Each year, Chatswood Oval is changed from a rugby pitch to football to contest the Jim McBreen Trophy. Jim McBreen was a very influential part of the Chatswood Rangers football club for many years and each year Rangers host Willoughby Dalleys to contest for the trophy. For the last two years, Dalleys have taken home the honours but this year has been tough for Dalleys and Rangers are flying high.
Rangers took control of the game from the very first second almost scored in under a minute. It was very obvious that this was a very important game to Rangers.
The game was scrappy, neither side able to control the ball for long periods and keep their strikers fed with good ball, but Rangers were making the most of it and forced the Dalleys goalie to work hard, making some spectacular saves. Meanwhile, in the middle of the first half, the Rangers goalie was jogging around area to keep his muscles warmed-up.
And then after twenty six minutes, Dalleys struck with a cracking shot on the Rangers goal forcing a brilliant save by the goalie, pushing ball over the crossbar with his fist.
As the half progressed and neither side could get the upper hand, both Rangers and Dalleys were getting frustrated. Dalleys were using their shoulders and tugging at shirts. Rangers were using their mouths which eventually saw the first yellow card for dissent after a handball.
To my eyes, neither side appeared to have consulted the set-play book this week. When a midfielder had a ball heading out to the wing, their strikers didn’t run for space.
The rough rugby surface of Chatswood Oval was also playing havoc on ankles, with short sharp-turning moves required for quick soccer being sorely punished for the unwary, with several players losing their feet and twisting their ankles.
0:0 at half time. Physically Rangers were ahead, but by the narrowest of margins.
Maybe the coaches saw the same first half as me. When play resumed so did some decent set plays. Dalleys almost scored off a looping free kick from just outside the 18 yard box, followed towards the goal by several Dalleys heads. But it scooted 2 feet right of the goal.
After 23 minutes Rangers had a corner which was swept across the box, headed in, but punched away by the Dalleys goalie, to the feet of a Rangers player. He made no mistake and pushed it in for a simple goal.
And then came the goal of the season; a great cross from almost the edge of the field by the Rangers winger was headed-in at full stretch, rocketing to the right of the keeper and in to the back of the net. Much to the pleasure of the Rangers faithful.
And that’s the way the game ended; 2:0 to Chatswood Rangers which gives them the honour of holding the Jim McBreen trophy for the 2015 season. A good game on Chatswood Oval.