Saturday, 17 April 2010

Queanbeyan City 2

O.G. 48′, A. Midget 85′

Narrabundah FC 0

A unfortunate own goal and some glaring missed chances ended up costing a Narrabundah team that never really hit its stride. Although the performance was far from good, a string of missed chances and a goal ruled out for a questionable handball ended up costing the Reds dearly.

With the luxury of 12 players this week, Narrabundah took to the pitch in confident mood against a largely unknown entity in Queanbeyan City. However, they were quickly given a reality check as struggletowners settled early and began to dominate possession as a hesitant Narrabundah side sat too deep. Although Ruiz in goals wasn’t being called into action in these early stages, coach Romero was worried enough to make an early change with Martinez pushing into midfield.

Instantly the complexion of the game changed with Narrabundah gaining some bite in midfield and beginning to dominate and immediately creating good chances in attack, Martinez, Padrotta and Krithianakis all shooting wide from good positions. Chances kept coming but Narrabundah were failing to capitalise until it appeared they had finally made the breakthrough. A ball over the top found Padrotta racing through against what must have been a call up from the Queanbeyan under 11 ranks. He easily shrugged off the challenge and fired home only for the referee to call it back for a handball. This sparked a torrent of abuse from Padrotta, but it surprisingly seemed to have little impact on the official. As the half drew to a close, Narrabundah still had time to create several more good chances but without the final ball and/or finish required and so had to be content with 0 – 0 at half time.

After a half time team chat centered around being patient and the goals will come, Narrabundah came back onto the pitch in confident mood and ready to start again where they left off. However, in what is becoming a Narrabundah trademark, it was during this period of dominance that Narrabundah conceded.

A soft foul was given around half way on the side line and a hopeful free kick was floated in to the edge of the 18 yard box where a group of players were contesting the ball. Ruiz, sensing danger and perhaps a tad bored from not having seen the ball in half an hour decided to take charge of the situation and came flying off his line to punch clear. It was at this time that Exposito, a man not known for his heading nor jumping ability decided to produce one of the headers of his career, soaring above the crowd (complete with a mighty cry of “eeeeeeaaagggglleeee!!!”), he majestically nodded the ball past Ruiz and into the corner of the net. Heartbreak for Narrabundah who really felt they had deserved more only to find themselves a goal down.

The goal really seemed to deflate Narrabundah and although they still created some chances, never really grabbed the match in the way they had done in the first half. After arguably the best chance of the match had been fired wide by Martinez late on, Narrabundah heads dropped and they conceded a sloppy late goal as Queanbeyan broke forward with numbers and after bumbling around for 5 minutes managed to lay off to another call up from the under 11s who finished neatly inside the near top corner.

A first loss of the season for Narrabundah who, as one commentator put it, still boast a proud undefeated home record. However, this result should serve as a wake-up call and provides plenty to think about for players and coaches alike, who have a tough trip away to defending champions and premiers ANU next weekend.