Barnstoneworth C vs Umina Report

Buoyed by our titanic winning performance midweek, The Legends returned in triumph to Terry Oval looking for their first win all season on that blessed turf. Our opponents were Umina, against whom we had previously had a draw that should have been a win, and a loss that should have been a draw. A pre-match inspection confirmed that as usual about 20% of the pitch was unplayable due to marshland, potholes and strips of butcher’s grass etc.

Pre match essentialsExtensive medical preparations were taking place on the sidelines, with pills to banish hangovers, deaden pain and quiet the voices, creams to soothe painful muscles and a large amount of tape to keep joints from falling apart; the cold realities of over 35s football. Game on then.

For the first fifteen minutes, Umina only had 10 men, but I’m not sure anybody noticed and they certainly didn’t let it show. We had a couple of early chances and had most of the possession but struggled to really threaten their goal. A robust battle developed in midfield between Beni and his opposite number, our man using his formidable charisma and social skills to forge a friendship that lasted the entire match, and drew the attention of the referee on more than one occasion. Having said that, the ref tended to take a back seat presumably to ‘let the game flow’, which in this context mainly meant ignoring handballs and the more spirited tackles. Incredibly though, and despite a long and sorry track record in this area this season, there were no foul throws. Go us. Towards the end of the half we had to defend a couple of times, with Jase bravely putting his body on the line / in the way and ending up in a heap on the floor more than once, and some fine clearance work from our very own radio celebrity Nigel at right back, but we kept them out and went in to halftime at 0-0.

Despite the lack of score there was a mood of optimism in the half time talk. I think we sensed that the day could be ours… and by Crikey it proved to be so! We came out swinging in the second half and nearly took the lead early on when Leigh was through one on one with the keeper but unfortunately just pushed his shot wide. We kept up the pressure however, and went deservedly in front about halfway through the second half, when fine midfield work put Tim in a goalscoring position which he used to full effect. Rapturous cheers all round! Happily the momentum stayed with us, and with ten to go Tim’s ball in from the right corner found Beni on the edge of the box who this time managed to dodge the sniper’s bullets to stay on his feet and hammer it home for a 2-0 lead. Umina had some late pressure but couldn’t produce anything from a protracted goalmouth scramble apart from a collision with Scott that left him looking like he’d been stabbed in the head, and seconds later the final whistle went. Huge cheers, pitch invasion, articles in the local paper etc. That’s unbeaten in three, seven points from nine, and nine goals in the last three games. An all-round solid team performance was reflected in the wide spread of post-match points, with Della and Scott tied for Man of the Match. Our statues are being chiselled as we speak.

Final Score: Barnstoneworth 2 – 0 Umina


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