A send-off in the 70th minute was the turning point in a hard-fought affair at Grahams Reserve on Saturday when Brookvale defeated Narrabeen 1-0.
“It was a very even contest,” Brookvale coach Mark Hunt said. “Narrabeen had a player sent off and it gave us a little more time and space to press for what was ultimately the winner. There was very little between the sides on the day and both sides gave everything which would have been good to watch.
“It was just a very competitive football match which turned on a sending off, in all honesty.”
With Narrabeen playing an up-tempo game, Hunt was pleased his team could maintain intensity.
“Narrabeen is as fit a side as we’ve faced and they have clearly worked hard on the high, early press to win the ball back,” Hunt said. “They will likely over run any side who doesn’t match them physically.”
Narrabeen coach Ross Talarico said his team could’ve been more clinical in the top third but overall was very pleased with his team’s endeavour against the league champions.
“I thought we moved the ball around very well, constantly bringing Brookvale into positions they didn’t want to be. We could have been more clinical in the final third and a lot more direct.
“To be fair it was a tight affair with not too many chances; it was just a great tactical game of football.”
Both coaches agreed the turning point was the 70th minute sending off of Adel given that five minutes later Max Glanville scored a cracking goal.
“The goal which made the difference was of the highest individual quality,” according to Hunt. “After winning the ball back high up the pitch Max spotted their keeper just outside his 6-yard box and curled a quality, controlled finish into the far corner.”
Narrabeen almost equalised in the last minute with Luke Reid firing wide with the goal begging.
“It was a perfect afternoon for football and pitch was in nice condition to play actual football,” Talarico said.”Credit to Brookvale, you can see why they are champions. They didn’t give much at the back and battled well. Their better players stood up when it was counted. All credit to them.
“Overall though it was a pleasing result for us with a lot of young kids stepping up to the plate and showing the depth we are creating at Narrabeen.”
In other games Curl Curl 4 defeated Manly Vale 0, Pittwater RSL 2 beat Wakehurst 1, Mosman went down 4-1 to table-topping CC Strikers, Harbord got over BTH Raiders 2-1 while St Augustine’s beat Seaforth on forfeit.
By Matt Cleary