balmain rovers
Newsletter - Tuesday 16 August 2005
Published by Balmain Rovers, part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
Sydney Amateur League Rd 19

Balmain Rovers v Cabra Vale: Wentworth Park, Glebe: Sat 13 August 2005

Reserves match report by Rich Briscoe

On another sunny Sydney afternoon in the sandpit, Balmain Rovers set about their quest of claiming their rightful top spot in the league. Balmain started brightly and never looked like being beaten and it wasn't long before Liney slotted in the first goal - 1-0. There were a few hairy moments when it looked like Cabra Vale may force an equaliser, but Drew was on hand with a couple of great saves. Before the half drew to a close, Liney received the ball just inside the opponents' area, ignored a number of calls to pass and a few curses, turned and fired a shot across the goal into the far corner - 2-0. A fine goal but there were "a number of things wrong with it" according to Martijn, to Rob's disappointment in the pub afterwards! Half-time - 2-0.

Balmain again played some good football in the second half and for much of the time, set up camp in the opponents' half. However, we lacked the killer instinct to run away with a cricket score and a number of chances were missed, not least an almost open goal by Briscoe. However, to make amends, 10 minutes before time, a great double cross from Briscoe gifted Liney with his hat-trick opportunity, but unfortunately he didn't quite make the contact need to steer it past the keeper and into the back of the net.

And so the game ended 2-0 to Balmain Rovers. Results the following day brought more glory to Rovers when Botany were comprehensively beaten, leaving Rovers sitting pretty at the top of the league with one game left. Bring on those jackets! 2-0.

Goals: Rob Liney (2)
Pele Points: 3 - Ben Jones, 2 - Drew Schaper, 1 - Rob Liney

Firsts match report by Marshall Moir

New week, new opposition, same old story. The Firsts kicked off with their usual panache and intensity only to wilt like the spring grass under the searing Aussie sun. With a new look back four, Gareth "the rock" and Wootty "every attack with soft shins nightmare" anchoring the defence and a shuffle around in the middle of the park we settled in and started playing together remarkably well. The back four certainly had no trouble holding out the forays from the speedy Cabra Vale attackers and the midfield worked well with Marty upfront to create several chances.

As usual we were the first to trouble the scorer. The honour fell once again to Andy McLeod. After carefully studying the technique and style of that other great attacking midfielder Marshall Moir when his vicious volley was cruelly denied by the face of one the Cabra Vale defenders, Andy took the lessons onboard and smashed the ball into the roof of the net from well outside the box. The second for Balmain was equally impressive. Mike Stubbs got onto the end of another quality ball into the box and he made no mistake as he took it first time to leave the opposition in no doubt as to who was in charge here - more importantly no fluffs this week from the speedy left winger.

From here on the tale turns a little tragic. Cabra Vale clawed one back before the break to go to half-time only trailing by one. Mr Salomoni, who saw plenty of ball in the first half and made good use of it, must have seriously peed someone off, as the whole team decided to ignore him for the second half. This was made even easier when he was subbed with about 15 to go. Nick and Jeff kept probing forwarded and tried to give the midfield the support and ball they needed and Brendan kept running all day as he always does. However a lack of possession in the second half told and Cabra Vale managed to sneak another couple past the solid Stew in goal. As Nick pointed out, Stew was doing a great job of making himself "look big" in the goal - perhaps time for another couple of laps round the oval Stewie?

Finally a farewell to Marty, I dare say he's been to more games and training sessions than most people combined this year and given it plenty every week. He scored a couple of great goals and I for one can't wait to hear the tales of his exploits by the time he gets home to England: "so I gets the ball on half way, right, and dribble round all 15 of them ..." 2-3.

Don't forget the Rovers prizegiving and end of season shindig, partners more than welcome, would even go as far as to say encouraged ( for all the single blokes in the team). Saturday 17th September. Kicks off at 2pm at the Balmain Bowling Club followed by dinner at the only restaurant that would have us. Price is $55 and includes Bowls, Dinner and Booze at the restaurant. $20 per person deposit required ASAP. See Sneaky Mike P or Marshall for details and to hand over some cash to.

