Sunday 16 May
Albion Park 2 v 1 Russell Vale
Down to the bare minimum of 11 players due to injuries and holidays this was always going to be a tough game against a team that finished Runners Up last season in both the League and Grand Final. Albion Park had a few new players from the team that beat us in last season’s Minor Final and their approach to the game had also changed. There is nothing wrong with being physical because it is after all a contact sport but the referee let way to many tackles from behind go unpunished. Full credit to the Cobras they did not allow the other team to intimidate them and even took the lead after 15mins. Nathan Hennessy played a lovely ball inside the fullback for Chris Behan to cut in beat one player and slip it under the keeper. Several minutes later good work from Hayden Brown almost set up number two but Nathan Hennessy’s first time effort from 25M dipped just over the bar. Although Albion Park may have had most of the ball Russell Vale created the clearer chances with Matthew Nelson hittting a rasping shot that just missed the target and Hayden Brown almost connected at the far post with a Joel Dalmonte free kick. At HT Russell Vale were good value for their lead.
The second half begun the same way as the first with Albion Park making all the running but the Cobras held firm. Kurtis Trindall was having his best ever game in a green shirt and was like a rock in the centre of defence so it was very unfortunate that the equaliser was due to an infringement against him. As he calmly ushered the ball back to the keeper the referee decided in his infinite wisdom to give a free kick for obstruction, right on the edge of the box. Our nemesis No.9 stepped up and curled the ball into the bottom corner 1-1. A series of corners followed as Albion Park searched for the winner and a great double save from Gareth Garnon kept the Cobras in the game. Unfortunately with less than 10 mins to go a mix up on the left hand side of defence allowed their forward to steal in and make it 2-1. Russell Vale tried in vain to get back on level terms with Nathan Hennessy and Chris Behan both going close but the heat of the day plus there was to be no respite with substitutions took it’s toll and the game ended in a 2-1 defeat. Ironically the same score as the last time we played them and once again due to a referee’s intervention by giving a dubious free kick thus changing the course of the game (dejas vous).