Albany United made Bays work hard for their win and some controversial refereeing decisions added spice to the game.
Bays dominated the opening stanzas but Albany displayed a terrier-like quality, continually harassing the Bays players who uncharacteristically were very wayward with their passing.
The first chance fell after four minutes when Mauri Wasi was fouled and from the resultant free kick, Phil Edginton’s header was blocked.
Wasi broke through the defence midway through the half but his shot hit the upright and Edginton also made a run only to be denied by keeper Mike McMurtrie.
Albany’s first attack came from a free kick forcing a good save from John Fletcher, but Bays hit back and Avi Estrin had a shot turned for a corner.
Bays were struggling to get any rhythm into their play and Dan Peat was denied by McMurtrie while Stu Bola saw his chip shot bounce off the crossbar with the keeper well beaten.
With seven minutes remaining in the half, Bays finally took the lead when a Leigh Kenyon free kick was placed on the head of Edginton and he gave McMurtrie no chance.
Two minutes later Wasi made a break but slipped as he was about to shoot and the opportunity was lost.
A stern talking to by Willy Gerdsen during the break saw Bays emerge for the second half with more purpose and both Estrin and Bola came close before Bays doubled their lead in the 52nd minute. Peat took off down the right bearing down on goal then unselfishly passed the ball to Joe Bresnahan who hammered the ball into the net.
The supporters thought that Bays had the game under control but Albany got back into the game in the 65th minute. A muffed clearance saw Tom Le Mouton break through and he was brought down in the box by Fletcher, who surprisingly received only a yellow card. Mike Anderson put the resultant penalty away..
Peat then put Bola through but he was called back for a dubious off-side call from the assistant referee.
With twenty minutes remaining a great counter attack from Bays following an Albany corner involving Peat, Wasi and Bola, saw McMurtrie make a good save from Peat.
With just under a quarter hour remaining, Le Mouton went down very easily under the threat of a tackle and the referee awarded a second penalty to Albany which Anderson again put away and the scores were level.
The final ten minutes were frantic as Bays piled on the pressure. Kenyon hit the upright and peat was denied by the Albany defence after an Estrin break. The ball bounced over the line and was ruled a corner kick when it should have been a goal kick. Kenyon’s corner found George Suri who headed into the top of the net.
Bays kept on attack, Suri headed over the bar then with only a minute remaining of normal time, peat got hold of the ball on the edge of the box and drove a superb shot through the Albany defence into the net to clinch the game for Bays.
Not one of the better performances but credit to Albany who never gave up, harrying contantly.
Team: Fletcher, Forrest (Beguely 70), Suri, Edginton, Estrin, Bresnahan, Kenyon, Webster (Hitchin 58), Peat, Bola, Wasi
Scorers: Edginton 38, Bresnahan 52, Suri 82, Peat 89
Last Modified on 09/04/2010 14:31