West Pymble are cruising at the top of the table, well today they are currently in second spot but a win today and a draw or loss to Kissing Point will see them go back to the top, where they have spent most of this season.
Willoughby Dalleys are bumping along with the new boys at the bottom of the league. They’re a good side, strong and assertive, but just haven’t yet found their rhythm in 2015.
West Pymble kick-off as a light rain begins to fall. The game is played at breakneck pace. Lots of shoulders and pushing, neither side wanting the other to get on top early. But Dalleys dominate early play and test the West Pymble goalie a couple of times in the first five minutes.
Against the run of play, West Pymble broke through and scored after eight minutes; moving the ball up the right wing a simple cross which was pushed around the Dalleys keeper. Not a pretty goal, but an important one.
That was followed five minutes later with another goal. This time West Pymble went to the left of the goalie.
It looks like Dalleys midfield is strong, retaining possession for long periods, but once past them, things are pretty simple.
For most of the rest of the half West Pymble retained possession, keeping the ball in the midfield for long periods of time, but rarely broke far past the half way line. Dalleys midfield was just too strong for West Pymble to work around easily.
As the clock ticked past 23 minutes Dalleys struck back, scoring off a corner curling it around the near post with hardly a touch from any player in the box. The lift in confidence for Dalleys was immediate.
But West Pymble are a side undaunted by a fearsome team like Dalleys. Dalleys had brought their shoulders and elbows to the match and West Pymble just soaked up the punishment. Then they looked for gaps, found opportunities and scored good goals.
2:1 at half time.
Dalleys came out firing after the half time chat, with a solid shot on goal within sixty seconds of the restart.
The second half was a robust, in your face contest, but it wasn’t until twenty minutes in to the second half that the first yellow card of the day appeared after a Dalleys defender slid in to a tackle taking out the West Pymble player’s legs.
The most controversial point of the match came when Dalleys were pressuring the West Pymble goal. The ball was passed to a Dalleys striker in the 18 yard area and his feet were kicked out from under him. No foul was called and the crowd erupted; they bitterly disagreed. The referee had full view of the incident and called everything else correctly, so I doubt this was a brain snap. He clearly saw the situation differently to the Dalleys fans.
The last fifteen minutes had West Pymble trying to control the ball and slow the game, with Dalleys desperate for opportunities and not willing to waste a second; a great duality the created a lot of tension on and off the field.
When the final whistle blew I think West Pymble had a good and deserved win, but only just.