balmain rovers
Newsletter - Tuesday 12 April 2005
Published by Balmain Rovers, part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
Sydney Amateur League Rd 2

Balmain Rovers v Thirsty Thirds: Wentworth Park, Glebe: Sat 9 April 2005

Reserves match report by David Hull

From a close, physical match played in uncomfortable heat, Rovers' Reserves emerged victorious courtesy of right back Nick Vince's neatly placed long-range free kick, which sailed over Thirsties' hesitant keeper on the ten-minute mark.

Despite the early breakthrough this was a patchy Rovers performance during which a clean sheet always looked in doubt and a second goal remained frustratingly elusive. In what was a scrappy affair plagued by relentless free kicks, both sides had plenty of chances; several nullified through scrambling defensive work and/or the Wentworth Park 'bowling green' but most squandered through a lack of composure in front of goal.

Vince was unlucky not to double his tally when his corner was headed off the line at the far post midway through the first half, while as the fitter Rovers side pressed forward in droves late on, a notable 'nearly' moment fell to Steve Ashcroft whose chance to bury a point blank header from Rob Liney's cross was apparently thwarted by a keeper's faint touch.

Goals: Nick Vince
Pele Points: 3 - Jim Wragg, 2 - Erin Owens, 1 - Nick Vince

Firsts match report by Peter Boyle

With several First Grade players backing up from the Reserve Grade game (due to some eight players being unavailable), the match was expected to be an arm wrestle and so it proved. A combination of oppressive heat and a cabbage patch of a pitch meant that the flowing football enjoyed by all at the previous week’s game was sadly absent. Instead, the spectators were treated to a workmanlike performance by a Rovers team that was hoping to maintain its top spot on the league ladder. A combative first half ended scoreless and was best characterised by a Rovers front line that showed a profligacy in front of goal reminiscent of Andy Cole in his heyday.

The second half proved to be more fruitful for Rovers, who, on the back of solid defending and a hardworking midfield that was firmly on top, managed to score three unanswered goals. The Rovers midfield were the main stars of the show and they were ably assisted by some resolute defending. Rob Liney netted a brace to maintain his lead in the race for the Golden Boot and Dave Hull rounded out the scoring with his first of the season.

Goals: Rob Liney (2), Dave Hull
Pele Points: 2 - Andy McLeod, Steve Ashcroft, 1 - Ben Jones, Dom Salomoni

Canterbury District Rd 2

Balmain Rovers v Hurlstone Park: Easton Park, Rozelle: Sat 9 April 2005

Match report by Les Clarke

The first home game of the season brought more success. Simon placed early pressure on the opposition who were finding it hard to handle his frequent attacking runs from midfield. Many of these were instigated by captain Dale shoring up the middle of the pitch, supported by attacks from the left and right flanks in the form of Dan and Gotaro, who both proved a handful for their respective defenders. One of Dan's pushes ultimately saw Sergio taken down by the keeper. The referee's call of a spot kick looked a little dubious, even to Balmain players, but nevertheless Simon coolly put the ball away for a 1-0 lead.

Gotaro continued his runs in left field and Omar was enjoying his role at left back. There were times, however, when the lack of Cormac at centre back was noticeable, and on one occasion a loose ball was pounced upon by Burwood's big striker, and he very ably slotted home for a 1-1 scoreline. To the credit of the Balmain men, however, there were no signs of frustration or panic. Simon, Dan and Dale responded to calls for more running, with Simon tracking back to clean up loose ball in the centre of the pitch. When the oppportunity came for Dale to have a crack from way beyond the area, he took it with every bit of skill and precision he could muster. A superb shot left the keeper with nothing to take the score to 2-1.

Half-time saw Gotaro taking a well-deserved rest and Les coming on at left midfield. Ruben's constant running for every 50-50 opportunity continued, setting up plenty of possession for Balmain's front duo Roberto (who replaced Sergio soon after half-time) and Simon. The second half was virtually one-way traffic with increased work rates leading to Adam's very well taken goal midway through the half. The tall Englishman controlled the ball perfectly and pushed the ball home like he had all day to do it. Post match, Adam said he was inspired by the marriage of Prince Charles to Camilla. Poetry, my friends. All in all another excellent performance by the Balmain Canterbury Div 7 contingent. 3-1.

Goals: Simon, Dale, Adam
Pele Points: 3 - Simon Goodman, 2 - Dale Humphries, 1 - Ruben Davis

Balmain Rovers v Burwood A: Edwards Park, Concord: Sat 9 April 2005

Match report by Mathew Mahony

Deano tried all game to put the ball into the back of the net in Saturday's game. In fact, both sides where eager to score and dominate the game early. Both sides had a number of opportunities but it seemed that things didn't work for either team.

In the first half Balmain centre midfielders Deano and Jacob pushed the ball wide or through the middle to try to expose a napping Burwood defence. When their efforts weren't shut down by the defence, the stray shot would not find the goal. It seemed that Burwood was following Balmain's game plan with some of their attacking runs. Balmain was tested on a number of occasions, but with Mike, Paddy, Dave, Dan and Amir (goalkeeper) at the back, Balmain had Burwood struggling to find any time to have shots at the goal. Dan worked like a packhorse at the back with his one-on-one tackles and line balls. Towards the end of the first half Balmain was the stronger side and with a few minutes to go Deano seized the opportunity to put the first points on the board with a cracking shot just to the right of Burwood's keeper.Unfortunately, it was saved.

After half-time both sides were a little deflated, but after a while both teams got back into it, with some end-to-end soccer, trying not to give too much away. A few subs were made for Balmain, fresh legs. Again centre midfield and centre forwards were tying to break through Burwood's defence. Balmain had a few more opportunities to put the ball into the goal, but those chances went begging. Balmain's new goalkeeper Amir was put through his paces a couple of times in the second half, but he managed to pull through. With around ten minutes to go Balmain found the back of the net, with a corner kicked in by Deano, the ball deflected off a Burwood player straight back to Deano, he got around a few of the opposition and planted it into the left of the goal. Unfortunately Balmain's joy turned to disappointment when the referee, who firstly said it was a goal, said that a Balmain player touched the ball on the way into the goal, so it was an offside ruling.0-0.

Goals: nil
Pele Points: 3 - Dean Lenz, 2 - Dan Higson, 1 - Amir Hatami

Award Standings
Pele Medal (all teams)

5 --- Simon Goodman
4 --- Rob Liney
3 --- Gabe Cataldo, Jacob Cavallaro, Ben Jones, Dean Lenz, Erin Owens, Jim Wragg
2 --- Steve Ashcroft, Paddy Denvir, Dan Higson, Dale Humphries, Andy McLeod, Jeff See, Nick Vince
1 --- Ruben Davis, Matt Linton, Tony Madau, Dom Salomoni, Ere Sihalath, Kristian Wiles

Golden Boot (all teams)

6 ---- Rob Liney
3 ---- Simon Goodman
2 ---- Martyn Farnsworth, Andrew McLeod, Jeff See
1 ---- Paddy Denvir, Sergio Fiorenza, Amir Hatami, David Hull, Dale Humphries, Tony Unsworth, Nick Vince, Adam White

Next ...

SASL First & Reserves v Melchester Rovers - Easton Park Rozelle, 1pm & 3pm Sun 17 April
CDFSA Div 7 v Enfield A - Henley Park, Enfield, 1.15pm Sat 16 April
CDSFA Div 8 v Strathfield A, Strathfield Park, Strathfield, 3pm Sat 16 April

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Tuesday 5 April 2005
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