Match Report #O35A vs Pagewood
Having finished top of the table,of course we were due home pitch advantage against our Pagewood rivals. ESFA as normal did not disappoint, they moved the game from Reg Bartley due to the City to Surf and conveniently found us another ground …Pagewood’s beautiful Rowland Park at 9am no less.
Before the match Pagewood were fairly vocal and seemed up for the contest having beaten us a few weeks previously when we were coming down from losing in the State Cup final.
The Dunbar lads seemed focused on this one and with a few players due to be away next week, we could not really afford to have to play another game to get to the grand final.
Before the game Charlie gave his standard rousing positive team talk, he had obviously learnt to improve his language since training in midweek when he had 15 of us freezing to death in the middle of Alexander Park as he kindly used us as dummies for his UEFA Coaching badges. After 15 takes and bleeping out all his swearing from the video that I am pretty sure he did not even turn on to start with we went through some tactics for the game. Thankfully the actual game tactics work a lot better than in training.
We started brightly and were causing Pagewood problems through the middle and out wide. Gaffers and Andy Heading were holding the ball up well up top, which is a massive achievement against Pagewood who are not the nicest of lads when it comes to going through the back of you.
After a few early half chances which the Pagewood keeper dealt with well, our first real chance of note came about from Vahan playing a long ball towards Andy Heading, as all of us shouted at him to take a touch before crossing, he looped a cross first time back into the box for Feego to head towards goal. The keeper made a great save but it went back out towards Jim who powered a second header back towards the corner, he was just turning to celebrate when the Pagewood keeper pulled off a Gordon Banksesque wonder save which flew back out to Gaffers who managed to put it over the bar. A let off for Pagewood, but two great saves from their keeper.
It was all Dunbar and Pagewood were not even getting into our half of the field, the odd time anything crossed the line it was mopped up by the back three of Vahan, Stubbsy and Norms.
Dunbar did have one moment of indecision of our own making when the ball was played back to Stu Ridge who possibly hesitated a millisecond too long as he went to make a clearance and the Pagewood Striker nipped in to nick it across the face of goal, only for the other forward to be just too far away from the ball to take a chance.
Dunbar had a wobbly few minutes after that as the missed opportunity galvanized Pagewood and they dumped a few more long balls towards us.
5-1 (h-t 1-1) Stubbs
Scorers: Stubbs, Charlie, Fee, MattParrelli, Malc