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Newsletter - Wednesday 22 May 2002 beerbeer

This newsletter is published by Balmain Rovers,
part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
The Annandale Hotel is the major sponsor of Balmain Rovers.

Match Report 1
Balmain Rovers 4A Reserves v Burwood A Reserves
Blair Park, Croydon
Sat 18 May 2002
Kick-off 1.15pm
Report by Adam Brzozowski

Balmain Rovers came to Blair Park expecting an easy game against a young Burwood A side that had not been travelling too well. Injuries had been the major focus in the pre-game warm-up with Mike B and goalie Mike testing their fitness. The result was that we would start the game at the back unchanged from last week with Mike, Neil, Richard, Kelly and John forming a solid defence. The mid-field included Adam F on the right and Darren T on the left, with Adam B and Jared filling the middle and Fergal partnered by Sohail up front.

Kick-off, five clean passes, Fergal heads, goal! Burwood looked worried. The great start did not last though, with a complacent half of football which included many simple errors and a lack of effort by most. Sohail however bustled around scoring the second goal and levelling the game 2-2 at half time.

Half time saw Kelly come off injured while Darren L moved in up front pushing Sohail to the wing and Adam F to a more familiar right back role. Rovers passed the ball better and Darren L scored with a fine looping header.

A few mistakes later and we were 4-3 down. Composure was needed and provided by a more committed Rovers 11 who all knew it would be a tragedy to let these three points get away. Up stepped Jared with two goals from outside the box, the first helped in by the keeper and the second a brilliant chip.

Darren L converted a penalty and Fergal ran 70m to round the keeper and slot the seventh, making it 7-4 to the Rovers. The game provided a look at the team playing some great one touch passing and positive football as well as periods of more forgettable moments. An easy win made to look hard from a team capable of more.

The Pele points go to:

2 - Jared - Two goals when they were needed
2 - Sohail - Won the ball all day with a committed performance
1 - Fergal 1 - A constant threat
1 - Darren T - Unlucky not to have scored


The Annandale Hotel

17-19 Parramatta Rd, Annandale
Ph 9550 1078

Our mates Dan and Matt Rule have bought out their previous partner and are intent on reshaping the Annandale as one of Sydney's great pubs, starting by getting rid of the poker machines and boosting the live music. We urge you to support them, as they support us.

The Nosh Pit restaurant is one of the area's best assets, serving high quality modern Australian cuisine at prices that won't bust a Rover's budget. Manager Drew Simmons makes seasonal menu changes to reflect the availability of the best produce and offers special deals on a regular basis. If you eat out, eat at the Nosh Pit.

For a full rundown of weekly activities click on the image below -


Match Report 2
Balmain Rovers 3B Reserves v Canterbury Reserves
Callan Park, Rozelle
Sat 18 May 2002
Kick-off 1.15pm
Report by Ben Jones

We were coming off a run of tough games and had a few frontline players absent through injury and "work commitments". Despite this we all knew that a job was to be done. With the inspiration of knowing England would do the same thing in the World Cup we had the will and talent to pull through. Good work from Ricky "Chopper" Onsman and Nick "Pull together lads" Vince provided the Reserves with a good squad. Canterbury was the opponent on an overcast afternoon at Callan. The lawn mower had still not found Callan Park but this time Rob "Golden Boot" Liney did, rather than venturing to Cohen Park - and just as well, for our sake.

We were expecting a hostile reception from Canterbury, similar to one we might get when entering Afghanistan. However we had to wait for this due to the disappearance of our favourite referee (maybe heís gone to the World Cup). Finally, a referee showed up direct from Coogee Beach and seemed like a good fella. The whistle went and we quickly found ourselves a goal down after the Rovers had much of the play. The opposition was not the usual Canterbury type. They were young and inexperienced but full of effort.

The Rovers then started to play to the game plan and string a few passes together from the back line, through the midfield and immediately Rob slotted his first home. James "Oh geeez, I might miss the England v Argentina game - my baby's due that day" Mackie was having a solid game in the centre along with the always captain courageous Ally "Come on Ref" Haining.

Bruce "Van Basten" Fackerell and Ricky were controlling things at the back and everything looked good for the Rovers. Donny "Iíll tell you the way to the judiciary" Nicholas was solid as usual in more than the physical sense and Emrys "Crosses like Beckham" Hughes was doing his job well. By the half Rovers had gone up 3-1, thanks to some glorious strikes from Rob "I only got 3 so far" Liney and some great off the ball running and hassle from Nick "Shakespeare" Agafonoff.

We returned to the field in the second half then the trouble started. Our confidence got the better of us and we lost our shape. Canterbury were showing heart and streaming through the middle of us. I think the minds of some were elsewhere, thinking about backing up for Firsts. Our passing left us and hoicking the ball started and before we knew it: 3-3.

Much to the relief of everybody Rob's half time cigarette seemed to relax him and it wasnít long before another goal went in, this time after some excellent chasing down. Nick "I needed to stop to go to the toilet" Agafanoff went down and we thought the worst only for him to play his heart out and contribute well to the team. From then on with some good defence, especially from Mikee coming through the centre, we were better. With the help of Emrys and Ally running hard, James "First person to ever receive a yellow from this ref" scored twice - one a lovely header that was positively Shearer-like.

Rob went on to pot one more and round off a 7-3 win for the Rovers Reserves. It could have been a lot closer if it werenít for Johnny "Iím taller than the other keeper" Barker, who had an excellent game and saved us numerous times after sustaining what looked originally like a Beckham-type injury early in the first half.

