No training and no games for the past couple of weeks and away to the top team in Rnd 12, could it get any harder? Yep we had a less than half fit coach as well.
Albion Park started brightly and even hit the bar in the first couple of minutes then squandered a couple of good chances with wayward shooting. Slowly but gradually Russell Vale clawed their way back into the game and it all began with a brave run from Tom Curran who despite being kicked, pushed and pulled kept going but fell short with only the keeper to beat. Soon after Riley Hanlon almost opened the scoring after good work from Hayley Waller and Ethan Larnach set him up with a chance that seemed harder to miss than score. With the match still goalless Harrison Benn almost scored from a free kick when the lively Ethan Larnach was felled on the edge of the box but unfortunately the resulting kick sailed over the bar.
In the second half Jack Donnelly broke out of defence with the ball, kept going and was only stopped when fouled 20 yards out. Up stepped Harrison Benn in an almost identical position to the previous free kick but unfortunately this one skimmed the outside of the post. Ten minutes into the half Albion Park took the lead when their huge striker forced his way into the box to hammer the ball into the back of the net. To their credit the Cobras didn’t let it phase them, first Blair Dunn forced their keeper into action and then Harrison Benn won the ball just outside the box and drilled the ball into the corner of the net, 1-1. With less than 5mins to go Russell Vale took a deserved lead from a Harrison Benn corner that sailed into the top corner, 1-2.
Albion Park then pushed everyone forward in search of an equaliser and as a result of that pressure an errant Cobras pass across goal was picked off and dispatched into the net, 2-2. Sensing a winner Albion Park kept up their assault on the Russell Vale goal and a frantic scramble inside the six yard box looked as if they were certain to find a winner but out of the ruck of players walked Brody Armour with the ball safely in his hands. Russell Vale broke quickly and while the ref looked at his watch and prepared to blow for full-time Jordan Errington unselfishly set up Christian Baade Mortimer who side stepped one player before tucking the ball into the corner of the net, 2-3 and game over!
Overall the passing was good and the players are finally becoming more competitive, as shown by some of the bone crunching tackles from Hayley Waller, Bailey Baade Mortimer, Calyton Walker and Baxter Bowler Prentice. This was by far our best result of the season and proves that Russell Vale can compete with the top teams at this level.