Saturday, 15 May 2010

Narrabundah FC 3

Brindabella Blues 1

0 –1   J. Ammyprick 8′
1 – 1   T. McConkey 16′
2 – 1   C. Padrotta 31′
3 – 1   C. Padrotta (pen) 68′

A mild Saturday greeted the players as they congregated at a Narrabundah pitch now clearly bearing the scars of the rugby season. Opting not to chose the pitch that had served them so poorly against Olympic, Narrabundah management instead chose the greener of the two fields, although they soon found the lush grass was a result of a small brook running through the center of pitch.

As the match kicked off, it was clear from the outset that this would not be a match for the purists. Tackles were flying in on both sides with few passes being strung together.

As the ball pin-balled around what can be best described as the ruck, a moment of extreme fortune provided Brindabella with their opener. A lucky pinball provided a bouncing ball at the feet of a Brindabella midfielder who from fully 40m hit a looping, hopeful ‘clearance’ towards the Narrabundah goal. Ruiz in goals, temporarily blinded by the disgusting match he had been seeing unfold before him, could only manage to get a touch on it as it looped over his head and into the back of the net.

This only seemed to strengthen the resolve of the Narrabundah players though and they now pushed on to have their best period of the match, consistently causing Brindabella problems, only to once again have that final ball lacking. The opener did come when Narrabundah first tested the Brindabella keeper. A cross was swung in from out wide with several players lurking in the box, the keeper came to claim but could only get a touch on the ball allowing McConkey to slide in and force the ball home.

With the tails up Narrabundah continued to press on and once again, despite having some excellent openings, could not capitalise. Narrabundah did eventually get their second though and once again it came from a cross. This time Padrotta decided to cut out the middle man and direct from a corner swung in a viscous ball, which despite being at a reasonable height for a normal size keeper, completely evaded the child-like Brindabella custodian and flew in off the back post. Narrabundah were now really pushing the matter and were creating some clear openings – the usually clinical Park with the pick of the chances slicing horribly wide when in on goal. A quick cameo from player/coach Romero towards the end of the half provided the opposition with some respite as he quickly reminded everyone why he should stay on the bench.

After a quick half-time talk requesting more of the same from Narrabundah, the players re-emerged sans clown/coach Romero and immediately looked more cohesive. Despite this, Narrabundah soon began to look a little ragged as Brindabella pushed on and a sense of panic started to set in. Miskicks and sliced clearances became the order of the day as Narrabundah lost composure whilst Dziubinski individually lost his with the homeless man Brindabella had roped in to play at the back. After some polite requests to “please leave him alone”, Dziubinski opted for the less subtle option of flooring his bearded nemesis and commenting on his lack of grace in hitting the deck (“you fall like a b**ch!).

Narrabundah, somewhat against the run of play got the game sealer soon after when Padrotta was rashly tackled inside the box winning a penalty. Despite staying on his feet, the opposition support left the referee with no doubt what they thought of the decision howling that he had ‘clearly dived’ and asking nearby Narrabundah supporters how much they paid the official. After Padrotta dusted himself off from his standing dive, he clinically finished from the spot.

Brindabella continued to push on but were failing to really trouble the Narrabundah defense and to that extent Narrabundah even felt comfortable enough to allow Romero back on the pitch where after 15 minutes or so bumbling around, the referee mercifully blew the final whistle.

In the end a comfortable win for Narrabundah, but as many commented after the game, not a very satisfying win. In reality, Narrabundah had won the game by out-fighting a team whose strength is fighting hard and in that there is credit, but the disappointment lies in that Narrabundah were unable to rise above their opponents and control the match. A much better performance will be required against league leaders Weston Creek next week who still have their 100% record after 6 matches.