balmain rovers
Newsletter - Thursday 9 June 2005
Published by Balmain Rovers, part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
Sydney Amateur League Rd 10

Balmain Rovers v Strathfield: Strathfield Park, Strathfield: Sat 4 June 2005

Reserves match report by Mark Wootton

After a rather cool week many of us Brits looked forward to playing in more normal temperatures only for the Australian weather to produce a winter’s day that was warmer than most summer days back in the UK. Steve Ashcroft could be seen prior to the game dabbing his eyes with a kleenex in what would be his last appearance for the club before he set off to tour Oz. I am sure all the lads will join me in wishing Steve and his better half a great time around the country and we will see them for farewell drinks before they depart for the long flight home.

Anyway now to the game. Rovers started off to the traditional sluggish start and could considers themselves lucky not to have gone behind early on after Strathfield produced some early chances. After waking up Rovers started to get in the game but it was Strathfield who looked more likely to score. Midway through the first half, though, Steve Ashcroft managed to put the ball in the back of the Strathfield net after a well delivered corner from Nick Vince had the opposition scrambling in their own box.

Shortly after Rovers went two ahead after probably the most comical goal you are likely to see at any level. Although Tony Unsworth claims he got the last touch on it I am not too sure as it appeared that a Strathfield centre half passed the ball back to his keeper from the half way line. The keeper then provided us with some comedy genius and somehow managed to totally step over the ball and he had to watch the ball roll into the back of the net This rattled Strathfield and there was no way back from this as Rovers took a 2-0 lead into the interval.

Second half Rovers had more composure and looked by far the better side with some nice football being played. On the hour mark the goal of the game came when Nick Vince flighted a lovely through ball to Tony Unsworth who beat the offside trap and lobbed the keeper in stupendous fashion. Shortly after Rovers sealed the game when Brendan Coutts scored a downward header from yet another well delivered Vince corner. 4-0.

Goals: Steve Ashcroft, Tony Unsworth, Brendan Coutts, own goal
Pele Points: 3 - Nick Vince, 2 - Tony Unsworth, 1 - Steve Ashcroft

Firsts match report by Mike Stubbs

With seven of the Rovers starting line-up having involvement in the preceding Reserves game, a cautious start to the match was played out for the canny Balmain side to assess the oppo and catch their breath. Strathfield passed the ball well in this opening 20 mins, but managed little penetration, and although Balmain were attacking sporadically they had an air of confidence about them. Just before the half-hour mark the away side took the lead, with Salomoni and Liney pressurising the Strathy defence from a free kick and the latter poking the ball home.

Despite the home side continuing to dominate possession, number two followed for Rovers before half-time. Farnworth burst into the area and was unceremoniously chopped from behind – the ref took eons to decide but finally awarded the penalty. Momentary concern for Marty’s fitness was calmed once his leg had stopped palpitating and Ashcroft had marked his last game for Rovers with a coolly taken spot kick. Half-time 2-0.

The comfort of a 2 goal margin was a welcome fillip for the Balmain side and the team was keen to quell any possible revival from Strathfield. Rovers began to control the game and had a far greater proportion of possession than they had in the first half. Another darting Farnworth run was stopped in its tracks 20 yards out and Balmain had a free kick. The Strathfield keeper, having a torturous afternoon, set a wall of 5 or 6 then proceeded to stand behind it. Stubbs said thank you very much and curled the kick into the unguarded corner. 3-0.

No coming back for Strathy now. The rest of the half was a series of Balmain attacks with Strathfield (shipping injured players by the minute) playing a fairly successful offside trap to thwart them. Many chances did come the way of the oranges though and Balmain added three more before the end: Liney with a well taken 30 yard drill past a stranded keeper, Stubbs with an easy tap in after great work from See and Ashcroft getting his swan song as a supplementary centre forward and finishing a one-on-one with five minutes to spare. 6-0.

Goals: Ashcroft (2), Liney (2), Stubbs (2)
Pele Points: 3 - Mark Wootton, 1 - Jim Wragg, Martyn Farnworth, Steve Ashcroft

Canterbury District Rd 10

Balmain Rovers v Enfield A: Callan Park, Rozelle: Sat 4 June 2005

Div 7 Match report by Sergio Fiorenza

So, here we are 3 games into the second half of the season and things are starting to get a bit harder for us. The first time we played this Enfield team we were 3-0 up in the first 10 minutes and went on to win 5-3. However this game would be a different story.

Keeping up the latest theme of falling behind to an early goal, the referee (yes we had one this time!) gave a dubious free kick to Enfield on the edge of the box and to the chagrin of all us spectators who were shouting to organise the wall properly, the Enfield player curled one over the top and into our goal. That seemed to galvanise us into one of our best halves of football of the season so far. Enfield had no answer and were not in the game. Robbie in particular was unlucky not to score a first half hat-trick. Cormac got us back in the game with a header and Robbie seemed to have scored another but the ref said that the ball had not crossed the line. Simon then popped up with our second to make it 2-1 at half time.

The second half started well for us but somehow we let them back into the game and with 20 minutes to go, they were winning 3-2. It could have been 4 as the ref awarded a penalty. Stand-in keeper Amir did well to save and substitute Ruben thankfully came up with a late equaliser. 3-3.

