Twelve minutes in and Matt Ganley plucked the ball from behind him and with an overhead pass, put Kai Woodhams through on goal. He steered wide and shot under pressure, bet their keeper, but pushed the ball just wide of the opposite upright. Five minutes later they forced Mitchell Verry to spill the ball and knock it into our goal, but it was ruled foul play by the lineswoman who deemed Mitchell Verry had the ball illegally knocked away from him.
In the 20th minute Andrew Fontein was adjudged to have fouled one of their players inside the penalty area, but it looked like simulation from the sideline! The opposition converted the penalty to lead 1-0. Great tackling and jockeying by William Auton stopped their dangerous #17 attacker from getting into a shooting position several times over the next few minutes.
We came close to scoring in the 27th minute when a lovely inviting freekick by Jack Auton floated just past Jackson Astley’s lunging head, as he leapt up unmarked right in front of goal. After several more frustrated raids by both teams, it looked likely that no more goals would be scored, the weather making football difficult for all. Then in the 40th minute, Kai Woodhams skinned his marker with great footwork and ran the ball into the right edge of their penalty area. He crossed the ball low to Jack Rathbone and for a moment it looked like a great chance, until good cover defence pressed Jack Rathbone to hit it wide.
One minute later Andrew Fontein ran the ball into the box and set himself to shoot. He did not strike it cleanly but it hit a defender's flailing hand; penalty awarded! Felix Komolong stepped up and banged it in high and straight under the crossbar! 1-1 and we had our first goal of the season.
Into the second half, both teams were spoken to by the referee for various ill-disciplines. The conditions had become worse if anything and free-kicks were awarded both ways with increasing frequency. In the 13th minute we failed to clear the ball from our penalty area and paid the price when another penalty was awarded to Macleans. They converted and it was 2-1.
The next 20 minutes was fairly even with the ball exchanged around the middle of the park and no real chances to either team. Frustrations were building and this resulted in the referee showing the yellow card several times, mostly for talking back. The tension was broken in the 37th minute when Macleans earned another dubious free-kick just inside our half. It floated nicely and met with an excellent header. It curled over Mitchell Verry’s reaching hand and just under our crossbar. The final score 3-1 to Macleans. Our Player of the Match was William Auton.