It was a great day for football this past Saturday, which made it a lot easier on your Citizens with having to drive out to Skye Recreational Reserve! Our match against Springvale City would see the winner advance and the loser remain within the 4th division for at least one more season.
For the opening fifteen minutes Springvale looked to exploit the wind advantage as they pressed our backline. With our defenders looking directly in to the setting sun, one can excuse the looping balls that on any other day would have been easily collected by the citizens in any other match. Thankfully our fitness was far above Springvale and our defense tracked back well to hold off the opposing strikers.
Once we settled in to our rhythm, possession turned to our favour and our chances started to come. Our first goal was a thing of beauty. Mike Swinninton put a ball through two Springvillians to captain Dan Quinn who made a classy backheel pass in to the path of Chris Duncan who was unfortunate to see his shot held up by the onrushing Springvale keeper, but like a good striker, Duncan was following up his own shot and calmly put it into the back of the net for our first, with twenty-five minutes played. Springvale mounted several counter-attacks that were all dealt with by keeper Christoph Achsenick.
The second half started much the same as the first, with Collingwood absorbing a great deal of pressure, with Adam Gallo clearing a shot off the line. Springvale would be forced into an early substitution and injected a new striker in the hopes of turning the scoreline in to their favor.
A great penetrating run by Quinn and an error by the officiating staff gifted us our second goal. With a cross on the end line that one of Springvale's defenders cleared back to Quinn, the linesman put up the flag incorrectly for offsides. The referee went over to confirm the call but in the meantime Nick Tzevakos put a shot in while Springvale's goalie and defenders went over to complain. As the whistle had not been blown, the goal stood. Springvale had violated the main rule of the game, play to the whistle, and it cost them. They remained deflated for the remainder of the second half and would capitulate with twenty minutes to play as pressure from Quinn and Jake Buckley resulted in Buckley making a run to goal but pushed the ball just too far in front.
The Springvale goalie came out and tried to clear the ball but cleared it in to the onrushing Buckley who scored after a deflection off his abs. Springvale would try and throw as much as they could at the goal in the final minutes and put in several dangerously close balls, but your Citizens would see out the day 3-0.
We now face Ashburton United on Saturday at 3:00pm at Paisley Park in Altona North for a chance to play in State 3 South-East, and our first promotion in ten years!