Dunbar #O35A Make Final of State Cup with Nail biting 4-3 winner in Golden Goal extra Time
The Over 35 A’s went into this game having eventually found some form this season and starting to play the football that we knew we were capable of.
A few injuries disrupted Charlies plans and yet again Gaffers was away with his missus on his 9th weekend away of the season.
We also had the legend that is Danny fee getting injured on the eve of the big match, how you ask? Initially we were led to believe it was a coaching incident whilst training the Dunbar youngsters. We were later to find out it was an incident with “Feego” and two dogs….. make what you want of that…
Fair play to “Feego”, he did strap it up and shrugged it off as another injury to add to his ever lengthening Bryan Robson Injury List. A few over players were struggling, including Vahan and Charlie who had both been ill with man flu in the lead up to the match.
Kirrawee have been on a good run themselves and are in the mix in the Sutherland league title race so were always going to be tough opposition.
Early on in the game the oppo seemed to be paying us a lot of respect and sitting off of us and this allowed us to dominated the early exchanges.
About 10 minutes in we took the lead after good build up play around the box, led to Andy Heading finding himself 1-1 with the keeper to finish nicely to give us the lead.
A few minutes later a challenge on “Feego”, by the oppo left winger led to him being shown a straight red for a two footed challenge.
Down to 10 men the oppo seems to drop deeper and as yet had not tested us at all.
A second goal from Andy Heading put us 2 up. The ball was played in to his feet and with the defender tightly marking him, he swivelled and fired into the far corner..shades of Hal Robson_Kanu without the Cruyff.
20 mins in, 2 nil up, oppo down to 10 men, there could only be one winner right?
Shortly after Vahan played a ball through to Toni in midfield who played it on to Mike who charged directly towards the oppo defence, as the defender closed him down he played it to his right to Nath Wall, he finished accurately in the far corner to put us 3 nil up.
I don’t think anything could believe how easy they we remaking it for us and maybe that was our undoing.
A mix up in the box led to us giving them a corner which was cleared but then a delivery back in by the left winger feel to a player 30 yards out who hit a great strike into the far corner past a helpless Stu Ridge. We could have closed him down better but at that time I honestly don’t think any of us thought they had it in them.
A few minutes later we had a fair bit of fortune, as a poor pass out of defence whilst we were building an attack was given directly to the oppo midfielder who lofted a ball wide and he played a nice ball across the 6 yard box to the waiting forward who somehow managed to lift it over the bar.
No more major issues in the first half and we managed to go off at half time 3-1 but you could see that the oppo felt they had a chance.
A few changes were made as “Feego” was feeling the effects of his ankle injury and maybe this disrupted us a little bit but the second half is one that we need to learn from as a team as we were very poor. Constantly giving the ball back to the oppo who we relooking for free kicks and corners in the hope they could nick one back.
It was all Kirrawee in the 2nd half and with 20 gone, another poor ball from the back led to the oppo number 8 running through on Stu and finishing superb into Stu’s far corner. A great finish but once again due to us being sloppy with the ball.
The Oppo number 8 was buzzing at this point and causing us lots of problems and the net goal would be huge. Unfortunately that goal fell to Kirrawee. A unnecessary free kick wide on our right was given and whilst players were still complaining about where they should take it from their midlfielder lofted the ball through to the onrushing attacker to loft the ball over Stu. 3-3
At this stage there would be only one winner, but somehow we managed to hang on until full time.
Charlie changed things around a little bit for extra time and we started to get at them in the wide positions and were getting back to what we did so well in the first half. We seemed to be back on top but without being able to finish, Matt Parrelli had a shot cleared off the line, the oppo keeper made 2-3 great saves and we missed at least 2 1-1’s, including one that the ball is probably still travelling into orbit now.
We were starting to have a bit of luck, and a run down the wing from Malc from full back led to the Oppo danger man number 8, coming across him and elbowing him in the jaw. He took it like a man, whilst the Ref brandished the red card to the number 8 who did not take it so well and had a full on tantrum on the pitch. The oppo were now down to 9 men. Surely we could finish this off?!
The second half of extra time started and it was looking more and more likely that we would be going to penalties.
From the 2 full back spots cross after cross were being delivered but no one was getting on the end of them.
Eventually after good work down the right the ball was played to Charlie on the edge of the box, who rather than shooting switched the play to Norms who crossed far post for the onrushing Tony to head over the line. Golden Goal winner and the oppo were rightly gutted.
They had fought hard through, especially considering they had 2 men sent off during the game.
We cannot afford to play like we did in the semi in the final, otherwise we are guaranteed a defeat against a strong Granville Rage team.
Well done to all for a battling performance, if not out finest footballing performance!