The Nix just didn’t seem 2-1nt the win against 9th placed Roar, who flicked a switch quicker than when I hear Shania utter the words “let’s go girls” to down Wellington, and make the race for fourth place all the more interesting. And from an Adelaide fan, I say thank you.
Rudan and team didn’t return to NZ post Round 24 loss to United on Sunday, much like Rudan won’t return to see out the 2nd year of his contract if reports coming out from across the ditch are anything to go by today. Instead, Taylor and Co. had a mid-week slay, I mean stay on the Gold Coast for some team bonding that seemed to go about as well as a randomly assigned uni group project.
Even fielding a team was difficult for Davies, who had the most impressive starting XI…of outs thanks to injury and mid-season transfers, leaving only 17 fit players to choose from. Powell, Duncan, and D’ags found themselves starting alongside the man who began the season more underrated than Sno-drop; Dylan Wenzel-Halls. In contrast Rudan, who was sporting his Ricky Gervais inspired black tee and pant combo, had so many available numbers that he dropped Singh to the bench…which made the Fox Sports pre-game feature about him all that more awkward.
Brisbane started off the first half quicker than me tapping through people’s Insta stories, whilst Wellington were working about as well as Australian Wi-Fi.
Duncan had one of the opening chances in the 7th minute following a flick on from DWH, but it was sent wide following a slight deflection from Durante. Wellington attempted to challenge, with Cacace on the receiving end of a brilliant Williams’ cross in the 15th, only to be denied by the punching fist of Young and the second effort being saved by the far post.
D’ags, DWH, and Bauthéac were finding more space than a blackhole as Wellington were getting caught on the counter more times than Shaggy. The Nix’s back three failed time and again to close down the trio, who continued to pepper the goal in the first half.
Bauthéac could claim many things from this game, including some huge missed opportunities. The 27th saw D’ags run half the pitch and pass off to Bauthéac, only for the Frenchman to send his shot wide. Bauthéac attempted to make amends only a minute later by belting a huge cross to DWH whilst Kurto was out in no-man’s land, only for DWH to give us an air swing, providing enough time for the threat to be cleared.
The Brisbane frontline continued to annoy the Nix as much as the weird horse girl during high school, getting numbers up front to continue to challenge Kurto. Bauthéac was finally rewarded for his efforts in the 37th as he went for a solo run from halfway, ping-ponging to D’ags to find the ball again, embarrass Durante, and slot one in from an angle as tight as a Pringles can.
Minutes later Bauthéac fired again quicker than Folau post social-media post to get his brace in the 42nd, as DWH sent the ball across the face of goal for the tap-in, catching Wellington’s defence ball-watching.
Both teams made half-time changes, with Mandi making way for Singh and Calletti entering in place of Kristensen. The Nix stepped up in the early minutes of the second half as Singh sent one flying toward Young in the 53rd, with the save going out for a corner. Rufer sent said corner into the box to find the head of Taylor for long pins to get his usual Friday night pull…he pulled one back.
DWH continued to have more shots than happy hour but couldn’t get his name on the board, whilst Wellington’s 72nd minute corner saw the return of our favourite A-League pastime of the net coming down. If only Kosta was still in a Nix kit.
Wellington seemed to pick themselves up in the final minute of regulation time, with Sheridan’s shot slamming the post harder than the entire population on Mundine’s latest tweet. Williams also had the chance to equalise in the 90th as a net as empty as my bank account laid before him, but his shot went well wide.
Wanting to make sure that the remaining 1 player not named in Brisbane’s squad this week could make it onto the park next week, Bauthéac organised his own standing ovation from the Roar fans by grabbing a second yellow in the 94th for the send-off. Oh and Pepper also can’t play next week due to card accumulation as well. But hey, that’s next week’s problem…we are living in the now!
By Hayley Routley