Barnstoneworth United V Maroubra
Venue: Paine Reserve
MoM: Chris Neale
Hissy fit of the match: Contenders Sean and Ian (A handbag to provided for them to wear in the pub in future games)
A perfect day for the opening game of the season and the ideal opposition to test Barnstoneworth with the much ‘hated’ Maroubra, a team that probably cost us the league last season.
With Sean keen on collecting $2 fines to go towards payment for his visa, oops sorry end of season drinks, being collected and the usual banter about who had shagged who on a Saturday night the preparation for the game was on track as always for Barnstoneworth. I do worry about who does shag who within the team at times!
The one concern how would Chris ‘The Cat’ Neale perform in goal!
With the first appearance of the season of a new WAG on the sideline (Potters bird positioned on a picnic rug behind a tree) Potter had to shine during the game and from a MoM performance the week before all look positive for the game ahead.
We all gathered around to listen to the first team talk of the season only to hear Sean swearing at Ben for not being dressed and in typical Sean style forgetting to mention one of the players in the line up!
The game started with Barnstoneworth looking the more confident of the two sides with some good possession and a few early half chances with Maroubra hardly in the game for the first 15 mins. Then typical Barnstoneworth we lost concentration, I think Potter was blowing a kiss at his WAG at the time as a ball was played through and Maroubra were through one on one with the keeper with Chris making an excellent save.
Barnstoneworth seemed to step up another gear with more flowing and passing football down both flanks with excellent work from both wing backs Macka and Stuart and dominating work from Ian, Jonesey and Neil in the centre of midfield.
The 1st goal came after a good passing move resulted in an early cross and calm finish from Barry who along with Ben up front were starting to cause havoc in the Maroubra defence.
A second goal followed shortly thereafter with another early cross in from the right hand side, the keeper came flying out to the edge of the box missing the ball and Barry again slotted home in the corner to make it 2-0 and Barnstoneworth were looking very strong indeed.
Ben Grant moments later had the chance to score when he brought the ball down neatly in the box with a sweet first touch giving him time to pick his spot, the shot had goal written all over it but alas it was struck over the bar striking the Tool Shed sign on Oxford street when it eventually re-entered the earth’s atmosphere.
Another lapse in concentration again saw Maroubra go through one on one with the keeper but another great save deflecting the ball over the bar kept Barnstoneworth firmly in the driver’s seat and showing why Chris deserved his MoM award at the end of the game.
Moments before half time a penalty was awarded for a push in the area, up stepped Barry for a chance of a first half hat-trick, reminded just seconds before he was about to take the penalty by Neil meant the obvious, a miss from the spot. Then seconds later Barry was substituted which was seen as very controversial at the time after scoring two goals!
Half time team talk was a positive one with just one change Dene coming off injured to be replaced by Adam in the centre of defence. A positive first half but we needed to cut out some of the mistakes.
The second half was a scrappy affair with passes going astray and a few people in the team getting on each other backs. Contenders for ‘Hissy fit’ of the game saw Ian having a fit at Macka and one of the most bizarre moments of the game to see Mark come onto the pitch for 30 seconds for Macka only to be subbed off again and then Barry to come back on and get shouted at for not being ready!
Well hand bags and tiffs aside once more up steps Barry for a well deserved hat rick with a header from a corner going top corner out of reach of the keeper. With a score of 3-0 we should have seen more goals.
With Abdul coming on first upfront then moving to the left hand side we added some extra pace which threatened Maroubra but the final finish or final ball in the second half was lacking. Mark replaced Jonesey in the centre finally getting on the pitch after the earlier debacle.
With 10 mins to go Maroubra got a goal again from a lack of concentration with Chris unable to do much about the goal with a good finish.
On another day there could have been 5 or 6 goals from Barnstoneworth, but we need to focus 100% of the time during the game, as against a side with more quality the result could have been very different especially if we did not have ‘The Cat’ Chris in goal for us.
A good start to the season with plenty of positives for the rest of the season.