After last Sunday’s wake-up call at the hands of Coogee, Barnstoneworth travelled to UNSW hoping that the only thing plastic about this week’s performance was the pitch. Late news coming from the dressing room was the management had reshuffled the starting line-up bringing in Ricky on the right for Anto and much to his pleasure, (cue the scouse jig), Sean being positioned up front to freshen up the attacking options.
In blustery autumn conditions the game kicked off with the home team instantly going on the attack and within 2 minutes had a clear cut chance to score the opener. Only woeful finishing prevented UNSW from going into the lead. They continued to press and peppered the goal with wild shots the only noteable being tipped over the bar by Marcel.
After the 15 minute mark the Barnstoneworth team finally started to pass the ball around and come alive. A few good one two’s and a pass down the wing saw Peter storm on only for him to catch sight of a tanned leg and perky bum cheek from the other pitch and wildly blast his cross behind the goal much to the delight and the jeering of “Dad they’re only 18!!!!” from his own kids.
Barnstoneworth pushed on from this and in 20 minutes saw the deadlock broken. A kick upfield from Marcel saw a classy one/two between Andy and Sean on the right placing the ball into the path of Ricky who drilled it low and hard passed the keeper into the bottom corner. The whole of the away bench rose to celebrate the goal leaving one lone Irishman with his head in his hands to ponder his first team future.
Buoyed by the opener Barnstoneworth pushed on with waves of attack and it wasn’t long till the second came. After a cynical hand ball 30 yards out from the UNSW defender Paul Hartley stubbed out his cigarette on the sideline, stepped up and blasted an unstoppable shot only to smash the underside bar and bounce on the goal line for Bruiser to tap home. Desperate to add to his goal tally for the year Danny with only what could be described as a flying ninja style elbow barged him off the ball and tapped home from an inch.
Barnstoneworth continued to push and got into their passing rhythm and after 30mins another dash up the line from Ricky saw him square the ball to Danny to pass the ball into an open goal but the UNSW managed to get a toe to it. From the resulting clearance UNSW pushed up the park and a rare break into the box saw the ball bounce wickedly off Paul Hartley’s hand. The referee pointed to the spot and the ball was dully dispatched.
The rest of the half petered out with no team making any chances and the Barnstoneworth back 4 standing firm with Lee playing out of skin at right back only to twist his ankle and be replaced on half time.
Half Time 2-1
After ignoring everything the management team said at half time to concentrate on the tight tanned bodies running up and down the adjoining pitch a testosterone fuelled team banged in the third after only 1 minute of the second half. A long clearance from Marcell up the pitch saw a sublime flick from Sean to Ricky on the right who drilled a low cross through the defence for an oncoming Danny to sweep the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
After this it was all Barnstoneworth with Gav and Darren bossing the midfield and Ricky, Sean and Andy passing the ball around and making great runs up the wings creating lots of chances but more shots were clearing the dressing sheds than troubling the home keeper. Undeterred they kept on piling on the pressure and when a slack clearance from the keeper, who looked like he had a rare day off from working in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory went straight to Gav’s feet and an opportune “take some of that” lob from 30 yards saw the red and white’s go 4-1 up.
As the sun began to set the play swept from end to end a few subs were brought on to replace some tiring legs and it was looking like the Barnstoneworth would cruise through to a 5 or 6 goal rout but UNSW had other thoughts. On the 70 minute mark a UNSW midfielder broke free and slotted a precise ball through the high defence for the striker to run through and bury the ball low into the right hand corner of the net.
This may have caused a wobble but Barnstoneworth passed the ball around and cruised through to the 90 minutes with a convincing passing display much to the delight of the management team.