Goals: Andy McLeod, Mike Stubbs
Pele Points: 2 - Gareth Williams, Mark Wootton, 1 - Andy McLeod, Martyn Farnworth

Canterbury District Round Robin

Balmain Rovers v Enfield B: Callan Park, Rozelle: Sat 13 August 2005

Div 7 Match report by Cormac O'Shea

A wise man once said that goals dictate the way you view a game. That wise man was John Giles (Gilesy to his mates) who won League titles, FA cups and generally terrorised the midfield for the Leeds team of the seventies. Balmain had pounded Hurlstone Park the previous week for 85 of the 90 minutes yet failed to score. One good free kick later and we had lost one-nil. Today was to be a different story as Balmain took their chances and erased any problems in a gutsy if somewhat patchy performance. It was all down to this game and a win would put Balmain in the final. The team was beginning to look a bit jaded but Robbie and Colin were welcomed back to add a bit of passion and guile respectively. Indeed we also seemed to have a new manager in Sergio 'the tinkerman' who felt that having only lost twice all year in about 18 games the best thing to do was to play 3-5-2 instead of our usual 4-4-2. Therefore I found myself playing in the middle of a back three for the first time since under-14s when I had a bit more fuel in the tank than now.

As with previous games Balmain started well and were given plenty of time by Enfield to move the ball around. A good passing movement involving Gabe and Robbie put Simon through for a cool lofted finish over the keeper. One-nil after about 15 mins and we continued to run the game for the next ten, creating a couple of good chances which we failed to take.

Enfield are one of those awkward teams who are not blessed with too much skill but who battle hard and do their best to unsettle teams through persistent niggly fouls and verbals. They pushed hard to score before half-time with a succession of long throws and corners. The Balmain midfield were wondering what to do with their extra man and Enfield simply pinned us back until half-time, each clearance coming back within seconds. The back three defended well with some good positioning and Morgan in particular took a couple of clean corners and swept up well.

The second half started a bit better for Balmain but again Enfield got on top without creating too much. At this stage Omar was tracking back to help so much he may as well have been left back so a call to revert to 4-4-2 was greeted with a sigh from my now completely busted right leg. Following that Balmain had shape again and began to control the game. Passes began to find their target and tired bodies moved into more natural positions without having to think about where they were. Balmain had one scare with 20 mins to go when the Enfield forward hooked a messy ball goalward but Colin got to it and cleared. From then on it was all Balmain. Simon was moving well but was rarely allowed more than five or six yards before he was fouled. It does annoy me that refs seem intent on booking players for making noise (me) but let persistent fouling go unpunished ... having said that the ref had an OK game and was fair to both teams. With about 10 to go Colin knocked a good pass to Dan who steadied and crossed a great ball into the six yard box to Robbie. Robbie ignored the obvious header to go for a more Hugo Sanchez style finish by volleying the ball in mid-air past the keeper for the clincher. A well deserved goal for the Mexican who had worked hard all day.

Hard to pick any stand-out performances as every player battled very hard and showed the desire needed to get through a tricky game. Another performance like this is required next week to wrap up a great season for a hard-working team. In the interest of democracy and fairness I will spread out the points. 2-0.

Goals: Simon Goodman, Roberto Arocha
Pele Points: 2 - Morgan Bowling, 1 - Dan Whaite, Roberto Arocha, Tony Madau, Dale Humphries

Balmain Rovers v Burwood A: Birchgrove Oval, Birchgrove: Sat 13 August 2005

Div 8 Match report by Allan Frydman

Last game of the season snuck up too quickly for us this year. Although we didn't make the finals we were playing for pride and wanted to finish the end of season round robin comp with three wins from three games. Our well laid plans suffered an early setback before kick off as it was revealed that although the team turned up on time, the kit decided to stay home. A few minutes later, the problem was solved and we were up and ready to play. Not only did we find a kit but we even found a volunteer referee. The gods were with us today.

