The roar of the drums filled the night air. Flares scorched in the stadium. The Herston Hatchet players marched on the field. Quiet, but confident. Tonight wasn’t just another game; it was a top of the table clash. Undefeated Springfield United Blue Devils away against the Hatchets, eager to make up for their disappointing loss against rivals QUT.
The whistle sounded from gruff umpire, who undisclosed sources believe is from the same area as Hatchet’s Demidenok.
The game began with a predictably fiery pace. Both sides trading vicious blows with each other. Both defences holding firm.
Regular Centre-back pairing Burgher and Vogelzang had their work cut out for them, repelling scything attacks from the deceptively fast Springfield forward line. At the other end, few chances presented themselves to the attacking triumvirate of Anthony, Amin and Irelandes.
Towards the end of the first half, after several fouls in dangerous areas drawn from Amin and Janzekovic resulted in nothing, the game looked sure to end in stalemate. It was clear a bit of magic would be the only thing to break the deadlock.
And it was magic indeed that came in the second half, as effervescent forward Amin produced a filthy, filthy turn in the box to sell both Blue Devils centre halves and calmly slot past the hapless keeper.
However, the thrilling tie wouldn’t stop there as controversy reared its ugly head. A cross left the boot of the Springfield right back and floated dangerously towards the goal mouth.
Goalkeeper Jakob Campbell rushed to meet it, however an intense scuffle between a Springfield attacker and Herston fullback Michael Ryan resulted in the two crashing into the hapless Campbell who could only watch as the ball rolled agonisingly slowly into his own net. The foul was not given, the goal stood.
Just as the top of the table clashed looked to end in draw, it would be Man of the Match Amin who rescued all three points for the Hatchets. In the 91st minute, after a clever corner was swung in by Janzekovic, Burgher found himself all alone at the far post and expertly head the ball back into the fray, to none other than the fox-in-the-box Amin who produced a ferocious volley through the keeper. The stadium erupted and the whistle blew, stewards tried to repel the growing number of Hatchets fans attempting to storm the pitch. They new the significance of that strike. They knew the Hatchets would go to into the next game top of the table!