Quarry Rovers 3 Bure Park 6 – Sunday 25th September 2016
The weather was typically mid-September as we returned to Margaret Road for the opening game of the season. Kick-off was accompanied by a monsoon drenching, followed alternately by bright sunshine and further deluges. The squad was familiar from last season, added to by new recruits Sultan and Lewis, and the return of Tobi.
Sometimes a result belies the actual game, and this was the case here. On the face of it a 3-6 scoreline would indicate a pretty one-sided game, but until the last 15 minutes it was a pretty even game with Quarry dominating possession for long periods and certainly having as many chances as Bure Park; ultimately, however, the game is about putting the ball in the back of the net.
There was hardly a minute on the clock when Bure Park went one up, some trickery in the box followed by a sharp turn and the ball was buried in the bottom corner. Nevertheless Quarry started to assert themselves and after ten minutes a lovely through ball from George in the centre of the park was well finished by Sultan from the edge of the area. It got better shortly afterwards as a last-ditch interception by Thomas at the back was quickly fed up the wing for George and Xander to exchange passes before Xander slotted home for a 2-1 lead.
Quarry’s Achilles heel at the moment seems to be defending set pieces. Ollie turned a fierce shot out for a corner, which was nodded in easily at the near post. With half time approaching, another corner wasn’t cleared and the loose ball was thumped home from close range, to give Bure a 3-2 advantage at the break.
The second period was more of the same entertaining end-to-end stuff, Quarry starting brightly as first Haider then Faisan forced a good double save from the Bure keeper. However, down at the Quarry end a soft penalty was given away and comprehensively buried in to the roof of the net to extend Bure’s lead.
Then came the two champagne moments of the game: With seemingly nothing on, Xander decided to have a go from outside the area and unleashed a screamer in to the top corner to bring it back to 3-4; quickly followed at the other end by Ollie’s flying save to slap away a deflected free kick.
Unfortunately that was as good as it got in the second half, with another Bure Park corner headed in from the middle of the box to make it 3-5. Chasing the game and committing men forward, Quarry left themselves exposed at the back and a quick counter-attack found a Bure forward with acres of space and all the time in the world to pick his spot and put the game beyond reach.
Most of the crowd would probably admit that Bure Park deserved to win on the balance of play; Quarry seemed to tire in the final 15 minutes and their shape deserted them. However both keepers were equally busy in an entertaining game, and had Quarry put away some of their chances things might have been different. If positive spin were needed, Quarry scored all three of their goals from open play, whereas four of Bure Park’s came from set pieces. Early days yet, and no need to be downhearted based on this performance.