East Gosford 2 vs BUFC F’s

It’s often said that football is a game of two halves, and that was amply demonstrated in F-grade this week against East Gosford 2.

Having not played for three weeks due to the combination of a bye and two rained-out games, Barnestoneworth Fs were not only a little rusty, but missing two wingers and several other players. The usual game plan of 4-3-3 was therefore changed to 4-4-2 and a few players had to play in positions new to them.

Despite this, Barnestoneworth came out strongly and avoided the usual curse of giving away a goal in the first ten minutes. Several corners and numerous raids on the East Gosford goal produced three goalie saves, a crossbar deflection, two into the side of the net and several more over the top, but no score. East Gosford gave as good as they got, and the ball went from end-to-end every few minutes.

Nil-all after an exhausting half, Barnestoneworth were confident that their usual fitness would give them the edge on the second half. This was where three weeks off started to tell. The frantic pace had a few players sucking in the big ones, and despite a superb crash tackle from Brendan McCarthy, a yellow-card-earning hit from behind from Dave Prakesh, and some similarly vigorous defence from Jason Bush, East Gosford sneaked in five minutes into the half, then again five minutes later.

By now, Barnestoneworth had been on the receiving end of three free kicks and no-one-can-recall-exactly-how-many penalties. The referee was playing it strictly by the book, and, by consistently getting to the ball second, Barnestoneworth copped 90% of the whistle. On the up-side, for the first time the team didn’t give away a single penalty for incorrect throw-ins.

Two points down, Barnestoneworth rallied and mounted a series of attacks on the East Gosford goal, but the defence was up to it, and East Gosford’s ability to move the ball quickly from one end to the other kept the Terrigal team under heavy pressure, producing a third goal. A last free kick put East Gosford ahead by 4 points, and finally the whistle blew on a game that had mercifully been shorted to 35-minute halves due to the light.

While shaking hands at the end, one of the East Gosford players was heard to say “I think you boys were robbed”. Suffice it to say the ref didn’t get a very hearty cheer, but all credit to East Gosford who simply outplayed Terrigal in the second half.

Final result: 4-0 to East Gosford 2.

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