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A football match for the ages that had everything

Just like the weather, Macarthur FC started brightly against Sydney FC last Saturday night.

But at the end it all went a bit pear shaped, just like the weather.

Ten minutes before kick off the skies were blue above Campbelltown Sports Stadium and the sun was shining.

What looked like the best crowd so far for a Bulls home game was settling in for an intriguing encounter with the team that has won the A-League competition in the past two years.

The western stand was just about full for the first time in three home games, and there were plenty of fans occupying the eastern stand, too.

No official attendance was provided to the media but a personal estimate would have the crowd at between 5,000 and 6,000.

It begs the question how many would attend Macarthur FC games if it was a normal season.

Well, I have no doubt the Sydney FC match would have easily attracted over 10,000 in other circumstances.

And they would have got their money’s worth.

Familiar face in the crowd: Camden mayor Theresa Fedeli enjoying a night at the football.

This was a great game of football, from beginning to end.

Indeed just before Sydney finally broke the hearts of local fans in the 70th minute, I wrote in my notes something along the lines of how this was evidence that a 0-0 game can be incredibly entertaining.

Sydney went on to bag another two goals, and the 3-0 scoreline will in years be seen as a trouncing of the mighty Bulls.

But the truth is that Macarthur FC were in the game up to their necks right up until the ball went into the back of the net for the third and final time.

For the first 20 minutes of the game the Bulls were slightly the better side, and were unlucky not have got on the scoreboard once or twice.

After Mark Milligan received a red card the Bulls were down to 10 men for the next 70 minutes – but they still tried to win the game.

It was not to be this time around, but such a character building performance will hold them in good stead for the rest of the season.

“That was brave from the boys, unbelievable,’’ said head coach Ante Milicic after the game.

“We can take a lot out of it and prepare for the match with Western Sydney next weekend.

“Tonight we go home disappointed because it didn’t pan out the way we would have liked.

“But we know we get another opportunity in another derby,’’ Milicic said.

A big storm over the stadium delayed the restart of the second half by almost 40 minutes.

One player who did not have to worry about playing in those conditions was Tommy Oar, the former Socceroo.

Oar was taken off after the Milligan red card and replaced with a defender.

The South West Voice bumped into Oar at the back of the grandstand during the extended break, and asked him how he felt about being take off so early in the match.

“No problem,’’ he said, smiling.

“These things happen, and you’ve got to think about the good of the team.’’

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