With no league win in six and a managerial firing, I have to say I wasn’t expecting much from the home team in this one. Ceglédi lay just a place and a few points below Vasas and had won two of their last three. They also have a kit that demostrates what an Ikea international team would wear. Surely they saw a chance to take a big scalp against a side lacking confidence and in freefall down the league table.
It’s surprising then that new Vasas manager Károly Szanyó opts for youth in this key game, sticking with Bese and Hinora whilst adding another two 19 year-olds in forward Zsombor Bévárdi and deep-lying midfielder Milán Kovács. This is contrary to what everyone knows as Management 101 – if you’re struggling, add bruisers.
And at first it seems like a risk too far as the away team take advantage of Vasas’s enduringly (and not endearingly) creaky defence. Set pieces are given away like business cards and the home team just don’t seem to be set up to defend them.
But then – a few minutes of magic – a break down the left from the wonderous hero-god that is Botand “Nice Guy” Birtalan. He beats his man and squares the ball to Szatmári who makes no mistake in sidefooting it home. The relief is palpable, but the Angyalföld boys are just warming up. Two minutes later Birtalan streaks clear again like a beautiful unicorn and is brought down heavily by the Ceglédi keeper. Top-scorer Balajti makes no mistake with the penalty – 2-0.
But 2-0 has been the undoing of Vasas a few times this season, and it isn’t long before the away team are back in it. An intricately worked free-kick is untainted by Vasas defending and Bese can only get a despairing hand to Farkas’ (“wolf” in Hungarian, perhaps?) close range finish. 2-1 at half time.
Now under previous manager Kis, Vasas always came out of the blocks like a team recovering from a particularly heavy ketamine bender. Not so today, and a positive sign from new manager Szanyó. Vasas come out full of piss and vinegar and put their opponents to the sword. Young buck Bévárdi finishes coolly in the 54th minute before Szatmari adds another. Cegléd decide to pack up and go home as one of their number – Asztalos (which in my best Hungarian means…table-y?) gets sent for an early palinka. 4-1 and cruising.
Vasas don’t get to turn the screw often, so it’s a joy to see them open up and smash a team. The manager brings exciting academy prospect Róbert Rétyi on for what may be his debut and he caps the win with a fifth that whisper-kisses the bottom of the bar before dropping in.
A day later the Vasas website trumpets the impact of these six youngsters – rightly so, they’ve just helped Vasas to their best league win in a long while and – crucially – stopped the rot in style.
Vasas FC 5-1 Ceglédi VTE (Szatmari 2, Balajti, Bevardi, Retyi. Attendance 500)
The first good news for Vasas in a long while. They climb above Vac into 11th and repair some of that goal difference damage into the bargain.
Notes on other teams I’ve followed:
Tokyo Verdy are in the J2 league playoff semi-final against Yokohama. They’re two wins from the J-League but inconsistent form could see this go either way.
Middlesbrough picked up a fine away win against Brentford, and with local lad Hugill finding his feet there’s a chance of top-spot tomorrow if results go their way.
In Bahrain, Al Shabbab are dangerously close to the bottom of the Premier League. 6 points in 7 games is not the best start to a campaign.