It was miserable day in Maroubra (Heffron Park) for this meeting of Randwick City reserves against Barnstoneworth United in the first pre-season friendly of the day. If not for the artificial pitch the game would have been called off for sure.
A mixture of second and first team players lined up for the Barnstoneworth select team in this local derby against Randwick City. With the Randwick side confirmed to be playing in reserve grade on Saturday, which is rated higher than the Sunday competition Barnie will compete in, the match promised to be a good test. It was tough playing conditions with strong winds and some light showers making it difficult for the legendary Barnie passing game to get in full swing.
Chances were at a minimum for the most part of the first half but Barnstoneworth had the better of them with Big Shaun threatening down the left hand side where a shot may have been a better option than the cross which led to no work for the Randwick goalkeeper. Mervyn Stynes had a shot from distance which just drifted over as Barnstoneworth appeared to be taking control of the match. A good physical battle with some hard challenges in midfield led to bit of a needle in the match which needed a bit of a lift.
At the start of the 2nd half, a great cross from young hat-trick hero from last week – Jezza ‘Cosmo’ Hanke brought a great chance for new recruit Steve (Hibee), only for a lucky stop from the Randwick keeper to stop the deadlock being broken. Then moments later a massive shout for a Barnstoneworth penalty got waved away when Cosmo was assaulted in the penalty area. Later in the half, some sloppy defending led to a good chance for Randwick which was cleared in a goalmouth scramble without the Barnstoneworth keeper having to make a save. The big pitch was proving a little too much for some, namely Ben Wardle who bravely came back on in the 2nd half after suffering what looked like a heart attack only 15 minutes into the first. He soldiered on in the 2nd half in true Ben style never backing down from the big tackles.
The score remained goal less with Barnstoneworth shading the very limited chances. There was some good football played though, despite the tough conditions, and plenty of positives to take into the next match against Phoenix where we can hopefully convert the chances we create into goals.