In the final regular match of the season, the Camden Haven Redbacks Over 35’s side took on Port United, looking to consolidate their position on the ladder, and gain some momentum towards the all important finals.
With no sign of regular keeper Scott Ramsay following his stella performance with the Club’s First Grade side just days earlier (perhaps his payment will need to be increased to two beverages after a game now rather than one given his now high level of demand), it was Matt Whatson who was donning the yellow keepers jersey.
But with a full side on the field, and even one of the Redbacks, being Ryan Barker, donning a green jersey to help the opposition form a full squad, the game was set to be a brilliant showcase of football and sportsmanship.
Just minutes into the game, the Redbacks took control with their first goal of the match to Steve Maxwell. But as quickly as they came, they seemed to go again, when moments later, a poor clearance from the Redbacks keeper (who it turns out was harbouring a heavily injured leg that perhaps should have been taken into consideration a little bit more before some solid back- passes were put his way), found a United player unmarked in the middle of the box, and an equaliser was scored.
Ever so calm under pressure though, it was Redbacks Royalty Paul “Kicker” Eames, who stepped up, weaving his magic through the opposition for a beautifully placed shot past the keeper, to give the Redbacks the lead once again.
From here, a number of Redbacks were unlucky not to score (and perhaps some did score, with notes from the game only showing 5 goals, when in fact 7 were scored – yes, the team needs a new scorekeeper).
Brian Barry made some great runs and was unlucky not to be rewarded more for his efforts. Eames was also unlucky not to score a second and third time in the first half after some good pressure from the United Keeper saw a shot go wide, and another bullet hit the post. A free kick to the Redbacks just outside the box saw three players enthusiastically lining up to take the shot, with Josh Tomasone, Peter Ridland and Eames all taking the lead position, much to the confusion of the spectators (and we assume the defence as well), but it was Ridland who ultimately took the shot, with that ball also going just wide. Alas when the goals had seemed to have dried up though, it was Boyd Goodear who stepped up to the plate. A great ball found Goodear in front of an open goal, having just defeated the keeper, but with a bit of a stumble, it looked like all was lost, but with the grace of a, well, we’re not sure what we can compare to, Goodear recovered to still somehow (and we’ll go as far as to say almost magically), score a goal, in what was undoubtedly the most celebrated goal of the season from the sidelines (what was it that you said – “Family – gotta love them”).
With the scores sitting at around 3-2 at half-time, with United having managed a second goal after once again some defensive errors, the Redbacks took to the field in the second half with a much more controlled and settled game.
Defender Jose Ustariz and Eames paired up early on for a great ball for Maxwell, who was ruled to be offside (only by a few metres). A sliding attempt at goals from Tomasone was unlucky not to find the net in what would have been a goal to remember. A great run from Ustariz saw him beat the last line of defence for what the crowd was sure was destined to be the amazing goal they had waited all season to see, only to be knocked off the ball in the final desperate attempt at defence by the opposition.
The Redbacks continued to pressure the United defence, with many of the attempts being somewhat ‘ambitious’. But the enthusiasm and optimism of one’s capabilities eventually paid dividends for the side, with a further four goals being scored in the second half, and none conceded, giving the Redbacks a final 7-2 victory.
The win wraps up the regular season for the Over 35’s, with the boys now playing in an Elimination Final this Wednesday at 7:50pm at the illustrious Findlay Park against Port Saints Rams. A win will see them continue on, whilst a loss will see their season, hopes and dreams dashed. Best of luck boys!