The gods had blessed Sydney with another [mostly] dry week, enabling
the third team to play an unprecedented third game in a row, this week
against second placed Maccabi Hakoah (MacHak…it’s too long to type
The skies looked ominously dark and Centennial Park was closed to cars
(very annoying) but the players arrived for the match in an upbeat
mood following our first win of the season last week…or perhaps it
was just the sight of the coach kitted up and ready to play?
After a brief warm-up, a few well-chosen cliches from the coach, and
the nets finally being put up, the ref offered some friendly words
about how difficult it was to ref a game without ARs, a term which
Alex found particularly amusing. The ref marked Alex’s card and the
Barnstoneworth imposed themselves early on and took control of the
game. MacHak looked like a good side having a bad day from the start,
so it wasn’t long before chances were coming our way and eventually,
Niall put one in.
Not long after, Ed’s pace got the better of the opposition defense and
he slotted our second, finally ending his drought. 2-0 to the reds and
MacHak were reeling.
MacHak maintained what composure they had and created opportunities,
but nothing was going their way and two dead certain scoring chances
were put over the bar. Another shot/cross from outside the box skimmed
the bar above an otherwise empty net, but that was as close as they
In what must only have been an attempt to even things up, the ref took
to giving decisions our way, then reversing them if MacHak complained.
He also decided that his ‘give the defence the benefit of the doubt in
offside situations’ talk was only applicable to MacHak, and chose to
ignore the back pass rule. Thanks, ref.
In his own attempt to level things up, Alex kicked a MacHak player,
tripping him up, after Chris Hamilton had long since moved away with
the ball at his feet. Alex gained another mark against his name, this
time in the ‘yellow card’ column.
More chances for Barnstoneworth came tantalizingly close, but none
made it across the line. 2-0 at half time and the coach was delighted.
The second half saw much of the same. Barnstoneworth remained in
control, creating lots of chances. With twenty minutes to go, the ball
finally fell at Gavin’s feet about 25 yards out. Taking his time, Gav
tapped it forward, then hammered it in off the far post. 3-0 and the
coach started to warm up on the sideline.
But the glorious return wasn’t to be. With ten minutes to go, a MacHak
forward declared to all that he was going to dive in the box for the
imminent corner kick, did so, and when the ref saw Alex was the most
likely offender he had no hesitation awarding a penalty.
Gary made a great attempt to save the shot and got his fingertips to
it, but not enough to keep it out.
And so the game ended. 3-1 to Barnstoneworth and our march up the
table continues. All that remained was for the ref to congratulate us
on our ‘lucky escape’ (wtf?), presumably from any more of his
Man of the match: Chris Hamilton