It was a dozen weary bodies that turned up for an early morning start against Maroubra on a brisk, sunny morning at Coral Sea Park, the vast tracts of housing commission houses in the area, making the Scots and the Northerners in the teamfeel at home. The pitch was in fine condition and unlike the pitch from the day before, the council workers had foregone the smoko for 5 minutes and remembered to mow it, at some point in the last couple of weeks.
The team sheet was the same and for the second time that weekend the average age of BUFC was around 15 years more than the opponents, was 2 games in 2 days going to be too much for an ageing team?
During the warm up, the skipper was given 25 different pieces of unsolicited advice about the toss and which end to kick from, he decided it was easier just to lose it and let the opposition decide.
So it was Barnestoneworth facing a low sun for the first half, which in the end did not matter too much, as the opposition goalie could barely kick it out of his own box. The defensive team all looked happy when it appeared that the opposition were initially playing with one striker, who had the physique of Danny Devito and the pace to match, the first game of the season where the central defence didn’t look like it was running on the spot, when chasing forwards.
Highlights of the first half included about 15 corners in row, swung in expertly by John, with the 4 big lads, actually drawing lots to see whose turn it was to have the header on goal, 2 or 3 goals really should have come from these.
In the end, the first goal came from one of the corners (or maybe a free kick, I can’t remember), the ball being headed towards goal and the keeper just knocking it onto the cross bar, with the poacher Danny, knocking it in from a yard, 1-0 to BUFC.
Unfortunately, it turned out that the opposition had some subs and intended to mix it up a bit, particularly with their strikers and started to put a few moves together.
From a Maroubra free kick, Sean, after half a dozen warnings from the ref, encroached on the kick again and rightly was booked; one bystander was heard to say it should have been a red, while another said it was the fault of the defender who had needlessly given away the free kick in the first place.
Only other incidents of real note, in the half, was a running battle on the left side between Numpty and Ricky, who at one point looked like they might run off and get their handbags to swing at each other and a goal saving tackle from bruiser when the Asian midget was winding up for a goal.
Half time and so far so good, but everyone was looking tired and the wind was picking up to be against us for the second half.
Maroubra started coming into it more and more as we started to tire rapidly and eventually the pressure told with the Asian midget, who was their most dangerous player, scoring 2 goals after breaking through, one was a bit spawny and the other seemed to go right through Marcels hands.
2-1 and around 20 mins to go, was there anything left in the tank?
End to end stuff in the last period, with all forwards and the midfield covering a lot of grass, with a few chances going begging, for either side.
We got a free kick in a central position, about 25 yards out, John grabbed the ball and left everyone in no doubt that it was his to take. The opposition keeper had a strategy to put the wall on the left side of goal and then stand behind it, while leaving a gap you could drive a herd of elephants through on his right side. Did he know what he was doing? Did he F##K! John stepped up and belted an unstoppable, laser guided shot into the goal and then ran back giving high fives that were so ferocious they could have taken a hand off.
2-2, and still time to win the game.
One last bit of brilliance from Danny with a powerful volley being saved by the keeper, 20 cms either side and it would have been the winner.
Ref blows up and we have drawn with a poor team, that we should have beaten, mitigated by the tough ask of backing up from the day before.
Only thing left to do was to have a good laugh at the ladies game on after, with one team, not helped by their green kit, looking like it had half a dozen incredible hulks running round on the pitch.