balmain rovers
Newsletter - Tuesday 3 May 2005
Published by Balmain Rovers, part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
Sydney Amateur League Rd 5

Balmain Rovers v Botany United: Centennial Park: Sat 30 April 2005

Reserves match report by Jim Wragg

For the first time in weeks Balmain had a nearly full strength squad, definitely needed as Botany’s track record for the season so far was pretty strong. The first 15 minutes couldn’t have got off to a much worse start for Balmain with 2 quick goals, the first a shot from inside the box where Balmain collectively did not get the tackles in early or hard enough and the second a pass from midfield which Jim managed to knock directly into the path of the striker to his right. 2-0.

Balmain kept their heads up and took the game to Botany. This was rewarded about 10 minutes later with a very direct move culminating with Steve Ashton knocking the ball over the keeper from just inside the box. The remainder of the half was fairly even in terms of possession and territory but there is no doubt that Botany edged it in terms of clear cut chances and only poor finishing and some great shot stopping from Drew kept the score to 2-1 at half time.

Balmain began the second half tamely, letting Botany turn possession into a number of clear cut chances. Poor finishing and continued resolute keeping kept the status quo for Balmain. Rovers continued to work hard and the frustration was clearly showing in the opposition, manifesting in plenty of bickering. About 20 minutes into the second half the turning point of the game happened as Andy McLeod came on. His impact was immediate, dominating play in midfield. It wasn’t too much longer before Andy had the ball at his feet just outside the 6 yard area. 2-2!

The introduction of Rob Liney as the third substitute had a positive effect, with his trademark constant battling for the ball in the Botany third frustrating the opposition. Eventually strong play in the Botany area gave him the opening to shoot with minutes to go. The game ended 2-3 putting valuable points in the bag for Balmain. Botany would have felt they were worth the draw and I don’t think many people could argue with that – but I say take it while you can, there have been plenty of games where we have been on the receiving end. 3-2.

Goals: Steve Ashton, Andy McLeod, Rob Liney
Pele Points: 3 - Drew Schaper, 1 - Steve Adams, Michael Penman, Andy McLeod

Firsts match report by Rob Liney

After seeing the Reserves' great fightback, the Firsts went into this game with an element of confidence - perhaps too much. The usual line-up took the field - one of our strengths so far this season being able to field an unchanged side. From the outset it was obvious Botany were a team of able players who could pass the ball and move into the space available on a very large pitch, not something we had faced so far this year. The first 20 minutes were end-to-end with both sides having good attacking play foiled by good defending. Unfortunately Botany were the first to break the deadlock. Uncharacteristic uncertainty in our defence created some space for their attacker and we were one-nil down. The first half continued to be end-to-end with our end probably facing the majority of the play but the defence was resolute.

The second half saw Botany again having more of the possession with the odd foray from ourselves but no real chances coming our way. As the game went on and we searched for the equaliser, spaces were created and Botany doubled their lead. Rival for the strangest yellow card given, along with Dom's hand-ball, was Martyn receiving a yellow for a foul on their defender. Nothing strange in that apart from the Ref playing advantage and only gave the yellow when WE had lost the ball. Don't you usually play advantage to the team that suffered the foul?

As desperation set in, we lost our shape and the ability the play the ball around. When the ball pinballed around their six yard box and I had blasted the ball twice into the keepers chops it summed our day up. A late goal from Botany sealed their deserved win although 3-0 was perhaps a bit harsh. All in all, we were uncharacteristically quiet and again failed to capitalise on having a number of very good attacking players throughout the team. Defensively we played as a team with everyone doing their bit, going forward we just couldnt, or wouldnt, do the same. 0-3.

Goals: nil
Pele Points: 3 - Drew Schaper, 2 - Marshall Moir, 1 - Ben Jones

Canterbury District Rd 5

Balmain Rovers v Concord: Edwards Park, Concord: Sat 30 April 2005

Match report by Robert Arocha

The Balmain Division 7 players walked onto the pitch with a stranger between their goalposts. A still injured Sergio replaced regular Morgan in front of the net and urged the team to keep a strong defence against Concord's strikers. Balmain looked strong from the start. The first few plays of the match had their goalie working a fair bit, but a very crowded pitch, especially close to the goals (the result of a small sized area) did not help the attackers to score, even though some free kicks were awarded close to the area. As we are now getting used to, out of the the skies came a curving ball, just right to penetrate the top left corner of Concord’s goal. Captain Dale Humphries had started the goal count. Balmain kept pressing strongly, missing a golden opportunity that just slipped between a crowded confusion of mixed players next to the posts. Just before the first 45 were over, punishment for getting sloppy was provided through a rebound strike after a defensive clearance landed inside Balmain’s area. It was well placed by a Concord player, the ball avoiding a hopeful flight by our replacement keeper.

Half-time had all players reviewing their responsibilities and encouraging each other against the most worthy adversary encountered this season. Apparently the encouragement paid off. The second half started in inspiring fashion via Mr O’Shea, who came good on an ultimatum uttered at the start of the match: “With a pitch this small, if we don’t score from a corner, we never will”. And so he did, to save us from that terrible fate.

