This was a long way short of our best performance of the season but I take part of the blame for changing the team every ten minutes and upsetting the rhythm in an attempt to rest players for Sunday’s Semi Final. Although the team looked lethargic on the night we did score five goals, collected another 3 points, maintained our winning streak and position at the top of the league. It was a shame our normal fluent passing was off, our tackling was non-existent and our movement was static because there was a good crowd at Cawley Park to cheer the lads on. It was the Cobras first competitive match under floodlights so maybe they were nervous or had their minds on the Semi Final, who knows?
Russell Vale started the game well by pressurising the Warilla defence but without making any clear opportunities. Although every time Warilla broke forward our defence looked at sixes and sevens and Ethan Johnson had to be quick to stop a shot at the near post. Another time their striker looked certain to score but a last ditch tackle from Tom Curren saved the day. After 15 mins we had a cameo role from Blair Dunn who was still suffering from a cold. His introduction from the bench made an instant impact by skimming down the wing and pulling the ball back for Jordan Errington to open the scoring. The half ended with Russell Vale in the ascendancy but Warilla still looked dangerous on the break, 1-0 to the home side.
The players came out in the second half all fired up and Blair Dunn and Jordan Errington both scored within the first two minutes to give the Cobras a 3-0 lead. Unfortunately the team then went to sleep and allowed Warilla to pull a goal back making it 3-1 and with it their confidence rose. The Cobras then had to withstand some pressure before Harrison Benn’s shot from 20 yards made it 4-1 but again Warilla didn’t give up. Back they came to cash in on some casual defending to make it 4-2. The last word however went to Russell Vale when a shot from Jordan Errington was adjudged by the referee to be over the line despite their keepers best efforts to save it and the game ended 5-2 Russell Vale on the night.
Despite our inconsistency as a team there were some good individual performances on the night from Blair Dunn, Jordan Errington (third hat-trick of the season) and Christian Baade Mortimer who made some great runs down the left flank and was unlucky not to score. The result takes nothing away from Warilla they gave it everything they had and played more like the team that won Division IV last season. If there is a lesson to be learnt, it’s that our lads are going to have to get used to teams giving that extra 10% as they try to end our unbeaten run.
p.s. If I have missed anyone please let me know,