LCWM45 vs Northbridge B 23/08/2008

Lane Cove West 1, Northbridge B 2

23 August 2008, Koola 2

A disappointing end to the season. We played some of our best football in the first half, and were winning. But we struggled in the second half, and ended up with nothing.

 

Koola was wonderfully muddy and puddly: the sort of pitch you get in and don’t think twice about. But it’s unusual to be allowed to play in mud in Sydney.

 

In the first half we always seemed dominant, but our best period – the best of the season, perhaps – came after we went one up. James had chased a through ball and planted it past the keeper: 1-0.

 

Then we seemed to pass the ball around at will, avoiding the mud, and creating lots of chances. Howard looked likely several times to open his scoring account for Lane Cove West (with a large sample of his fan club in attendance), but couldn’t quite complete. Scott was also running free, and we were overrunning Northbridge in everything but the score.

 

Then something bad happened: the ref blew his whistle for half-time. We didn’t just change ends: we changed fortunes, too. Suddenly it was Northbridge who were the more fluent. Despite our agreement to play away from the biggest puddle, we seemed to make a bee-line for it, and rediscovered that you can’t play nice dainty football in a bog.

 

Meantime Northbridge were enjoying attacking the drier end, and, as last week, we conceded a goal shortly after reshuffling our back line. This time it was the big sturdy forward who forced his way through the defence before curling the ball stylishly around Tony: 1-1.

 

And not too much later, we were behind. From a corner, I think it was. The ball was headed, at short range, hard at Tony. He did well to stop it but couldn’t hold on. Lionel was in just the right place to take advantage, and it was 1-2.

 

We battled on, but had many fewer chances in the second half. Jon was now freed from his defensive role and marauded in mid-field and up front. One of his spectacular runs past several defenders ended in a clash worthy of water-polo: free-kick against was the slightly harsh decision. (By the way, I had an email from Northbridge after the game: friendly, but mentioning that the author had a cracked rib, courtesy of a “late tackle”. Who wants to own up? Mike Fraser, his name is, if it helps). 

 

Tony continued his heroics of recent weeks, in very difficult conditions, and again it was a good all-round performance that wasn’t quite enough.

 

So we trudged off, happy enough with our first O45 season, overall. We had some good wins, and were competitive in most of our games. But after winning six and drawing one of the first nine, we won only once more in the second half of the season, and got just one point from our last six games. So some strengthening for next year would be good: maybe even to form two teams. So get out there recruiting!

 

Thanks to Peter & Steve B for being linesmen at 1pm; and to Peter for organizing our ground-dressing employee all season; to Ernie for the 321s (suspended for this week), Howard for his captaincy; martin for doing the club’s finances, and everyone for good team spirit and lots of fun. With O45s now in full swing, we’ve all got at least another 20 years in us!

 

MARK BRYANT