Balmain Rovers v Strathfield: Strathfield Park, Strathfield: Sat 1 July 2006
Match report by Akin Karaca
It was a beautiful day for football. We were hoping to win this game and continue our winning streak. But we also knew that those young Strathfield boys just had a victorious (5-0) win the week before and were sharpened for another one to make it into the final four. Yes, it was all interesting up till when the game started.
The first half started and it didn’t look very good, it looked very messy indeed. Rovers couldn’t build attacks from the back; there was that infamous gap between the defenders and the midfield. Attackers were isolated, getting balls neither from midfielders, nor from wingers. Even though there was no Balmain player performing poorly, there was something missing on the field. I guess it was playing a bit more consciously; reading the game, being more in control when you have the ball and giving more options when you don’t.
Strathfield wasn’t doing any better than Balmain. They were just very lucky to find the goal. It was one of their messy “attacks”. They caught our defence flat. One unlucky over-committed move from our defenders resulted in Strathfield’s attacker finding himself in front of Amir –the best goalkeeper in our division. It was (1–0) Strathfield when the first half ended.
Balmain made some tactical changes in the second half, which bore fruit not long after. Balmain took control a little more. Gavin tidied up the defence, Jason had strength on the ball, Brendan showed skill in the midfield and Barry carried a few balls to the attackers. In one of our corner shots Paul kicked one of his famous inswingers. There were at least 8 people in the air trying to head it. Barry – as expected of him – was the one who scored that nice header (1–1).
There were no other goals in the game. It was a boring game. Neither of the teams could build an organised attack on each other. Except for the goals there were no other highlights to be mentioned. At least not that your jetlagged reporter can remember…
Full time score Rovers 1 - Strathfield 1.
Pele Points: 1 - Brendan Coutts, Barry Scott, Gavin Carey, Justan Kitchener, Jason Ives, Paul Wright