FAIRYTALE ENDING FOR THRILLER
Trip Start Jul 31, 2009
36Trip End Jul 31, 2009
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The contest was hard-fought from the off, and despite a multitude of chances solid defending and poor finishing left the scores untouched at the 80 minute mark.
The game started cagily, the pitch being of a poor quality cauing many a slip and stumble. Building on what he did well last week, Haikney took a more commanding defensive position for much of the game, leaving Wes as the main lone striker.
The game opened up on the 10 minute mark, and it saw a flurry of chances at both ends
There followed a series of corners, and Haikney will be upset that he couldn't get his head to a teasing cross. The half finished with ThinData being much the stronger side with Allison watching helplessly as a rocket shook the thriller goal, bouncing out only due to the intervention of the crossbar. At the other end, Allison also had one of the best chances whilst playing on the right wing. Her kick-in caused bother for the keeper and bounced down off the bar onto the goaline and out. Noone on the thriller team had the heart to tell her that even if it had gone in it wouldn't have counted.
At the end of the half, there were some inspiring words exchanged among the thriller team, and they came out determined not to repeat the mistakes of last week. Haikney took a turn off before coming back on in various defensive roles, and making a succession of vital clearances and blocks, which left Thindata having to take pot-shots from 20 yards out which posed little real threat
Halfway through the second half, the best chance of the game broke thriller's way, when a great clearance from Maria fell to James on the left wing, who headed the ball neatly past the last defender with Wes charging into the space. The first shot was blocked by the keeper but he was stranded for the second effort which Wes blasted, David Beckham style, over the bar from only 4 yards out.
Don made some incredible stops with 10 minutes to go in quick succession which got thriller believing that perhaps this was their day. Allison also came agonisingly close in the dying seconds, the captain shot with the keeper stranded but it pinged off the back of a Thindata defender and left thriller holding their collective heads in anticipation of what might have been. With 5 minutes to go, Haikney subbed on as goalkeeper, anticipating the shootout. It turned out to be a game-winning move. Despite two clear-cut chances for Thindata which Haikney dealt with only nervously, he held on for the draw and with it, the shootout to avoid being the worst of the worst.
Thindata had their goalkeeper ready, who had been in all game and was clearly a specialised player. Haikney was brought in for the speed of his reactions. Thidata took the first penalty, and the result was three misses from thindata and three saves from the thindata keeper. Allison's effort, the first kick, was arguably closest to scoring with the keeper at full stretch to palm it away.
The next three kicks decided the game. First of all, Haikney clawed out a well placed shot from thindata's fourth player, who looked nervous before she had kicked it and almost relived to be away from it. Secondly, Wes took out a season's frustration on the football. The ball travelled faster than anyone on the pitch had seen up close, and had it made contact with the goalkeeper, it would have caused an injury. Thankfully for both parties, the ball nestled in the back of the net and left the game in the hands of Haikney and his opponent.
As she ran up to take the kick everyone on the pitch stopped breathing for a few seconds. The ball was struck sweetly to the bottom left hand corner, but Haikney's acrobatic dive was equal to the shot and thriller deservedly finish their unlucky season on a high.
FULL TIME: THRILLER 0 - 0 THINDATA FC
(HT 0 - 0)
(Thriller win 1 - 0 on penalties)
Thriller finish 7th overall in the league