What an absolutely brilliant game. Barry and I couldn't be prouder of the boys.
Some will say it was only a 1-1 draw but it feels like a win to me. To go there and come away with and extremely hard fought draw was amazing .
The first half was always going to be hard. Running up a hill for 45 minutes would take it out of any team. And to get a goal up hill was an added bonus. Some nice football put Jack through one on one with the keeper, but a last minute tackle from the Joondalup sweeper gave away a penalty. I saw that the sweeper did get a bit of the ball but he also go a lot of Jack's ankle and although the ref took a while to blow for the penalty he did finally give it.
Joondalup were shocked into action then. They pushed extremely hard and it looked to be only a matter of time before they would get their equaliser which came about from a period of extreme pressure. They got a corner on the far side which was only half cleared then played back in for a free header.
1-1 at the break and I was very happy with that. I thought the hard work was done.
I knew Joondalup would come at us hard looking for a winner and I told a couple of guys to sit a bit deeper than usual to help the defense out and when they get frustrated and start creating holes I could push them forward.
It didn't happen. Joondalup came at us for the whole of the second half. The way our boys defended was amazing. 10 men behind the ball and backs to the wall fighting and scrapping. When we did get the ball forward we were able to get 4 or more up there to support but when it broke down they quickly retreated to get behind the ball again. It has been a long time since I have since such a gutsy performance from a reserve Belmont Villa team. I don't mean to be disrespectful of past coaches or teams when I say that either.
The backline was expertly marshelled by Connor and the guys responded to that. The centre midfielders where up and back the whole game. The wingers got forward when needed but were also doing the tracking, and the full back were trying to overlap when we had the ball but definately doing their defensive dutys. The second half subs slipped in well and picked up the pace of the game quickly and didn't skip a beat.
Basically boys I walk away feeling like we just won. Once again I want to say how proud of you I am after such an amazing effort. Unlucky to Joondalup who pushed for 90 minutes and would be dissapointed not to get all three points.