Finals time! Willoughby Dalleys took on Lindfield FC while Kissing Point played North Sydney United. That is one played four while two played three. However, the Willoughby Dalleys versus Lindfield FC was much more than that; this was 2014 league champions versus 2013 league champions. Someone needed to show the other who was top dog.
Before the game there was clearly a lot of tension. I had talked to one die-hard fan and he was tense; this was a very important game. The same was obvious for Dalleys; the side was talking the game up as they warmed-up before the match.
From the moment the referee blew his whistle, it was clear that this was a different type of game. Sides were determined to keep possession, they played with assurance and there were long periods of good quality trap, control and pass from both sides. Each side moved the ball with certainty and played for space.
Lindfield had the honours of having the first good shot on goal, but there was no result forthcoming.
The first half was characterised by some good football, good movement and some good, strong challenges. Interestingly, Lindfield were the side with biggest shoulders and were happy to use them. This brought the managers on to the touchline and words were exchanged…
I have said thru the season that Lindfield have been variable during the season and today they had brought their “A” game. They needed to, because Dalleys were hunting for a win.
Both sides went at the game hammer-and-tongs, challenging every move made by the other side and by half time both sides were looking tired, particularly Lindfield.
0:0 at half time.
Willoughby got proceedings underway in the second half, with a good shot on goal after ten minutes, bringing the ball down the left hand side, crossed to the middle and a great shot on goal which took the Lindfield goalie to full stretch to push the ball over the bar.
Dalleys definitely had the advantage in the second half with about six fresh players to choose from as substitutes.
Late in half, Lindfield brought down one of the Dalleys players in the 18 yard box resulting in a penalty. You could have heard a pin drop as the Dalleys man prepared for the kick. Unfortunately, he miss-hit the ball and it went sailing skyward giving Lindfield another life in this match to the cheers of the Lindfield fans.
Full time and the score was still 0:0 and that meant extra time. Fifteen minutes each way. Clearly, extra time was tough for most players, with several players having to stretch out cramps. Every man had already run hard for 90 minutes and 30 minutes more was difficult, but Lindfield still managed to throw themselves in to their tackles body and soul (and shoulders!)
Lindfield’s real chance came ten minutes in to the second period of extra time with the ball being fired in to the goal from the edge of the area, hitting the post, rattling across the goal mouth for a second chance which has hit the other post, but not going in. I think the Dalleys’ goalie was as surprised as Lindfield that the ball wasn’t in the back of the net.
Two minutes later Dalleys has a chance on Lindfield from a throw-in on the right hand side; the ball goes in to the six yard box but is cleared away, straight to a Dalleys defender lurking just outside the penalty area who rockets it back in narrowly missing the left post.
Returning the favour, the Lindfield striker did his best Fred Astaire impression, bringing the ball past the Dalleys defence, shoots but hits the cross bar. It seems nothing will go in to either goal this afternoon.
Two periods of extra time still had the scores locked-up at 0:0 so now it progressed to penalties.
Dalleys shoot first. Dalleys score. 1:0
Lindfield shot. Dalleys save. 1:0 the crowd erupts to the sound of “Dal – ma – cia!”
Dalleys shoot. Dalleys score. 2:0
Lindfield shoot. Lindfield score. 2:1
Dalleys shoot. Lindfield save. 2:1
Lindfield shoot. Dalleys save. 2:1 and the crowd go mad again “Dal – ma – cia! Dal – ma – cia!”
Dalleys shoot. Dalleys score. 3:1
Lindfield shoot. Lindfield score. 3:2
Dalleys shoot. Dalleys score. 4:2 and they have won the day!