Finals series ‪#‎AA4‬ vs Easts FC 6-1

It’s been so ruddy long since I’ve written one of these!

So it’s finals time. A quick review of last week for you all (as I know you care). If you remember correctly, we needed to win our remaining three games to win the league. In the first of those three games we found ourselves 3-1 down after 50 minutes against Easts and the title had gone and with it, maybe second place also. BUT no, we came back, it was 3 all, we then had a goal disallowed, we missed a number of one on ones and alas the dream really was over. A draw rendered the rest of the league campaign redundant. A draw the next day against the newly crowned minor premiers did nothing but hurt our pride and remind us what could have been. The rain then came and our opponents from Maccabi weren’t interested in playing the remaining game, second place it was. This was an improvement on last season where the scrapped into the finals with a game to spare, the reality was however that we were in the finals from the end of the first game and we had maybe lost a great opportunity to collect some silverware.

No bother, this is finals time, a glorious time in the Australian sporting calendar when the mediocre get a second chance and the top boys have to avoid a banana skin. Easts were our opponents in the qualifying final. Three games against Easts already this season and things couldn’t be tighter, 2 draws and a victory to Easts via a late goal was the only way these two teams could be separated so you could be forgiven for expecting a tight affair and extra time. The rain the previous week had led to the closure of The Reg (in fairness that ground get closed quicker than Adam Peaty in the 100m breaststroke) which meant that the teams were treated to holy grail of Moore Park Synthetic.

This week not only a referee but a linesman (one is a start so I am not complaining) and his whistle singled the start of the encounter. Dunbar started the brighter, their passing play being perfectly suited to the bobble less ground and the change in formation ensuring that the early play belonged to the Rovers. The best chance of the opening 15 minutes however fell to Easts who struck the crossbar from 19 yards, the ball bouncing away to safety. Lessons not learnt, Easts attacked on the break and somehow squeezed a shot away from inside the box to make it one nil. Game on.

Rather than panic, Dunbar’s response was rapid and brutal. For the third time this season against Easts, Del Boy Lynes had a goal disallowed for offside and this time rightly so as he followed up a shot from Chickens Watson. Not to worry though as moments later Lennart van Zeelst latched on to a through ball, one on one with the keeper he steadied himself and finished with aplomb to level the scores. One soon became two as Goldmember van Zeelst scored again before Stephen Murphy displayed all the class of someone not from the Wirral to beat two players and place a chip into the top corner from 20 yards out.

Half time and 3-1 Dunbar.

Rather than relax, the call was to improve and remember that last we came back from a similar margin. We needed to pass the ball quicker and get the next goal that would break the spirit of the team from Queens Park. 30 seconds into the second half, that goal came. A wonderful flowing move saw Dunbar get the fourth as Del Boy scored a simply ridiculous goal. With his back to goal he flicked the ball over the defender, span round, took a steadying touch and finished emphatically to press home the advantage. Jason “The reason girls come to watch” Button then continued his recent fine form scoring his 3rd in 3 games (no mention here of his missed sitter). Five one and Goldmember completed his hat trick to put the exclamation mark on what had been a breathtaking performance.

There was also time for Shane Buttman to pull out a double nutmeg but ultimately he out-tricked himself whilst the referee had the last laugh as he blew for full time with Ashley “the right midfielder” Rayner (there are a number of people who know what is wrong with that statement) away and in the clear with nothing but a keeper to beat. The wait for his first Dunbar goal in 5 years goes on!!
The reward for Dunbar is a tie against Coogee in the preliminary final with the winner advancing to the grand final in September. Well played to everyone involved including the six reserves who all played their part in a true team performance.

For anyone who wants to lend some support, we play next Sunday at 9.30AM at Heffron Park.

A massive thanks to those who got out of bed to come and watch but two shouts out to some great individuals. Number 1, the lad playing basketball who tried to return our ball by throwing it one handed from about 30 feet away up and over fence – needless to say his limp wristed and simply pathetic effort brought smiles onto the pitch if not the ball and secondly to the guy with his dog who happily sprinted after the ball every time it got booted parkside, whoever you are, wherever you are……..we thank you!