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Newsletter - Wednesday 14 July 2004
Published by Balmain Rovers, part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.

Sydney Amateur League Round 13

Balmain Rovers v Melchester Rovers
Callan Park, Rozelle
Sunday 11 July 2004
Reserves Kick-off 1pm
Firsts Kick-off 3pm

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Reserves: Match Report by agency sources
 
A drop of rain, a cool breeze and it almost felt like summer again at Callan Park as the Rovers v Rovers return bout took place. After the fictional footballers' 2-0 victory over us earlier in the season at Easton Park. Manager Fiorenza was prepared to turn the return fixture into a grudge match, and had a little something up his sleeve to get us geed up: our original kit hung up on pegs in the home change rooms, a bit of Guns'n'Roses on the boombox, an apology for the loss of his onfield cool last week and a demand that we all take this seriously right from the off.

The line-up looked good, with a couple of Firsts regulars coming back from injury in Nick Vince and Dom Salomoni and Matt Linton retaining the midfield role he'd crafted for himself in recent Firsts matches. With Nick at right back, Richard Raward and Ricky Onsman were kept as the centre back combination following a strong second half last week, with Dean Lenz at left back and Morgan Bowling between the sticks. Matt was joined by Steve Adams in centre midfield, with Michael Penman and Ruben Davis at left and right midfield respectively, and Sergio and Dom up front.

Melchester were missing a few players but still looked potent, and indeed took it up to Balmain early. Their efforts were matched by some good attacking moves engineered by Steve and Mike from midfield and resulting in Dom and Sergio testing the Melchester keeper. Neither team really dominated although both had their chances, most of Melchester's coming from open play and most of Balmain's coming from corners and free kicks. One opportunity was finally taken round about the 20 minute mark by Ruben to put Balmain on the scoresheet.

There was general satisfaction at half-time in having established a lead for the first time in too many matches, but everyone was aware that things could easily go awry if any player stopped putting everything in. The second half was characterised by hard work from all the players in orange, and the judicious staggered introduction of subs in the form of Rick Currie, Pier D'Angelo and Kristian Wiles in midfield, and Dave Griffiths up front. Nick, Steve, Mike and Dom were rested as Rich slid across the right back and Matt joined Ricky at centre back. This kept the defence strong while bringing fresh legs into the middle and attack.

The moves paid off as Pier served a quality ball up to Sergio to let the manager move his Rovers goal tally into double figures for the first time ever. The four man backline held firm, with Ricky and Matt winning balls high and low and pushing the ball up for the midfielders to set up more attacks. The only real exception resulted in a goalmouth scramble where the ref failed to protect the keeper and allowed him to be pushed off the ball and onto the post by a Melchester forward who claimed the goal and was as surpised as anyone to be awarded it. Danger time for Balmain as Melchester felt they might grab a draw after all, but the midfield remained strong and it wasn't too long before Dave G put the decider away.

Melchester didn't have much to play for other than to keep the score against them reasonable and Balmain couldn't quite find another goal despite consistent attack. The game finished at 3-1 to Balmain and grudge well and truly settled.

Goals:
Ruben, Sergio, Dave G

Pele points:
2 - Sergio
1 - Matt
1 - Nick
1 - Dean
1 - Ricky

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Firsts: Match Report by agency sources
 
Firsts had a number of regular players back in the lineup and it certainly strengthened the team to face Melchester. First and foremost, Stewart Shaw had the keeper's gloves back on and - perhaps inspired by Morgan's strong effort the week before or just happy to be able to jump onto people's backs again - he responded with an outstanding game.

Perhaps not surprisingly there were quite a few similarities between the Reserves and the Firsts match, particularly as a few Melchester Reserves had to back up. This match swung from end to end, with some pretty exciting football being played in a generally good spirit. Balmain's play was characterised by some terrific work from what might be called the little guys: Gotaro, Dave Hull, Jeff and Dave Giacobbe in particular. Lots of guts, lots of control and some great passing from these three. In the first half, Bushy and Couttsy held the midfield together, working the ball from defence to attack. Despite this, it was Melchester who opened the scoring and held their lead at 1-0 until half-time.

The Balmain defence came under more pressure in the second half, with Bruce, Glenn, Marshall having plenty of work to do. But Ben Jones continued further down the path he'd started in the first half, not content to just mop up at the back and boot it forward but running the ball forward through the middle - taking on opponenets and beating them, creating room on the flanks for the little guys to construct clever attacking moves, and it wasn't too long before Dave Giacobbe levelled the scores.

