Saturday, 29 May 2010

Narrabundah FC 4

White Eagles FC 1

1 – 0  Cummings 11′
1 – 1  T. Apin 18′
2 – 1  Tadic 29′
3 – 1  Quick 41′
4 – 1  Quick 78′

On a miserable day on which this commentator is sure many of the participating players wished the match had been called off, the players arrived at a boggy Narrabundah field, designer Louis Vuitton handbags and iPods in tow.

After running the gauntlet of junkies asking for cash so that they go to hospital for a split lip allegedly caused by an enraged sibling, the players took to the pitch and the match began at a furious pace, which given the state of the pitch could only mean one thing, this would be a messy game. And so it proved with the ball skidding off the surface and regularly deceiving both sets of players, an unusually hesitant Reds’ defense also perhaps allowing a little too much time and space for the talented White Eagles attack.

After a couple of close calls, the Reds bucked recent trends and took the lead against the run of play, a Johnny Bedin corner met forcefully at the back post by Cummings, a player endearingly referred to by the Reds’ support as “the talented Peter Crouch”.

White Eagles were not about to lie down though and equalised soon after when a scramble in the box was only partially cleared, allowing a White Eagles midfielder to get to the by line where he managed to square the ball across the face of goal for the easiest of finishes. White Eagles continued to pressure with crisp passing through the center of the pitch, causing no end of problems for the Narrabundah defense, but the Reds were holding firm on the edge of the box with White Eagles resorting to hopeful long shots which were being comfortably dealt with by Ruiz in goals.

Then, against the run of play, a long clearance from Ruiz found Tadic who managed to run clear and score what most spectators are now calling “The Drainpipe of God”. Narrabundah now had their tails up and began to push forward more, White Eagles becoming frustrated with their own lack of penetration. Eventually a silly foul on the edge of the box allowed Narrabundah a chance from a free kick. Padrotta and Exposito stepped up, a quick round of paper-scissors-rock was held for free kick rights, Exposito dominating with the always faithful rock. He lined up the far top corner, but scuffed his effort fooling everyone except Quick who had darted near post and managed to toe the ball past the keeper. All of a sudden, Narrabundah had a comfortable lead despite creating few chances.

The players re-emerged for the second half with a slight tactical change with Johnny ‘the Collector’ Chandra moving into the center of the defense to provide some steel and the midfield being told to focus on shutting down the middle of the pitch. And from the off it seemed to be working, the quick passes into the White Eagles strikers feet that had been causing the Reds so many problems in the first half dried up and the Reds took a strangle hold on the game. With McConkey and Bedin cleaning up everything in the middle of the park, Poblete and Padrotta were being allowed to get forward with gusto, often creating havoc.

Despite the domination, the Reds were lacking the final ball and almost paid the ultimate price when a rare White Eagles attack produced a lethal low shot on the turn. It appeared the ball was destined for the far corner before Ruiz produced a miraculous low save to his right, turning the shot around the post with the reflexes of a man half his age.

After surviving the resulting corner, Narrabundah finally sealed the result with Quick producing an unbelievable run after winning the ball off the White Eagles defense. After causing havoc off the long ball, he streaked clear of the last man but looked to have touched the ball too far as the keeper rushed out. Quick though arrived there first, and comically, the keeper slipped over allowing Quick to touch the ball past him. Again it looked a heavy touch as the ball looked to be heading out over the by line and with the White Eagles defender streaking back into goal it looked like the chance would pass. Somehow though, on his weaker left foot, Quick hit it low and hard, slotting into the net from the acutest of angles between the near post and the sliding defender.

Narrabundah had further chances to add to the score line, Padrotta failing to add to his tally for the season with the best of them after he could only slice his shot well wide to the jeers of the crowd when in a promising position inside the box. In the end Narrabundah held on comfortably for the win and probably could have had more for their efforts.

Another positive result for Narrabundah who have now taken 7 points from their past 3 matches, despite still not fully hitting their stride. Coach Romero has hinted their will be plenty of focus on the attack this week as the Reds aim to catch up with the top 3 of Weston, Woden and ANU.