Saturday, 9 May 2009

Narrabundah FC 0

UC 3
McConkey 13′ (OG), A. Numpty 24′, I. Kikshins 33′

Narrabundah’s winning run came to an end today in the Autumn sunshine against an organised, hardworking and trash talking UC side whose mixed results so far this year had masked the fact that they are in fact a very decent team. Although Narrabundah were shorn of no less than 8 players through a combination of injury, suspension and recent transfer activity, it was still a strong line-up that took the field.

Determined to prove that last weeks poor showing was a once off, Narrabundah started with a great intensity, fighting for balls and working hard all over the pitch. The match was being played at a furious pace with neither team keeping possession as they struggled for dominance in midfield.

After this initial period though, UC settled quicker and started creating plenty of problems out wide through a particularly quick chap named ‘Apples’ and in fact it was a run from ‘Apples’ that led to the opening goal. After a quick exchange in midfield, the red headed lightning bolt was set free down the right hand side where he put in a low, dangerous looking cross which Tim ‘so that’s what the other goal looks like’ McConkey looked to have cut out. McConkey however, obviously still jet lagged from his latest adventure to the opposition’s 18 yard box, instead took the option to blast the ball into the top corner of the net from the edge of the box on the volley. To be fair, it was a goal any striker would have been proud of.

From that point on, UC continued to make chances with a couple of efforts coming off the post as they were able to get in behind the Narrabundah defense seemingly at will. Another two goals soon followed in the same style. With the strikers pulling players out of position, the quicker wide men of UC would be sent in behind out wide where a cut back to the edge of the box more often than not found an open UC player. With some clinical finishing, Narrabundah soon found themselves 3-0 down.

Narrabundah though continued to fight and it wasn’t all one way with attempts from Ellis and Todoroski from outside the box but both were fielded with reasonable comfort by the UC goalkeeper. Dziubinski upfront was also creating some headaches in the UC defense with hard running but was finding it particularly difficult to escape the attentions of one rather large lad whose hands, obviously sticky from the donuts consumed pre-match, continually had a hold of the big Pole. With the referee not calling anything either way, the match soon started to get rather niggly with the half time whistle blowing after a UC player was left on the ground after a solid, if ever-so-slightly late, hit from Josh ‘you only need 1 leg anyway’ Harvie.

As the players trudged back out for the second half, the anger and hunger that Narrabundah had been lacking in the last two games seemed to resurface as the fat, sticky handed lump in the UC defense continued to trash talk despite the comfortable score line and his own obvious physical deficiencies. With the Narrabundah defense now playing deeper, the UC attack now seemed stifled to a large degree.

Soon the game had descended into a scrappy affair being fought out in midfield and the UC half as Narrabundah tried to build some pressure. Stripped of several of their strikers though, Dziubinski, Weir and Harvie were having a tough time of it and the niggly fouls continued whilst Narrabundah continued to lack penetration.

As this correspondent continued to pray for the AusStudy-collecting toffee apple at the back for UC to try to make a run forward so that he could make a totally legal two-footed over-the-ball tackle on him, other players were getting theirs in with Dziubinski making an excellent tackle resulting in another ‘solid’ UC player eating the dirt and injuring his arm under his substantial girth.

Tate at the back was also having a running battle with another smaller trash talking member of the UC line-up who after several late tackles on various members of the Narrabundah defense had painted quite a large target on himself. After a few run-ins with different players had tested patience, a ball was played into the feet of the marked man just inside the Narrabundah half, with Mason ‘I can’t fly’ Tate on his back showing him away from goal. Surprisingly the little nipper then decided to try the wushu finger hold on Tate but this was cleverly countered and instead of Tate flying over the head of Tom Thumb as expected, he lived up to his nickname and simply crashed down on top of him elbows and knees first. Surprisingly, the little fella had little further contribution in the match from that point on.

Although Narrabundah continued to have the better of the play through out the second half, they failed to really threaten and the match fizzled out. As the full time whistle blew, Narrabundah were left to pick up the pieces from what was by far their heaviest defeat under new coach Romero.

Whilst convincingly beaten today Narrabundah can take away plenty from the match with UC often employing the very sorts of plays that Narrabundah have been working on in training. Narrabundah will have to learn quickly though as two tough games are to follow against Olympic and ANU, also convincing winners in the past couple of weeks.