BBFC v Northern Storm FC Sat 7th May @ Maclean 3.00 p.m. KO Team – Barton L, Barton T, Robson, Morhaus, Pierce N, Owen, Richter-Steers, Montgomery, Ruhl, Tsukamoto, Campbell. Subs Pierce J, Ozakman, Gray, Musgrave
A beautiful autumnal day saw us make the trip to Maclean for a 2nd round SOLO Cup game to play Coffs Harbour side Northern Storm. A poor surface looked like it may not suit our passing style & credit to Maclean FC for getting the games on. Byron welcomed back Aaron Richter-Steers to the middle of mid-field for his first start of the season with Sam Owens playing on the right of a 3 man mid-field, Monty playing down the left. We started well & in the 6th minute took the lead with a superb turn & finish from Jordy Campbell on the right hand side of the box, leaving the Storm GK no chance as it whistled into the top corner. We went further ahead in the 12th minute with a neat Tom Ruhl finish following a quick accurate passing move down the right. The back four of Pierce, Morhaus, Barton and Robson looked to be well in control and Storm appeared to offer little threat.
Ruhl went down with little contact & the theatrical touch applied probably swung the ref into saying no penalty, so Tom returned to his feet to be promptly hacked to the ground from behind. Again, the decision was no & play moved to the other end where a Storm forward pulled Nolan to the ground, ran on & scored. Foul ? Probably, but I would say that wouldn’t I.
Standing up was actually a problem on parts of the pitch & it’s to the boys’ credit that they tried to keep playing football. Aaron nipped in to score from a Tom Ruhl throw in and restore a 2 goal cushion and we went in at the break 3-1 up, a fair reflection on the play.
The 2nd half was quite frankly dreadful, with little flowing play, continuous breaks in play, niggling fouls, minor scuffles & constant blow ups from the ref (justified on the whole) meaning very little entertaining or exciting football was played in a dour display.
Byron being Byron, we did our usual trick of missing plenty of chances with poor finishing on show from, Jordy, Tommy, Corey & others leading to the last 15 mins or so being far more traumatic than they needed to be. 5 really good chances went begging to make it really safe & for the score to reflect the patterns of the game. Still we never looked to be in trouble despite the inevitable pressure from Storm & great performances from the back four & a composed & competent Layton in goal meant the game was wrapped up quite comfortably for a fine 3-1 win.
Man of Match was Sam “Kobe” Robson with special mention to Aaron & Bruce for solid & inspirational displays. Jordy led the line well before tiring & the effervescent Tommy got through a lot of work on a very heavy pitch. Combinations between the front 3 appeared to be starting to come together & Sam O was his usual dependable & reliable presence. Well done to all the lads, a good win & with the next round expected to be at home on the 4th June I’m hopeful of further progress in the State Cup.