well, if we couldn’t win, we could get a draw. On and on it went till very late in the second half when we saw the eighth wonder of the world. I’ll share.
Some guy throws the ball from a throw-in position into our area. One of our towering defenders headed back into touch. Back again into our box the fella hurled in the ball. And miraculously a guy in Sky Blue jersey fell down in our box. All by himself. No contact, no contact whatsoever. The referee pointed to the spot. Unbelievable from where I stood at the stands.
Our guys won’t take it. They protested and one of the Enyimba staff members took laws into his hand. He lashed out at the referee and a couple of other unsavory things would happen in the minutes that followed. After a long wait, 12 minutes or so and a red card out of the blues to Dare Ojo, play resumed. They took the spot kick and broke the deadlock.
I felt deeply upset by those events but more by the fact that the fans cheered the referee’s decisions. I would later discover that this was a referee in his first game right from suspension for his utter shit performance in our 3-1 away defeat to Sunshine Stars in Akure. Add that to the fact that this was during the Paul Aigbogun era and fans were calling for his ‘head’.
I’m not exactly sure why I’m telling this story but it’s important to remember the past. Probably we would get a good referee in this fixture and if we would lose it would be us losing by our own failings. However fans must keep to heart that some shit does happen on away grounds.
On the passing though, Ebenezar Odeyemi who used to be our former striker will most certainly be leading the line for them tomorrow. He’s been at Wikki and El-Kanemi before joining Tornadoes on a pitch where he did wonders with Kogi United the year before we signed him. More on him tomorrow.
That’s all for your Saturday people. You know we’ll be back tomorrow. Till then, have a good one.