balmain rovers
Newsletter - Thursday 30 June 2005
Published by Balmain Rovers, part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
Sydney Amateur League Rd 13

Balmain Rovers v Dobroyd Lions: Wentworth Park, Glebe: Sat 25 June 2005

Reserves match report by Brendan Coutts

One of the fascinating aspects of sport is that it reveals something about the nature of the people playing the game. On the field, it is difficult to pretend to be something we are not. Thus revealed, it can be that sport makes us face aspects of ourselves, from which we would prefer to hide. On a cool and wet Sydney Saturday, on the barren wasteland that is Wentworth Park, during what to any passerby would have appeared an inconsequential game of football, Balmain Rovers Reserves confronted just such an existential crisis.

On the surface, a game of football opened, and began to unfold. On a ruthlessly solid foundation at the back with Ricky and Matt shutting down the slightest sniff of an opening for Dobroyd, Balmain controlled the game from the start. Nick’s long balls from the right were opening up the Dobroyd defence which Rob and Dave then worked over. A scramble in the Dobroyd goalmouth following a corner from Nick resulted in their otherwise reliable centre back thumping the ball into his own net to give Rovers the lead.

Throughout the game Mike Penman dominated the left flank and when Rob dealt with a couple of defenders, ignored a few calls to pass, and slotted a trademark goal from 18 yards, all should have been well with the world for the Rovers of Balmain. Soon after, Dave scored after a lovely passing buildup, and cross (?) from Rob. Yet beneath the comfortable façade of a 3-0 lead, seething doubts lurked. Frustrations began to emerge. In a remarkable escalation, the last ten minutes of the first half were defined by the following interaction between the Rovers:

‘Come on boys’
‘Don’t say that. Be more positive’
‘He is being positive, you should encourage him.’
‘Don’t be so bloody critical guys. Support each other.’
‘Stop being so negative, you idiot.’
‘F... YOU!!!! BE POSITIVE!!!!’

This debate continued into the half-time break. By its self-referential nature, the issue appeared to be essentially unresolvable. Then Tony, in a moment of remarkable insight, pointed out, ‘Look, if any of us were any good, we wouldn’t be playing here, so just forget about all this bulls...’…. There was silence as the painful truth took hold. We are not very good at football. It wasn’t pleasant, but it made so much sense – the grassless pitch, the abysmal referees, our inability to string two passes together ...

Chastened, we took the field for the second half and proceeded to let Dobroyd walk all over us. In an act of great humility, Marshall offered the ball, and an open net, to their centre forward. 2-1. Seeing the world more clearly, we began to realise that although we weren’t very good, we were still better than Dobroyd. We switched on again when Marshall pulled off a stunning save (foreshadowing his performance the following day) and from there we cruised, even when they brought on a few of their first players and pushed them forward. Eventually, Rob tackled Kristian to score his second and put the match beyond doubt. 4-1.

Goals: Rob Liney (2), Dave Ford, own goal
Pele Points: 2 - Michael Penman, Rob Liney, Ricky Onsman

Firsts match report by Ricky Onsman

As Balmain Rovers Firsts took the field, the overwhelming impression was that this should be a pretty straightforward win for our boys. There was plenty of talent available and Lions had not done much this season. Hmm, let's look at that a bit more closely. True, Dobroyd had only racked up four wins against Rovers' seven, but they did beat Prestons and they scored three times each against Arncliffe and Botany. They were not going to be pushovers.

And so it worked out. There was not much creativity on display from either side and the match quickly settled into a pretty dour affair. Stubbsy put in one of his crosses that turned into a goal. Ben crafted a very classy effort and Martyn started and finished off a goal-making move involving several players. But each time Rovers broke through, Lions would somehow contrive to equal. With ten minutes to go the score was locked at three-all. The sideline experts were urging Rob Liney to bring himself on, if only to shake things up.

Finally, the goal shark agreed to take the field at the expense of Rich Briscoe - not that Rich hadn't played well. In fact, you couldn't say any Rovers weren't pulling their weight. Nevertheless, the Liney move worked. The boys in orange perked up no end. Half a dozen players were involved in the creation of the deadlock breaking goal, and Rob muscled his way to the match sealer. In the end, the win was deserved, but raised as many questions as it answered. 5-3.

Goals: Mike Stubbs, Ben Jones, Martyn Farnworth, Andy McLeod, Rob Liney
Pele Points: 1 - Andy McLeod, Stew Shaw, Marshall Moir, Ben Jones, Mike Stubbs, Martyn Farnworth

Sydney Amateur League Rd 9 (Replay)

Balmain Rovers v Cabra Vale Diggers: Parkes Reserve, Canley Vale: Sun 26 June 2005

Reserves match report by Tony Unsworth

With Rovers having to play two games in as many days it was always going to be difficult, especially for the older players in the squad. On a large flat pitch, Rovers started the game in familiar fashion: slow and sluggish. After 10 mins we started to pass the ball around through the centre of the park with Richie and Brendan playing well together for the first time in centre midfield. Rovers went close after 15 minutes when Tony Unsworth had a right foot effort from the edge on the box just sail wide. Rovers controlled the midfield - even with the exclusion of the left hand side, due to the fact the Reserves feature a large number of Poms wh all decided not to pass to our NZ friend Micky due to the shocking result of the Union Test the night before.

