balmain rovers
Newsletter - Tuesday 24 May 2005
Published by Balmain Rovers, part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
Sydney Amateur League Rd 8

Balmain Rovers v Prestons/Racing: Blamfield Park, Ashcroft: Sun 22 May 2005

Reserves match report by Erin Owens

Prestons Racing’s home ground is a long, long way away. Yet, heeding Rob’s insightful comments, we all endeavoured to be there nice and early to get set for the game. And it worked. Kicking off under a blazing sun (the consensus between defender and striker was 'ken hot'), Rovers quickly got into our stride. Our communication, movement and precise passing, combined with a determination to be first to the ball, restricted Racing to a few speculative shots from 30 yards.

At the other end, half chances were being steadily accumulated without the final ball quite reaching its mark, that is, until late in the first half. Mark Wootton played a fine through ball into the right channel for Richie to run on to. He cuts inside, gets into the box, turns his man and CHOP. Ref points to the spot, Stubbsie steps up and takes it with style, high and to the left. Half-time 1-0.

Rovers picked up where we left off and within 10 minutes it was 2-0. After some battling in midfield Huw was able to feed the ball to Tony Unsworth on the left flank, who played a lovely cross field pass for Richie to slot home. As the half progressed, Racing were able to get back into the game and won a free kick just outside the box. As we were setting up the wall, a cheeky quick kick was taken, catching everyone by surprise. Rovers’ response was swift, the Racing defence were just not quick enough to deal with the hard running Ben Jones who slotted home a long through ball for a third goal.

A few minutes later Huw burst down the left flank into the box and unleashed an unstoppable left (ie wrong-) footed shot that cannoned in to the net stanchion and back into the field. The referee, from his position in the centre circle, waved play on and the linesman seemed to be looking the other way. We was robbed I tell ya! The game drifted toward the final whistle as Racing lost their composure and tried a bit of thuggery to put us off, to no avail. In the final minutes Ben wasted a gilt-edged opportunity to go 4-1 up when he was put through for a one-on on-, only to direct his shot straight into the keeper’s arms. 3-1 was the final score, a well deserved win.

Goals: Mike Stubbs, Rich Briscoe, Ben Jones
Pele Points: 3 - Kristian Wiles, 2 - Rich Briscoe, 1 - Jim Wragg

Firsts match report by Kristian Wiles

Following an accomplished performance by the Reserve team, the First Graders set about the task in hand, lining up against a side at least a foot taller on average compared with their Reserve Grade counterparts. Prestons had clearly upsized, plus they had the advantage of sizeable home support in a somewhat family affair. There wasn’t a lot to choose between the teams in the opening exchanges but as the half wore on, a few chances were created at both ends of the ground, Rob managing to find half a yard on the last man, only for his shot to flash across goal from just outside the box. Prestons began to assert themselves, finding time to get shots off on several occasions but without really troubling Stew.

The tide turned shortly afterwards however, when Ben Jones earned a free kick wide on the left. Mike Stubbs launched a dangerous kick deep into the penalty area, met towards the far post by Andy McLeod whose downward header evaded Prestons' defence and keeper. 1-0. Not to be denied, Prestons kept creating opportunities for themselves and Balmain’s lead was relatively short-lived, the game being turned on its head before half-time with Prestons scoring two goals from close-range as gaps appeared in the usually stingy, well-organised defence.

Rob’s troublesome hammy meant a substitution at half-time (the man's becoming more injury prone than Darren Anderton as the season wears on). Rich Briscoe’s introduction led to a reversion to the 4-4-2, but the momentum stayed with Prestons who made it 3-1 soon after the break. Despite a few chances falling Balmain’s way, Prestons continued to keep the pressure on leading to Rovers’ defensive line being breached numerous times as three more goals were added to Prestons tally without reply. Despite the scoreline, Balmain persevered and created several more chances, but the end product was just a bit lacking today, one to forget and an opportunity to put things to right next week against one of the form teams in the league. 1-6

Goals: Andy McLeod
Pele Points: 2 - Stewart Shaw, 1 - Dom Salomoni, Ben Jones, Mike Stubbs, Martyn Farnworth

Canterbury District Rd 8

Balmain Rovers v Burwood: Callan Park, Rozelle: Sat 21 May 2005

Div 7 Match report by Tony Madau

Finally we had a nice sunny day after almost five days of rain. After seven wins, we thought Saturday's game would be win number eight for the season: How wrong we were! The game started with neither team in control of the game, although to be fair Balmain didn't start very brightly, in fact by the time we woke up and realised the game had started we were 1-0 behind, and the score remained 0-1 at half-time. This was uncharted territory for us, the first time this season that we had not scored a goal in the first half of a game.

