Draw feels like 2 points dropped for 1sts

Glebe Gorillas vs Abbotsford Wolves

The Gorillas went in to Saturday’s game looking to rack up their first points of the season after two disappointing losses in which effort wasn’t lacking, just composure and consistency.

The game started at a frantic pace with little composure being shown from either side. Like weeks before the effort certainly wasn’t lacking with Chris Tredwell, Luke Cunial and George Veneris notably putting in stellar work. New goalkeeper Will was showing early signs of ability and regularly took command of his area with some strong catches.

The Glebe defence was showing no signs of being broken with all of the back four looking organised and coping comfortably with their respective opposition. Up front James Cunial and Paul Dolan were making many good runs, but the Gorillas were at times guilty of being too direct, trying to play difficult passes through on goal rather than work the ball around Abbotsford.

Midway through the first half Glebe began making more inroads down the left flank with Ryu Maeda coming into the game more. Some decent saves from the Abbotsford Wolves goalie kept the Gorillas at bay but with around 30 minutes gone, Glebe broke the deadlock as an expertly taken corner by Maeda found Gavin McColl at the back post he powered an unstoppable header past both the goalkeeper and the player on the post.

An artist's impression of McColl's towering header

An artist’s impression of McColl’s towering header

Despite the goal, Glebe’s frantic play showed little signs of settling down, and were it not for fantastic work by Will in goals and superb tracking back from Luke Cunial, the Gorillas would have found the score level. Abbotsford broke past the Glebe defence and Will dived bravely at the feet to push the player wider, but the Wolves player still got the shot away that was a certain goal were it not for Luke popping up at the last second to stop the ball dead on the line and clear to safety.

Glebe went in at half time buoyed by a fantastic effort that deservedly saw them lead 1-0 at the break. The advice being offered at half-time was a bit more variety in attack and more efficient use of the ball.

The majority of Glebe’s 2nd half chances came as a result of James Cunial using his pace to break clear, but the few clear cut chances that came the Gorillas way were not taken as the game became more and more frantic. A great advantage came Glebe’s way after around an hour into the match as an Abbotsford player received his marching orders – receiving a 2nd yellow for foul language to the referee.

Despite the numerical advantage, Glebe’s play became unsettled with possession being surrendered far too easily. Abbotsford were on top despite having 10 men and saw a chance to equalize when Luke Cunial was unfairly judged to have brought down the Abbotsford forward. Will wasn’t to be beaten though and saved superbly, diving low to his right to push the ball wide of the post to keep the Gorillas 1-0 up.

Reminiscent of Will's penalty save

Reminiscent of Will’s penalty save

The respite was short-lived however, when Glebe needlessly lost the ball from their own throw in – Abbotsford quickly played the ball over the top, and McColl could only get enough on his header to direct the ball in the path of the Wolves striker who rounded the goalkeeper to level the scores.

In the dying minutes McColl received a 2nd yellow from the card-happy referee and Glebe had to see out the final few minutes with 10 men.

Overall there were plenty of positives to take from the match – the effort again was outstanding, Will looks to be a fantastic addition to the team, George Veneris continued to shine and Luke Cunial put in a superb shift at right-back.

Once again though it was clear that the 1st teams inability to retain possession has cost them points. The cold facts are that with a man advantage, Glebe should have endeavoured to keep the ball and tire the opposition out. Once we manage to keep the ball more efficiently, the 3 points will no doubt be forthcoming as the effort and performance are clear to see.