Balmain Rovers v Balmain A: Callan Park, Rozelle: Sat 3 June 2006
Match report by Justan Kitchener
Keen to make up for a previous draw against Balmain A and to secure our 3rd spot on the table against Balmain A (who were close on our heels in 4th place) we knew we needed and were capable of a win. This was going to be made all the tougher as we were missing key players and were limited to one (injured) sub, Paul.
After some rousing words from our Captain Baz - recently returned and energised from a trip to the 'Mother Land' - and under new temporary management, Balmain Rovers took to the field.
The first 10 minutes didn't go to plan. The opposition quickly overran us and made some penetrating runs, culminating in a free kick that bounced off the cross-bar and sat up for a Balmain A player to slot home their first goal - 1-0 to the opposition.
Putting the goal behind us, Rovers worked the ball around well in mid-field. Ismet made excellent runs, harassing the opposition, creating space for Serdar to make a run deep into the opposition box which resulted in a foul and subsequent penalty. Serdar wasted little time in slotting the penalty home to level the score at 1-1. A similar run a few minutes later resulted in a similar result, with Serdar showing good ball control and drilling home his second goal putting Rovers into the lead 2-1.
Rovers' third goal followed soon afterwards. Ricky showed great ball skills, flicking a ball from his chest onto his boot, setting Barry up for a long range strike which he curled into the top left corner of the net - an absolute beauty of a strike from a long way out. A great result, 3-1 to Rovers, a mentally crushing blow to the opposition and a turning point in the game.
The second half followed in similar fashion. Brendan and Gavin owned the midfield, continuing to bring calmness and structure to our game and putting through balls that tested the opposition's defence. It wasn't long until a long range curling free-kick by Gavin found Serdar who somehow managed to score from a ridiculously tight angle, 4-1 to Rovers.
Paul, recovering from an injury, subbed on and immediately made his presence known to the opposition. It wasn't long until Paul found the back of the net with a classic Paul strike, 5-1 to Rovers.
The opposition came back hard making good runs down the right wing which Ere did well to challenge and repel. Dan and Jason continued to make excellent intercepts, but a ball was rocketed into Jason at close range, resulting in an unavoidable hand-ball and subsequent penalty. Amir read the strike well, diving the correct way, but it was to no avail, 5-2.
In summary, it was a great game by Rovers. Maybe not our best football this season but certainly a result that we deserved. Interestingly a high percentage of shots on goal were converted into goals, demonstrating that we should take the shot when the opportunity presents.
Full time score Rovers 5 - Balmain A 2
Goals: Serdar (3), Barry, Paul
Pele Points: 2 - Serdar (for his great runs, strikes and goals), Brendan (for his great ball distribution), 1 - Jason (for the organisation that he brings to the back line and his crucial goal saving clean-ups), Dan (for his consistency in winning the ball and diffusing attacks by the opposition)