Stern words were said at half-time, and we still thought we could get back into the game. We made a lot more chances than in the first half but could not score a goal. Then with about 15 minutes to go, a Burwood striker broke through our backline and scored a second goal, which killed the game off. All in all a poor showing. Now we have to pick ourselves up and dig deep for next week!! 0-2.

Goals: nil
Pele Points: 2 - Omar Elsadik, Richard Raward, 1 - Morgan Bowling, Gabe Cataldo

Balmain Rovers v Enfield B: Callan Park, Rozelle: Sat 21 May 2005

Div 8 Match report by

Last Saturday Balmain Rovers stepped on the field determined to atone for their previous week's poor performance. We were playing Enfield and knew from our first game with them (which we drew) that it was going to be a tough encounter. However, we were confident that since this was our home pitch we could come away with something. The game started at the usual hectic pace but Balmain were coping comfortably with everything that Enfield were throwing at them. Lenzy was doing the holding role very well and protecting the back four. Akin was showing some neat footwork and laying off some good passes for our wingers to run onto. Matt and Dave were combining particularly well down the right side in both attack and defence and Balmain were playing some of their best football all season.

Up front, both Paul and Kader can feel hard done by in not getting something as they peppered the oppositions keeper and defence with shots and were denied by the woodwork and some scrambling defence. All in all, Balmain were on top everywhere but the scoreboard. Enfield then upped the ante with some physical challenges to disrupt our rhythm and in response Akin executed the best Steven Gerrard two-footed tackle that this player has seen in quite a while! Fortunately there were no injuries and Akin was duly cautioned.

Balmain went in at half time 0-0 and the game was there for the taking. Paddy was brought on for Akin and slotted into midfield. After the restart Balmain began the half as they had left the first, moving the ball well and looking for chances. However, Enfield continued with their tough tackling and a lapse in concentration at the back allowed them to score. Balmain needed to lift their game again and from the restart tried making their way to goal. Enfield's tackling was keeping Paddy at bay and Balmain decided to change things with two more subs. On came Jacob and Justin for Dave and Matt. Unfortunately, things on the pitch began to heat up with tackles flying in all over the pitch, but especially up front and in midfield with Paul, Ere and Paddy coming in for some "special" attention from the Enfield backs.

Some positional changes to the Balmain team left a hole in the front of the back four and with one of their rare forays upfield Enfield snuck another goal, this time with a strike from outside the box. Balmain were unjustly behind and began attacking with more fervour. Just reward when Paddy struck another from a corner and Enfield were on the ropes. They were tiring and pulling out every "Porto-esque" trick in the book in an attempt to disrupt Balmain's siege on their goal. For the last 10 minutes, Enfield were reduced to 10 men as one of their midfielders was sent off for dissent. Balmain poured forward in search of an equaliser but unfortunately Enfield held on for the win. 1-2.

Goals: Paddy Denvir
Pele Points: 2 - Ere Sihalath, 1 - Dave Hanna, Matt Mahony, Dean Lenz, Justan Kitchener

Futsal Update

On 12 May, Balmain Rovers went down 1-5 to Euro Trash, and then 4-5 to Fraser Park the following week in the Thursday 2nd Division of the Indoor 5s. The boys won't finish lower than fourth on the ladder, so there's plenty of scope to win this thing yet. Rovers have both defeated and been defeated by each of the three teams above them on the ladder. Final match before the semis: Rovers v Glebe Albion, 7.20pm, Thursday 26 May, Sydney University. NSW Futsal site

Award Standings

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

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

Next ...

SAFL Firsts & Reserves v Cabra Vale - Parkes Reserve, Canley Vale, 1pm & 3pm Sat 28 May
CDFSA Div 7 v Hurlstone Park - Ewen Park, Hurlstone Park, 1.15pm Sat 28 May
CDSFA Div 8 v Burwood A - Centenary Park, Croydon, 1.15pm Sat 28 May

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
Tuesday 24 May 2005
Newsletter content © 2005 Balmain Rovers