Champion of Champions Over 35’s QF Match Report
North Sydney Utd 1 – 2 Dunbar Rovers (AET – Golden Goal)
Dunbar O35’s next step to legendary status was a quarter final match up against the much-fancied Seniors – North Sydney United Football Club on a damp rainy Sunday at Charles Bean.
Charlie named a backline of Jimmy, Mal, Greg, Popey and Gordo who were hoping for a third successive clean sheet but were undone within 2 mins as a set piece flick allowed their speedy forward to get a touch past Jimmy to put North Sydney one up.
Scoring early is not always a good thing and it gave Dunbar the initiative to come out and deliver possible the best 40mins of the season (based on this reporters 10 games he has played this season).
The midfielder triumvirate of Paul Stuart, Stubbsy and Nathan bossed the game, never losing a tackle, linking up the play between forwards, wide-men and defence and running tirelessly.
This allowed the Lara’s and Feego to press hard on the Nth Sydney defence and cutting them open relentlessly. Chance after chance came to various players with the stronger, more skilled Lara brother Ade turning and curling just over, Popey having a header cleared off the line, Stubbsy having a point-blank shot tipped over and Feego and Greg pushing shots just wide. The whole team was on fire with relentless pass and move and rarely letting North Sydney get past the half way line. Ty, Gordo, Feego and Malcom constantly finding space down the flanks and Nathan being more of menace than he is down the pub.
The constant pressure finally told and Dunbar’s equaliser came from a dubious free kick decision. A flick from Stubbsy and our best centre back Greg Dennis showed our forwards how to score a poacher’s goal, literally stealing the ball from the keeper’s hands with his head. Game on!
North Sydney shored up their leaky defence and the 2nd half became more of an arm wrestle with Dunbar continuing with passing football whilst North Sydney played the longball game hoping to open up the game and cause mistakes.
More chances came and went with Ade have a good shot saved by the keeper and numerous crosses going begging. Mick Dixons attacking training session obviously did wonders.
Charlie shuffled his pack bringing on Matty, Satos and Christophe hoping to finally find a way past the North Sydney keeper. The substitutions almost paid off with Matty Pickover tippy-toeing his way through 3 players only to see his final toe poke saved by the keeper who was having a great game.
Dunbar’s gegenpressing slowed and North Sydney’s long ball bombardment allowed their speedy forward a few chances but the ever-dependable defence and best keeper in the comp had the chances covered.
90mins up and golden goal extra time! Jimmy was not happy with the golden goal rule but saying that, when is jimmy ever happy.
Dunbar’s dominance continued into the extra time period with Matty toeing an open goal over the bar. Just as the clock was ticking down to a potential nerve-racking shoot-out, Nathan popped up to skew his “second chance” into the top-corner allowing the tired team to celebrate a fully deserved victory after a dominant display.
Onto the semi-final against Riverstone and a shot at immortality.
Special note to the boys who didn’t get a run, V and Mo but supported throughout.