vs. Allambie FC @ Wyatt Oval 1-1 Draw
I’m not usually one for clichés, but the old saying ‘a game of two halves’ sits at the forefront of my mind after Saturdays 1-1 draw with top of the table Manly Allambie. BTH knew that Allambie, who at this stage of last season were mid-table in the Premier Division, were going to a tough, well organized outfit. What Allambie didn’t expect was BTH to be as good as they were, most notably in the first half. Right from the kick off BTH looked hungry and could have taken the lead within 20 seconds, Marty’s superb ball found the run of George Harle, his heavy touch rolled across the box and fell to Hayden Waters who’s shot was blocked from close range. What followed over the next 20 minutes could only be described as a barrage of pressure. Waters beat the offside trap and went 1 on 1 with the keeper who made a smart save to tip his effort around the post, Harle had another shot parried, Gillies and Jack brown had headers that flew just wide, too many chances to list all. It really was a great first half performance and it was Harle who broke the deadlock with a trade mark freekick after being brought down on the edge of the area (top left) Half Time 1-0, all smiles minus the fact we hadn’t put 5 or 6 away against an average looking side. And then the second half… Pretty poor all round, wasn’t so much BTH took the foot of the pedal, more just stopped playing football. To their credit Allambie, who are specialist in these sorts of games started to get in amongst us and kept the ball much better, they equalized on 70 minutes when a very dubious free kick was given on the edge of the box. ‘James Rodríguez’ stepped up and rather scuffed an effort down the throat of keeper John Massey who could only parry the ball out in front of him, the ball then deflected off into the path of an attacker who poked home. The game then became more interesting when some handbags on the halfway line resulted in Marty and their main player being sent off. BTH did start to come back into the game in the last 15 mins, Jason Lal had a glorious chance to equalise but fired over from close range, Joe Rushton thought he had won it late on (and should of, poor decision) when he rolled his market and finished superbly, only to be foiled by the linesman’s flag. Overall, a superb first half with lots of positives to be taken, but lessons to be learnt in closing out a game. Massive game next week against title favourites Curl Curl.