Acacia Ridge traveled to Samford to face the Rangers for a catch-up game of round 5 that was originally postponed due to heavy rain. The boys made a long trip to Samford on a cold Saturday night for games that many saw as easy wins for Acacia Ridge.
In the first game’s opening half Acacia Ridge played well and had the better of the chances. Both teams struggled at times to control the game. Some great individual skills saw Ridge create a couple of solid opportunities but were denied by Samford keeper. Just before half time Ridge striker broke loose from Samford defence but was brought down by the last defender. This meant that Samford were reduced to 10 men. Despite the score line remaining nil all, Ridge went in at half time with all the momentum. Second half started brightly for Ridge but a couple of unlucky injuries and lack of substitutes swung the momentum in favor of Samford. Samford took the lead after catching Ridge on the break. The boys tried to level the score but were denied by Samford keeper again, firs by saving two one on ones and after that pulling off a great penalty save. Samford held on to win 1-0.
The first team went into their game full of confidence after some great results in recent weeks. The boys started to dictate the game from the get go, but were caught out napping at the back which allowed Samford to take the lead. Ridge responded well by creating numerous chances but Samford were very determined to defend, clearing the ball off the goal line on number of occasions. Finally our boys equalised after a corner when one of the Ridge players sneaked in unmarked for a header at the back post. Second half started the way first finished with Acacia Ridge attacking pushing for a goal. Samford soon had their best chance of the game when the referee awarded a penalty for a tackle in the box. The penalty was smashed over the bar and the game went back to Ridge doing all the attacking. Finally the boys took the lead with 15 minutes to go, after some good passing on the right side and nice footwork in the box Samford keeper was beaten. Acacia Ridge had a couple more chances to kill the game but it remained 2-1. Despite Acacia Ridge dominating chances and the possession Samford showed incredible resilience and were in the game to the very end. Samford had a great opportunity to deny Ridge the win had they scored from the penalty but in the end a better team won the points.
It is worth mentioning that both first team and the reserve team players were suffering many injuries and the boys showed up to play despite most being sick. It was a great effort by both teams even if the reserves didn’t get a win. Despite having only 24 players available for the two games and many suffering the flu symptoms, the squad put in a great effort.
Next Saturday we are away to Ridge Hills. If the boys show the same attitude as in the last few weeks I’m sure there can be only one outcome.