Heartache at Liverpool
We arrived with the bare bones of a squad, only 18 players making the journey out west. This obviously meant there was to be a fair amount of doubling up against top of the league opposition. The reserves took to the field first, lining up with Cory in goal, both Conor’s, Guy and Steve along the back line, Chris T and Dave in the middle supported by Jason and Spiro out wide and Matt joining James up front. The game was a blur of goals with the eventual end score being a very unfair reflection of Glebes performance. For much of the game we matched them, Matt finally making his return from injury to get his first of the season and put in a strong 90 minutes, James helping his way to the top of the scoring leader board with one and Ryu coming off the bench for the injured Spiro to score two, one from open play and the other from a free kick towards the end of the game. Unfortunately they had two very handy midfield players that Glebe never really got hold of in the middle of the park which became Glebes undoing in the second half. Bob joined the field shortly after the start as Dave struggled with some breathing issues and Graeme and Scott completed the substitutions in the second half for Chris and James who would be backing up for the first grade. For much of the game the two teams were fairly evenly matched which spoke volumes of the hard work put in by all of the Gorillas. Unfortunately, a few errors in the back line and the central midfielders allowing their opposite numbers to dictate the game too much led to the eventual 8-4 loss. A disappointing result but admirable performance would sum up the game. They probably deserved it over the full 90 minutes but as mentioned earlier, the scoreline did flatter their dominance. To get four fine goals was encouraging to see after a season to date were they have been seemingly hard to come by.
There was no time to analyse the first game in detail before the three fresh legs, Gavin, Chris E and Lyle warmed up and the rest caught their breath and rehydrated. Conor D donned the gloves and settled in behind Lyle, Gavin, Guy and Scott. Back in midfield was Chris T, Bob and Graeme flanked by Ryu and Chris E and James once again led the line. Whilst there were a few familiar faces in the Liverpool side as well, the majority were fresh but that wasn’t to dampen the determination of the first grade to maintain the recent change in form and show Liverpool that we weren’t going to roll over and hand them the result.
Glebe came out of the blocks like a pack of greyhounds, surprisingly full of energy and giving the Liverpool players no time to get comfortable on the ball. Some good early combinations also led to a number of chances which time and time again caught the lazy Liverpool back line off guard. It was therefore not against the run of play when the Gorillas deservedly went ahead after a well taken goal from now top scorer James. Glebe continued their dominance of the game through the rest of the half, creating fewer chances but staying very well organised and disciplined and keeping Liverpool’s opportunities to shots from distance, non of which came close to troubling Conor.
Tiredness wasn’t even on the minds of the players as they went into half time all confident of a result and keen to get back on the field to finish them off. As they returned to the field the referee even commended the Glebe players on their first half performance noting his surprise that we were so low in the table based on that performance – not for much longer we replied !!!! The second half carried on where it had left off, with a passionate performance from all involved seemingly unaware of how many minutes of football they had already amassed that day. Conor M replaced Guy for the last half hr but soon had to be replaced himself by Jason with 10 minutes to go when he rolled his ankle. The culmination of this passion and dominance was to make the final 10 minutes of the game even harder to stomach for the Gorillas. What was to be the most unjust end to a football match in Australian history began when a back pass to the keeper bobbled at the worst possible moment to roll past the goalie and into the net. The obvious disappointment didn’t seem to effect the spirit of Glebe, still convinced the game was theirs and that pushing forward for the last 5 minutes of the game would result in a winning goal and just result. With a few minutes left on the clock Glebe had a free kick just inside the oppositions half. Chris T stood over the ball as the rest of the team pushed up into the oppositions box with the resulting cross finding Gavin at the back post. He almost put the ball past the Liverpool keeper on the first attempt and a few others tried their luck as well as the ball bounced around the 6 yard box only to finally be frantically cleared long to their centre forward. A quick break outnumbered the Glebe players left at the back and Liverpool surged forward into Glebe half. As they approached the Glebe penalty area they played the ball across the box to their striker who was Soooooo offside it couldn’t have been more obvious, only for him to tuck the ball away from 1 yard. As the Glebe back line casually glanced over to the linesman expecting a risen flag they were outraged to discover it was not and the referee was signalling to the centre circle for a restart. A crushing blow with no time left to rectify, never in Glebe history has there been a more undeserved result.
A champion performance from the boys and one that showed everyone in attendance that they are a real force in this league even when they are missing numerous players. It proves the depth available and the newly found belief in the team this year. Remember lads, despite the poor start to the season and this unjust result, if we finish 4th we can then play all these teams again in the playoffs for the division title at Wentworth Stadium. We have proved in the last few weeks that this is definitely a realistic goal and we can rectify this injustice in the finals – now to focus on a cup run starting this forthcoming weekend against Balmain. Well done boys – the league are starting to take notice of us.