The last goal came from a nicely orchestrated passing combination performed by all attackers of the Balmain squad, with a decisive finish by second half sub and most recent acquisition Colin Mitchell, playing in his first match. Fair play was at risk when one of Concord’s players turned bad mouthed comments into frustrating aggression. His subsequent red card provided relief to the opposition and his embarrassed team-mates. The final whistle sounded, the winning streak was maintained and the team secured its most heartfelt win yet. 3-1.

Goals: Dale Humphries, Cormac O'Shea, Colin Mitchell
Pele Points: 2 - Cormac O'Shea, Richard Raward, 1 - Dale Humphries, Tony Madau

Balmain Rovers v Strathfield B: Strathfield Park, Strathfield: Sat 30 April 2005

Match report by Michae Bosnich

Before the game, Balmain Division 8 had the pleasure of watching Burwood, the only team behind us in the table, have a comprehensive victory. So there we were, last in the table and about to play Strathfield B, runaway competition leaders. I'm sure you'll guess the rest. Balmain proceeded to thump Strathfield B 4-0! And the result showed Strathfield B in a favourable light.

Rovers got off to a very positive start. Early on Paul was given a little bit of space outside the opposition's penalty box and proceeded to drill the ball into the bottom right corner. Not long after that he had a great opportunity for a second but was squeezed out by the Strathfield goalkeeper & defender. Balmain were dominating all over the park. At the back Paddy and Gavin were completely dominating the Strathfield forwards who were made to look like they couldn't score in a brothel. Goalkeeper Amir could have been booked for loitering. In the midfield Dean & Jacob were in charge, managing to limit the Strathfield forays forward and mitigate the output of Strathfield's key playmaker.

The consistent pressure from Balmain soon resulted in a doubling of our lead. A long throw from Dean onto Paddy's head and we're two-nil up. Balmain's dominance continued throughout the second half. Paddy scored a screamer from the right hand corner of the park and Ere, in only his fifth game of formal football, coolly slotted away the fourth. The referee even managed to award Strathfield a penalty midway through the second half for reasons that only he could figure out. It didn't matter as Strathfield proceeded to clear the goalpost and the ball was last seen by Australian Air Force somewhere over Richmond. It would be great to credit Amir with the save but, to be fair, the penalty kick has to at least get close. All in all a very solid performance from all. If this committed and thoughtful football continues, the team will be making very rapid progress up the table.

Goals: Paddy Denvir (2), Paul Wright, Ere Sihalath
Pele Points: 3 - Paddy Denvir, 2 - Gavin Carey, 1 - Dean Lenz

Futsal Update

On 28 April, Balmain Rovers returned to winning form with a 4-3 win over Torpedo Ultimo in the Thursday 2nd Division of the Indoor 5s autumn comp to remain top of the table by one point. Next match: Rovers v Wear Dark, 10pm, Thursday 5 May, Sydney University. NSW Futsal site

Award Standings

Pele Medal (all teams)
13 --- Andy McLeod
8 ---- Drew Schaper, Jim Wragg
7 ---- Simon Goodman
6 ---- Dean Lenz, Stewart Shaw
5 ---- Gavin Carey, Paddy Denvir, Dale Humphries
4 ---- Gabe Cataldo, Ben Jones, Rob Liney, Erin Owens
3 ---- Roberto Arocha, Pete Boyle, Jacob Cavallaro, Tony Madau, Marshall Moir, Cormac O'Shea, Michael Penman, Paul Wright
2 ---- Steve Ashcroft, Martyn Farnworth, Allan Frydman, Dan Higson, Richard Raward, Dom Salomoni, Jeff See, Ere Sihalath, Nick Vince
1 ---- Steve Adams, Steve Ashton, Michael Bosnich, Ruben Davis, Amir Hatami, Andy Henderson, Ben Jones, Matt Linton, Dan Whaite, Adam White, Kristian Wiles

Golden Boot (all teams)
12 --- Rob Liney
9 ---- Andy McLeod
6 ---- Simon Goodman
5 ---- Steve Ashton
4 ---- Martyn Farnworth, Jeff See
3 ---- Paddy Denvir, Paul Wright
2 ---- Dale Humphries, Cormac O'Shea, Nick Vince, Dan Whaite, Adam White
1 ---- Pete Boyle, Sergio Fiorenza, Dave Ford, David Hull, Colin Mitchell, Michael Penman, Ere Sihalath, Kader Tamsaouit, Tony Unsworth

Next ...

SAFL Firsts & Reserves v Roselands - Wentworth Park, Glebe, 1pm & 3pm Sat 7 May
CDFSA Div 7 v Strathfield - Callan Park, Rozelle, 3pm Sat 7 May
CDSFA Div 8 v Burwood C - Callan Park, Rozelle, 1.15pm Sat 7 May

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Tuesday 3 May 2005
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