Balmain Rovers v Enfield B: Pratten Park, Ashfield: Sat 1 April 2005
Match report by Allan Frydman
Finally, the day arrived! The first game of the season was upon us, the nerves were building and we were all ready to go out and play some competitive football (not to mention play some football on a field with line markings and goal posts). The pre-match drama had already started with our game being moved away from our home ground fortress (Callan Park) to the CDSFA'a flagship ground (Pratten Park) but we all managed to find our way there. On arrival we saw a field worthy of a World Cup qualifer (except for the rock hard grass cricket wicket in the centre which turned out to be an ice skating rink). Unfortunately for us, the World Cup referees didn't show up and after a long period of time trying to convince anyone who was at the ground to referee our game, it was yours truly who went out to referee the first half.
As the game kicked off, our new line up took shape on the field: Jason and Ricky controlling the back line, the ever reliable Dan in left back, Justan playing in right back where he has shown considerable promise during the pre-season, Gav and Serdar our new centre mid field combo with Dave and Matt ready to continue on their form from last season on the wings. Up front was a new combination of the flashy Ismet with hard working Paul. Add to this the strong bench comprising of Ere and Akin with unlimited interchange, and we were primed for a good result.
The opening twenty minutes was a good football battle with the mighty Balmain looking like they will have the goods. A few good breaks through the centre and the wings created a few scoring chances. Ismet looked like he was in to open the scoring of the first match with a one on one shot against the keeper but it wasn't to be. Dave also had a good chance when an accurate cross found him on the edge of the 18 yard box with only the keeper to beat. Again it wasn't to be. After seeing that Dave had missed the opportunity the referee called him for a dodgy offside.
Enfield also had some good attacking moves in the first half but our defence was strong. Amir had total control of the goals, made some good saves and picked their corners out of the air like a man possessed. Justan was adding some flair to the back line and made some counter attacking breaks that left Enfield's defence dazed and confused. After a fairly even half we went into the break 0-0.
Half time saw a change in referee which resulted in Enfield becoming a bit more physical once they knew that the referee didn't know how to use a whistle (fairly simple really - just blow). We seemed to lose some shape and looked the flatter team in the second half. Enfield capitalised on this and put pressure on our defence. Our defences cracked when an Enfield player got his head to a throw in and lofted it into the back of the net on the far post. An unlucky goal but we now needed to act - 1-0 down. Enfield had a few more chances but some great keeping work by Amir ensured that they didn't score again.
About midway through the second half we lifted and chances were created. Some deep drives into attack left Akin with a difficult shot on a goal. Akin went for a spectacular shot from somewhere around the penalty box - it curved away from the keeper and looked for all money to be in the back of the net when it curved that extra spin too many and hit the woodwork, unfortunate but a great shot. Ismet also showed his flair up front beating a few defenders before putting in the perfect cross which found Akin's feet like an alcoholic finds beer. Again it was not to be our day with the shot passing over the cross bar. The last ten saw a difficult passage of play where both teams where putting a strong focus on attack but with no change to the score.
Full time score Rovers 0 - Enfield B 1
Goals: Would have been nice, target for next match is to score some
Pele Points: 3 - Amir, 2 - Justan, 1 - Jason