NPL Semi-Final Series 2016

September 2nd, 2016

Sunday 28th August 2016

Under 13’s vs Hamilton
Darling Street Oval

All good things must come to an end – and so it was for the FMNC 13s, at the hands of Hamilton Olympic.  Whilst it came to an end one week earlier than we all hoped, it was a great season for both the players and supporters.   Without exception the boys played the season with passion and determination and importantly respect – for their own team-mates, coaches and managers, as well as the players and representatives of the other clubs.

Draws in both of their previous encounters this season highlighted the fact that there was very little separating FMNC and Hamilton, and we knew we were in for a close tense game.  That tension showed up in the grandstands with Kenny Corbett downing his third coffee for the morning, before the boys had even started their warm-up.  The tension showed up on the field with players from both sides slipping over and struggling to retain possession in the early stages.  As they settled into the game it became a captivating struggle back and forth with both sets of backs desperately breaking down any attacking plays.  Despite some strong promising plays up the left side with Mason Moore, Cian Murtagh and Zeb Watts combining well for FMNC, it was Hamilton that struck first with a well-placed long ball finding a Hamilton forward in a handy position to slot the ball past Isaac.

FMNC were unlucky not to capitalise on some good chances during the remainder of the first half and went to the half-time break down 1-0.

The second half was intense from the start, with play once again ebbing and flowing from one end of the field to the other.  A well timed pass from Angus Robertson found Mason Moore flying down the left hand flank and, after beating the defender, Mason hit the ball solidly for what looked like a certain equaliser.  Unfortunately for FMNC the ball smashed into the crossbar and was cleared by Hamilton.

The equaliser came not too soon after when a Hamilton defender was penalised for a hand ball in the box.  Flynn Parker stepped up to the plate and, like a pro, calmly slotted the ball past the Hamilton goalie to bring it back to 1-1.

Great defence and goal keeping by FMNC meant the opportunities for Hamilton to score were limited.  Unfortunately, Hamilton grasped their one opportunity and after some scrambling defence were able to take advantage of a loose ball and take the lead 2-1.

The final stages of the game were intense.  Muscles were tensed, sweat was appearing on the foreheads, and heart rates were nearing their capacity – and that was in the stands.  Apparently the players were also feeling the pressure.  Kenny wanted a fourth coffee but didn’t want to miss the final minutes.  FMNC had chances, with Mason Moore once again hitting the goal posts, and another opportunity going just wide.    As much as the coach, manager, parents and players were willing it in, some days the ball will just not go in the goals – and so it was on the day, with FMNC going down    2-1.

A great game of football to end a great season.  A huge thank you to Evan Murtagh for coaching the boys in a manner that saw them all getting on well together, and looking forward to training and the games, and providing for an entertaining season for the support crews (parents and others).  Also a big thank you to Ali Bear and Steve Oakley for managing the team.

Our best wishes for a great game go to Hamilton Olympic and the Emerging Jets who will play in the Grand Final next weekend.

Final score 2-1 to Hamilton.

– Match Report by Marcus Robertson.

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Under 14s vs Weston
Adamstown Oval

Finals football.  The rollercoaster ride of emotions was ever present on Sunday in the major semi-final against Weston at Adamstown Oval.  The winner a grand final birth – the loser tries again next year.

FMNC started the game magnificently, fast free flowing football, total ball possession with shots at goal.  Credit to the Weston goalkeeper who pulled off some good saves to keep his team in the game. Unfortunately no goals came in this period.

Weston then worked their way into the game where they started creating chances and stringing passes together.  FMNC soon started playing panic football and lost their way a little.  The game went from end to end.  Weston had a great opportunity from a long range free kick with a nice save from Keegan, pushing the ball over the bar to keep the scores level.

Five minutes from the half time break a great shot from general play by Andrew saw an equally good save from the Weston keeper.  The scores level at half time.

After the break, FMNC continued on as they had for the majority of the first half.

Weston were again on top and six minutes in were awarded a penalty.  Keegan picked the right way, he even got a glove on it, but the shot was just firm enough to hit the net to give Weston the lead of 1 – nil.

Five minutes later Sam was taken down in the Weston box and FMNC were awarded a penalty.  Sam stepped up, sent the keeper the wrong way and levelled up the scores 1 – 1. Both teams created chances but couldn’t find that elusive second goal.  Weston played some good football but credit to FMNC – not one of their best performances, but managed to stay in the game.

The final whistle blew with the scores locked at 1 – 1.  We go to penalties.

FMNC win the shootout  4 – 2.  Not a good way to win, although we will take it.

Congratulations boys on reaching the Grand Final.  They take on the Jets at Darling Street Oval, Hamilton on Saturday.

Final score 1 – 1 (Penalty shootout 4 – 2 to FMNC).

– Match Report by Corey Walton.

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Under 15s vs Emerging Jets
Darling Street Oval

Final Score 3 – 1 to Emerging Jets

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