A beautiful sunny day at Paine Reserve saw the newly promoted (apparently), Redfern take on Barnstoneworth 4ths. Report written by the unfortunate 17th man who saw his dreams of a blistering debut for the team shattered by a technicality, but on the plus side got to sit in the sun drinking beer, which the author is in no doubt he can do far better.
A cagey start to the first game of the season saw Redfern getting the better chances in front of goal but lacking the class to put them away. Redfern counter attacked at speed after Barnstoneworth struggled to find a rhythm and get their feet on the ball. These breaks eventually led to Redfern’s first goal and it began to have all the hallmarks of a bad day at the office for Barnstoneworth.
The Goal spurred Barnstoneworth into action with Andy beginning to drop deeper to pick the ball up from midfield, leading to the Barnstoneworth equaliser coming a great move between the midfielders, Sean’s quick throw on the right wing to Andy, who looped the ball over the heads of the defenders for Danny to run onto and poke home for the equaliser.
What followed was a good 15 minutes of continuous pressure from Barnstoneworth who were camped out in the Redfern half. Chances were created with good linking play between the two wings and Andy and Danny upfront. Meanwhile Sean and Gavin battled away in the middle of the park. Jones had hearts in mouths with an outside of the area strike from the right wing which looked goal bound from the side lines but floated harmlessly over.
A few scares at the other end including a carefully orchestrated stumble and trip between J-squared (John and John) in defence led to Redfern getting a crack at goal which should have gone in had it not been for John’s decision to take his time getting back up and using his shoulder to deflect the shot away.
The second half picks up where the first left off with a few changes in the Barnstoneworth side, using the numbers advantage over Redfern and as a result of the heat. It didn’t take long for Barnstoneworth to begin creating goal scoring chances with Darren battling for every loose ball in the middle of the park and again some good linking play between Andy and Danny upfront. The goal, when it came, came from defence. A whipped in corner from the right finds the towering bonce of John who coolly heads home and puts Barnstoneworth deservedly in front.
The second half carried on with the 11, sometimes 10, sometimes 9 men of Redfern looking increasingly tired and lacking any new ideas. Marcel was hardly called upon during the second half to protect his goal. The second half saw a few changes in the midfield with Gavin moving to the right wing and John replacing Ricky on the left. Barnstoneworth soaked up any counterattacks well and built their own attacks up the wings. The third goal was coming and was deserved when it arrived, when Sean stole the ball from the Redfern midfielder, gave it to Andy, Andy still with a bit to do, but slotted the ball into the right corner with a classy finish.
Redfern were finished and Barnstoneworth deservedly claim all three points in the first game of the season. There were some definite wobbles and perhaps on an unlucky day things might have been worse but Barnstoneworth can take many positives from the display with the depth of talent in a big squad meaning things are looking bright for the 4ths.