On 20 minutes Cabra Vale broke clear but Marshall, who again had another excellent game in goal, was equal to it diving bravely at the opposition's feet. He then quickly fed the ball out to the right side of defence for Nick to play a ball in to midfield. Brendan collected the ball and played it to Tony’s feet, who then passed the ball to Dave T Ford. Dave squared the ball across the box for Tony to slot home a right foot shot from 18 yards. 1-0 Rovers.

From the restart Rovers applied more pressure, with Dave Ford going close (it would have been closer if he’d actually made contact with the ball). Rovers had three more chances before half-time all coming from corners, Brendan and Richie going close. Cabra Vale could have easily gone into the break ahead if it was not for the stout defending, with special mention to Marshall, Ricky and Wootty. At half-time Rovers had to make a forced substitution with Richie having to go off as a result of a challenge that should have seen the opposition player get a red card.

This brought Andy McLeod into the fray, With Rovers dominating the game, the Poms decided it would be OK to give Micky some ball on the left hand side which he used effectively. Dave Ford went close with a long range effort. Cabra Vale broke clear three or four times in the second half. Evey time, Marshall was more than equal to the task. With 20 minutes to go Rob Liney introduced himself as a substitute. Within five minutes of his introduction, he broke clear on the right hand side and fired home from a tight angle. We half thought it was a cross to the waiting four player but knowing Rob, it was a shot. Andy McLeod made it three with a well-taken goal from a tight angle yet again. With six minutes remaining Cabra Vale score a consolation that made the final result 3-1.

Goals: Tony Unsworth, Rob Liney, Andy McLeod
Pele Points: 4 - Marshall Moir, 1 - Brendan Coutts, Mark Wootton

Firsts match report by Ricky Onsman

This was a disappointing affair. Once again, Rovers put plenty of class on the field but somehow failed to take hold of a game they should have won. It's a good thing the defence started strongly or the end result could have been much worse. However, the short passing that worked so well for Cabra Vale in the midfield was mostly repelled by the Balmain defence. "Mostly" is the key word here - Diggers did manage to breach the orange defence. Twice. While at the other end, Balmain couldn't put one away.

To make matters worse, Andy McLeod was red carded and may face more than the mandatory one week holiday - a serious setback to Rovers title ambitions if that does turn out to be the case. This defeat and the goals conceded are probably also less important than a sense that the Firsts team has lost its way and needs something bring out its best. 0-2.

Goals: nil
Pele Points: 2 - Pete Boyle, Marshall Moir, 1 - Erin Owens, Jim Wragg

Canterbury District Rd 12

Balmain Rovers v Concord: Edwards Park, Concord: Sat 25 June 2005

Div 7 Match report by Sergio Fiorenza

We arrived at Concord in good spirits despite the weather and a few absentees from our squad. In fact we have never had the full squad together all season so far! Our pre-match discussions centred around the hard game they had given us previously this season and in the first half Concord were again right in the game. We had a few opportunities to score but didn’t capitalise on them.

In the second half, though, it didn’t take us long to get going, with Roberto, and Simon grabbing a couple of early goals. Then a couple of moments of indiscipline from yours truly saw Balmain reduced to 10 men. However, it only seemed to galvanise the boys and they promptly went and scored another four goals in the second half: two more for Simon, one from Adam ,and a first ever for the team from young Gabriel, for a very satisfying win! This result, combined with Enfield B and Burwood both losing, means we are minor premiers. Well done boys!! 6-0.

Goals: Simon Goodman (3), Roberto Arocha, Adam White, Gabe Cataldo
Pele Points: 1 - Dale Humphries, Gabe Cataldo, Tony Madau, Adam White, Simon Goodman, Colin Mitchell

Balmain Rovers v Strathfield B: Callan Park, Rozelle: Sat 25 June 2005

Div 8 Match report by Paddy Denvir

Miserable and wet were apt adjectives to describe both the day and Balmain's performance. While the day lightened up a bit during the course of the game, for Balmain it was a case of what might have been. While Paddy was still trying to lace his boots the first goal went in and, while we were wondering how that had come about, we contrived to gift Strathfield another goal. 0:2 and barely 3 minutes gone.

Balmain slowly asserted themselves and largely outplayed Strathfield, though a few half chances were all we had to show for the first half-hour's work. However a piece of opportunism from Jacob saw him curl a right foot shot into the top corner from the edge of the box to provide a highlight for the day. 1:2 and starting to look better. A few minutes later and a pinpoint corner from Dean found Paddy's head. 2:2. A late first half header from Dean then found the post.

So, half-time and Balmain is looking a good bet for a result. The start of the second half saw a couple of changes made, and Balmain's shape largely disappear. An early penalty following a foul on Jacob resulted in Dean's nemesis, the post, striking again. Dean getting stuck in the mud on the follow-through was a good metaphor for what was to come. An attack deep in the Strathfield half was returned with interest a few minutes later, with some neat passing leading to a good finish. 2:3. The unusual sight of Mike then playing left side of midfield highlighted our need to win this one. However a scrappy last 15 minutes and a messy late goal by Strathfield killed the match off as a contest. 2:4 it finished.

Goals: Jacob Cavallaro, Paddy Denvir
Pele Points: 3 - Jacob Cavallaro, 2 - Paul Wright, 1 - Dean Lenz

Award Standings

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

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

Next ...

SAFL Firsts & Reserves v Leichhardt Saints - King George Park, Rozelle, 1pm & 3pm Sat/Sun
CDFSA Div 7 v Strathfield - Strathfield Park, Strathfield, 1.15pm Sat 2 July
CDSFA Div 8 v Burwood C - Centenary Park East, Croydon, 1.15pm Sat 2 July

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Thursday 30 June 2005
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