balmain rovers
Newsletter - Wednesday 27 July 2005
Published by Balmain Rovers, part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
Sydney Amateur League Rd 17

Balmain Rovers v Balmain Wanderers: Easton Park, Rozelle: Sat 23 July 2005

Reserves match report by James Wragg

For Balmain this was another very important fixture on the long road to potential championship glory and a good win could put us in the top spot. The first 15 minutes of the game was fairly even, although Balmain probably edged the possession and certainly spent the majority of the time in Wanderers' half. On the quarter hour the game sprang into life for what would be a gilt edged day for the tall fella from ‘Old South Wales’. After some neat play down the left hand side Kris stepped up just inside the 6 yard area and slotted the ball into the net. The Wanderers keeper managed to scoop the ball out of the net and claimed the ball didn’t cross the line but unfortunately for him the goal line was straight and didn’t curve outwards 2 yards.

After the goal, Wanderers came back into the game forcing a numbers of corners, although there was never any real danger thanks to some strong clearing punches from Drew. Balmain did continue to create half chances thanks to some busy runs from Ben, quality touches from Tony, hard work from Penman and Kris and good movement from Steve and Rob. The game remained 1-0 at half-time with it all to play for.

The second half started off with Wanderers attacks being fairly comfortably contained by the Rovers defence. The introduction of Andy at the break manifested itself with some strong runs into the Wanderers box. Eventually these attacks paid dividends with a quality brace from Andy in fairly quick succession, the first a low drive from inside the penalty area to the keeper's right and the second a lovely through ball taken well and knocked past the keeper.

At 3-0 the pressure started showing on the Wanderers with a number of heated exchanges taking place between their players, but to be fair they did keep their heads up and continued to attack. On about the 75 minute mark one of their attacks finally paid off. Ably assisted by myself and Ricky, their attacker managed to get a looping shot over Drew that probably should have never been. However on the balance the neutrals would have probably said they were worth a goal at this stage. At 3-1 the opposition was re-invigorated but, with about 10 minutes left, up stepped Rich. With what was probably his first touch of the match, he shot through a gap between the net and crossbar that was wider than the Grand Canyon. After some debate about the width of the Grand Canyon, the goal stood.

With a few minutes remaining a Wanderers corner finally paid off with a clean header that went into the roof of the net. At this stage the result never looked in doubt and so finished another good display from the Reserves, placing them in pole position on the table! 4-2.

Goals: Andy McLeod (2), Kristian Wiles, Rich Briscoe
Pele Points: 3 - Kristian Wiles, 2 - Gareth Williams, 1 - Andy McLeod

Firsts match report by Balmain Wanderers

Following the resounding response to a request for volunteers to write the match report, it fell to our opponents to provide the report, with some slight amendments.

Balmain Wanderers hosted Balmain Rovers at a dusty Easton Park on Saturday last. With the season having entered the 'nitty gritty' stages the importance of getting maximum points out of each game becomes even more apparent. The Wanderers went in to the game as favourites having won well in their last meeting (Steve Ashcroft returned for a guest appearance in what is probably his last game in the famous orange shirt). In the opening stages both sides had chances to go into the lead. Wanderers players Big Kev and Ally were moving up from the back to take shots and Uda was putting on an exhibition of tricky twists and turns to get past the Rovers defence. However it was the Rovers who were to take the lead. A sweeping move along the right flank found (Andy Mcleod) completely unmarked in the box and the ball was slotted past the helpless Wanderers keeper to the back of the onion bag.

At one nil down Wanderers started to rally and indeed had the lion's share of chances. However they still remained scoreless and trailed by the narrowest of margins as the half-time whistle blew. At the restart the Wanderers lifted their game. Johnny O'Hara who is rumoured to be over 60 years old (making him older than our Ricky Onsman, believe it or not) entered the fray and in a goalmouth scramble he and his team-mate Adam managed to get the ball across the line to draw the sides level. Not content with a share of the points, the Wanderers continued to show a lot of hunger (if they'd been on the side-line, they'd have been thirsty too as the beer had run out) but their plans received a setback when Balmain Rovers again took the lead from a flicked header by (Andy Mcleod) at close range. At 2-1 it was a crushing blow for the Wanderers and the focus reverted to damage control and getting an equaliser. This came when good work from Wanderers allowed their forward to sneak in and steal a goal.

At 2-2 Wanderers were again fired up and buoyed by good home support they showed the determination that had made them one of the top teams in the competition. A brilliant (bit OTT - let's try "good") move started right at the back with Ally, then onto Fergal who played a one-two with Chris before carrying the ball down the field to deliver an inch perfect cross to Adam. Having said to Johnny O a few moments earlier that he was going to stay up front to try and get the winner the mango farmer got between two defenders and his header was perfectly measured to give the Rovers keeper no chance (not mentioning the obvious foul on Jeff in the box). Undoubtedly one of the best goals of the season (if you forget the foul).

