There are some games whereby you could play all night and not score, this was one of those games………….
The fact it was a very cold and windy night should not have upset our rhythm but let’s be honest it didn’t help. It was good to see Jarod Tuckwood return to the side after a long layoff with injury, although a little bit rusty at times he tried hard to steady the midfield. However it was Kiama whom started the brightest and put the home side under a lot of pressure but the best chance they could create was turned over the bar by Sean Donnelly. Russell Vale’s passing game was still not in sync, with too many balls going astray or straight to the opposition. The few efforts we did have at goal went wide or into the safe hands of the Kiama keeper who was determined to carry on where he left off in the Plate Final. Probably because the whole Kiama team were up for this game our football tended to break down in the final third. To be fair Kiama overall probably shaded the first half.
The second half was virtually one way traffic as Russell Vale finally realised they were in a game and began to create chance after chance. Kiama were left with the occasional counterattack that Baxter Bowler Prentice and Jack Donnelly dealt with comfortably, well most of the time. It was also good to see Ethan Larnach and Tom Curren supporting the attack down the flanks. There were efforts at goal from Christian Baade Mortimer, Jordy Errington, Blair Dunn and Riley Hanlon but the best two opportunities of the game fell to Zac Winter and Tommy Heaton. I would have put my house on at least one of them scoring with only the keeper to beat but it was not to be, both efforts went wide of the goal.
As the game wore on with the score still locked at 0-0 it became a little bit frantic, when all it needed was a player to put his foot on the ball and control the game. In and around the Kiama 18 yard box the home side needed to show more patience and engage their football brains. Still it would be churlish to deny Kiama their point. They came to Cawley Park and worked very hard for each other and prevented Russell Vale from scoring for the first time this season. It’s the third time we have played them this year and something tells me it wont be the last.
As it happened Wollongong lost and Shellharbour could only draw at the weekend so we remain 9 pts clear with four league games remaining.