Things started very quietly at the Irish Connection, our group of 4 (including a couple of visiters from Canberra, one of whom is an ex Jugal player from the Sydney comp in the 60's) being the first there. John Croft was oscillating across Caxton St to Gambaro's where his offspring were queueing for fish and chips. By about 6.30 there were about 15 STRIKERS' fans supping and chatting. I think I may have found another to join this list too.
Walking to the ground at about 15 min before kick off the grandstand looked very sparsely populated I didn't see the gate posted, but it was a smallish crowd. We looked for Forza Fred, but wee Forza and senora Forza must have prevailed upon him to enjoy the fleshpots of Surfers.
There was joy all round when it was noted that OHY was not in the starting XI nor even on the bench! In fact, considering he is our captain, he seemed remarkably inconspicuous all night. A suggestion was made that he may have ben helping his wife move into their new abode. Blackford was given a start in right midfield and FF's knee must have passed the test as he was on the park too.
The game seemed to have barely started when quite a nice move resulted in a well struck goal from outside the box by, most seemed to think, a Cranny kiddy! Neither team was playing any inspirational football, but I thought the STRIKERS looked as good as they had any time this season. Half time arrived quite quickly and I strated a conversation with a bloke in the beer queue. He said he didn't know anything about the game except that "You kick a goal and score a point"! Well, at least he was there.
Inevitably, Wollongong equalized and it seemed the match would follow the all to familiar pattern of this season as the STRIKERS began to lose the midfield. Kasey Wehrman was subbed off limping and did have some nice touches while there. Gwynne did what he always does and remains the pick of the bunch this season. Blackford didn't shine, but neither did he stuff up too much. The winning goal was a very srange affair with a long range shot bouncing off several players from both sides before rolling in. I don't know who claimed it. John Croft correctly remarked that this was the luck the STRIKERS had last year. Could this be the changing point this year? I doubt it.