Match Day NineThe Spring League really began to heat up in the penultimate date of fixtures. A couple of catch-up matches were scheduled for Monday night, where Johnny pushed Fabrizio all the way in their First Division clash. He eventually went down 1-0, but not before giving Fabrizio a huge scare with a shot on target in the final 30 seconds. He then backed up against clubmate, Steve, this time keeping things even tighter, with a 0-0 result.
Tuesday evening saw the Falcons’ players heading to Parramatta for a full program of games across the 3 pitches. In the Third Division, Costa kicked off with a flurry, putting 3 past Jordan. Jordan backed up against Paul and, with 10 seconds left on the clock in the first half, sent a perfect chip shot into the top left corner to take the lead. In the second half, Paul pushed for the equaliser and carved out a number of half chances, only for his final set up flick to consistently miss, denying him the chance to shoot in anger and pull level. Jordan excitedly picked up his first win of the league. In the final of his triple-header, Jordan then had a narrow loss to Hermann, who was playing with considerable determination. In the final fixture, Hermann then ground out a very tight victory against Costa, finishing 1-0 to make it two from two for the German.
The Second Division is where things are incredibly tight. So much so that every fixture on the night ended in a draw, with Harley, Steve Diasinos and Dave all failing to make a claim of supremacy over any of the others. Harley and Dave opened with a 1-1 battle, followed by Harley and Steve in a goalless stalemate. The final game of the division then saw Dave and Steve play their second draw of the league, this time an entertaining 2-2, with Dave putting Steve under the pump for much of the game but succumbing to Steve’s few counter-attacks. After his flying start on Match Day Eight, Steve had a chance to secure the Second Division title, but his two draws, while leaving him in a strong position, leaves the door open for Mat Barrie to sneak past if he can have a good week next week. Either way, the division is constantly on a knife’s edge, with every fixture showing the potential to go either way.
In the First Division, Eliot had drawn Adrian in the opening game. After Eliot had given Adrian a Subbuteo lesson in the quarter-finals of the recent Australian Open, Adrian was happy to limit Eliot to only 4 or 5 shots over the 30 minutes. Even more to his liking was that Eliot was leaving some holes in his defence, which Adrian was able to occasionally pressure and force the odd save from Eliot. After a goalless opening half, Adrian then sent shockwaves through the division, opening the scoring against one of the title favourites. Eliot doubled his efforts in response and, with a few minutes left, finally breached Adrian’s goal with a deft close in chip, having struck the woodwork with his earlier shots. The score finished 1-1. Steve Dettre and Fabrizio then took to the pitch. An otherwise tight game was punctuated with a steady flow of Fabrizio taking advantage of his chances to finish with a 3-0 victory. The old foes, Eliot and Steve, then faced each other. Stung by his earlier draw, Eliot played with renewed determination and was up 3-0 midway through the second half, in spite of the two players sharing the possession in general play. Steve did strike back, though, with the goal of the evening on the run, but that was as far as the scoring went. Fabrizio then played clubmate, Adrian, in the final game. A tight first half saw Adrian have the first shot, his chip going over the crossbar. Fabrizio’s calmness in front of goals, however, saw him take the lead by half time, which he followed up with 2 more in the second half.
All three divisions are still open for the taking as we head to the final week of fixtures, where a return to the Extreme pitches of Chatswood will, no doubt, please the local Northern Falcons players.