It’s sometimes said that consistency is one of the hardest things to achieve. This certainly seemed to be the case with Barnstoneworth this week when we met for a re-match with a team we beat 7-1 earlier in the season. Missing some key players and having only one reserve didn’t help the situation, but let’s not make excuses, it was a pretty dismal performance.
Gosford came out hard on attack in rainy conditions and within the first five minutes Barnstoneworth successfully defended a series of corners, with Simon fending off left and right in goals, only to let in an unlikely ball that bounced off a Gosford player’s thigh from a throw-in. Luke came off injured shortly after, leaving Barnstoneworth with one reserve.
As the rain got heavier, the tempo of the game picked up, with both sides challenging the goal line without success. In the centres, Dave and Ramin had some good touches, while up the front Brett was relishing the freedom. He and Tom launched several attacks at the goal, but the defence was swarming and they couldn’t convert the pressure into points.
Towards half-time, Barnstoneworth was awarded the first of a long line of penalties and free-kicks from a referee who appeared to wield his whistle for the slightest infraction. Tommy nailed it and the scores were even going into half-time.
Barnstoneworth were quietly confident that they could run away with it in the second half, but it was not to be. The team’s structure completely disintegrated, leaving Gosford players unmarked and cutting through seemingly at will. Jason “coming on a for five-minute cameo” Bush, did some solid clearing kicks as always, but the gaps kept appearing.
In the slippery conditions, Simon was busy diving left and right to stop skidding balls, and in one case charging out nearly to halfway to challenge, prompting cries of “Get back in your box!” from the sideline. Meanwhile Adam was everywhere, plugging gaps, calling players into position and trying to stave off despair at what he was witnessing.
In the centres, no-one was quite sure what position they were playing, and at one point a single Gosford player managed to footwork his way through no fewer than three of our defenders who were all bunched around him, at least one of whom should probably have been marking the bloke he passed to, who managed to sneak through and dribble a ball into the goal just beyond Simon’s reach.
With five minutes to go, Will finally achieved his ambition of getting a yellow card, but not for knocking someone over. When his throw-in was deemed to be ‘without purpose’ he asked the ref for an explanation of this mysterious penalty, and was awarded the card for something like insolence, defiance, scurrilousness, disrespect or impertinence, actually “Dissent”. He then twisted his ankle in a tackle and limped off to watch the reminder of the debacle from the esky.
Adam summed up the game at the end with “That was bloody awful, we should have won that” and delivered a well-deserved a spray at our poor effort, which was reminiscent of the Umina game.
With their footing on the ladder slipping, Barnstoneworth will need to lift their game in the coming weeks.
Final result: Gosford 2 – 1 Barnstoneworth.