As the game readied for kick off, I realised I had better do at least one pre-game motivational talk for the season: a few words about going out on a winning note and we were off. Although it took a while for our back line to gather a centre back (with Mike injured and providing support from the sideline) Balmain looked good from the start, controlling the centre of the park and launching many a good attack. Burwood attempts at a counter attack were quickly stopped by the solid defensive line and Amir's solid keeping. Burwood's best chance came when Amir didn't realise that there was a combination of rugby league and soccer lines on the park and decided to pick up the ball some where between the 18 yard box and the half way. An honest mistake which didn't cause us any concern.

Our midfielders and forwards decided that attack was the best defence after the mistake and then kept the ball deep in attack. Some good play by Balmain and a quick ball into the danger zone caused some real pressure on Burwood's defence. They quickly fell apart under the pressure and had to use a combination of hands and feet to try and release their pain. Luckily, the ref didn't let them get away with the handball and it was not long before your humble reporter heard his name being called to step up to the mark and take the penalty. Not renowned for my finishing ability (except for the futsal twirl) I approached the unknown attacking end of the field with the concentration normally reserved for the Karate Kid. A low strike to the left, just beating the keeper's outstretched hands and the ball was in the corner of the net. 1-0 Rovers. The early goal lifted the team and the Balmain pressure just kept increasing. Jacob and Antoon kept the attacking moves our way, well supported by the midfield, not giving Burwood the opportunity to leave their defending zone. It was not much longer until Dean took a perfect corner, which after a few ricochets found Paddy's foot in front of an open goal. 2-0 Balmain. Although we kept attacking we went into the half-time break with a well earned 2-0 lead.

Burwood came out in the second half with a different strategy, pushing more numbers up front in an effort to break the Balmain lines. Our defence held strong with Dan and I shoring up the flanks and Paddy and Gavin cleaning up anything that looked remotely dangerous. Amir's skills weren't going to get much of a workout today. As Burwood kept pushing more numbers forward, the space kept opening up for us. Matt found room and time on the left flanks and Antoon scored through the rugby league goal posts (unfortunately that doesn't count). Our best chance of the second half came when the anti-swearing ref awarded us a free near the half for some verbal indiscretions by a Burwood player. Dean took the free and with the uncanny magnetic ability that the Deano / Paddy partnership is starting to bring, curved the ball perfectly onto Paddy's head on the edge of the 18 yard box. It wasn't time for a third as Paddy's header bounced off the crossbar back into the field of play only for Antoon to narrowly miss with the rebound attempt. Although Burwood tried to attack, Balmain maintained control of the game right to the end and Burwood never looked like scoring. A good way to finish the season with three straight wins. 2-0.

Manager's note: I think its been a great season for the team. Although we didn't make the finals we finished the season strongly and developed a real team spirit within all the guys which I hope can be continued for more years to come. The improvements we made as a team during the year saw us finish the season a much stronger unit than we started, and the commitment seen week in and week out at training and at games cannot be faulted. We were lucky to find a quality keeper early in the season (4 saved penalties within a season says it all) and a talented central core which gave us the foundations on which to build a solid team. Our record of playing 17 games and only conceding 20 goals is really something to be proud of. Look forward to seeing you all next year, Allan.

Goals: Allan Frydman, Paddy Denvir
Pele Points: 3 - Paddy Denvir, 2 - Aklin Karaca, 1 - Gavin Carey

Award Standings

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

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

Next ...

SAFL Firsts & Reserves v Leichhardt - King George Park, Rozelle, 3pm & 1pm Sat 20 August
CDFSA Div 7 v Hurlstone Park (Grand Final) - venue & time TBA, Sat 20 August

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Tuesday 16 August 2005
Newsletter content 2005 Balmain Rovers