Saturday, 18 July 2009

Brindabella Blues 1
A. Myleoffsighed 49′

Narrabundah FC 4
J. Quiroga 31′, 83′; P. Romero 57′; Russell 78′

On a windy day in the deep south, a resurgent Narrabundah put in a steely performance to see off a hardworking but limited Brindabella side. A Quiroga brace sandwiched efforts from Paulo and Russell in what was in the end a flattering score line for the Tuggeranongese side.

The match kicked off in gale force winds, as is so often the case in the wind tunnel handily renamed as ‘Calwell’, and from the off, Narrabundah looked to be the more competent side, holding the ball and knocking it around whilst stifling their opposition. But not all was smooth sailing as the Reds were having difficulty coping with the gusty wind and the hard bumpy ground.

With Ellis, Ibaceta and Gonzalez working hard in the midfield to provide service up front, Muller and Paulo were finding plenty of time to turn their men, but the final ball was lacking as an over eager Blues linesman repeatedly flagged offside, and when not stopped by the linesman, the ball never seemed to sit for a cross or shot.

After a couple of quick substitutions to freshen up legs, Quiroga came off the bench and was to make the difference as, after a couple of miscues, he made some space on the edge of the box before letting fly. The keeper managed to parry but only as far as the onrushing Dziubinski who managed to put it back into the danger area for Quiroga to poke home. 1-0 and Narrabundah were good value for their lead. They continued to push on and were looking good for a second, but nobody was able to quite find that final touch.

After the break, it appeared to be more of the same from Narrabundah as they continued to push on looking for a second goal. But as per usual, just as Narrabundah were starting to get to their best, in came the sucker punch, as – unsurprisingly – the Blues linesman who had been so quick to call offsides in the first half suddenly went quiet as a through ball found its way past the Narrabundah defense to a Blues striker who neatly finished. 1-1 and Brindabella had an undeserved equaliser.

Narrabundah though were instilled with the spirit of recent triumphs and fought on and soon had their lead back. After some hard work by Dziubinski down the wing, Narrabundah forced a corner. Paulo lined it up and with the wind gusting and Blues keeper recently being substituted for possibly the smallest man on the pitch, he decided to go for ‘Paulo special’ – swinging it straight in from the corner. With Gonzalez making a general nuisance of himself in front of the keeper, the ball was whipped in and to everybody’s surprise (well at least everybody not in a red shirt) straight in over the flailing keepers head. Narrabundah had their lead back and from then on never looked like going back.

With Russell winning every ball he contested in midfield and then charging forward it looked only a matter of time before they capitalised and in the end it was worth waiting for. After yet another hard tackle, Russell set off on a brilliant dash down the sideline where he finally cut back in before firing home into the near top corner. 3-1 and the match now appeared safe.

Narrabundah were now out to improve goal difference and Quiroga, not to be out done was next on the scoresheet as he picked up the ball just outside the box, turned his man, slalomed past three defenders before shooting low past the goal keeper. 4-1 and the champagne was out. And yet Narrabundah had still further chances to add to the score line as first Paulo had a couple of efforts from just outside the box he’d rather forget (too good an angle it would seem) before his namesake Brett attempted to give Muller some competition in the ‘wildest shot’ competition with a rushed volley from outside the box landing somewhere near the center circle on the adjacent field. 

Narrabundah back amongst the winners after a few tough weeks, and looking in good shape to make a final push towards the finals. They are still at long odds to see football in September of course, but a couple of more wins in coming weeks could see those odds shorten significantly.