MATCH REPORT 1: Reserves
OUR SPONSOR: The Grove
MATCH REPORT 2: Firsts
STANDINGS: Medal, Boot
MATCH REPORT 3: Let's Lunch
The Gentlemen of Enfield
Balmain Rovers 4A Reserves v Enfield Reserves
Callan Park, Rozelle
Sat 09 June 2001
Report by Craig Brown
One of the great pleasures of Saturday afternoon football is the opportunity to meet and befriend new and interesting people. So it was on Saturday, when Rovers Reserves, especially Paul Millard, James Mackie and myself, met some new buddies down at Callan Park: The Distinguished Gentlemen of Enfield Soccer Club.
I can't remember much about the first half, mainly because it was 4.55am when I finally got to bed that morning, but I do know that Sam Tekin scored for us about 10 minutes in, then one of our distinguished guests - it was our home game - got one back for them. It may well have been the other way around, I can't recall. Other dim memories of that first half are that Adam Freeman got kicked very hard in the leg; Emrys Hughes was the victim of what Billy Connolly might call, "The Half Pretzel", and played no further part in the game; James Mackie, who was referee, put himself out of the running for Enfield's "Bloke of The Month" award; and I was very, very tired. Anyway, the second half is where the action really began.
The first act of the second half saw the entire Rovers team doing impressions of an Air-Traffic Controller, and watching as the ball sailed over our heads, and past the outstretched arms of the despairing Johnny Barker into the top corner. Two-one to Enfield. Occasionally things like this happen in football, so we just got on with the job.
Paul Millard had finally arrived at the ground and immediately was on first name terms with the Enfield boys. It seems that the name "Paul" is just an alias, and that Millard's real name is "C_ _ _", which is what the opposition repeatedly called him. And while they might be good blokes, these Enfield lads, they sure can't pick an accent: they seemed to think that Paul is the progeny of "convict scum", and not English at all.
With the backline holding firm, and Paul Smith and I running more than in the first half, we managed to peg one back. Denis Jozic, who had come on at half-time, had a shot on goal blocked by a hand and we got a penalty. Nobody had told me, however, that FIFA have moved the penalty spot back to the edge of the box. Two-all. I thought to myself, "We've got 'em now."
What happened next must rank as the single weirdest experience I've had on a football pitch, as I once again watched the ball sail over my head and into the top corner, straight from the kick-off. Same scorer, same shot, same result. Déjà vu. Johnny Barker looked like he needed a stiff drink. Things like THIS do not happen occasionally in football, and we can count ourselves very unlucky.
Try as we might, we just couldn't peg back another goal. Ammon Mackie and Denis both went close, and some idiot, I can't remember who, missed an open goal with his head in the last minutes. When I remember who that was, I'll give him a right ticking off at training this week.
Hats off though, to The Gentlemen of Enfield, who played the game in the right spirit, despite provocation from violent bastards like Paul Millard, Adam Freeman and myself. We can't help it, it's in our natures. Special mention to the Enfield front row, numbers 2 and 4, better known in the Western Suburbs for their cookbook, "Nutrition for Footballers".
The Pele points go to:
Craig Brown - 7 - Outstanding
The Real Votes:
Donny Nicholas - 2 - A good mop up job at the back
Dave Birds - 2 - Like a Rock
Ricky Onsman - 1 - Exempt from the cry of "GOAL SIDE"
Lachlan Mackie - 1 - Cause he paid me Ten bucks to give him a vote
This newsletter is sponsored by the fabulous folks at
The Orange Grove Hotel
31 Balmain Rd, Leichhardt
Ph 9810 1435
Table football * pool table * pokies * TAB * cable sports TV
Regular live music * Friday night raffle
Drop in to Crocetti's, the Grove's new family restaurant
Comeback at Callan Park
Balmain Rovers 4A v Enfield
Callan Park, Rozelle
Sat 09 June 2001
Report by Tim Hinds
The Rovers squad was boosted by the return of Eddie and Clem for the second encounter with Enfield and it was Rovers' first opportunity to complete a winning double.
The match began in warm, bright sunshine and it was Rovers who showed first with some good linkup play from the defence to the midfield. Andy bombing forward from fullback, Serge having the legs on the Enfield defender and Clem getting acres of spaces on the left side indicated an early goal was imminent. Sure enough, the pressure paid off and good work down the left saw the ball switch infield where Eddie unleashed a half volley that flew into the back of the net: 1-0 Rovers.
Rovers then seemed to take the foot off the gas and Enfield started to gain time and composure on the ball, although not really causing the Rovers defence problems. A couple of offside decisions went Rovers' way, much to the annoyance of the Enfield striker who clearly thought it was OK to stand 15 yards offside in the centre of the pitch.
About 35 minutes into the game, a nothing ball from the Enfield right winger took a vicious bobble in the penalty area, wrong-footing Andy, and the onrushing Enfield striker made no mistake from 6 yards: 1-1.