Balmain soaked up more pressure at the back, especially Stew who seemed to be winning everything with aplomb and feeding the ball astutely back into forward play, so it was once again a surprise when Melchester regained the lead. The rest of the match was a tussle as Melchester seemed set on defending its lead while Balmain became more and more inventive. It certainly wasn't a surprise when Ben yet again ran the ball almost the length of the pitch, leaving tangled Melchester legs behind him, to fire in the second equaliser. Both teams pushed hard for a winner, but in the end the clock beat them, leaving scores locked at 2-2.

Goals
Dave Giacobbe, Ben

Pele Points

2 - Stew
2 - Ben
1 - Dave Giacobbe

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Futsal Report by Allan Frydman
 
Rovers v Sydney Five-O, Thursday 8 July

After finishing top of the season in the home and away part of the comp, we were ready to go into the semi-final full of confidence. There was only one problem to the plan: we could only muster up 4.5 fit and available players for a game of 5-a-side.

That never stopped us in the past so we took the field full of confidence. In the first few minutes we took control of the game. The ball was moving up front and Rob was realising his hamstring was causing more problems than he initially thought. The heavy pressure worked for us as we got our first free kick in a good position. Serge lined up the shot, thought about it, and very slowly put the softest shot into the back of the net. 1-0 to us, everything looking good.

Our next free kick provided a different result, Michael realised one of their defenders must have liked him alot as he strove to find out more about Michael's anatomy. Michael's following outburt must have put us off our game as soon they were on the attack. But not to worry, as Michael again used the same anatomy to block a shot (as the rest of us cringed) and Serge was blatantly turned upside down by an attacker (and the card did not come out). It must have been too much for us as they equalised and we went in to half-time 1-1.

The start of the second half was all them, but our defence held strong to keep them out. After a Rovers counter attack, the ball spilled out the back to Serge, who thumped it from the half way line into the top corner of the net. Not long after that, Bruce slammed a free kick into the wall only to take the ricochet with his left and slot it into the back of the net. 3-1 to us. We only had to hold out for 5 minutes and the game was ours.

They threw everything at us in those last five minutes, but they were tired (even though they had 2 more subs than us) and we held them out to score a comfortable win. Final score, Rovers 3 - Sydney Five-O 1.

Next game: THE FINAL 8pm Thursday 15 July, vs either The Jets or Euro Trash: be there and offer your support to the Rovers (not to mention to join us for beer afterwards) - NSW Futsal site

Note - for all those interested in playing Futsal, the next season starts in the week commencing 2nd August. If we get enough interest we can get some teams into the competition. There are competitions running on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. Each competition generally runs for approximately 12 weeks, and there are 3 to 4 competitions per year. Please email me with all nights listed in order of preference, and I will get back to you all with the next steps.

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Award Standings

Pele Medal

16 -- Ben Jones
10 -- Gotaro Uematsu
9 ---- Rob Liney, Marshall Moir, Stewart Shaw
8 ---- Chris Daley, Sergio Fiorenza, Jeff See
7 ---- Miles Martin, Ricky Onsman, Dominic Salomoni
6 ---- Morgan Bowling
5 ---- Simon Bush, Les Clarke, Dave Hull
4 ---- Michael Penman, Richard Raward, Nick Vince, Kristian Wiles
3 ---- Steve Adams, Brendan Coutts, Ruben Davis, Dave Giacobbe, Dean Lenz, Dan Whaite, Jim Wragg
2 ---- Dave Griffiths, Matt Linton, Radan Sturm
1 ---- Rick Currie, Pier D'Angelo, Bruce Fackerell, Allan Frydman

Golden Boot

18 -- Rob Liney
10 -- Sergio Fiorenza
5 ---- Jeff See
4 ---- Dave Griffiths, Gotaro Uematsu
2 ---- Simon Bush, Ben Jones, Dom Salomoni, Radan Sturm
1 ---- Chris Daley, Ruben Davis, Dave Giacobbe, Dave Hull, Marshall Moir, Kristian Wiles

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Next Match

Sunday 18 July 2004:
'Home' to Dobroyd Lions @ Bark Huts Reserve, Belfield

The amended second half of the draw is now up on the website under Fixtures

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Wednesday 14 July 2004
Newsletter content 2004 Balmain Rovers