With only two minutes left the Wanderers could smell victory but a very close shave in the last few minutes had the Wanderers fans reaching for the valium once again. Some suspect defending resulted in the ball falling to Rovers' (Martyn Farnworth) with only a defender on the line to beat. To a huge sigh of relief however the ref blew for offside. Although the officials in the competition come under some criticism from time to time this was a well made decision. Despite the defender being on the line the striker was still offside as the keeper had come out.

Thus Wanderers had pulled the game out of the fire and as the final whistle blew it marked the end of one of their best performances of the year. They showed a huge amount of character to twice come from behind when defeat seemed imminent (Rovers will be disappointed with the result but showed character and lost via a doubtful goal to certainly one of the best teams in the League, as they keep telling us). 2-3.

Goals: Andy McLeod (2)
Pele Points: 3 - Marshall Moir, 2 - Andy McLeod, 1 - Drew Schaper

Canterbury District Rd 14

Balmain Rovers v Enfield B: Edwards Park, Concord: Sat 23 July 2005

Div 7 Match report by Dale Humphries

Well, the whole 10 of us turned up for the start of the game on Saturday. Cormac managed to shrug off his knee injury and joined us about 15 minutes into the game much to the delight of all the lads. Up to this point Balmain were competing soundly despite being a man short and had applied a lot of pressure on the Enfield defence. Not long after Cormac's arrival Balmain won a corner and, after Adam was kicked in the face, won an indirect free kick. This was taken by Gotaro and played to myself at close range, which I promptly smashed through the Enfield wall and past the hapless grasp of the Enfield keeper.

Not long after this, Balmain was caught napping and subsequently punished as we conceded a soft goal to Enfield. Just before half-time Enfield again caught us out at the back with a lofted lob from 30 yards out - 1-2 to Enfield, Even at this point Balmain refused to panic and were unlucky not to add to their score.

Balmain regrouped and started positively in the second stanza, playing some sublime football and wearing down our opposition with side to side football, rarely being troubled at the back as Enfield struggled to put more than three passes together. Half way through the second half we won a free kick for one of about 200 fouls that Enfield conceded. I crossed the ball in to Gotaro who finished off with his head! Quite surprising, given the small stature of the great man! So it was 2-2 and all to play for. Despite our relentless onslaught, the goal just wouldn’t come, until ...

One minute to play. Dan turned his defender in the box and smashed his shot in at the far post past the desperate keeper! A great result for the lads, and testimony to everybody's hard work. Bring on the play-offs. 3-2.

Goals: Dale Humphries, Gotaru Uematsu, Dan Whaite
Pele Points: 3 - Tony Madau, 2 - Gotaro Uematsu, 1 - Dan Whaite

Balmain Rovers v Enfield A: Henley Park, Enfield: Sat 123 July 2005

Div 8 Match report by Antoon Visser

We were up for hanging on to our precious 5th spot on the ladder, win or lose. After an incredible series of draws, Balmain - the Fulham of the 8th Division - decided to see the season off with ... another draw. We actually played a fairly decent game. Enfield gave us a lot of space up front and we spent most of the time in their half with some good passing going on. It didn't result in a great deal of shots on target, though. An Enfield defender came closest to heading a corner into his own goal, but their goalie managed to pull off a good save.

All of a sudden Enfield decided to venture outside their own half and were subsequently rewarded with a penalty, I think for a two-footed challenge by Amir. I suppose Amir wanted some action and he got it, a great save! The linesman, just released from the Institute of Flagaholics, decided Enfield deserved another chance though, and when Gavin had a shot blasted against his arm they got another penalty. Amir had to let that one in or we'd be taking penalties all day. We were foolish enough to think we might get a penalty in return but after a few great dives by Dean without result we had to abandon that plan and get back to playing football.

There were no substitutes at half-time because we were playing OK. but after 15 minutes it was still 0-1. And we needed that draw. Antoon came on and we started to put a lot more pressure on. Pretty much everyone had a crack at goal, even Gavin trying a shot from 30 metres out. Finally Antoon got one in. Paddy soon got another but he was ruled offside by the linesman. A good performance by everyone. 1-1.

Goals: Anton Visser
Pele Points: 2 - Dean Lenz, Akin Karaca, Gavin Carey

Award Standings

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

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

Next ...

SAFL Firsts & Reserves bye - Sat 30 July
CDFSA Div 7 v Burwood - Timbrell Park, Five Dock, 1.15pm Sat 30 July
CDSFA Div 8 v Burwood - Ron Routley Oval, Concord West, 3pm Sat 30 July

To UNSUBSCRIBE from this newsletter, send a blank email with the
subject line "BALMAIN ROVERS - UNSUBSCRIBE" to Balmain Rovers

Email comments and suggestions for this newsletter to Balmain Rovers
Wednesday 27 July 2005
Newsletter content © 2005 Balmain Rovers