Saturday, 24 July 2010

Narrabundah FC 1

Queanbeyan City 1

1 – 0  Padrotta 31′
1 –1  L. Richie 88′

On a sparkling day in south Canberra, a Narrabundah side low on confidence lined up against a side that has proven to be their bogey team this season, the lowly Queanbeyan City. With a combination of hard running and non-stop whinging both on and off the field, they are team that has always seemed to unnerve a usually calm and collected Narrabundah side and so it was to prove today.

From the off, it looked to be one of those days as Narrabundah faltered in the face of Queanbeyan’s high pressure game. As Queanbeyan continued to win the ball in dangerous areas, Ruiz was called into action several times early. However, the struggletowners failed to make their early dominance tell on the scoreboard. And they looked to have paid the ultimate price as a cheap turnover at the back allowed Padrotta to waltz in and fire home. Narrabundah into the break with a scarcely deserved 1 – 0 lead.

Narrabundah re-emerged from the break looking to recover some of their composure and to their credit, managed to at least match Queanbeyan for most of the second half with a high pressure game that forced both teams into a glorified game of force-em-backs. As per usual Queanbeyan resorted to the strongest aspect of their game, whining and cheap shots, as more than one Narrabundah player received a kick around the ankles behind the play. Unfortunately, the referee was no assistance in this situation as even the ones he did see he felt only fit to punish with a warning.

As the match dragged on and the struggletowners failed to create any clear cut openings, they ramped up their whining efforts, at this stage putting the output of many of the top of the range electrified whining machines to shame. At this stage, despite their own filthy off-the-ball tactics, every Narrabundah tackle became a red card offense and every contact with the ball above the waist a handball. This ‘pressure’ eventually told. A through ball managed to bobble its way through the Narrabundah defense to find Lionel Richie streaking through to score what will surely be the goal of his limited career, under pressure, looping the ball over Ruiz only for it to bounce in off the underside of the far junction. Soul glow bathed the field as Richie and the struggletowners celebrated what I am sure they will tell you was a famous 1-1 victory.

As the players trudged off, they could at least be consoled by the fact that the feeling would have been pretty similar regardless of the result. One of Queanbeyan’s greatest assets as a team (and a club) is their ability to make you feel like you have lost even when you have won convincingly.

For Narrabundah, despite the recent poor run of results (which let’s face it are losses to the top two teams, a win and a draw) are still sitting comfortable in 4th spot. But to make any mark on the rest of the season, they will need to improve and recover some lost confidence. The rest of the season starts tonight!