The Goulburn Strikers had no right to win Saturday’s Cookabundoon showdown with Canberra City.
They found a way – against the odds.
The 2-0 triumph is reward for two years’ hard work and could serve as impetus for back-to-back victories – an achievement not realised since their competitive Capital Football days of 2010.
“It’s a pretty big reward for working hard,” on-field captain, makeshift goalkeeper, club secretary and regular physio patient of late, David Albrighton, said yesterday.
“We’ve had a couple of unlucky losses and poor outings in the last few weeks. To come up with this is great.”
As if rocking up to Cookbundoon undermanned and unwell wasn’t a roadblock big enough, the Strikers enjoyed pressure little possession, and subsequently, shots on goal.
Yet it was the hosts who scored first – and against the run-of-play.
The prolific foot of Adam Mills added the last touch to some clever Jason Dinsmore lead-up work.
Leading 1-0, the sick-and-sorry Strikers transformed.
Dinsmore gave City nausea soon after, slotting a penalty – the by-product of a full-field counter attack play.
Up 2-0, the sting was on. Big time.
Canberra City rallied. Goulburn clawed. Canberra City shot timeand- again at goal. The ‘onelegged’ David Albrighton and resilient backline, inspired by coach Ben Stephenson, found ways – luck among them – to deny the opposition.
It was a classic win played-out in modest surrounds before a small crowd. But it’s one the current crop of Strikers will not forget, Albrighton in particular.
“I got a bit lucky with a few saves… I gave away a penalty at one stage, and somehow saved the next shot,” the skipper said.
“They probably had 70 per cent of the ball in the second half. In that second half we didn’t do anything but hang on.”
Victory was soured slightly by the loss of Tim Dally 10 minutes from time. The key defender walked from the field with a busted wrist. He won’t play against bottom-placed Weston Creek this weekend. Nor will, Albrighton.
“I definitely won’t be there next week,” he said.
“Justin Daly [injured on Saturday] will come back in and I’ll be out… And that suits me fine. I can’t play up in the line.”
Now, sore physically but content mentally, the Ben Stephenson coached squad eyes consecutive wins.
On Saturday they face Weston Creek – a winless team with a habit of conceding goals.
Should the Goulburnians replicate the intensity of Saturday’s performance, they’ll win easily and celebrate accordingly. If, however, they rediscover bad habits a shock loss isn’t out of the question.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.