Balmain Rovers v Concord A: Callan Park, Rozelle: Sat 20 May 2006
Match report by Gavin Carey
Surprisingly it was a dull day when Balmain took to the field to face Concord as all our other games have been played in blinding sun. Another turn up for the books is that Balmain actually won a toss! Things were looking good so far!
Balmain had to take to the field missing their inspirational captain (tabloid rumours that the captain was overseas discussing a last minute coaching job with Tobago for the oncoming world cup were unfounded) and also their playmaker in Paul. We were also facing Concord who were well placed on the table with a really good goal difference so we knew we were in for a tough game. Buoyed by our win the week before though, we were full of confidence that we could get a result.
The match started with a fast pace and Concord justified their position with some good attacking football. Our backs were coping and both Justan and Dan were handling everything that was being thrown at them. At the other end, Concord were defending well and both Serdar and Ismet were having little luck for their hard efforts. Midfield was finding the going tough too with Concord trying to break quickly at every opportunity. Thankfully, for Balmain, the linesman had read the offside rule and had no hesitancy in enforcing it, much to the annoyance of the Concord side.
As the frustration of the opposition began to build (due to their inability to score), they decided to engage in another tactic to unsettle Balmain's rhythm; verbal effluent. Unfortunately, this tactic worked since some of the Balmain players began to engage in some scuffles. After things settled down Concord broke upfield and a free was awarded just outside the box. The ball was crossed in and a tall man outjumped a not so tall man to head the ball into the net giving Amir no chance. One nil down.
After some switches at half-time, Balmain were dominant in the second half and were camped in the Concord half. Ricky and Jason were stalwarts at the back with Justan and Dan covering off the wings. Midfield was an area with little space but Brendan was dominating with plenty of support play from Dave, Matty, Akin and Ere. Concord were under the cosh but Balmain could not find a way through. In an effort to try and pull the goal back, Paul came on to provide support to Ismet and Serdar. Serdar was given some rough justice on occasion by the referee as Concord were getting more physical. Yet for all the pressure, their defence would not yield. Full time and a loss, but a lucky escape for Concord. Bring on the return game!
Full time score Rovers 0 - Concord A 1
Pele Points: 2 each to Dan, Justan and Brendan