Just before half-time, a defending headed clearance from Kon was rewarded with a head wound and a trip to hospital. James blew for half-time much to the relief of the Rovers team, allowing a breather and a chance to regroup and sort a couple of things out. Glenn replaced Kon at fullback.
Again, Rovers dominated the early exchanges but were suffering in the final third of the pitch, where we seemed intent on trying to steamroll the ball into the back of the Enfield net instead of being patient and looking for openings. A clearance by the Enfield defence from such an attack saw the Rovers defence cover to kick the ball into touch five yards from the corner flag. The Enfield player launched a cross-like throw into the penalty area which Denis initially held, but the close jumping proximity of an Enfield player saw Denis spill the ball on the goal line leaving a tap in for the striker. Appeals by the defence of foul play were waved away and Rovers were down 2-1.
Rovers were 3-1 down in a matter of minutes when another long punt from the Enfield defence was played inside to the Enfield forward who hit it first time from 30 yards. It was certainly a cruel blow for the Balmain defence, especially as the forward hit it with a combination of shin and boot.
Tim decided a change of tactics was required and instructed Nick that he would play in midfield, leaving three at the back. This instruction got lost in the five yards distance between them, or regional accents caused confusion, as Nick organised a back line of two, resulting in six in midfield.
Rovers still felt that they were not out of it yet. A surging run by Serge was cynically ended (not for the first time in the afternoon) just outside the box and Andy stepped up to take the resulting free kick. A great free kick to the corner of the six yard box found Tim in acres of space and a downward header (Pele v England style) gave Rovers hope at 3-2.
More pressure followed, with some great runs by Gary that took him deep into the penalty area but a series of scrambled clearances got Enfield off the hook. Eddie, now playing up front with Serge, was a thorn in the side of the Enfield defence showing some great movement and awareness. Mike made way for Joey.
With 10 minutes left, the Rovers equaliser came. A cross in from Nick was met by Eddie who gave it a firm flick on. Thankfully, the Enfield goalkeeper had decided to take leave of any common sense and gone window-cleaning on the penalty spot. The ball looped over him and into the back of the unguarded goal.
Rovers reverted to a back four for the remaining minutes that passed without incident.
Overall, a very disappointing performance and one that has been on the cards for a while. We need to offer more in terms of movement, we need to put our foot on the ball and above all, keep things simple. Come on Rovers, we can do it.
The Pele points go to:
Eddie - 3 - 110% work rate and 2 goals
Andy - 3 - Got forward from fullback, defended solidly and took a great free kick to give us hope
Balmain Rovers v Sydney University
Venue TBA (but it should be a home game)
Sat 16 June 2001
Kick-off 1.15pm, 3pm
Balmain Rovers v Abbotsford
Venue TBA (but it should be an away game)
Sat 23 June 2001
Kick-off 1.15pm, 3pm
10 - Craig Brown
9 - Gary van Heugten, Ammon Mackie
6 - Paul Edwards, Tim Hinds, Nick Hopkins, Paul Millard
5 - Andy Farmery, Ricky Onsman, Sam Tekin, Kon Tsalikis
4 - John Barker
3 - David Birds, Pier D'Angelo, Emrys Hughes, Donny Nicholas, David Wright
2 - Sergio Fiorenza, Lachlan Mackie, Joey Nicotra
1 - Glenn Bacic, Eddie Briggs, Sohail Dahdal, Denis Jozic, Carlos Morata
8 - Ammon Mackie
6 - Paul Millard
4 - Paul Edwards, Gary van Heugten
3 - Sergio Fiorenza, Alister Haining, Dorian Nkono, Sam Tekin
2 - Tim Hinds, Nick Hopkins
1 - Eddie Briggs, Craig Brown, Sohail Dahdal, Pier D'Angelo, Andy Farmery, Carlos Morata, Joey Nicotra
Balmain Rovers is holding a late lunch from 3pm on Sunday 17 June at the Annandale Hotel to celebrate the acquisition of the venue as an additional sponsor. The Anno has picked up naming rights for the two Rovers squads for the rest of this season, and is keen to consolidate the relationship into the future.
If you haven't organised your (and your partners') attendance at this illustrious afternoon (and most of you have), email Ricky forthwith. This does not affect the the Orange Grove Hotel's sponsorship of the Balmain Rovers newsletter - other than committing us to drinking at both pubs (what a burden!).
Speaking of the future, Rovers management is keen to find a summer comp to join. If you a) know of a football comp running something like September-March and/or b) are interested in playing (or know someone who might be), send an email to that effect to Balmain Rovers. Suggestions are also welcome for other sports into which Rovers can expand for the summer - eg volleyball, maybe.
Don't forget to pay the occasional visit to the Balmain Rovers website. There are always new links being added and the occasional new photo posted. Be aware that the website address is highly likely to change very soon - so much for going with One.Tel!
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
Newsletter content © 2001 Balmain Rovers
Tuesday 12 June 2001