Saturday 17 May
Tarrawanna 2 v 3 RUSSELL VALE ( HT 2-0)
Before the match began I told the players that no two games are exactly the same. They may have beat our hosts 8-1 last week but that now counts for nothing and they mustn’t take this game for granted. I even reminded the players about a team called Dapto, a couple years back.
Russell Vale started off brightly but Tarrawanna were going for damage limitation and played 5 across the back, with two deep lying midfielders. Although we had a lot of the early play we just couldn’t make the break through. There were numerous shots from around the box but nothing to trouble the home team’s goalkeeper.
Tarrawanna then had their best spell of the game. Their route one football (hoof ball) paid off when their No.8 left our defence flat footed to put the home side 1-0 up. Soon after No.8 nearly made it two but Sean Connelly did really well to thwart him in a one on one situation. The reprieve was only temporary as No.8 got the better of Sean Donnelly right on the stroke of halftime.
Trailing 2-0 at HT, I instructed the lads to speed up their passing game, be more positive in their tackling, attack the ball in the box and for goodness sake pick up that No.8. We needed an early goal and that’s exactly what we got when a low hard corner from Zac Winter was poked home at the near post by Riley Hanlon. Russell Vale then turned up the pressure with Jordan Errington, Blair Dunn and Tommy Heaton all going close to that elusive equaliser. Eventually Zac Winter took matters into his own hands with a dipping shot from the edge of the box to level the scores 2-2.
For the duration of the game Tarrawanna never made it out of their own half. Then with only seconds left on the clock, Zac Winter turned provider with a defence splitting pass to set up Louis Ready who in turn fired into the roof of the net for an incredible come from behind Cobras victory. Out of respect for his former club the ex-Tarrawanna player shouldn’t have celebrated but I couldn’t really blame him, it was a cracker of a winning goal and a dramatic finish to the game.
After the way the games have gone so far this season today was a good wake up call for the lads and the experience will put them in good stead for the rounds ahead. At 2-0 down it would have been so much easier for them to lose composure and revert to hoof ball but I was very pleased and impressed with the players that they didn’t panic and continued to play “pass & move” football. As Coach I take full responsibility for any mistake they make playing this way, even if it means losing the match because it’s still preferable to watching the ball orbiting the sun for most of the game.