Saturday, 26 June 2010

Narrabundah FC 2
Woden Valley 1

1 – 0 Cummings 17′
1 – 1 S.Umjerk 35′
2 – 1 Padrotta (pen) 83′

On crisp day in South Canberra, a key clash took place with Narrabundah looking to break into the top 3 for the first time this season against the team that handed them their heaviest defeat to date (3-1), Woden Valley.

After several weeks of interrupted trainings, a postponed game against ANU, a practically forfeited game against Olympic and with several key players missing, it was an underdone Narrabundah side that took the pitch, with many pundits predicting the inform Woden would give them a bath. However, as has so often been the case with this Narrabundah side, with their backs against the wall, they came out fighting.

After an initial period in which neither team managed to maintain any real possession, Narrabundah took an early lead. A corner was only half cleared to the edge of the box, Dziubinski contesting the header which then fell kindly for Cummings, who put last weekends shooting practice to good use and finished clinically into the bottom corner. Woden, stung by this early set back once again, came out looking for a response, and although creating very little, got a little bit lucky when a through ball was deflected through the line and conveniently into the path of the Woden striker who finished neatly. 1 – 1 it would stay until the break.

After an upbeat half time chat about tweaking certain aspects of the Narrabundah defense, The Reds emerged in confident mood to go on and get the win. The game by now was really starting to open up. With Exposito off with an injury, a slight rejig was required with Bedin slotting into left fullback and Chato assuming defensive midfield duties.

Narrabundah began to press and were winning the ball in some dangerous areas up front, but Padrotta, Cummings and Dziubinski were just failing to find that killer ball. Woden too were pushing for a winner but were being restricted largely to fast breaks and half chances.

As the game wore on, some niggle began to set in, with uncompromising challenges flying in from both sides. But it was dreadful challenge on Padrotta that would prove the difference. After another quick break which found Padrotta, Dziubinski and Cummings 3 on 3 with the Woden defense, the excellent off-the-ball running from the latter two allowed Padrotta to charge into the box where he drew a rash challenge from the Woden defense. The referee won’t have many easier penalty calls than that one and after Padrotta had washed the mud from his eyes, he clinically converted the penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way.

Woden pushed on in the last 5 minutes, but failed to really threaten the Narrabundah defense as the match fizzled out. Yet Narrabundah still had time for one last attack as another quick ball forward allowed Padrotta to break away. However, just as he was about to cross to an unmarked Dziubinski in the box there was a flash of sniper fire from the dodgy flats, clearly witnessed by the Jenny Craig sponsored gridiron onlookers. The bullet caught Padrotta just as he swung at the ball, his motionless body collapsing to the ground in a heap as the ball tricked harmlessly away to mixture of callous laughter and cries of “sniper!” Miraculously, Padrotta recovered from his wounds to finish the match, and in any event, the Reds had done enough to get through and take out one of the tougher attacking sides in the comp .

A very solid win for Narrabundah who have now pulled even with Woden in third spot on the table. Confidence is high in the Red’s camp but they need to keep focused and use these games to continue building towards the finals.