balmain rovers
Newsletter - Tuesday 17 May 2005
Published by Balmain Rovers, part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
Sydney Amateur League Rd 7

Balmain Rovers v Dobroyd Gunners: Wentworth Park: Sat 14 May 2005

Reserves match report by Mark O'Brien

Football is a game of two halves, and what a fine example of the statement did we witness on Saturday. As already reflected in Manager Liney's comments by email, as a team / unit we looked cold, not warmed up and no way were we up for it. The classic scenario of a Formula 1 car being tweaked all week and then incomprehensively stalling on the start grid on green light and seeing your chance of any points wilter away in seconds ... well, 45 mins in this case. Within the first 35 mins we were the architects of our own downfall. The annoying thing was that Dobroyd weren't actually playing any decent football, there was no cohesion amongst Balmain and as a result, frustration and inability to do the simple things correctly set in. Some of the referee's decisions weren't helping either, he was easily swayed by the shouts of the Dobroyd team. Blur, 3-0 to Dobroyd - all 3 really awful goals that would have made Dean Saunders Best 101. An early unfortunate injury to David Ford on left midfield caused a formation change, with the ineffective centre midfielder Mark O'Brien (Playing akin to Geoff Thomas on his England debut) being put onto the right and Rich Briscoe being brought in centre midfield and Steve Ashcroft being brought off the bench to centre back. These changes brought stability to the team at last, and to my memory only one more goal was conceded after these changes. Along with the fact that the team had finally warmed up and were playing, a little better. Half-time 0-4.

Half-time brought the expected reading of the Riot Act from Mr Shaw & Mr Onsman. We were playing slack. We were playing awful. However we did possess the better players and we knew it, and it was agreed that there was still 45 mins available to salvage and restore an element of pride in ourselves.

Heads were up for the second half and Rovers starting to actually play a decent bit of football and spray some nice passes together. The frustration was still there, but a bit of football was actually played. Every ball was challenged for, players were talking to one another, and as a result Balmain spent the majority of the second half camped in Dobroyd's half (inexplicably helped by the goal kicks from the Dobroyd keeper!). The pressure finally gave way and Balmain pulled two goals back, to restore a credible scoreline. The goals came through a deflected own goal and a finish from veteran striker Tony Unsworth. Still if a few more bounces / decisions / gale force winds had gone our way we could have well easily sneaked a 4-4 out of the game, and we did restore a tiny bit of pride in ourselves. 2-4.

Goals: Tony Unsworth, own goal
Pele Points: 3 - Rich Briscoe, 2 - Kristian Wiles, 1 - Tony Unsworth

Firsts match report by Steve Ashcroft

Rovers went into the game having broken a two game losing streak the previous week against lower table opposition. Again they faced a team who were at the wrong end of the league. Rovers went into the game with a nearly full strengh side, and only one player helping out the Reserves. A big win was expected and the confidence was high prior to the game. The game started with Rovers passing the ball well and creating several chances. Ben was breaking well from midfield and very nearly getting on the end of some lovely moves . Chances were coming thick and fast but as per previous weeks, the finishing was lacking.

There were signs of frustration creeping in, and a goal was badly needed. Drew in the Balmain goal didnt have much to do - mainly due to the strong defence in front of him. The goal finally came when a penalty was awarded in the 31st minute. The crowd was singing for Ashcroft to step up and take the kick, but Rob , with the Golden Boot in mind, grabbed the ball and put it on the spot. The pressure was on Rob but he calmly scuffed the ball into the corner of the goal. 1-0 to Balmain and a very relieved Mr Liney. The first half finished as it had begun, with Rovers dominating and creating chances, and Balmain keeping Dobroyd Gunners at arms' lengh at the back. However at 1-0 there was still much to play for. Rob was first off the pitch for his half time fag, and how he needed it after that penalty.

The second half saw Rovers pumped up after the Stew (Top of the Pops) teamtalk. The second half began in the same way as the first with Rovers the better side and creating chance after chance. Still after 65 minutes it was 1-0 and the home side were getting frustrated with the lack of goals. The second goal came, but at the wrong end, with Dobroyd Gunners taking advantage of one of their rare breaks. Having won the ball, Erin was very unlucky for a penalty to be given. Before anyone could believe what was happening it was 1-1 , and all to play for.

This was the kick up the arse Rovers needed and they soon got hold of the game. Within five miutes Rovers were ahead again. A long directed ball from Ashcroft at the back landed straight on Liney's head and his predatory instincts paid off. He flicked the ball over the keepers head to make it 2-1. However, his joy did not last long. Five minutes later Rovers were awarded with a second penalty and Liney stepped up again. Again he scuffed the ball, but this time the keeper did not dive out of the way. Rob looked up to the clouds and every man and his dog on Wentworth knew what he was thinking.

