The best team doesn’t always win in a cup match (ie Barcelona v Chelsea – Semi Champions League) but in this instance you would have to say Kiama deserved to reach the final just on “perseverance” alone. Poor referee time keeping aside (3 minutes short both halves and no 5 minutes of injury time when the Kiama keeper broke his wrist) did cost us 11 minutes of playing time but I don’t think it would have changed the result…..it was just not our day!
The first half was an uphill battle literally, on Unanderra’s sloping (second) pitch. Russell Vale had most of the ball without creating any clear cut chances but it was Kiama who went in at the break 1-0 to the good due to some casual defending by Russell Vale who should have cleared the ball long before it found the back of the net. Kiama made it very hard for Russell Vale to get back into the game, whenever we had the ball there were always two of their players to our one.
In the second half Russell Vale swarmed forward time after time in search of an equaliser and came close with a couple of goal mouth scrambles, one of which resulted in hand ball but the referee decided not to give the penalty. A couple of corners also caused havoc in the Kiama defence but there was never anyone on hand to put the ball over the line. Even when we did get a clear sight at goal our normal prolific shooting let us down as we failed to find the target and ended with our first blank and loss of the season as Kiama weathered the storm and denied us a place in the Final. They will now go on to meet Oak Flats in the final (Woonona) on Saturday.
It was brought to my attention after the game that not all the players had equal playing time. As Coach it’s not easy juggling three substitutes as I tried hard to get the formation right and the result we all wanted but hopefully over the course of the season these things will even out.
On personal note I was not only very sorry for the players that they lost today but also bitterly disappointed to lose to a Coach that supports Man Utd. Hopefully we can reverse the result back at Cawley Park in Rnd 14.
Our next game is Tarrawanna (away) in Rnd 13 on Saturday 14 July and training will continue as normal during the school holidays.