“I think their heads really started to drop at 5-0.”
– Trey explores the psychology of defeat.
A devastating performance by the Herston Hatchets saw them thrash QUT’s ‘C’ team 10-0 last weekend. The match, played under Friday night lights at Prentice Park, was notable for the gap in quality between the two teams. This result will provide an early-season confidence boost to Herston, who nevertheless acknowledge that much sterner tests await in the coming weeks.
A clear night in Lutwyche provided perfect conditions for football, and throngs of Hatchets supporters clicked through the Prentice Park turnstyles in anticipation of an exciting season opener. The boys from UQ had selected a strong lineup and took to the field in their signature 4-3-3.
After the initial nerves were shaken off, the Hatchets began to get the ball on the deck and create some excellent opportunities. In the 12th minute, a neat touch from Trey created space for Stewart to slide a pinpoint through ball into the path of Nick. The ‘Raging Bull’, as he has come to be known, cut inside before lashing a shot into the bottom corner of the net from outside the box.
It wasn’t long before Herston had increased their advantage. QUT failed to clear a corner, and centre-back Simon was on hand to score with a cheeky backheel. Just minutes later, he had his second, as he was in the right place to tap in the rebound from a blocked Trey header. At 3-0 in the 23rd minute, the game already looked over.
Midfielder Stewart, who is just one of many first-year representatives on the team this year, had been looking threatening all game. In the 33rd minute he was the beneficiary of some nice linkup play down the right-hand side between club stalwart Adam I and Nick. After being found in space 22 yards from goal, he powered a shot past the hapless QUT goalkeeper to make it 4-0 at half-time.
The game was already as good as over, so manager Simon decided to devote the entire half-time team talk to play-by-play recreations of his two goals. This seemed to work a treat, because the entire Hatchets team was back on the field and raring to go even before Dan had returned from the canteen with his fresh XXXX can. The same couldn’t be said for Herston’s opposition, who were quite slow in making their way back to the pitch, to the point that the referee had to issue a warning for the prolonged QUT C interval.
Any hopes of a second-half comeback were dashed early on, when Tom K won a penalty after his cross was blocked by the outstretched arm of a QUT defender. After having given away a free kick in a similar scenario the previous week, Tom appealed to the referee, who followed the principles of ‘what goes around comes around’, ‘swings and roundabouts’, and even ‘ask and you shall receive’, and pointed to the spot. Simon sent the keeper the wrong way to complete his hat-trick.
But the Hatchets weren’t done yet. A perfectly-placed volley from Rockie snuck under the crossbar in his first ever goal for the club, and Nick latched onto a through-ball from Mike to grab his second. A late double to Trey, including a nice finish from a Mike T corner, and Nick’s third goal of the night completed the rout. Goalkeeper Alex made a pair of fine saves late on to preserve his clean sheet and round out the performance.
The 10 – 0 victory is believed to be a club record. After the match, coach Steven said “We’re not getting carried away, but I think the Scudetto is coming our way in 2016.”
The Hatchets will continue their campaign this Friday night against Springfield United FC, last season’s champions, at Jack Speare Park. Kickoff will be at 8:15pm.