Rob though - never a man to be put down - soon put the crowd to rest by clinching his hat-trick. Pete Boyle, the most underated right back in the country, once again showed why he is the best. He beat three men, only then to send an inch perfect ball through the middle of the defence to Rob. Rob ran through and smashed the ball into the corner to make it 3-1. Rovers were soon passing and creating chances every few minutes. Ben had threatened with his runs all day, and he was the one who got on the end of a pass to make it 4-1. This was the end of Dobroyd Gunners and a sixth win in seven for the mighty Rovers. 4-1.

Goals: Rob Liney (3), Ben Jones
Pele Points: 2 - Rob Liney, 2 - Pete Boyle, 1 - Andy McLeod, Andy Henderson

Canterbury District Rd 7

Balmain Rovers v Enfield B: Callan Park, Rozelle: Sat 14 May 2005

Match report by Morgan Bowling

One of the most anticipated games of our season so far, Enfield B, the team second on the ladder. They had only conceded three goals in six games - til we came along. A few of the lads were nervous for the first time this season, but we all came out guns blazing. From the whistle we appeared more composed, and operated better as a team unit. When Simon slotted in our first goal from a blistering run down the right wing then an absolute screamer across the face into the far bottom corner, nearly every one of their heads went down. From here it was all up for us as Simon racked up another two goals and Roberto also slotted away two and Enfield slowly came apart at the seams. The more pressure we applied and goals we scored the more they argued among themselves and their standard of play decreased. Half time saw us 2-0 up.

The second half was a continuation of the first. We went 3-0 up following some absolute class from Roberto where he controlled a ball in the air just outside the box and then proceeded to slam it into the bottom left leaving the keeper watching on like a spectator. For the next 20 minutes we dominated before they rallied about mid second half and brought it back to 3-1. From there they proceeded to get frustrated by our superior style of play. The rest of the half was more of the same and we saw Simon score his third and then Roberto slotted in his second to put the match well and truly out of their reach. On the whole we played a wonderful game of football dominating on all parts of the park. It was one of those games you walk away from feeling quietly confident. And that we did. All looked forward to the next day's State Cup game against Lilli Pilli. It as looking like it would be a hard game - little did we know. 5-1.

Goals: Simon Goodman (3),Roberto Arocha (2)
Pele Points: 2 - Simon Goodman, 1 - Roberto Arocha, Dan Whaite, Cormac O'Shea, Tony Madau

Balmain Rovers v Enfield A: Henley Park, Enfield: Sat 14 May 2005

Match report by Dean Lenz

After the heady victory last week, we were taken down a peg or two this week. Not necessarily by our opposition but by ourselves. A combination of over-tinkering with the lineup and poor form brought us crashing down to earth. Trying to find positives with our performance has been particularly difficult. Paddy played his heart out but his aim was off. This more than anything paints a picture for our continuing success. Paddy must play to his best for us to win. I call on every member of Division 8 to attend to his every need until the end of the season. If heís thirsty, get him a drink. If heís a little tight, rub him down. I donít care what it takes, Paddy = Success.

Paul scored our only goal, from the spot. His ability to put the ball to the side of a keeper from 10 yards is without par. Well done. The forwards in general were woeful Ė repeat after me ďIf we donít score then we donít winĒ. I know itís difficult to score when your feet are up your #$*@ but let that mantra be your guide. The defenders were not as bad as the scoreline suggests. Keep up the good work.

The midfield played to their usual excellent standard but without support from the flanks we were forced to drive through the middle. Normally that problem is overcome but with Paddy knocking birds out the trees with his shots, we were left with no answers. So, what is it going to be I ask? Are we destined for mid-table mediocrity or will we rise above our station and claim what is rightfully ours? 1-3.

Goals: Paul Wright
Pele Points: 2 - Michael Bosnich, 1 - Dave Hanna, Matt Mahony, Gavin Carey, Amir Hatami

Award Standings

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

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

Next ...

SAFL Firsts & Reserves v Prestons Racing - Blamfield Park, Ashcroft, 1pm & 3pm Sun 22 May
CDFSA Div 7 v Burwood - Callan Park, Rozelle, 3pm Sat 21 May
CDSFA Div 8 v Enfield B - Callan Park, Rozelle, 1.15pm Sat 21 May

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Tuesday 17 May 2005
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