Not a great start to the day, we all turned up to L’Estrange Park for the early kick off and there was no sign of the other team. Eddie was on the blower and we figured it had moved to JJ Cahill High School. We finally make it to the pitch with 20 mins to kick off and after a short and sharp warm up it was down to business.
With Danny and Marty going all Brokeback Mountain on us camping in the NSW wilderness and Dave Shannon suspended, it was an unfamiliar team to start the match. This was a testament to the strength in depth of the squad that we had such a strong starting 11 and bench.
Gordon in nets, Jimmy RB, Joe and Dave in the middle and Boot LB. Merv and self acclaimed N’Golo Moore in the middle, Sam on the left and Alec on the right. Walshy and Tom up top. Junior, Tam, Paul and Wynton the subs.
It was a little cagey at the start with a bobbly pitch and those dodgy new match balls but we soon found our rhythm and started to play the better football. There weren't too many chances created early on for either team but it was only a matter of time before the Barnie pressure told.
The first goal came after about twenty minutes when Iain Boot whipped in a cross from the left, right between the defensive line and the keeper. The keeper came to catch it but Walshy rose well and nodded it past him. If Mascot had seen the crossing drills on Wednesday night they definitely wouldn't have been expecting that sort of delivery from anyone in red and white. 1-0 BUFC.
Once the first went in we were fairly comfortable and looked to pass the ball about as much as we could, but the pitch and rubbish match ball didn't make things easy. At about the thirty minute mark Dave Thompson put his hand up and limped off with a strained hammy (copy and paste this sentence for all other match reports), on came Tam for his Barney debut and he looked very comfortable at the back with Joe. Dave is aiming to accumulate 90 minutes over the course of the season, keep going Dave you can do it!!
Mascot were unbeaten and not the worst team in the league and created a couple of half chances themselves. Gordon tipped a free kick onto the bar and shortly after Joe Peters recovered from a slip to get back and slide in to prevent a good one on once chance for Mascot.
Barnie had weathered Mascots mini storm and with about five minutes to go in the first half a long ball dropped into the box, there was a bit of a scramble and the ball broke to Sam who was on the left side of the box, he hit it with his left and buried it into the far corner. There was some confusion on the pitch and the side lines as the ball went straight through the net but the goal was given and the score was 2-0 BUFC at half time.
The second half started as we finished the first and we were moving the ball well down the right side with Alec, Jimmy and Merv heavily involved. We looked the more likely to get a 3rd but Mascot were defending well and still looked dangerous on the break. Gordon made a big save from a one on one that kept Barnie's 2-0 advantage and it looked as if we would be keeping our first clean sheet of the season.
The 3rd goal came midway through the 2nd half after Walshy flicked on a hopeful ball into the box into the path of Tom. There were a number of shouts for offside but Tom didn't hesitate and tapped the ball into an open goal. 3-0 BUFC.
At this stage it was all one way traffic with Barney well on top, but Mascots number 7 was still causing problems on the counter. He managed to get through the defence again with Tam putting in a great sliding tackle winning the ball cleanly, but the ref didn’t see it that way and pointed to the spot. He took it well, 3-1. The highlight of the match for me was when Big Jim got sent off the park and had to watch the match from behind the fence…
We immediately hit back with a forth after a good move sent Alec clear down the right side, he cut in and laid it on a plate for Tom to tap in for his second of the game. 4-1 BUFC. Some very good passing and a great team goal. The forth was a killer blow to them and it lead to their dangerous striker storming off.
The game was pretty much over after the 4th goal and Mascot knew they had no way back into the match. The fifth goal came after a bit of a scramble from a corner, it fell to Walshy at the back post who caught it on the half volley and squeezed it past a few bodies and into the top corner. 5-1 BUFC.
Number six was another good team goal, well worked up the pitch and Sam found himself one on one, he hit the post but followed up for a tap in, 6-1 BUFC. The match ended as the 6th goal went in and BUFC finished up comfortable winners.
It was a very good performance after last weeks disappointing defeat, especially as a number of players were missing. Big thanks to Junior who put in a hell of a shift at LM in the second half and to Wynton and Paul who agreed to be subs prior to their own match at 3PM.
Some very good performances across the pitch but for me Merv gets man of the match. It was then over to watch the seconds take on Maccabi. The highlight for me was witnessing the retirement of the great Sam Palmer…