Sunday 22nd April 2012
Maroubra 2 – 1 Barnstoneworth Utd
And so, onto Coral Sea Park to face the form team in the AA2’s this year, Maroubra. Averaging 4 goals a game and 0 against it was clear that Barnstoneworth needed to be tight at the back to ensure they had a chance of victory.
It seems that all the players are keen to impress manager Baker this year as for the 3rd game running, everyone turned up on time (almost all sober) and got down to a decent warm up.
The team was named and a swift but harsh team talk was given before kick-off. We needed to start quickly and not give them any time on the ball and get back to our confident passing. Sadly, the game was delayed as our ref decided he couldn’t be bothered, so Ben Grants Grandad from Maroubra took charge.
The game kicked off, and for the first few minutes, the team talk and the warm up seemed to have failed for Barnstoneworth, looking extremely edgy at the back and not getting the ball under control. Thankfully the couple of chances for the home side in the opening exchanges came to nothing.
Ian Rogers’ gammy leg decided it had had enough by this point and he was replaced by Angry Adam, who quickly took someone out!
Barnstoneworth started to take a grip of the match, with some neat balls down the line into our strikers Nolan and Starky, and that created some opportunities from our very own Rory Delap to chuck the ball into the box. However nothing came from them.
Finally some good work down the left from Smith, worked a corner. It was whipped in and it looked to go too far, but Dan Taylor leaped up at the back post to head it back across goal, to see the keeper fumble the ball into his own net! One for the dubious goals panel, but it was 1-0 to Barnstoneworth.
Maroubra always looked dangerous when they got the ball to their numbers 9, 10 and 11 and it was from one attack that a through ball ricocheted between two of our defenders and landed at the number 10’s feet, he was 1-on-1 and lashed the ball into the net, no chance for Cogley in goal. 1-1.
Some changes were required, with Niall coming on up front and it was with his first touch that Barnstoneworth almost took the lead. Some good work by Taylor and Nolan lofted the ball through to Deegan, and with an advancing keeper and a bouncing ball, Deegan lifted the ball over the bar.
With 5 minutes to go to half time, yours truly entered the fray, and my first touch was a shocker. Letting the ball roll over my foot and Maroubra were back on the attack again. A ball split the defence down the right hand side and both central defenders looked to block the cross only to leave a man in green on the penalty spot free to finish in the bottom corner 2-1 to the home side at the break.
Barnstoneworth felt hard done by at half time, as the majority of the play was at the other end of the field, but Maroubra always looked dangerous and took their chances well.
The 2nd half kicked off and Barnstoneworth were told to keep battling, but the 2nd half was a poor one. Maroubra were by far the better team and should have taken a 2 goal lead before Cogley pulled up with hamstring trouble! So was it Neale or Baker to take his place between the sticks. The manager deciding that he was playing so badly, that it was best leaving the back four as it was.
Barnstoneworth couldn’t really create a chance of note, and if it wasn’t for some last ditch defending and one save pulled off by Baker, it could have been 4 or 5.
One last chance for Barnstoneworth though with 5 minutes left, a deflected cross falling to the left boot of Starky but his well-timed volley was straight at the keeper. If it was his right, then we could’ve been looking at shared points.
Plenty of work to do in the next match, we cannot afford anything but a win, even at this early stage of the season.
Final Score – Maroubra 2 – 1 Barnstoneworth.
Man of the match: Barry Nolan – Did everything but score!