Russell Vale 3 v 2 Bulli
Given the circumstances this was a fantastic result. It was the first game of the season, Bulli had already beaten us in a preseason friendly and again in the 7’s tournament, plus we were down to the bare minimum of 11 available players.
In H’s absence Jack Donnelly captained the team and the first half turned out to be fairly even. We missed a penalty from 16 yards out yet I was always under the impression it was supposed to be 12 yards. Anyway it was the referees first game so we have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Surprisingly although we practice penalty kicks in training now and again, come match day only 1 in 5 have actually gone in during the past three seasons.
Spurred on from the missed penalty Bulli caught our defence cold to take the lead 0-1. A good build up and a good through ball from Christian Mortimer set Jordan Errington up to equalise on the stroke of half time. Although there was a hint of offside about it these things tend to even themselves out over the course of the season. Even in this game we should have been awarded a second penalty when their defender blocked a shot with his hands but that’s just the way it goes.
In the second half Bulli were first out of the traps and within the first couple of minutes restored their lead from a corner. Again our team failed to deal with the cross and were punished accordingly. With no subs to call on it needed a tactical switch to get us back into it. Bailey Mortimer moved up front and Ethan Lanarch took over in midfield, from then on Russell Vale controlled the game with our passing and Bulli were limited to a few forays into our half that were comfortably dealt with by the defence.
Russell Vale missed several chances until late in the game Hayley Waller slipped the ball through for Bailey Mortimer to score at the second attempt and make it 2-2. The green machines then poured forward in search of the winner and were duly rewarded when Bailey Mortimer returned the compliment to Hayley Waller by laying the ball on for her to drill it inside the near post and give Russell Vale the lead for the first time in the game. In fact the third goal turned out to be the winner as the ref blew up soon after.
Sometimes a moment of individual magic can win a game but in this instance it has to go down as a brilliant team effort, they just never gave up. With time running out they kept their patience and didn’t panic. The second and third goals were both the end product of superb passing moves that must have been in double figures by the time the ball hit the net.
Great start to the season and once again they make me feel very proud to be their Coach.
Saturday 13 April we are away to Coledale, I believe the KO is around 10:30am so please ensure the players arrive by 10:00am. This will be a tough game as Coledale won the Division IV League & Grand Final last season winning every single game along the way. As a result they skip a division and join us in Division II. Once again we only have 11 players available but if they play with the same heart and desire as they did last weekend I will have no complaints whatever the result.