Similar to the reverse fixture earlier in the season, this game was marked by a lack of personnel for one of the teams. This time, however, it was the Bluebirds who were short-handed, fielding only 10 players in the sweltering heat.
It took all of 30 seconds for the Old Boys to put a scare into Bloomington with Graham “Grahamburgler” Campbell picking the pocket of the fullback, gliding into the box, and centering for the in-form Mike Ozruh. Unfortunately Ozruh was only able to dent the post with his side-footed effort. About two minutes later Campbell was unfortunate to not convert a beautiful cross from the right side into the cavernously open net, missing the pass by less than a toenail.
After the initial flurry both clubs settled into their rhythm and the game became more of a two-way affair. Bloomington’s speed, skill, and gamesmanship caused the Old Boys midfield and defense constant problems; Bryan Larson was called upon more than once to bat away a free kick or instinctively stop a close-range shot. Other than the first few minutes and a few tense moments the half was somewhat forgettable.
Though obviously succumbing to exhaustion in the second half, Bloomington dug deep and kept the match lively. In the 55th minute, the Blues finally got the goal their play deserved. A lofty corner kick found the head of Bobby Davies who casually nodded down towards John Carney on the edge of the box. Carney made no mistake for his first goal, sending a bending laser into the side netting. Carney had this to say about his strike; “It wasn’t quite a picture-perfect page out of the Steve Pomeroy playbook, but it was damn close. As soon as it left my laces I knew it was in.”
After the goal the game resumed its back-and-forth nature from the first half. The Blues coming close to adding their insurance goal through two Dave Tesch efforts; one a free header off of a Thomas Larson cross that missed by inches.
It took until the 85th minute for the SOBs to finally put the three points beyond a doubt. With Real searching for an equalizer the SOBs continuously sprang counter attacks that would fizzle out in the Big Willow quagmire. Eventually a perfectly slotted through ball from Dave Tesch found the on-rushing Mike Ozruh who found himself alone with the keeper and coolly stroked the ball into the net. The last five minutes saw little, if any football being played as both teams were thinking of the post-match beers and showers.
“Job well done tonight boys. Here’s to another three points and solidifying our playoff push!” said Manager Nick Sindt raising a frosty PBR in celebration with his squad.
Starting XI: B. Larson, Pomeroy, Johnson (C), Savitt, Gorrell, Haeg, Riggot, Farrell, Campbell, Tesch, Ozruh
Subs: Sindt, Carney, Davies, T. Larson, Zimic, Belz