|January 21, 2020||4:00 PM||APFA Club Championship (Finals)||2020||40'|
It’s Grand Final time. Five days and forty three matches of powerchair football have lead to this. Newcastle Jets vs Central Coast Mariners.
BOOM 21 SECONDS GOAL !!!!! Enter Team England marquee Brad Bates who sends it from range to open the scoring very early giving Newcastle Jets the lead.
Central Coast are applying the pressure heavily in the coming minutes, reaching deep into attack but Newcastle are holding tight. A big play for the Mariners as the corner comes out to Chris Turnbull, he sends it back to Andrew Kim who slides it through the defence and across the line. The whistle blows however with a two-on-one the referee deeming Turnbull and Kim to be too close.
As the game passes the ten minute mark, the Mariners continue to hold possession and focus their activity pushing foward. Chris Suffield is playing a strong passing game with Andrew Kim his main receiver up front. FINALLY after twelve minutes of football they have been rewarded. A sideline kick from Andrew Kim finds Chris Turnbull at the top of the area, as head of the triangle structure he sping kicks it wide to Chris Suffield who fires it past the rushing defence. Scores level at 1-1.
Newcastle respond heavily with two shots blocked. Less than two minutes since the scores become level, the scoreboard ticked over again. A sideline kick saw Newcastle’s Dimitri Liolio-Davis put his #beastmode in to high gear. He whipped the pass through the area to Brad Bates who at the back timed a spin kick perfectly to send the ball past Chris Suffield returning Newcastle to the position of a one goal lead.
The game is coming alive now with the upstairs gallery becoming very vocal. The Newcastle attack is certainly on point in this one. Sideline kick from Dimitri Liolio-Davis straight to the top of the box but instead of taking a shot, Brad Bates sends it straight back at his team Captain who flings at the goal. The ball passes the first defender before boucning off the second and bundling across the line. Newcastle out to a 3-1 lead with three minute left in the first half.
With fifteen seconds left on the clock, Chris Turnbull came out of the area to make a cruicial save but made solid contact with the attacker. It was his second solid contact for the game and the referee didn’t hesistate to raise the yellow card. The resulting free kick at the top of the area, directly in front, would be taken by Dimitri Liolio-Davis and was certain to be the last play before the half time whistle.
The Newcastle Captain took his time, conferring with his colleagues before finally taking his position. Brad Bates split the defenders on the line ready to make space for a goal straight from the direct free kick. Whilst not needed in the end, he served the purpose of keeper the two defenders close to the centre of the goals. Liolio-Davis instead went wide to the left side post, sneaking it between defender Chris Suffield and the upright to push Newcastle out to a 4-1 lead right on half time.
Into the second half the teams go with Central Coast on the hunt for goal scoring opportunities. The first few minutes has seen the ball going from box to box at pace with the referees running to keep up with long range shots and passes.
Fourteen minutes remaining on the clock and the wheel were squeeking loudly as Andrew Kim and Dimitri Liolio-Davis go guard-to-guard again and again in the centre of the court.
Eleven minutes on go and Newcastle have a critical indiret on the edge of the area to put both hands on the Championship trophy. Liolio-Davis hits Bates at the top of the area who reverse spins the ball, firing it straight at the defence. Chris Turnbull well positioned to hold out the onslaught.
Nine minutes and again Newcastle have the indirect at the top of the area following a Mariners two-on-one. This time however Liolio-Davis misfires wildly sending it across the area to the vacant corner, a wasted opportunity. Central Coast respond quickly with Chris Turnbull handing off to Chris Suffield who takes it down into attack. Turnbull goes big from the corner nailing Chis Suffield on the front guard, who is in turn hit hard by James Kim. PENALTY… is the call first from the Mariners Coach and then by the referee. The brothers face off and Andrew Kim scores against James Kim to get Central Coast their second goal closing the gap to 4-2.
The margin down to two didn’t last long. Less than a minute in fact. Brad Bates performing in high-pressure big games, passed the ball to Ryan Seck out wide who spun, hit hard and hit true. Goal Jets… 5-2 with the margin restored, four minutes on the clock.
Despite a very challenging scoreboard position, the Mariners pushed to claw their way back and force the match to extra time. Josh Ryan, at just eight years of age, was sweeping well in defence for the Mariners and then seconds later was attacking in the area and then winning a free kick for his team.
Two minutes on the scoreboard and the count-down stopped as per tournament regularions, the final seconds a mystery to all. Mariners into the area thanks to Andrew Kim, head-to-head with his brother, neither giving an inch. Liolio-Davis gives away a contact free. Turnbull passes across the area for Suffields shot but it goes just outside the post and out for a time wasting goal kick.
The whistle goes… it’s Newcastle Jets defeating Central Coast Mariners 5-2 to secure the APFA 2020 Club Championship.