balmain rovers
Newsletter - Wednesday 22 June 2005
Published by Balmain Rovers, part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
Sydney Amateur League Rd 12

Balmain Rovers v Arncliffe Aurora: Arncliffe Park, Arncliffe: Sun 19 June 2005

Reserves match report by Matt Linton

The word was that Arncliffe included in their squad four ex-Lebanese internationals. Well I think that two of them must have been ex-boxing internationals. I can honestly say I have never before in my long and dubious playing career seen what I saw on the pitch on Sunday. Sometime through the second half with the scores locked at 4-4, one of the Arncliffe front men took exception to something his fullback said and ran the length of the pitch to make him "Shut the f#*k up!" On the way he nearly flattened another team mate trying to intervene but still made the ground and went at it with his mate. I have to say it was mostly bull and bravado but nonetheless the referee decided to send them both from the field. Not satisfied with that they later tried to start up again on the sideline which provided a bit of distraction and entertainment.

The first half was another example of our determination to come from behind. The feeling was we were the better side and were putting together some good football. But in a flash we somehow managed to concede three goals. Luckily the never-say-die attitude of the Rovers Reserves pulled us back to evens by half-time thanks to a goal by Dave Ford and two from Rob Liney.

The second half saw a big improvement in the defensive wall and once again we were getting the better of them. Then Mark Wootton was sent off for a foul on an Arncliffe player that resulted in a penalty. 3-4. Then the goal of the game was scored by Mike Penman from around 600 yards out, a cracker by any standards. The aforementioned incident then gave us the numerical advantage - 10 vs 9 - but sadly we could not capitalise on it and the game ended in a draw. 4-4.

Goals: Rob Liney (2), Dave Ford, Michael Penman
Pele Points: 2 - Mike Penman, Marshall Moir, Erin Owens

Firsts match report by Martyn Farnworth

Well here we are, Week 12 of the championship, facing a team with 11 wins out of 11 ... with an average of 4.64 goals scored per game and a measely 0.91 conceded per game. Pre-match build-up consisted of a group "find as much glass as you can on the pitch" competition, bets on how many goals we would concede (a target of less than 5 being a triumph) and watching a psychotic Arncliffe reserve swing a metal post at his team-mate with the help of his dad and a few thousand excited kids.

Whilst the toin coss took place the Balmain team discussed the radical new formation to thwart the Arncliffe attack, a 5-4-1 formation ... with wingbacks. Some suggested it had a 1-0 away win written all over it! The first half was all about adapting to this and Arncliffe took advantage with some positive passing football, eventually breaching the Balmain defence and coolly taking a 1-0 lead. Rovers, however, put on a solid defensive performance and on the counter-attack went close through Jeff See and a glancing header, from a Farnworth cross, by Mcleod. Half-time 0-1.

With increased confidence, the second half began and Stubbs had several cutting crosses blocked by the last man to prevent the equaliser. With strong goalkeeping and defence containing the Arncliffe attacking machine, Balmain grabbed a powerful goal from McLeod on the counter attack, a dipping, swerving volley from outside the box ... the keeper didnt even see it! Locked at 1-1, both teams had chances but the Balmain defence proved to be the strongest on the day and when Stubbs cut in another cross from the left hand side the mighty presence of super-sub Rich Briscoe connected and glanced the ball perfectly into the Arncliffe net. It was the lad's birthday too - let the mud wrestling celebrations commence!

So with minutes left, Stew Shaw made two exceptional saves and to add to the drama Stubbs missed an open goal from five yards out to seal the win. To quote an Arncliffe defender, "I'd rather lose the game than miss a chance like that!" Well, guess what matey - you got your wish! 2-1.

Goals: Andrew McLeod, Rich Briscoe
Pele Points: 2 - Stew Shaw, 1 - Rich Briscoe, Andrew Mcleod, Jeff See, Dom Salomoni

Canterbury District Rd 11

Balmain Rovers v Marrickville: Mackey Park, Marrickville: Sat 18 June 2005

Div 7 Match report by Dan Whaite

Rovers went into the match against bottom placed Marrickville having lost only one game in the competition this season. A win was expected. However, injuries, absences and a few of the squad playing out of their usual positions meant that we still needed to be switched on to avoid an embarrassing loss. From the get-go Rovers controlled the match with Dale and Colin dominating the midfield and Simon, Roberto, Ruben and Sergio - in his triumphant return to top-line football after injury - passing and running the Marrickville defence ragged and creating numerous chances.

The Rovers defence was solid and rarely bothered by Marrickville’s attack. Our only problem was putting the ball in the back of the net. Around half an hour in, Sergio, the Olden Boot himself, broke the 0-0 deadlock with a well directed stab to the bottom-left corner following some good lead-up play. Unfortunately, this was not to be the desired catalyst that would see Rovers get the flood of goals that always looked like coming. Nonetheless, Rovers increasingly dominated the match well into the second half, continuing to defend stoutly, and using the width of the field to manufacture more chances. In the end, new legs provided by some late Rovers substitutions proved to be too much for the by now bedraggled Marrickville and our amigo Roberto finally slotted home a well taken goal to seal the match. Although the emphasis of the match was on the Rovers attack, our defence in this match must also be commended – Morgan hardly had to stop a shot all match. Overall, the Rovers played well in this match but we will need to up our tempo to what it was early in the season if we are to go undefeated for the remainder of the season. 2-0.

Goals: Sergio Fiorenza, Roberto Arocha
Pele Points: 3 - Richard Raward, 2 - Gabe Cataldo, 1 - Roberto Arocha

Balmain Rovers v Burwood B: Centenary Park, Croydon: Sat 18 June 2005

Div 8 match abandoned due to player violence. More info once the Association rulings are in.

Award Standings

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

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

Next ...

SAFL Firsts & Reserves v Dobroyd Lions - Wentworth Park, Glebe, 1pm & 3pm Sat 25 June
SAFL Firsts & Reserves v Cabra Vale Diggers - Parkes Reseve, Canley Vale, 1pm & 3pm Sun 26 June
CDFSA Div 7 v Concord - Edwards Park, Concord, 3pm Sat 25 June
CDSFA Div 8 v Strathfield B - Callan Park, Rozelle, 1.15pm Sat 25 June

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Wednesday 22 June 2005
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