Tonight was the match that was supposed to decide the League Championship a couple of weeks ago. It had been called off because the Kissing Point pitch was waterlogged that day. However, because North Sydney had lost to Lindfield, Willoughby was already the league champions.
So, this evening, a midweek clash under lights in South Turramurra, was all about minor placing; if Kissing Point won tonight and also won their last match of the season next weekend, they could draw level with North Sydney. If North Sydney loose on the weekend, then it is highly likely that Kissing Point will move in to second place, on goal difference.
When the teams took to the field, I was expecting to see only a half-committed Willoughby side because they had nothing to prove, but I was wrong; they were all there, focussed, drilled and willing to run hard for 90 minutes. Kissing Point were the same; this game was important to them and they were going to give no quarter.
As an aside, the pitch looks like it has done it tough this season. There were large patches of bare earth which were dry and dusty. Ah well, a couple more weeks and then it has the summer to recover, I guess.
Kissing Point came out fighting, in the first fifteen minutes they had three good shots on goal. It’s easy to tell when Dalleys are under pressure; their goalie screams out orders from the eighteen yard box and that’s just what he was doing this evening.
Dalleys showed that they were not going to go down easily, against the run of play they cut the ball out in the midfield; beat the defence outpacing them to the eighteen yard box where they had a cracking shot on goal which rattled the crossbar.
Kissing Point looked to be the more organised side, with short, accurate passes and long possession of the ball. Dalleys had good time on the ball, but their passes were a bit too long and bit too speculative and that meant they lost possession too early. But someone was going to have to take a chance, to win this match.
The Kissing Point goalie was tested a second time when Dalleys worked the ball down the left side, crossed it to the middle for a good shot which was punched away by the goalie.
The rough surface of the pitch caught its first victim almost at half time, when a Kissing Point player badly rolled his ankle.
Half time the score was 0:0
Kissing Point seemed tired half way through the last period but the break had reinvigorated them and that immediately payed dividends; they beat the defence and drew the Dalleys goalie a long way off his line but the last remaining defender cleared an almost certain goal.
Dalleys returned the favour immediately with a shot on goal that headed wide. This was quickly followed by a corner which was defended away. The play was going end to end with both sides having good chances on goal. The midfield had long periods of close quarter play and both sides were making short accurate passes, heads-up and playing for space.
Kissing Point was a determined side upfront, but they were getting penalised often, thwarting their chances on goal.
A big shout out for Kissing Point defence; Dalleys had a stream of corners in the second half and each of them were pushed away by the Kissing Point defence.
It was clear that Dalleys felt they were on the ascendency for the last twenty five minutes; their goalie hadn’t needed to scream his lungs out at his players. And then Kissing Point got the ball down in to the Willoughby danger zone. Kissing Point had a corner, a throw-in and then another corner.
Then came the breakthrough Kissing point were looking for, with the ball floated past the goal, pushed out to the edge of the eighteen yard box and, like the parting of the waves, there was a gap that Kissing Point wasn’t going to miss and the ball was slotted in to the left hand side of the net. 1:0 with fifteen minutes remaining.
The dynamics on the field visibly changed from Dalleys looking like they were the masters, playing cat and mouse with Kissing Point, around to Kissing Point showing an air of confidence and Dalleys looking like they were working hard.
Kissing Point had other solid opportunity only moments later, beating the Dalleys defence and drawing the goalie way off his line, but the ball went wide of its mark. Dalleys were using a risky strategy of pushing their defence right up to the half way line, putting Kissing Point under a lot of pressure, but it also left their goalie to work on his own if they were beaten.
If the pace had been fast during the game, it became frenetic for the last ten minutes, both sides wanting a win.
Kissing Point then brought the ball down the pitch and had a cracking shot on goal, making the Dalleys goalie go full stretch to his left. The goalie pushed it away but to the legs of another Kissing Point player who pushed the ball in on the left hand side. 2:0 with about four minutes left.
And that’s the way the game concluded 2:0 to Kissing Point, who now move to 3 points behind North Sydney but one goal ahead on goal difference. So, the Kissing Point and North Sydney matches are critical on the weekend to see who will finish second on the table.
Facebook photos are here.