Rovers 4A Reserves v Five Dock Reserves
Nield Park, Rodd
Sat 13 July 2002
Report by Adam
Following last week’s great result against interclub rivals
Balmain B, it was important that against the lower placed Five
Dock that we backed that result up with another win to keep us
in the finals running.
While Nield Park, with its sweeping harbour views, has one
of the prettiest aspects of any ground that we play on, I have
to say that it is by the far the worst ground this season. It
is small, steeply sloped and very hard, and is far from flat.
Not the sort of pitch that suits the Rovers Total Football
style of play.
Squad rotation and an absence due to a wedding meant a
reshuffle to the line-up that did so well last week. John
Pereira’s absence caused Neil to shift into a more central
role in the backline and Adam Freeman came into the side wide
on the right. Following his World Cup trip, Darren Taylor was
welcomed back into the side on the left side of midfield.
Rovers started the game brightly, playing some neat passing
football. The training exercises in short passing were paying
off well. All Rovers players were looking to play the ball to
feet, sometimes even passing the ball back or across even when
under pressure, rather than always looking to play the ball
forward as we have been guilty of in the past. This controlled
play was rewarded early when Darren Taylor opened the scoring;
Darren (a keen student of the game) had obviously been taking
notes in Japan - his strike was something special. Rovers 1-0
up in the first few minutes.
While Balmain continued to dominate the play, with Five
Dock offering little in attack, a bizarre long-range effort
allowed Five Dock to equalise. From well out near the half-way
line, one of the Five Dock players took advantage of the
strong wind in his favour and decided to try his luck with a
long shot. As the ball headed goalwards, Spoz put into words
the thoughts of the whole team as he exclaimed "Oh, shit!"
whilst trying to the save the ball which snuck in under the
crossbar. There was much celebration from the Five Dock side,
which is fair enough - if I had scored a goal like that I
would have been celebrating big style. Then again, if I ever
score any sort of goal I will be celebrating big style. Enough
of me though.
The Rovers would not let the Dockers back into the game,
putting the goal behind them as a fluke and they continued to
play good passing football. One movement, in which I think
just about every Rover touched the ball, led to another Darren
Taylor goal. Only back playing 10 minutes and he already had 2
goals. If Mick McCarthy had called this lad into the side,
perhaps the World Cup would be heading to Ireland. Rovers back
in front 2-1.
Rovers continued playing some great attacking football at
this point. Notable were Kelly’s charges forward from the back
and Jared dribbling the ball through the moguls on the left
hand wing. Michael B and Phil Davis were using the ball
intelligently in the middle of the field. It was only a matter
of time before the Rovers scored again. It was Sohail who
showed us that scoring a goal is very much like making love to
a beautiful woman: it requires skilful approach play, when you
see a opening you must be patient and you must be careful not
to shoot too early, before gently but firmly slotting in.
Sohail has been in great form of late - while also still
finding time to play some good football.
Half-time score: Rovers 3, Five Dock 1.
For the second half Rovers came out with a reshuffled line
up, Adam B coming on in the unfamiliar role of defender with
Kelly B taking a break. Darren Lynn showed why he is the
striker goalkeepers fear. Not only did he beat the ‘keeper
twice to score two more goals (keeping the pressure on in the
Golden Boot award) but he once again clashed heavily taking
the ‘keeper out - although he probably came off second best
this time and had a goal disallowed for his troubles.
With the Rovers well in the lead late in the second half,
the side decided to experiment with some unusual formations.
Not that it was planned, more a case of everybody wanting to
get on the score sheet. The crowd was treated to 2-6-2, 1-2-7
and 1-1-8. This really proved counter productive, with Rovers
losing their shape and composure, giving Five Dock some space
with which to attack.
Richard Lyne and Neil O’Donnell coped well, though at some
point, Five Dock pulled a goal back due to a mix-up in the
Mention should be made of the spirit in which the game was
played. Both sides played hard but enjoyed the game and a
laugh afterwards. It was good to see, given the troubles at
other Canterbury District games. If any Five Dock players read
this, good luck for rest of season. And if the referee reads
this, thanks for a good game.
Whilst not a vintage Rovers performance, we got the job
done, keeping us in the title race. Next week sees a confident
Rovers go up against the top of the table Enfield. If we can
go out and play the sort of football of which we are capable
of, it should be a great game.
The Pele points were once again a hard task as all played
well, but go to:
2 - Darren Taylor - 1 point for each goal
2 - Darren
Lynn - same as the other Darren
1 - Jared Carter - for
being able to dribble the ball on that ground
1 - Michael
Badman - used the ball intelligently