Albury started the game on the front foot with their strongest performers causing problems from the off, neat interplay, strong down the flanks, if was 'all hands to the pumps' at the back for the Cobras, Angus and Fin coming to the rescue on numerous occasions and Chris producing some great saves to keep the scores level. With only ten minutes gone things got more difficult with the Cobras with Angus 'tweaking' a hamstring and despite bravely trying to continue a rest was required. With no subs at their disposal, a quick 'deal' was struck with the Albury manager to use one of their numerous subs. The game recommenced and Albury continued to press for the opening goal, shortly after some respite for the backline came with some good work from Dan holding the ball up well and combining with the Smith Boys to somehow find Oscar in space in the final third. Still with plenty to do but cool as a cucumber Oscar finished with ease past the oncoming keeper. 1-0 Cobras ! A stunned silence fell around the ground from both sets of supporters not quite believing what happened as this came totally against the run of play. A brilliant counter-attack.
This stirred Albury into making further changes and seemed to have the desired affect as the equaliser came soon after. The rest of the half saw chances at both ends with Oscar going close with an audacious chip and Harry also denied by the keeper. At the other end Willem proved a calm head in the storm with timely interceptions and perfectly organising of his defensive unit. Half time came and time to catch breath after a tense and nerve jangling first half.
A further half time deal was struck between the two managers to give Albury's goalkeepers some extra practice by going in goal for the Cobras. This enabled a change in formation with four now in midfield, semi 'parking the Cobras bus' but allowing Chris to raid down the right hand side. The second half saw Sylvester grow in confidence and become more involved, showing some neat touches. The game was more even with chances at both ends, the plan for Chris to exploit the right hand side was starting to pay dividends, time and time again Chris was using his pace and trickery to get forward on the counter and to involve the ever industrious Harry and Oscar. The Cobras were exerting more pressure and forced several corners, for this pressure Harry showed some lovely individual skills to beat a couple of defenders and hammer it past the Albury keeper, 2-1 Cobras !
Further Albury changes swung the game back in their favour and only some lovely saves from the 'on loan' keeper and some great defending from Fin and Marco kept the lead in tact.More pressure found the Cobras facing yet another corner and failure to clear their lines enabled Albury to scramble home an equaliser to make it 2-2.
Cobras heads could have quickly dropped but quite the opposite, desperate defending and some tenacious tackling showed that the game was very much in the balance. Some great midfield work from both Dan and Sylvester enabled the trio of Chris, Oscar and Harry to pass their way through the Albury midfield and defence, with at least five or six passes exchanged Chris found himself sprinting free on the edge of the penalty area and his fierce cross shot deflected in past the keeper off the retreating last defender, 3-2 Cobras ! Now with their tails up the Cobras pressed forward sensing a fourth goal, more excellent work down the right and a inch perfect cross picked out an oncoming Sylvester at the back post who blasted a fierce rising shot into the net 4-2 Cobras ! The away fans were in dreamland.
The last couple of minutes were tense with the Cobras still defending hard and never giving up. The ref blew the final whistle much to the relief of the ecstatic away terrace.
Quite simply and fantastic team effort by all against a very difficult Albury team. Chris and Fin were both rewarded for their excellent performances with the weekly awards, although it could have been any number of players this week.
Come on you Cobras !