balmain rovers
Newsletter - Wednesday 20 July 2005
Published by Balmain Rovers, part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
Sydney Amateur League Rd 16

Balmain Rovers v Botany United: Wentworth Park, Glebe: Sat 16 July 2005

Reserves match report by Ricky Onsman

This has to go down as "the one that got away". Only goal difference separated Rovers from Botany at the top of the Division 1 Reserve Grade table, and we had high hopes of occupying the top spot. As usual, coach Shaw exhorted us pre-match to start with energy and commitment and make the game our own in the first 15 minutes. As usual, we didn't manage to do that. Botany hustled and bustled on the bumpy pitch and their midfield regularly supplied good ball to their two strikers, despite Nick's attempts to talk them out of being too confident. As neither Balmain's defence nor midfield displayed great organisation, it wasn't too long before Botany lobbed the ball over Rovers' defensive wall. Their striker easily outpaced Ricky Onsman and chipped cleverly over the oncoming Drew Schaper to put Botany in front.

Again as usual, being scored against seemed to galvanise Rovers and passages of genuine football started to emerge. The defence became both more confident and better directed and the passing game returned to Balmain's midfield play. Goalkeeper Drew Schaper took charge of his area, and Mark Wootton organised his defence better. Michael Penman and Kristian Wiles started to dominate the middle of the pitch and fed the ball to the fast feet of Mike Stubbs and Jeff See. Rob Liney bumped his way into shooting position a couple of times without reward. Botany started yelling at each other to just see out the half and Rovers' confidence rose. Nick Vince's second corner, well placed as usual, found Kristian who knocked it down to allow Rob to thump the ball into the net.

With only minutes to go until half-time, Rovers started to really pile it on. Most of the action took place in the Botany half, and the visitors' defence grew desperate. One of the better passages of play saw Rob take possession and direct a defence-splitting pinpoint pass to Mike, whose shot gave the Botany keeper no chance. In sending us to the half-time break with a 2-1 lead, Stubbsy had posted the Balmain Rovers squad's 100th goal of the season, a wonderful milestone and the first time we've reached triple figures in a season.

With everything to play for in the second half, Balmain Rovers inexplicably fell apart. The passing game disappeared again as players went back to holding on to the ball too long, and paying the price. What communication there was became more negative. There were still moments where Rovers looked liked they might take control again, and some efforts to augment the Balmain scoreline, but as the goals failed to materialise, Botany regained their early confidence. Rovers brought on subs to save some legs for the Firsts match, and Botany also brought some Firsts players on. Maybe the difference lay in Botany's willingness to risk more in attack. Even after Drew Schaper made a superb save from less than two metres, Botany kept attacking his goal and eventually scored an equaliser. Having saved the point, the visitors locked up the midfield and the game petered out to a draw. It was only fortunate that other results on the day kept these two teams locked together in top spot. 2-2.

Goals: Rob Liney, Mike Stubbs
Pele Points: 2 - Rob Liney, 2 - Drew Schaper, 1 - Mike Stubbs, Mark Wootton

Firsts match report by Kristian Wiles

Following a hard-earned draw by the Reserves came the opportunity for the First-graders to exact some revenge on Botany following the 3-0 defeat at Centennial Park earlier in the season. The opening exchanges, although committed, produced little in the way of clear-cut chances, the pitch not exactly conducive to flowing, expansive football. Botany certainly enjoyed the greater amount of possession in the first half, and spent extended periods in the Balmain half, assisted by the breeze.

Adopting a 4-5-1 formation, Balmain were able to prevent Botany from playing too much, but consequently our lone striker Tony Unsworth appeared somewhat isolated at times, especially dealing with a resolute Botany back-line. The intent was there during the first half from Balmain’s perspective, with Martyn Farnworth gaining possession and seeking to breach the Botany defence on several occasions. However, the ‘blatant’ chances we’ve become used to were few and far between for both sides, reflected in the goalless first half.

