Saturday, 4 July 2009

Narrabundah FC 1
P. Romero 23′

Woden Valley 4
A. Gift 15′, 66′, 80′; Tiny 87′

Narrabundah continued to leak goals this weekend as three more were gifted to another unspectacular but hardworking opponent. Although Narrabundah turned out possibly their worst performance of the year, the score line did not do justice to a match which for the most part was very close and in which Narrabundah spurned 3-4 excellent chances to go ahead at 1-1. This result leaves Narrabundah at least 4 points adrift of 4th place and any hope of finals football is fading fast.

After an initial scrappy period, Narrabundah were looking comfortable in the match and, in their usual style, were tending to sit deep and break forward quickly. After a few half chances, Woden had their first substantial attack and after a scrap in the box, the ball was cleared high to the corner of the 18 yard box. As the big lump that Woden stick up front was waiting for the ball to come down with his back to goal, it seemed an innocuous situation. However, a clumsy challenge and 1 of the easiest penalty calls that referee will ever make later and Woden had the lead from the penalty spot.

Narrabundah fought back and with Russell taking players on down the left, managed to force a penalty of their own. After beating several players down the line and making his way into the box, a ridiculous knee-high sliding challenge crudely felled the Narrabundah speedster and led to another easy penalty decision for the referee. Paulo confidently slotted home and Narrabundah were back on level terms. After that point the match descended into a glorified game of force-em-backs with neither side managing to put three passes together for the remainder of the half.

After some half time soul searching, Narrabundah came out determined to pick up their act and did have the best of the opening period of the second half, with Russell, Harvie and Pena all having glorious chances when in one on one with the keeper. But then, somewhat against the run of play, a(nother) misplaced pass left Narrabundah exposed at the back and Woden ran through to score.

Narrabundah tried to get back into the match but never managed to find their rhythm against a physical Woden side. As pass after pass went astray heads began to drop and after a few close calls, Woden sealed the match with a goal that should have had their whole team rushing out to buy lottery tickets.

Again the chance started with a stray ball out of the back for Narrabundah – what should have been an easy 10m pass turned into a 50-50 challenge just inside the Narrabundah half. The Woden and Narrabundah players flew into each other and collided over the ball, the ball shooting almost straight up into the air. As the wind took hold of it, it slowly moved towards Narrabundah’s goal, eventually dropping into the top corner over the head of the desperately backpedaling Ross. A miraculous goal, but in the end probably deserved on the balance of play. Late in the match, Woden added the icing with a well worked corner, but Narrabundah had stopped playing well before that point.

Another hugely disappointing result for the boys from ‘Bundah, dropping yet more points in their chase for finals football. Next week it doesn’t get any easier either, with league leaders Tuggeranong visiting from the deep south. The team will need to re-find it’s confidence and focus in a hurry to keep any hope alive of playing football into September.