Waverley Old Boys 3 vs Barnstoneworth United FC 2 – Sunday 12th May
The weather wasn’t quite as hot as it previously had been on the first five Sunday’s of the season, Ronan went to Canada to get over his sunstroke and Sydneyside temperatures plummeted.
This was a top of the table clash, with all the ingredients of such a fixture, 1st vs 2nd and the lads went into this game with the same do or die attitude that has become the back bone and footballing philosophy of the team for the last two and half years. The tension in the air before the game was palpable, mainly due to the fact that in announcing the team Billy left out the talismanic figure of Danny for the second time in two weeks. There were gasps, stern looks and questions, had the gaffer lost the plot? Was he trying to get the sack so that he could take the united job? Some questions are better left unanswered.
The game kicked off with the initial intent coming from BUFC, Stallion broke away down the left and whipped in a decent cross, Junior failed to connect with any conviction. Another similar cross a few minutes later but there was no one on hand or anticipating the great ball. But it was WOB that drew first blood – confusion in the BUFC box, a cross came in which neither Foxy or Rab could clear and the little man up front finished from 6 yards out. 1-0.
Then a change from the bench with Ricky coming off injured and John Murray joining the fray. Hopefully Ricky will be back soon.
Within another few minutes it was 2-0, again another soft goal as WOB took advantage of another ball in to the box which wasn’t cleared at the second attempt, some might question Marcel’s quickness off his line for the second goal but that’s an argument the big Dutchman and last season’s player of the year refutes.
The ref stopped play for a moment and gave the ball to BUFC midway through the first half to sportingly give possession back to WOB after one of their players was injured, Stallion latched on to the pass back / through ball and put his effort narrowly wide, on another day it would have been 2-1 but perhaps the fair play gods were smiling down on Waverley, the referee gods certainly were. After 25 minutes of the game, Billy signaled to the big man on the bench to get warmed up. Niall came off, Danny was on, Andy smiled. No immediate impact but there were few chances for either side for the rest of the first half.
At half time, tempers flared, Billy nearly self-combusted and there was too much chat to say the least. Our passing in the first half wasn’t good enough and the discipline in our game clearly wasn’t on display. Despite this, the lads rallied in to the second half, with Niall up front with Danny, it was fair to say they bullied and harassed the WOB defenders and within 5 minutes of the restart Niall netted a header from close range, 2-1 and game on. Changes were made, the midfield was bolstered and even Darren Dooley had a shot, Waverley were panicking. And then the moment came, a long reaching ball came in from Al at right back, nodded on and it fell into the path of an on-rushing Anto Dooley, who controlled, then powered in a left footed volley from 10 yards, Billy was shocked, so was Anto, delirium ensued!
The ref then stamped his authority on the game, giving every 50-50 decision the way of Waverley, including the most telling decision – a Waverley striker was through on goal and was surely off-side, the BUFC defence stopped expecting an off-side decision – sadly which never came and the ball was in the back of the net for what proved to be the winning goal.
A disappointing result to say the least, but one that was largely of own making, poor discipline (5 or 6 yellow cards), a lack of encouragement, some poor passing and some internal disputes that threatened to spill over in to the pub. How would we respond….