Sunday 15 August
Thirroul 2 v 2 Russell Vale
Last game of the regular season and with nothing at stake the game ended 2-2 with honours even. Russell Vale made all the running in the early stages on what has to be the worst pitch in the league. Jean Paul had several strikes at goal but their keeper was equal to the challenge. As the half wore on Thirroul finally mounted their first real threat at goal and from the resulting corner the Cobras defence froze allowing the striker to head in from close range giving the home side an undeserved lead. Soon after the Cobras were nearly back on level terms when Jordan Woods rose to meet a Joel Dalmonte free kick but failed to get it on target. With Nathan Armstrong making some great tackles Russell Vale were winning the midfield battle and continued to push for an equalizer. Thirroul broke away again and Gareth Garnon had to make an excellent save to prevent Thirroul doubling their lead. Russell Vale replied by stepping up the pressure on the Thirroul goal, first Hayden Brown saw his header superbly pushed over the bar by the keeper. Next it was Dylan Andrews turn from a header and with the goalie well beaten it was unfortunately cleared off the line by a defender.
Russell Vale took to the pitch in the second half fired up and scored an equalizer within the first few minutes. A good ball from Shae Morgan picked out Matt Nelson’s late run and he stormed into the box to make it 1-1. Both Jean Paul and Nathan Armstrong went close from long range but both efforts flew over the bar. To prove they were not going to roll over Thirroul twice hit the woodwork in a chaotic goalmouth scramble and Joey Hodges had to make a couple of good interceptions in defence. With 10 mins to go Nathan Hennessy was brought down on the edge of the box for a free kick. Hayden Brown stepped up and blasted the ball into the top corner of the net and the goal looked to have settled the game in Russell Vale’s favour 2-1. Twice in as many minutes Shae Morgan nearly scored from Matt Nelson crosses to put the game out of reach but it was not to be. As the clocked ticked down Thirroul won a final corner and scored in almost identical circumstances to their first goal as the Russell Vale defence once again went to sleep. The team as a whole will need to be a lot sharper and concentrate a 100% when the playoffs start next week.