The general feeling from the managerial team (i.e. Rob, Mickey P and your author) was to adopt a change and swap the positions of Richard and Dave in the second half, Richard reverting back to central midfield. As it turned out the second half opened with more of the same and although Botany enjoyed slightly more possession as the half wore on, the game looked very much like a goalless draw. However, during a rare surge into the box, Botany were able to break the deadlock, the ball being angled past Stew from close range. A committed Balmain reacted in a positive manner and despite the effort and last minute set-piece, the equaliser eluded them. 0-1.

Pele Points: 3 - Mark Wootton, 2 - Erin Owens, 1 - Martyn Farnworth

Canterbury District Rd 13

Balmain Rovers v Strathfield: Strathfield Park, Strathfield: Sat 16 July 2005

Div 7 Match report by Dale Humphries

Well the bare 11 of us turned up following a three week break to a very warm winters day at Strathfield Park. Nice setting, but possibly the worst surface we've played on all season, with holes and sand everywhere.

Balmain started well and strung together several long passing movements, and after about ten minutes Simon delivered a long flat cross into the six yard box for Roberto to latch on to and blast past the hapless keeper. Minutes later it was Simon's turn to score as he drilled a scud past the keeper after an attack down the left flank. At half time we were up 2-0, and unlucky not to be up by more, as both Simon and Roberto were unfortunate not to add to the score.

In the second half, Balmain struggled to hold their shape and eventually held on for a 2-1 victory. With one round remaining, our minds are possible already drifting towards the playoffs. 2-1.

Goals: Roberto Arocha, Simon Goodman
Pele Points: 3 - Adam White, 2 - Roberto Arocha, 1 - Ruben Davis

Balmain Rovers v Burwood C: Centenary Park, Croydon: Sat 16 July 2005

Div 8 Match report by Allan Frydman

It was another fine winter's day as we all rocked up to Centenary Park for our rematch with the hot favourites for this year's wooden spoon, a team we beat 7-1 in our last encounter with them. Although we only had 11 players available for this match we were all keen to get on the park and see if we could repeat our performance.

As the game kicked off, Balmain took control playing deep in attack. After only a few minutes a now famous Paddy long throw was perfectly directed to meet Paul's waiting head on the line of the 6 yard box. Paul missed his opportunity to connect but as the ball bounced through the penalty area with no defenders wanting to greet it, Dean didn't pass up the opportunity to slot in one of the easiest goals we have seen all season. 5 minutes in, 1-0 up and the expectation of another whitewash was high.

Balmain kept attacking and Dave's hard running down the right flank looked like it was about to bear fruit, but when presented with the open goal, the grass conspired against him to knock him off his feet leaving the feeble Burwood defence to clear up the remnants. Our runs deep into attack continued with Paul, Paddy and Jacob continually troubling the Burwood defence but we still weren't able to convert the pressure onto the scorecard. Jacob gave it his best effort with a high shot from just outside the penalty box which dipped and read the wind perfectly only to be denied by the crossbar. Luck definitely wasn't with us during the half.

As the half came to an end, we started to drop off the pressure and allow Burwood some attacking play. Although Balmain's defence held them gallantly, they had their best opportunity when a shot sailed just high of the crossbar. We went into the break knowing that we should have been up a few more goals but were lucky to still be holding our lead.

Second half started much the same as the first. Balmain in control with another Paddy throw in bouncing through the penalty area to be calmly slotted to the back of the net by Paul. 2-0 Rovers. This seemed to lift Burwood but our midfield also lifted and we kept control of the game. Only now, the linesman either was feeling sorry for Burwood or had no idea of the off-side rule as every attacking play seemed to be called for off-side. Finally the linesman let us attack and Jacob put in the shot of the day to beat the goalie all ends up from the 18 yard box and rebound off the far post into the back of the net. 3-0.

Goals: Dean Lenz, Paul Wright, Jacob Cavallaro
Pele Points: 2 - Matt Mahony, Dave Hanna, 1 - Jacob Cavallaro, Paddy Denvir

Award Standings

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

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

Next ...

SAFL Firsts & Reserves v Balmain Wanderers - Easton Park, Rozelle, 1pm & 3pm Sat 23 July
CDFSA Div 7 v Enfield B - Edwards Park, Concord, 3pm Sat 23 July
CDSFA Div 8 v Enfield A - Callan Park, Rozelle, 1.15pm Sat 23 July

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Wednesday 20 July 2005
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