As is typical, the Other Boys midfield duo of Joe Waln and Brian Moen gave the Blues a tight grip on possession from the first whistle but it was the entire team that did well keeping the ball and largely pinning Nature Valley FC into their own half. In past matches, the Other Boys had struggled to make their dominance tell in the goal column and were due for a breakout performance.
However, watching the first half left an observer thinking that perhaps the breakout would come another day.
That observer was dead wrong.
And then Derric Johnson’s free kick rebounded to Graham Campbell. The winger made no mistake, cooly slotting home.
The game was marred by some bizarre refereeing decisions. Bizarre may be too kind a word, and certainly were not the words used by the crutches-bound manager Andy Delain as he berated the referee for the second indirect free kick in the box called on the Other Boys. Though the referee was calling from his own rulebook, the defense stayed strong and kept the game scoreless.
The second half opened up more for the Other Boys, with Mike Geak doing his best Ashley Cole impersonation at fullback – scampering up the sideline to provide support while remaining physical and strong in the tackle on the defensive end.
New signing Mark Battles was also impressive, using his energy and guile to create chance after chance. If not for the linesman blowing an offsides call, Battles would have opened his goalscoring account with the SOBs.
Instead, the goals were to come from elsewhere. Rob Manley, who followed up his own shot to blast home off the underside of the crossbar, scored the second.
Colin Quinn continued his hot streak, bagging the third from the right sideline with a shot that sailed over the goalkeeper’s head and into the far netting from 25 yards out.
The fourth and final ball was scored by Joe Waln. Waln made no mistake after Moen squared the ball to him in the box after a mazy run.
Maximum points grabbed again, and the Other Boys are sitting pretty top of the league.
“We’ve made a good start to the season, but can’t let complacency affect us” said Delain afterward “the bulk of the season is still to come and if we’re going to win the league, and if I’m going to win Manager of the Year, then we need to press on from here. And I do plan on winning Manager of the Year, if only so I can tell Bisswurm to go suck it.”