Old Barker Football Club are the new boys in Division one for 2015 and they have been doing it tough. They have played four games and lost all of them. However, their last couple of games have seen Old Barker score a goal each time and their losses have been 2:1 to Lane Cove and 3:1 to West Pymble. So they are starting to stop the rot. How well, will they go against North Sydney?
North Sydney United are a confident, strong side who have are two games behind this season, due to the poor weather. Today is their fourth outing, whereas teams like Lane Cove and Dalleys are on their sixth match of the season. If they win today and win one of their catch-up matches, they could move to second position on the table.
Keen to get going today, the game started just slightly ahead of schedule at two minutes to three.
The first 15 minutes saw North Sydney in charge, playing strategic, confident football, but Old Barker are creating some good chances. The last time I saw Old Barker play on Golden Jubilee, they were fit and keen, but not very clever. Today they were looking to be more purposeful team.
North Sydney were continuously testing the Old Barker defence, pushing the ball from the back, up to their two strong men upfront. But Barker have turned up with some good defence and a couple of fast wingers.
North Sydney are an interesting side; all players constantly talking, shouting positions, giving advice. Barker are almost completely silent when they play.
Each time Barker has a chance of an attack they find that North Sydney have a virtually impenetrable defence.
The first real chance for a goal came for Barker after 30 mins when the North Sydney goalie came off his line to fend off a ball, but sent it straight back to a Barker boot. However, the goalie’s lightning fast reactions saved an almost certain chance.
As the half drew closed, one of the North Sydney strikers was getting frustrated by the pace of play. His midfielders were playing slowly and not feeding him enough ball and he let them know it.
0:0 at half time. A scrappy half with neither side ever controlling play for long enough to create any real chances.
I’d like to have heard the team talk during the break. Barker holding North Sydney to a scoreless draw would be a good step forward for Barker. I doubt North Sydney would be happy with their efforts.
But, as they say, football is a game of two halves. And the second half was very different from the first.
The moment we’d all been waiting for arrived when North Sydney had a corner and a good scrap in their 18 yard box, which was cleared long and high. The ball was picked-up by the Barker striker who had to work hard with his body to keep the North Sydney defender at bay. He beat the defence, beat the goalie and pushed the ball in to the back of the net.
Barker were 1:0 up against North Sydney.
The switch in confidence on the pitch was visible; Barker now knew they could win matches. And North Sydney knew they had to dig in and work hard.
It took North Sydney only another five minutes to bring the scores back to 1:1, with a scrappy goal against the run of play.
After a frantic ten minutes of play from both sides, North Sydney brought the ball down the right wing for their striker Ronan to drive the ball into the back of the net. 2:1 to North Sydney and the confidence had returned.
Two minutes from time North Sydney sealed the match with a beautiful curling shot from a free kick from right in the corner of the pitch beating the goalie and putting them to 3:1 with almost no time left on the clock.
At the end of the day, North Sydney got the win they deserved, but Barker can hold their heads up high. They played well and they got on to the score sheet first, proving they have the ability to mix it up in the Premier League.
Final score Barker 1, North Sydney 3.