Saturday, 22 May 2010

Weston Creek 1

Narrabundah FC 1

1 – 0   F. Atjerk 79′ (pen)
1 – 1   Cummings 81′

Red Card
F. Atterjerk  72′

On chilly Autumn day in Weston Creek, the season took an interesting turn for both teams involved as a so far inconsistent Narrabundah team held and perhaps should have beaten the previously unstoppable Weston Creek.

It was an undermanned Narrabundah side that came into the match missing leading scorer Padrotta, leading scorer hopeful Dziubinski, midfield dynamos Park and Adams and defensive stalwarts Linfoot and Chandra. In addition, Cummings and Quick were just returning from injury. Luckily, new signings Martinez and Poblete were cleared by the FFA to take part providing coach Romero with some options.

Despite the unusual line-up, this makeshift Narrabundah side looked comfortable from the off and settled quickly into the match providing a usually rampant Weston Creek forward line with few opportunities asides from the now obligatory miscued and sliced clearances. Despite looking secure at the back, Narrabundah were rarely threatening in attack either, the hard running of Martinez causing some issues but he often found himself isolated and with few options. Cummings was soon introduced up front and his height immediately started causing problems. With Narrabundah on the front foot, some half chances started to fall, Martinez and Chato both missing the target  from outside the box, but again the final ball tended to be over cooked as Narrabundah perhaps tried to look for the pace of Martinez on one occasion too many.

With the scores locked at nil-all at half time, Narrabundah went into the break the happier of the teams, especially given the pre-game expectations. After a positive half-time talk, the players re-emerged and the game continued on much the same trajectory as it had in the first half – neither team creating many clear cut chances.

20 minutes in though, everything began to happen. First, Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Bedin, the center of much of the attention began a running battle with one of the Weston Creek midfielders, leading to a booking to Bedin after a particularly vigorous challenge. A few minutes later, in a burst of frustration, the Weston midfielder after turning over possession once again to the hard working Narrabundah midfield produced a rash two footed lunge on Cummings. Fortunately the lanky striker was not injured, but the Referee decided the intent was bad enough for a straight red.

Narrabundah could now sense blood and began to push on to try and take all three points. After some near misses, disaster struck up the other end. A cheap turnover in defense allowed Weston to push on in numbers and despite Narrabundah having plenty of players behind the ball, a combination of some miscommunication and numerous fortunate pinballs saw the Weston player running clear towards the edge of the 18 yard box with only a Narrabundah midfielder for company. Despite the initial challenge coming outside the box and arguably from the side, the Weston player managed to stumble and fall into the box, the referee awarding a penalty. Keeper Ruiz, who had had little to do so far, was only left to pick the ball out of the back of the net as he was sent the wrong way from the spot.

This only seemed to only spur Narrabundah into action and they now flooded forward and were rewarded almost instantly when Cummings was left alone at the back post, calmly finishing on the second attempt after some great lead up play down the right. Narrabundah were now again in the drivers seat and continued to push on against the rapidly tiring Weston defense.

After several half chances, it looked like the winner would finally arrive. A cross from the right was not properly dealt with by the Weston defense and the ball landed at the feet of Quick, back to goal, 6 yards out. He managed to turn his man and face the onrushing keeper and calmly picked his spot. The keeper was beaten, hands started to go up in celebration, another famous victory was surely on hand. But as quickly as the hands had gone up they clasped heads and faces as the ball thudded against the upright and trickled out. There was time only for the referee’s final whistle as Weston clung onto their undefeated record.

After a completed first round, it really is a mixed story for Narrabundah. A shaky start to the season has now appeared to steady with solid results in the past two games. With everyone now on board and a mostly settled line-up, Narrabundah will be hoping to really push on from here and secure some more positive results.