Friday 9 May
Russell Vale 9 v 0 Figtree
Unfortunately for the visitors two of their squad had to redraw earlier in the day, so they started the game with only 10 players. Russell Vale were not slow to take advantage with Jordan Errington opening the scoring and soon after Zac Winter followed up with number two. However, sandwiched in between was a rare Figtree foray into Russell Vale territory and Sean Donnelly had to be on his toes to keep out a fierce shot.
It was really nice to see our fullback Ethan Larnach score the third goal with a speculative shot from outside the box. Speedy has been with the club right from the very beginning and this was his first ever league goal. Luis Ready was on the score sheet next with a deflected effort, that the referee was persuaded to award the goal to the striker rather than put it down as an OG. The half was rounded off nicely when Blair Dunn followed up on a Tommy Heaton free kick that was too hot for the keeper to hold to give the Cobras a commanding 5-0 lead.
In the first half Bailey Baade Mortimer made some excellent runs down the wing but in the second it was the Blair Dunn show. He calmly slotted away a couple of penalties to put Russell Vale 7-0 up and also scored the final goal of the game to make it 9-0. In between he set up numerous chances for others. Unusually we had three penalties in the game and one of which was taken by Baxter Bowler Prentice, he hit it well but sadly for him the ball flew the wrong side of the post.
After missing so many chances it looked as if Tommy Heaton could have played all night and not scored but good work from Riley Hanlon finally set him up for that elusive goal. When it hit the net he was rewarded with the biggest cheer of the evening, mostly from his teammates.
Games like this do not actually test the players and I’m sure it would have been a lot closer if Figtree had a full contingent but you can only play against the team they put out. Strange that one of the biggest clubs in the league didn’t think to draft a few lower league players for the night.
Another clean sheet for Russell Vale, mainly due to the dogged determination of Jack Donnelly at the back and his partner in crime Jarod Tuckwood. From a coaching perspective there are early signs that the U13A’s are starting to find their rhythm as a team.