Two games in two days but after the Albion Park confidence booster I’m not complaining. Figtree have to be by far the tallest team we have ever played, couple the height advantage with their extra speed it was always going to be a very tough game and that’s exactly how it turned out. The visitors are serious contenders for the Division II title but I can’t say I’m in awe of their style of football. It’s very direct, hoof over the top and let the fast kids chase after it. As such it was going to take a very disciplined performance from the Cobras to get anything out of this game and that’s exactly what we got.
As expected Figtree made all the early running but despite the pressure the defence held firm. Six minutes prior to HT Russell Vale produced their first dangerous attack which resulted in a corner. From a Baxter Bowler Prentice kick, Bailey Baade Mortimer rose majestically at the near post to head the ball into the net, 1-0. Desperate to get back on level terms their tall players continued to cause us all sorts of problems especially the No.9 and Brody Armour had to be at his best to stop two difficult shots. At HT the Cobras still led 1-0……..but only just.
Whether it was due to the break and trying to find somewhere to have a half time chat we lost our concentration. In the first minute after the restart another hoof up to the halfway line left two Vale defenders ball watching as the ball bisected them and the Figtree striker ran on to fire the equaliser.
Earlier in the season we might have let our heads drop but not today. Russell Vale continued to work hard to stay in the game as Figtree became more frustrated and more physical in an attempt to win and keep up their title challenge. To their credit Russell Vale refused to be intimidated despite being on the end of some very late tackles that really deserved a booking. The couple of times Figtree did manage to get a shot in the safe hands of Brody Armour came to the rescue. As the game wore on it became a little bit ragged as Figtree run out of ideas and the Cobras passing game was reduced to a “get the ball the hell out of here” approach. Then for the second game running Russell Vale had a chance to steal all three points at the death, when Hayley Waller broke free with the ball. However with half the pitch still to cover the long legged defenders managed to catch her up on the edge of the box before she could get a shot in. Full time 1-1.
Figtree will probably feel robbed that they didn’t win today. Yes, they created far more pressure than we could muster but a solid team performance from Russell Vale won us a deserved point. Our number of goal scoring chances were few and far between but Blair Dunn and Jordan Errington ran their socks off up front. Moving Baxter Bowler Prentice into centre midfield alongside Harrison Benn also paid dividends in breaking up Figtree’s attacks. Defensively Jack Donnelly, Tom Curran, Clayton Walker and Ethan Larnach did really well to restrict the number of Figtree chances.
At times our lead up football was good but we failed to make any real impact in the final third. A little more work needs to be done on ball control and holding the ball up long enough to bring other players into the game. This weekend we had to play two different types of game but still produced two good performances and if the players continue to concentrate, emulate this form over the remaining matches.
TRAINING: Please note Monday 5:00pm – 6:30pm, still not sure about Wednesday because I have to go back into hospital.