Sunday 20 June
Russell Vale 2 v 0 Albion Park
Albion Park made all the running in the early stages but the most they could conjure up in the way of chances was a series of long range shots that flew high and wide. Russell Vale battled to stay in the game and nearly took a surprise lead when Matt Nelson hit the bar direct from a corner kick. Albion Park came at Russell Vale again and Gareth Garnon had to move pretty sharply off his line to prevent their forward getting a shot in at goal. Then against the run of play came the Cobras first clear chance of the half when Hayden Brown brilliantly lobbed the defence for Matt Nelson to run on and head past the keeper to make it 1-0. It appeared to knock the wind out of Albion Park and Joel Dalmonte went close to increasing the lead only to see a couple of long distance efforts from free kicks go wide of the target.
In the second half the game swung from end to end but the ascendancy was always with the away team who were desperately searching for an equaliser. Coen Mackay and Dylan Andrews were kept very busy on the flanks but continued to hold firm in defence but it wasn’t all one way Shae Morgan saw his effort cleared off the line. Then twice Albion Park caught the Russell Vale defence flat footed down the middle of the park but Gareth Garnon stood his ground and the striker missed the goal both times. With some of the tackles flying around you could sense that Albion Park were becoming increasingly frustrated. After switching Chris Behan to the centre of midfield he produced an excellent through ball for Shae Morgan to run on beat one player before serving it on a plate for Matt Nelson to make it 2-0 and the game safe with only 10 mins to go. Although Russell Vale never played to the level we know they can do it was still a very gutsy performance by the Cobras to take all three points from the team at the top of the league and in doing so end Albion Park’s unbeaten run.