St Joes head into the Grand Final
Wednesday, 18th September, 2019
By Callum Marshall
St Joes beat Celtic in a hard fought, extra-time thriller in the soccer semi-final on the weekend, the winning goal scored in the final 10 minutes.
Having drawn once and beaten each other twice during the regular season, it was no surprise to see the two teams evenly matched for the majority of the semi-final.
Possession of the ball was constantly changing hands, quick wingers and forwards were breaking past opposition defences, and both sides’ backlines and midfield were working hard to build up the play as well as disrupting and instigating attacks.
For St Joes, midfielder Rob James had a great game, directing play and instructions to his team and always being available as a passing option for teammates.
Matt Muscat had a strong game in defence for St Joes as he helped break up Celtic attacks and launch others for his own side.
Up front for St Joes, Liam King was a constant threat with his searing pace and control of the ball seeing him get past the Celtic backline on several occasions, and was supported well by Pat Nash who held up play effectively and was also a threat up front.
For Celtic, midfielder Greg Ross had a great game with his work-rate, tackling and calm passing helping the side regain possession of the ball on numerous occasions.
Along with Ross, defender Corey Blundell had another strong game for his side as his speed and tackles helped stop a number of St Joes’ attacks, while goalkeeper Jake Dart saved well on a number of occasions.
On the wings, Tom McRae and Jack Stacey also had good games for Celtic with their speed and nifty footwork creating a number of chances.
Celtic thought they’d struck the first goal of the game when defender Dave Hassard rose highest to a corner kick and headed the ball into the St Joes goal. However, the goal was disallowed due to illegal contact on a defender in the box.
With the score 0-0 after 90 minutes, both sides geared up for another 30 minutes of extra time.
There were chances aplenty in extra time as well, with long balls to the wings and crosses into the box being used heavily by both teams so they could get over opposition defences and fashion a scoring chance.
With St Joes closing out extra time well though, a cross into the Celtic box was met by a Nash header that looped over a group of defenders and the goalkeeper and landed in the bottom right corner of the Celtic goal.
Celtic was unable to find an answer to take the game to penalties, and St Joes ran out 1-0 winners. They now face the reigning champions West in this weekend’s grand final.
In the other semi-final matches, West B-grade beat Celtic 2-1 with goals from Aston Stuart and Codee Mitchell, and Corey O’Connor scoring for Celtic.
That result means West will face Alma in this weekend’s grand final.
In the women’s semi-final match, Alma beat Celtic 1-0 through a Lakisha Sloane goal. Alma is now set to face West this weekend in the grand final.
St Joes 1 (P. Nash) def Celtic 0 A.E.T
West 2 (A. Stuart, C. Mitchell) def Celtic 1 (C. O’Connor)
Alma 1 (L. Sloane) def Celtic 0