UNSW 2 – 3 Barnstoneworth United
It was a cold, wet and miserable day at the David Philips sportsground in Daceyville, perfect conditions for the Barney boys, facing UNSW who were the team to beat sitting at the top of the table. Barry had made it clear, this was a pivotal game for our season, nothing short of a win would do us.
We started brightly pressuring UNSW in possession and turned over a lot of possession throughout the game. It took some time for our boys to get used of the fast slippery surface but once we got our foot on the ball we began creating half chances for ourselves. Without the ball, Gerry, Adam, Baker and Ian were causing there back 4 enormous grief through constant pressure forcing them into mistake after mistake which led to our first real chance, when pressure from Adam resulted in him going one on one with the goalkeeper, just firing narrowly wide. We pressed on from there and through a long ball from the back, Baker got a chance to put us in the lead but some clever goalkeeping kept UNSW from slipping behind.
At this stage we were all over UNSW forcing them to use the long ball which our back four of big Dave, Chris, Downey and Ste dealt with relative ease. With us dominating the game it gave us a platform to get our wingers forward and allowed our full backs some room to support them. Adam and Baker worked there socks off for the first 20 minutes, Nick and Tommy replacing them to offer some fresh legs up front. It wasn’t long before Nick slipped in behind their back four from a long ball from our Player/Coach Barry in goals, nodding past the keeper to give us the lead.
There was no let up from here, and through hard work from Dan in the middle, Ian and Gerry on the wings we continued to create chances and boss the game, and we got our reward, big Dave beating the UNSW keeper on the stroke of half time with a header. 2-0 lead going in at half time.
Barry made one change at half time, bringing on Junior for the terrier like Gerry on the left wing that had put in a serious shift being fouled and injured on numerous occasions throughout the first half.
We started the second half as we finished the first with some good work and link up down the left through Ste and Tommy setting Junior up to crack one forcing the UNSW keeper into a sublime save. We pushed on in search of the third goal, and through some good work from Cathal, Nick and Brendan down the right we forced a corner. Cathal played the corner short to Nick who swung in a dangerous cross, big Dave getting his head on it again beating the keeper. 3-0 and cruising.
Shortly after, a ball broke to Dave, about 40 yards out, and his spectacular effort which looked destined for the top corner cracked the upright. Left full nearly getting a hat-trick – Unheard of.
UNSW took some control of the game from this point on and began putting us under some pressure, but our solid back four was resolute in defence.
On the 85th minute UNSW pulled one back through a flick on from a free kick, just beating Barry in goals. Our tired legs began to show along with some sketchy refereeing decisions going UNSW way, they were awarded another free kick on the edge of the area minutes later, allowing them to whip a ball in with one of their lads again getting up winning the header, crossing the line for a goal. 3-2.
They had one last chance late on but a splendid slide tackle from Dan Taylor prevented the striker from having a pop at goal.
Full time 3-2.
In the end the score line probably didn’t reflect our dominance throughout the game but most importantly we notched 3 points on the board, also proved we can beat any team in the league.
A terrific effort was put in by all the lads, playing some beautiful football and the result was well deserved.
Onwards and Upwards from here!