The sun was certainly shining on us as the Reserves took to the part on Saturday to face off against Rowville Eagles. With only ten men in yellow, the guests looked to be facing an uphill battle from the start.
After thirty minutes the visitors were reduced to nine men with their striker rolling his ankle and coming off. Unwilling to forefit, Rowville pressed on, but by that point it was already Lee Hayward was advancing on his goal tally in the reserve competition with two goals, Mike Maddocks getting some time with the Reserves nabbed his first, and Tom Snaith with a nice solo effort down the wing. Before halftime, Hayward got his hat trick and Maddocks would get his second before subbing off to make ready for time with the Seniors.
The second half was much of the same. After a few minutes of no one wnting to take a shot, Jason Minglis scored before Hayward got a fourth. Harry Emmens who was usually in goal came on and got his first. The referee judged a penalty had occurred, and despite already being on four goals, Hayward called up 3rds Manager and stand in goalie Rich Garnett to take the penalty. It was well struck, but Garnett's opposite was up to the task and stopped it. undaunted, Garnett retrieved the saved ball and assisted Hayward for his fifth on the day. Substitute Ryan Nolan injected pace into the game and was rewarded for his effort with the tenth goal of the game. Emmens made it eleven. Ben Mensink put it into the net for number twelve and with twenty minutes to go, Reserves Coach Ross Evans subbed himself on and managed a goal in supurb fashion with a solo run before slamming it into the roof of the net from the tightest of angles.
With the Reserves belting out the club song in the change rooms, the Seniors took to the park looking for a vital three points to keep us within reach of league leaders Brandon Park.
It did not start out well for us, being down 0-2 within the opening half hour with a misjudged long ball and a stunning freekick causing us to be on the backfoot. Before the halftime break, Jake Buckley made his case once again for the league's goal scoring leader by powering home a sidefooted shot to get our momentum going as we headed into the change rooms.
The second half saw Rowville implode as Dan Quinn, who had been unlucky in the first half, came up with a brilliant finish to get us level and keep up the pressure. Further folly occured as their goalie fouled Jake Buckley in the box just minutes later. Captain David Kilcommons calmly stepped up and put home the penalty to push us in front.
With fifteen minutes to go, Rowville's goalie added to their woes after several fine saves to keep the ball out of his box, he got his hands over the line and out of his area, resulting in a handball right on top of the eighteen yard box. While the free kick was good and once again Rowville's goalie came up big, the rebounding ball fell to Mike Maddocks who put it away for the final goal on the afternoon. It would also be the final action Rowville's #1 would see as he pulled himself from the game. leaving the visitors to scramble for a goalie to see out the remaining fifteen minutes. In fairness to the backup that was put in, he made some fine saves in the dying minutes of the match to stop the game from becoming a blowout.
The seniors now are four points behind the league leaders while the reserves sitting on the fourth spot.