This happens in football. You try new things, you play well, but somehow you end up on the wrong end of a thumping scoreline. Or you fall apart in a match, pull yourself back together and jut miss out on a positive result. Balmain Rovers had both last week.
The Futsal boys have got themselves back on track, with 11-a-side defender Allan Frydman getting himself on the scoresheet for the indoor team, thereby allowing him to indulge in one of his two favourite non-football activities: "pub". In case you're wondering, the other one is "couch".
There's no let-up for the boys in orange this week: away matches for Firsts and Reserves against Arncliffe, who are not only near the top of their ladders, but also have a reputation as a highly ... errr ... aggressive side. That's on Sunday, followed on Monday by a League Cup 2nd Round match against Sydney Pharaohs. We did very well against the Egyptians early in the season, but they've improved since then and will be a handful. Meantime, the Futsal team is back on top of the table and faces Euro Trash this week.
Players should also watch out for some social events related Euro 2004 coming up. Jim's sweep seems to have closed now, although there may still be some negotiations, team-swapping and counter-bidding before the tournament kicks off. Surely, the other men in orange are the only ones to cheer for?
Sydney Amateur League Round 9
Balmain Rovers v Strathfield
Callan Park, Rozelle
Sunday 6 June 2004
Reserves Kick-off 1pm
Firsts Kick-off 3pm
Reserves: Match Report by Morgan Bowling
This counts as one of the hardest fought games of my career. That it came down to a 3-2 loss was a very disappointing result, given the massive effort shown by all on the field - a superhuman effort to which I take off my hat.
The first half started with goal-hungrey striker Rob Liney, on R&R from the Firsts team, getting the first goal after a matter of only minutes. This gave the team a massive lift. However as the half wore on tiredness set in, people started to get a little flustered and slowly we came apart a little. Strathfield capitalised with three quick goals and a fourth which was disallowed for offside.
Half-time saw us 3-1 down and feeling a little worse for wear, but a stirring speach from Sergio and a general pick-up of the whole team saw us come out all guns blazing. We held the opposition at bay for a good part of the second half with Chris leading the defence, and were finishing the match well enough to feel good about our efforts. Rob featured again as he aggressively took the ball almost down to the touchline left of the opposition goal and smacked it goalwards. It was too hot for their goalie to hang on to and a defender miskicked it to leave Sergio with a simple tap-in with less than ten minutes to play.
The prospect of a well-deserved draw loomed and Rovers worked hard to earn it. Richard ignored an injury to win the ball consistently in midfield ("Hey Rich, y'alright? D'you wanna come off?" "Naaaahh") and everyone felt the sense of urgency, but Strathfield did their best to waste as much time as they could and wind down the clock. Despite our best efforts to get an equaliser, it wasn't to be.
3 - Richard
2 - Chris
1 - Morgan
Firsts: Match Report by Marshall Moir
Ouch. You would think a result of 0-8 would say it all. However, the feeling amongst most of the boys, and I dare say a few of the Strathfield lads, is that the scoreline is no real reflection of the game played on Sunday arvo.
The first 20 minutes or so of the game was fairly even with both teams having their share of the ball and their chances. In fact, our boys were using the pill about as well as we have all year. Somehow though, and this mystifies me every time I think about it, we were suddenly 2-zip down. Anyway, we rallied well and went into half-time looking much more likely to put a few in the back of the net than our opposition.
Unfortunately, looking like scoring was all we did. Strathfield, on the other hand, actually did score. Quite a lot. The second half went a bit like the middle of the first half, with Strathfield suddenly scoring and those of us at the back looking mystified as to how this was happening (none more so than Miles, who I'm sure spent most of the afternoon thinking this First team caper ain't all it's cracked up to be and will happily trade back to the Reserves behind what appears to be a somewhat sturdier defence).
On the bright side - and I did have to look hard at an 8-zilch score to find one - the boys played some of our best football, had sod-all in the way of luck and, most importantly, keep trying for 90.
3 - Nick (solid defence and some quality balls into the middle which nearly created several goals)
2 - Jeff (ran like the demon wingback he is, and despite being about a foot smaller and half the width of most oppossition, competed well for the ball all day)
1 - Brendan (held the ball up well, made some great simple passes spreading the ball around, and also turned up to the pub after the game)
Futsal Report by Stewart Shaw
Rovers v Blitzkreig, Thursday 3 June
For something different, let's start this match report in reverse. The night ended with the designated driver (me) providing lifts for two of the Balmain Rovers Futsal team, one of whom was obviously extremely happy after consuming two $5 cocktails (what was in those again Michael?) and at least four beers in a two hour drinking stint after a 3-1 win against Blitzkreig.
The last goal was a "Rob Special" which nearly took off the opposition goalie's hands, head and feet as it burnt a hole in the back of the net. Michael was the previous scorer breaking a 1-1 deadlock with only five or so minutes to go in the game. Blitzkreig scored an equaliser not long after we opened the scoring, although as goalkeeper I would classify the goal as one of the softest that we have let through. It was only a miracle that a ricochet off my hands (after a full-stretch left-hand-side dive), dropped in front of the right foot of the Blitzkreig striker to allow them to slot the only goal of the night through me.
Now back to why it was that one of our players was slightly intoxicated on a Thursday night. Here's the story.
It was only five minutes into the second half and we had managed to hold off Blitzkreig with a combination of great goalkeeping, great defence and the woodwork. Allan was standing at halfway as we waited for an opposition goal kick. "This could be a good time for a substitution", he thought. There was a call from the bench to sub which was backed up by the goalkeeper and Allan was resigned to be benched off. However, as he checked that he had the time to make the sub and not expose the Rovers at the back, the ball was played quickly to the player in front of him. Allan approached the player, determined to at least slow down his advance and allow the Rovers defence time to set themselves, but then saw an opportunity to make a tackle. The foot came out, the ball made contact, the opposition player was wrong footed, and Allan had the ball at his feet inside halfway with no-one in front of him (not even Rob!!).
That's when Allan took control of the football, accelerated away from the opposition and eyed the keeper - all as expertly as Thierry Henry when he's delivered a through ball. The keeper charged, the strike was made - straight into the back of the net! Was there any doubt? Allan wheeled to the right, arms raised and then came the customary double fist pump and jump. It was only after the game that we were thankful that the shirt stayed on.
10 -- Chris Daley
8 ---- Jeff See
7 ---- Miles Martin, Dominic Salomoni
6 ---- Ben Jones
5 ---- Marshall Moir, Stewart Shaw
4 ---- Dave Hull, Rob Liney
3 ---- Steve Adams, Les Clarke, Brendan Coutts, Sergio Fiorenza, Ricky Onsman, Michael Penman, Richard Raward, Nick Vince, Jim Wragg
2 ---- Simon Bush, Ruben Davis, Dean Lenz, Radan Sturm, Kristian Wiles
1 ---- Morgan Bowling, Rick Currie, Matt Linton
12 -- Rob Liney
4 ---- Sergio Fiorenza
3 ---- Dave Griffiths, Jeff See
2 ---- Dom Salomoni, Radan Sturm
1 ---- Simon Bush, Chris Daley, Dave Hull, Ben Jones, Marshall Moir
Sunday 13 June 2004:
Away to Arncliffe @ Arncliffe Park, Arncliffe
Monday 14 June 2004:
2nd Rd Cup to Sydney Pharaohs @ Callan Park, Rozelle