Mens 3rds: 10-1
The case has been made over the past few weeks for a 3rds Team bus to ferry our players to some of our far flung games, and Sunday was no exception (had we still been playing against Bunyip we certainly would be angling for a team jet).
After the hour long caravan trip made it to Mt Lilydale, we were set to go after 0-0-4 bottom dwellers Mt. Lilydale Old Collegians. The game got off to a slow start with Marco Taglioretti and recently healed Mike O'Brien having lots of runs and strikes but for all our effort, we could not find the target. Lilydale could not seem to retain much possession and it was not long before a lost the ball in the middle of the pitch found Luke Pett who knocked it through to Rodney Wilson. Wilson lobbed a ball over the defence for Lee Hayward, who was enjoying a casual run out with the 3rds after playing sparingly the day before. The ball went way too far and pretty much landed in the keeper’s area, but for whatever reason he never came off his line and Hayward ran up and slotted it past him, in what would prove to be the theme of the match.
The second goal started pretty similar. Lilydale was punished again as they made a few mistakes in the middle, and once again Wilson picked up the ball, got some space, heard Hayward call for a through ball and slotted it right into the box. It may have been the towering figure and force of Hayward that made him nervous, but once again the Lilydale keeper didn’t move and the score was 2-0. For about the next 20 minutes we created chance after chance, O'Brien and Taglioretti both having loads of opportunities but blasting most of them high and wide. Wilson and Pett controlled the ball out of the midfield with ease, Pett dispensing nutmegs like candy.
Lilydale would pull one back via a high ball down the right wing in what was the first time our defence was put under any real pressure. They crossed ball in and a young kid rose up heading the ball off the post. We were fortunate that the post turned it back into play but unfortunate to see it hit Rich Garnet on the ankle and roll back into the net.
We kept pushing and Hayward completed his hat trick before half time, beating the defence again finding himself in yet another one on one with the keeper.
The second half saw Lilydale rejuvenated and they started brightly in midfield. They brought on their player coach who was pretty keen to be a bit rough in his challenges and wanted to mix things up again. His energy was all for nothing as CCFC got going again with Jesse Cartright making some brilliant runs down the left hand side. Hayward again got a ball dropped to him in the box and with some quick foot work he turned and knocked it in off the post, making it 4-1.
From there CCFC went on repeat. On each counter attach we were able to find Hayward who Lilydale was content to leave isolated with a single defender who he continued to work over, get himself in a duel with the keeper who was not up to the challenge. With their keeper still refusing to come out of his line it progressed 5-1, 6-1, 7-1, 8-1, and 9-1. The goals became a blur as Hayward went into a scoring drive.
Not wanting to let Hayward star in a one man show for the day, Paul Mitchinson was placed up front at the end and like Lee had so many times before, found himself one on one with the keeper but decided to kick the ground instead of the ball, resulting in him cascading on the deck as the ball continued to roll on to the amusement of our side. Taglioretti was finally rewarded for his efforts in the box. In a superb solo effort for the goal, he rounded a few players on the by-line and slotted low past the keeper for a 10th goal on the day, to put the contest out of reach.
In the last gasp of the game CCFC were awarded a corner. Hayward found the ball at his feet and had another shot, but could not connect completely. Wilson was quick to pick up the bumbling ball and sided footed it first time past two of their players and into the net off the keeper. This would have been a goal had the stand in ref (one of theirs) decided it was offside, even though it went past two of their players before going in. He then blew the final whistle and ended Lilydale's torment for the day.
Metro League 8 has seen some adjustments with two new teams coming in to the fray. We should be sitting on top of the ladder, but with the adjustments we find ourselves back in 3rd. The fight to the top continues for your Citizens!