Contrary to some of the post-match comments Russell Vale did not play badly, in fact they dominated the game from start to finish and created lots of chances. The last time we played Dapto the Cobras scored 11 goals but as I explained to the players before the game no two matches are the same and don’t take anything for granted.
The way Dapto set about this game reminds me of an old English expression “parking the bus”. Their Coach realised they wouldn’t be able to beat our lads by playing open football so he ensured all 11 Dapto players were behind the ball in an attempt to frustrate our players and hang on for a draw. Hence they “parked the bus” in front of their goal. The Dapto coach also made their centre forward goalkeeper and the lad had the game of his life. He made some fantastic saves from Jordan Errington, Ethan Larnach, Riley Hanlon, Christian Baade Mortimer and one shot from Harrison Benn came back off the underneath of the bar hit the keeper and still rolled to safety. It was turning out to be one of those games where it needed something special to break the deadlock and that’s exactly what happened. With only 2 minutes to go Blair Dunn hit a half volley from the edge of the box that flew over the goal keeper and into the net, thus ensuring Russell Vale maintained their winning run.
From a coaching perspective I was very pleased the players remained patient, kept moving the ball around and with the clock running down did not panic by hoofing it forward. I believe they would have learnt far more from this match than if they had scored 11 goals again. Defensively we were solid, Ethan Johnson never had a shot to save and Tom Curran was outstanding as an attacking fullback. Although it’s always nice to see the goals go in, if we hadn’t created lots of chances then I would have had cause to worry but as it was one goal was enough. At the end of the game I think the players, supporters and Coach all felt a great sense of relief but you had to feel sorry for Dapto, they had defended for 50 minutes as if their lives depended on it and came very close to getting a point.
N.B. Please note we are trying to move our Saturday league game at home to Warilla to Friday evening 6:00pm K/O. The reason being is we have a Cup Semi Final on Sunday at Unanderra against the winner of Kiama & Coledale 10:00am K/O.
I will confirm later this week.