Goals: Cormac O'Shea, Simon Goodman, Ruben Davis
Pele Points: 3 - Tony Madau, 2 - Gabe Cataldo, 1 - Dale Humphries

Balmain Rovers v Strathfield A: Callan Park, Rozelle: Sat 4 June 2005

Div 8 Match report by Jacob Cavallaro

The game kicked off with a slight delay as the referee rolled in fashionably late sporting a magnificent fluorescent yellow council workers vest. Some bystanders saw this thinking the circus was in town only to be reaffirmed of this after witnessing Amir juggling what seemed a thousand balls at once, fending off a random onslaught to unfortunately result in Balmain’s first conceded goal in the first half. Amir proving to be quite the showman inspiring Balmain’s first goal, intensifying the drama. Some well calculated and direct passing took place in the middle of the park. A yawning gap in the opposition defence appeared allowing for the ever elusive Deano to charge into the opposition box only to have his legs taken advantage of like Sharon Stone circa Basic Instinct. The ref pointed to the spot and Deano rose to the occasion.

With the girls on the sideline glued to this highly explosive exhibition, watching the sport's spontaneous nuances unfolding right before them, they also attended to the many attempts at goal from the usual suspects Ere, Paul, Deano and Kader, each tickling the spectators and providing the opposing goalkeeper with something to think about especially in the first half. The depressing reality of the game we play is that giving the keeper food for thought does not win games. If it did Balmain Division 8 would already be bringing the trophy home to Easton Park.

A counter by the opposition forwards saw Balmain trailing again in the second half with the fresh legs of Paddy, Antoon and Jacob running on for Allan, Kader and Paul, all three playing very positive soccer. The defensive line however was not changed with strong displays from Justan down the right with tireless aggression form Gavin and Mick, putting his head to good use.

Once again Balmain did not fail to entertain, with consecutive corners in the dying stages of the game showcasing Balmain’s aerial supremacy forcing the game to a draw with another Paddy special directing the ball into the top right hand corner of the goal. The end result was not without contention as a Strathfield player decided to challenge the last goal at the game's end, only to be ignored and put into place by the referee letting it be known that he was no clown. 2-2.

Goals: Dean Lenz, Paddy Denvir
Pele Points: 3 - Amir Hatami, 1 - Justan Kitchener, Michael Bosnich, Paddy Denvir

Futsal Update

On 2 June, Balmain Rovers lost their semi final match against Euro Trash 1-6, eliminating them from the Thursday 2nd Division of the Indoor 5s competition. It's likely Balmain Rovers will not enter a team in the winter comp, but take time off to focus on the 11-a-side season.

Award Standings

Pele Medal (all teams)
15 --- Andy McLeod
10 --- Jim Wragg
9 ---- Gabe Cataldo, Simon Goodman
8 ---- Dean Lenz, Drew Schaper, Stewart Shaw
7 ---- Roberto Arocha, Gavin Carey, Paddy Denvir, Amir Hatami, Dale Humphries, Rob Liney, Tony Madau
6 ---- Pete Boyle, Martyn Farnworth, Kristian Wiles
5 ---- Rich Briscoe, Ben Jones, Matt Mahony, Marshall Moir, Nick Vince
4 ---- Steve Ashcroft, Michael Bosnich, Cormac O'Shea, Erin Owens, Richard Raward, Ere Sihalath
3 ---- Jacob Cavallaro, Dan Higson, Michael Penman, Dom Salomoni, Mike Stubbs, Tony Unsworth, Antoon Visser, Mark Wootton, Paul Wright
2 ---- Steve Adams, Morgan Bowling, Ruben Davis, Omar Elsadik, Allan Frydman, Dave Hanna, Andy Henderson, Justan Kitchener, Matt Linton, Jeff See, Dan Whaite
1 ---- Steve Ashton, Sergio Fiorenza, Ben Jones, Akin Karaca, Ricky Onsman, Adam White

Golden Boot (all teams)
21 --- Rob Liney
12 --- Simon Goodman
10 --- Andy McLeod
6 ---- Paddy Denvir
5 ---- Steve Ashcroft, Steve Ashton, Dean Lenz, Paul Wright
4 ---- Roberto Arocha, Martyn Farnworth, Jeff See, Tony Unsworth
3 ---- Rich Briscoe, Cormac O'Shea, Mike Stubbs
2 ---- Ruben Davis, Dale Humphries, Ben Jones, Kader Tamsaouit, Nick Vince, Gotaro Uematsu, Antoon Visser, Dan Whaite, Adam White
1 ---- Pete Boyle, Brendan Coutts, Sergio Fiorenza, Dave Ford, David Hull, Colin Mitchell, Michael Penman, Ere Sihalath, Gotaro Uematsu

Next ...

SAFL Firsts & Reserves v Balmain Wanderers - Wentworth Park, Glebe, 1pm & 3pm Sat 11 June
CDFSA Div 7 v Marrickville - Mackey Park, Marrickville, 1.15pm Sat 11 June
CDSFA Div 8 v Burwood B - Centenary Park, Croydon, 1.15pm Sat 11 June

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Thursday 9 June 2005
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