A penalty kick in extra time was all that separated Batemans Bay and Clyde United in the Eurobodalla men’s major semi-final at Bodalla on the weekend.
In a mirror image of there regular season contests, the arch-rivals finished their regulation 90 minutes locked up on the scoreboard before a golden goal in extra time sealed a Grand Final berth for Batemans Bay.
Despite the match being a free-flowing affair void of the physical clashes that scarred their earlier meetings, both sides squandered goal scoring opportunities to force the match into golden goal territory.
With barely five minutes gone on the clock, a accidental foul in the penalty area afforded Chris Whittaker and the Bay an easy slot into the Grand Final.
The Bay began the game with the accedence, dominating possession but failing to create many chances in the opening minutes.
With vastly different styles of play, it was alway’s going to be on the fast break that Clyde would be the most threatening.
Utilising the raw speed of Dean Carmichael and Andrew Mercer up front.
But it was Batemans Bay who opened the scoring at the 30 minute mark, after Jason Bingold lost his defender to head home a long throw from David Clout.
The remainder of the first stanza proceeded in much the same fashion, with promising build up work from Bay midfielders Josh Smith, Chris Whittaker and Damien Bridge pockmarked with some counter-attacking foray’s by Clyde on the fast break.
Batemans Bay went to the interval leading 1-0.
The second half saw an increase in scoring opportunities for both sides.
A barrage of opportunities for the Bay failed to find the net as Clyde goalkeeper Dennis Watson and centre back Bobby Nutt played exceptional defensive games, frequently clearing the ball off the line.
As the frustration began to tell on the Bay players, Clyde gained the ascendancy and began to control possession and the pace of the game.
Finally the pressure paid dividends and United equalised, with a class finish by Gary Shaw froma tight angle beating Bay keeper Rod Whittaker.
With the score locked at one goal apiece, the teams entered extra time with a clean slate.
But barely five minutes had gone before an accidental collision in the Clyde box paved the way for a Batemans Bay penalty and place in the Grand Final.
Interested onlooker, Broulee player/coach Carlos Lopez said the major semi-final was a close affair.
“There was nothing in the game, it could have gone either way,” Lopez said.
Broulee will line up against Clyde in next weekends final.
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