The match began with some sledging, firing up the teams for an exciting display.
Hanwood, at the beginning of the piece, had the tactics and played carefully in an attempt to draw the Yoogali striker into a trap.
They laid the pressure on and dominated the ball, limiting their opponent’s possession time, but they failed to keep their energy up throughout the match.
Meanwhile, Yoogali had the impressive footwork, but failed to keep the ball in Hanwood’s half; playing more on the defence.
Twenty minutes in and the game started to even out however, with Yoogali’s presence becoming stronger in Hanwood’s half.
The visitors appeared to lose steam and overall frustration began to rise – conveyed in greater physical contact; players down and injured.
Though there was little defence on part of Hanwood, they were dismayed when Yoogali’s Grant Davidson scored at the 35th minute.
And, not three minutes later did they score again – a lucky shot perhaps from Andrew Vitucci, as it came off the goal keeper.
At the 42nd minute, some comic relief – a referee lost his whistle after copping it in the shoulder, leading him to miss a good 20 seconds of game play as he looked for his prized instrument of authority.
But, returning to the game, Hanwood’s desperation became clear in their footwork and passing, which had not the familiar precision as at earlier in the half, and thus they lost many chances of scoring.
The home team meanwhile showed their composure in cleaner passes, and took advantage of Hanwood’s wilting strength.
Though they began to find their rhythm early in the second half, Hanwood, at the 60th minute, scored an own goal.
When asked whether he thought the third goal was at the hand of the opponent, coach Luke Santolin laughed.
“No comment – we’ll claim it,” Santolin said.
From then on, it seemed the visitors had checked out, with some players not receiving the support they needed.
Then, at the 65th minute, another moment of frustration for Hanwood – on a tight angle, the ball failed to reach the target.
But, it wasn’t until the 69th minute that fans got a taste of one of the oddities of football – an indirect free kick.
A line formation at the frame of the goal – within the penalty box – saw a wall of Yoogali players knitted together, fearless and confident they could prevent Hanwood scoring.
Again, the visitors failed to claim a goal.
With about 15 minutes to go, Yoogali were just toying with Hanwood, and it quickly became profanity city as irritation boiled over, instantly into fury.
Hanwood had plenty of opportunities, but it seemed the pressure got to them at the end and they found themselves falling to pieces.
Santolin remarked on the quality of Yoogali’s performance.
“We’re obviously pleased with the result.”
“We still have a lot to build on, which is what we wanted to focus on – team chemistry.”
“Though we started slow, we found a way to wrestle control back.”
“And, I think the boys will have a few beers in celebration tonight,” Santolin said.