The opening half was mired in the midfield of both sides as we fought to get forward and probe the defense of Elwood City FC. Recently back into the lineup, Ben Mensink would go down with a back injury, forcing an early lineup change and our defense to reshuffle. Much should be said about Harry Emmens for his work in goal to keep a clean sheet while the defense got settled in.
The second half started out better for CCFC as we began a drive to the goal. With about twenty minutes to go, Nigel Madzi latched onto a cross to finish first time and put us ahead and on track to our unbeaten streak. It would be short lived as about five minutes later, Elwood would win a free kick at the edge of our box. Their player blasted his shot off the cross bar and in, leaving us tied 1-1. Not willing to let the goal bring them down, the Citizens keep up the pressure and despite several shouts for a few penalties in the box that remained unawarded. Madzi would be fouled on the halfway line and a quickly taken restart left Elwood flatfooted with Miek Mackenzie bringing the ball up the wing. His shoot would be saved, but fell to the waiting feet of Jason Minglis who finished his shot off to put us back in the driving seat at 2-1. CCFC looked to play out the clock, taking the ball to the corner flag, but a scuffle towards the end of stoppage time saw Elwood bring the ball back up and launch a lofty ball from around the halfway line. It was a once in a lifetime shot, and that one time had to be against us. The final score was 2-2
The Senior side looked to cement their place at the top of the table with a win to give us breathing room. With both Old Camberwell and Brandon Park winning on the weekend, we could not afford to slip up now.
The game started out with Elwood on the back foot as Jake Buckley showing off his pace on the wing to cause the home side to shift their formation to accommodate his speed and their inability to contain him. It wasn't enough as he scored, putting us on our way. Debutante Mike Swinnerton made his mark on our squad with a goal in his first game, as we looked to have the game in hand, already 2-0 up. Elwood would manage to scrape one back before half time, however.
Buckley came out firing in the second half with his second goal, giving us a nice cushion. Tomasz Krzywda would get his second of the year the same way as his first; header off a corner. The midfield took over, dominating possession as the Citizens saw out the game with a 4-1 scoreline to give us the three points we needed to remain 1 point on top of the table.
In a good ending to the game, the head referee complimented our players and staff on their etiquette, something that CCFC has been looking to facilitate and bring more to the front of our games to be good role models for our youth teams.
Our 3rds team ventured down Toorak Road to face off against the Old Melbornian SC in what looked to be a tough match, as with five minutes to play, each side only could field ten players. We were saved as before the kickoff we got two guys onto the pitch and ensured some fresh legs for the bench.
The Citizens quickly set about exploiting the numbers advantage, with coach Rich Garnett up top to give one player a chance to stretch out. Age aside, he won his fair share of balls off a OMSC defence that was not expecting him to put up a fight. Drew Dickson would have two chances on goal in the early goings, electing to cut back instead of shooting, both times not being able to get his shot off. Senior Coach Richie Bates was on hand to deliver midfield marshaling as he and Rodney Wilson both had chances in the opening of the game. It was going to be a tough day for the home side.
We won over the heart of the referee as one of the home team players went down within the first ten minutes clutching his stomach and losing his lunch. Too much Port on the weekend, eh? He would regret coming off as one of the OMSC defenders fouled Ryan Worsford, gifting us a penalty. Though we had several candidates to take the kick, Rich Garnett was chosen to take it, and buried it, his first goal since the 1980s.
Lewis Gyde, unhappy at the knowledge that the man who is often in goal scored before he did made short work of getting his own and we led 2-0 within 15 minutes. Rodney Wilson made his case for the Golden Boot, netting a third, and we set the game to cruise control. Sadly, that would come back to bite us as OMSC scored two in quick succession, and we walked off at halftime with a scoreline of 3-2.
Wilson struck again with less than a minute of the second half played (the referee told him 43 seconds had elapsed since the whistle). From that point on, OMSC looked defeated. Dickson scored, Luke Pettican netted two, Gyde got a second, and Lewis Halsal put a nail in the coffin as his final shot sneaked in the near post, leaving their goalie, who with 11 men would have been a formidable foe, defeated.