Allow me to use a sporting cliche in my first week as editor: It's been a week of soul-searching for Balmain Rovers. Well, not exactly, but after the highs of week one, the second week of the SASL brought both Reserves and Firsts down to earth to the tune of 2-nil and 4-1 respectively. Melchester Rovers proved to be higher quality opposition; but neitherb games was a walkover, which is a positive for the squad. The time for hard work is upon us, and who better to test
our mettle against than last year's champions - our opponents this weekend.
After the disappointment of last week's matches we have our first home match of the season at Callan Park on Anzac Day, and we're inviting everyone to
cheer us on against last year's champions, Racing. The canteen should be open. How many pies will Glenn demolish before the match? Hard to say - he may be
distracted by the hot dogs.
Bring the kids - there's lots of room to run around, and the canteen also has some healthy food and drinks. There's a map on the website under Venues, or just take Wharf Rd from Balmain Rd down to the waterfront. There's parking alongside the grandstand, with Reserves kicking off at 1pm, and the First Grade match getting underway at 3pm. Come and cheer us on!
Sydney Amateur League Round 2
Balmain Rovers v Melchester Rovers
Easton Park, Rozelle
Sunday 18 April 2004
Reserves Kick-off 1pm
Firsts Kick-off 3pm
Reserves: Match Report by Allan Frydman
It was a Sunday afternoon and the Rovers were stirring. The Reserves started gathering at sunny Easton Park, full of the confidence that only sitting undefeated on top of the ladder can bring. Sergio quietly mustered us up and directed the team to the change room. The nerves started building as no one really knew what his true motives were in getting a whole football team into the change rooms. Luckily for us, Serge only wanted the privacy for a team talk. Tactics were discussed, the captaincy assigned and, finally, we were ready for the challenge that awaited us in the form of Melchester Rovers.
For those that are interested there seems to be some pommy history associated with the name Melchester Rovers and some guy called Roy. Go here for more information. Note: I don't think the pictures are real. Whether a place called Melchester actually exists, I have no idea.
As the game got underway, we learnt that the Other Rovers were here to play. They quickly got into a possession style of game which left us bedazzled for the first few minutes. Luckily our defence held, and we started to find our feet. We got a few runs through the middle and Kristian started weaving some magic with his curling corners.
What we found was that they were strong with the counter attack. If not for Dean and that totally legitimate sliding tackle that earned him a shiny new yellow card, we surely would have seen their strike power sooner. That, combined with Miles’ super saves and Chris’ last ditch efforts, kept us nil-all at half-time. There was more than one moment when we thought they had scored when Chris appeared out of nowhere to absorb the threat.
Sergio provided us with some inspirational words during his half-time chat (in other words he talked to us in the shade), and we got out there all fired up and ready to go. The game continued in much the same manner as the first half: the Other Rovers playing their possession game, and the Real Rovers adding their touch to the game.
Some quick subs and we got to see Steve making some great runs up forward and Morgan adding some flair in the midfield. Unfortunately this led to Melchester getting their first goal. I can't really remember too much about it, but I know it was soft and I suspect (with no evidence at all) that there must have been some foul play involved somewhere for them to break through our solid defence.
Our quick counters were good, and Kristian was unlucky not to get a goal with a corner that bounced off the top bar. At least it confirmed my suspicions that there was actually someone on the field with a bigger gut than mine. When the Melchester goalie landed, I was stunned by the settlement time required.
As we kept it tight, Melchester got messy up forward, giving away free kicks left, right and centre. Unfortunately, one of these free kicks was given straight back to them and led to their second goal. As the man responsible told me, “Just practicing what not to do in the final” (may or may not be an accurate quote). Lucky to get that out of the way early in the season.
In the end, our guys didn't deserve the 2-0 loss. We always have next week.
3 - Chris
2 - Dean
1 - Miles
Commendations also go to Jeff, Ricky and Ruben (sorry for the lack of points guys, but at least this is something).
Firsts: Match Report by Ruben Davis
It was a magnificent day at Easton Park. The birds were chirping, the sun was shining and it was time to see the second match of the day. During the opening
20 minutes we experienced a 'minor' setback when the team saw themselves two goals down.
An inspiring moment of play saw Rob take the opportunity to draw a goal back. With more vigour than a Honey Badger, the team had new hope. Envisioned
on the horizon was a match that would change from the spectators' prediction of a 4-2 defeat to a 3-2 win.
After the half-time analysis, our team returned to the pitch, determined to claw their way back into the match and on top.
Even though the score became 3-1 with another Melchester goal, it didn't stop the team from putting their all in, with Les fighting hard to challenge for
possesion, and Dave on excursions down the left flank, making sure he had himself covered by putting in hard yards of running. Some exciting substitutions were made with Jeffrey and Morgan coming on during the second half.
Stewart, our very own "Wazza", kept us in contention all match with the 'reflexes of a ninja', and we all know they have superb reflexes! Spectators
(Al) pointed out that Stew had time to point out an offside, then save the well placed shot. Late in the second half Rob had a bursting run, which led to a shot, albeit wide of the mark. A taste, perhaps, of what we will do to them next time!
Unfortunately, Melchester won 4-1 in the end, which indicates the work we still have to do after our flying start, but watch out for the return leg at Callan Park!
3 - Les
2 - Dave H
1 - Stew
5 ---- Chris Daley
3 ---- Les Clarke, Ben Jones, Dominic Salomoni
2 ---- Simon Bush, Dave Hull, Dean Lenz, Radan Sturm
1 ---- Miles Martin, Stewart Shaw
2 ---- Rob Liney, Dom Salomoni, Radan Sturm
1 ---- Simon Bush, Chris Daley, Dave Griffiths
Sunday 25 April 2004:
Home to Racing @ Callan Park, Rozelle