In the final analysis, we didnít play that well but did enough against a lesser team thanks to some great individual efforts to take the three points.

The Pele points go to:

3 - Rob "Golden Boot" Liney - for scoring 5 goals, what more can you say?
2 - Mikee "All Heart" Sommers - excellent game in effort and came from the back to support the midfield well
1 - Johnny "We're glad heís back" Barker - great effort and great saves


Match Report 3
Balmain Rovers 3B Firsts v Canterbury
Callan Park, Rozelle
Sat 18 May 2002
Kick-off 3pm
Report by Paul Edwards

"Is this the same Canterbury as last year?" we all wondered as the entourage of lowered sports cars that looked like they'd just been covered in glue and ram-raided Bob Jane T-mart rolled up. It somehow answered our curiosities. We were undoubtedly in for a fun day. Having said that, as events transpired, they were remarkably well behaved as only about four of our mothers were abused, as I recall.

But enough about the opposition's peculiar fantasies - at the start of the day we were more concerned about our own problems since we had a side depleted in numbers by injury upon injury. I say "in numbers" and not "in skill" since we had the likes of Ben, Ricky, Rob, Ally, James and Nick up from the reserves, and amongst them some of the best performances of the day. I will thank Ally and James at this stage for keeping the nets for us since they aren't getting any points. Sorry boys, but truly thanks a million....

So to the match.

It all started very well, bar the fact that you needed a standard edition scythe to find the football and kicking it was akin to playing on a beach. The early exchanges went in Balmain's favour and all in all, we looked very comfortable. But for the second time in as many weeks, Rovers went 1-0 down. A freakish effort from the edge of the area by Canterbury saw the ball loop almost impossibly into the top corner, past the despairing hands of Ally.

But we could sense, even at this early stage, that we were hard done by and were going to overcome this deficit. And it wasn't long after that things swayed in Rovers' direction. A good effort by Kon and a couple of half chances here and there were rewarded by the equaliser as a deflected shot fell into the path of Ben to slot home neatly. And this was followed just five minutes later when another scramble on the goal line fell to the able feet of Dean to thump another goal in - 2-1 to the good. Capitalising on the lead wasn't easy though, as the initial good passage of play somehow turned into poor passing all over the park and we were up against it.

But the defence were good for the pressure and defended well with Kon, Andy, Ricky and Nick holding fast. A missed penalty was all that Canterbury had for their efforts during the remainder of the half, along with a plethora of long range, but largely tame efforts - one of them coming as a result of me being embarrassingly stitched up like the proverbial kipper. Duly noted, not forgotten. The penalty to Canterbury was evened out by a penalty to Balmain, harshly given perhaps, but just reward for some excellent work by Patrick on the right. Kon slammed it home for a 3-1 interval lead, his first goal for the club.

The second half was largely the same as the first, with a few changes in personnel. Andy went off with an injury, as did Dean, being replaced by Rob and Nick respectively. Balmain again struggled to totally dominate the half through some poor distribution of the ball and the defence were called on again to remain solid. But when the team clicked, Rovers showed just what they are capable of, with both Ammon and Rob getting onto the scoresheet before the final whistle. Both goals came after some very nice passages of play. Canterbury replied with just one goal of their own during the second period.

All in all, a very pleasing day. Five goals, three points, zero fights. Combine that with some good performances and taking away some things to learn, what better way to end a Saturday?

The Pele points go to:

3 - Ricky - (a) for playing two games (b) for playing extremely well in two games (c) because he'll kill me if I don't give him 3 points for (a) and (b)
2 - Ben - a thoroughly good game all round, challenged for every ball and thoughtful when he was on it. 100% effort
1 - Nick - for that tackle alone (if you don't know which one I mean, ask him and he'll bore you about it later)


Award Standings

Pele Medal

8 - Paul Edwards, Ben Jones, Fergal Murphy
7 - Rob Liney
6 - Alister Haining, Ricky Onsman
5 - Kelly Baigent, Jared Carter, Phil Davis, Nik Hopkins, Darren Taylor
4 - Dean Da Silva, David Hynd, James Mackie, Paul McDonnell, Patrick Nolan, Michael Sommers
3 - Mark Bamford, Neil O'Donnell
2 - Michael Arthur, Adam Brzozowski, Pier D'Angelo, Sohail Dahdal, Richard Lyne, Darren Lynn, Donny Nicholas, Kon Tsalikis, Brian Yeung
1 - Nick Agafonoff, John Barker, Craig Brown, Matt Clementson, Bruce Fackerell, Matt Linton, Ammon Mackie, Paul Millard, John Pereira

Golden Boot

15 - Rob Liney
11 - Darren Lynn, Fergal Murphy
7 - James Mackie
6 - Dean Da Silva, Ben Jones
5 - Jared Carter, Alister Haining, Ammon Mackie
4 - Paul Millard, Darren Taylor
3 - Nick Agafonoff, Sohail Dahdal, Paul Edwards, Patrick Nolan
2 - Pier D'Angelo
1 - Michael Badman, Mark Bamford, Adam Brzozowski, Phil Davis, David Hynd, Michael Sommers, Kon Tsalikis, Brian Yeung



Saturday 25 May:
Div 4 Reserves v Strathfield @ Easton Park, Rozelle - 1.15pm
Div 3 Reserves v Sydney University @ Timbrell Park, Five Dock - 1.15pm
Div 3 Firsts v Sydney University @ Timbrell Park, Five Dock - 3pm


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Newsletter content © 2002 Balmain Rovers

Wednesday 22 May 2002