2nd team Match Report – Coogee home – Sunday 15th August
What started off as another glorious sunny Sunday for the big game, threatened to be washed away with the worst ‘end of the world’ clouds coming over to hit our swamp pitch. Whilst going through an intense warm up, a few drops of rain spluttered and some of the hard men 2nds sprinted for cover (never seen Ben move so fast) to the changing rooms (now fitted with neon tool shed lights for night time attraction).
Under cover not wanting to ruin their hair for the day was Dan, Ben and Chris, although I found myself standing next to Garnsey also….which was strange I thought. Anyway, a scream from a high pitched manager focused the troops once more – EHHHH, what the *** are you lot doing under their, its 5 mins to kick off!!! Get back here. Point Taken. Just the sort of rally cry the team have needed throughout this long tough but successful season.
A few questions from the team during the huddle around the whereabouts of Abdul and was he just his normal late self 2 mins before kick off? Is Nasher Potter going to be fit to play after a game of indoor man Rugby Friday night? How the hell has Neil got match fit after the last article in the Eastern Suburbs News sports section pointed out he was out for the season (again)?
So, to the game. The ref’s mouth was watering in anticipation of the play off for 2nd place, and he stated pre kick off pointing out he didn’t want any injuries, chat back or sending offs, point taken. Chris won the toss AGAIN (or the other team just lost again I think) and chose to kick up the sand dune pitch this week.
The match started at 100 mph (or for locals – 160 kilometres per hour). Early pressure from both sides caused some out of breath moments for both defences and some early worrying signs.
After a solid period from both teams, Coogee has a couple of efforts if I remember rightly from corners, dealt with well by the home defence. Then with some good attacking play by the home team, the mighty red and white stripes got some corner action. First one had a close effort by Dan I think it was. Then after another good attack later in the half, it was down to Garnsey to use his deadly ‘hit or miss’ left boot to whip one in. A perfect delivery led to Neil ‘Darren Anderton’ Baker rising above all in the perfect place to head home a deserved first goal of the game to the home team. Great move.
After some good pressure from Coogee down their wings, in particularly their right side, Barnstoneworth defence were up against but again managed to keep them out until half time. 1-0 to the home team.
After an encouraging team talk where we realised things were going ok, we went out for the second half which was going to be tough in the hot sunshine. Some changes from Coogee upfront led to a different formation to defend against this half. Barnstoneworth started well and increased the pressure during the first 10 mins of the 2nd half. A great cross field ball by Jonesy to the lively Ben Grant upfront (coming off the back of a goal windfall recently) forced the keeper to come off his line, but alas, in front of the crowd of a good 45+, Ben couldn’t rise to the occasion (not for the first time ohhh errr mrs) to bang it home and his chip (which he loves I might add with ketchup a big mac and diet coke of course) just went over the bar.
John G had a good chance which got caught under his foot just at the key striking moment, Mac had a good few runs through the middle, and some great right wing play by Adam on the break, squared the ball to the back post to Ben Loves Chips Grant, and again a mix up at the back pot putting his right foot in, and his right foot out, in out in out shake it all about, caused what seemed to be a certain tap in to go just wide. Again, there are big game players and big game players out there, Ben is a big player, but wasn’t a BIG GAME PLAYER on the day perhaps. I’m a betting man and I reckon he will rise to the occasion during the next couple of weekends, and I also reckon he will have a good game in the semi too on Sunday – boom boom!!! Ben Grant is 5/1 to get MOM this weekend, I’ll open my betting book 15 mins pre kick off for those wanting to take that price.
Some added pressure from Coogee at times stretched the home teams defence and Brian the rock Fagan made some important stops, along with some good defensive work by Dean, Chris and Sean. A clean sheet looked a likely reward once more for the mature yet agile centre-backs.
An interesting dance move of a swing, swivel and miss of the ball led to a round of jeers from the large crowd in the corner for John G which he enjoyed, and that was the last telling moment of a tough but entertaining game.
Final Score: 1-0 Barnstoneworth and 2nd place by one SODDING point.
What sounds a great end to the season after moving up a league, is still disappointing for the majority, which points out how well we really have done just being pipped at the post. Too many draws and not having that killer instinct 1st half of the season is the simple fact.
But on the plus side, we are the form team, lots of goals, lots of clean sheets, undefeated for ages and there is a good buzz around the camp coming into the big game v Dunbar this weekend, which we have to win to give our star players a week to recover from all our injuries. Well done again chaps, a pleasure to play with you all after getting over the first few up and down weeks. Great character. Let’s get to the Grand Final and win once again – we deserve it!!!