Saturday, 26 May 2007

Round 7, 2007 – Altona East 0 Lalor United 1

This is the kind of game that if you're on the losing side makes you want to give up football and take up knitting, except for the fact that you probably won't see another one like it for a long time. Altona East absolutely dominated this game from almost beginning to end, but have nothing to show for it except yellow cards, a broken nose, a very angry coach and a lot of effort wasted. Sunny conditions, half moon visible in the eastern sky, golfers and the miniature train audible in the background, moderate slightly chilly wind towards the refinery end, and East went towards that direction in the first half.

East started off well, and within minutes already had numerous chances, despite being down a man for a little while, while a player got attended for a bloody/broken nose. The best of the early chances was a free header from a corner sent over the crossbar. Lalor tried to get into the game, and when they got the ball they weren't totally useless with it, but they got so little of it that it was a moot point. East thought they had scored on twenty minutes when a cross from the left went across the face to the right, back across again and in, only to be called back for offside. East continued to press while the Lalor keeper tried to marshal his beleaguered defence as best he could. East peppered the left, right and over part of the goals, and occasionally got one on target, Lalor's best was having a shot blocked, half-time, 0-0.

Second half, if possible, East dominated even more. Shots were getting on target, being blocked, crosses flew across the face of the goal, plenty of free kicks in various positions, but no dice. One East player even knocked himself out on one of the uprights, quickly came to, asked what happened, the Ref replying, “You ran into the post mate”. The game went on, surely East would score? Er, no. On about 70 minutes or so, Lalor took the ball up and scored. I can't even remember the passage of play, except that it started from a throw in from the left hand side of defence. East desperately tried to pull the goal back, and Lalor had more room and opportunity to grab another, but neither side could add another, and with the ground covered in a cold shadow it finished 0-1 to Lalor.

Credit must got to the Lalor keeper. Had a very good game, especially in the 2nd half when he was obliged to make a few good saves and cross intercepts. But perhaps most enjoyable was his upbeat demeanour, his instruction and encouragement to his defenders was something a lot of keepers could learn from I reckon. The officials were actually pretty good today i thought, though the epidemic nature of FFV refs steadfastly refusing to almost ever give a handball call continues. The reserves game finished 1-0 to Altona East. I caught the last 25 minutes of this very scrappy affair, the goal being pretty much the sole ray of sunshine, a lovely lob over the keeper from an acute angle.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

South Melbourne 6 Springvale White Eagles 0 (soccer-forum artefact)

Three goals in each half. Only time Springvale really did anything was from the 30-45 minute mark where we took the foot off the pedal, but by then it was already too late. SWE aren't very good, however today was one of those days for us where we scored some ripping goals as well, when against Fawkner for example we missed two from a metre out. Go figure. The back half is a little suss, but the front half when it clicks is good to watch. Havuibng Baser back makes a noticeable difference, we're keeping our shape better and there is much more fluency is our forward movements

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Round 5, 2007 – Altona East 2 Altona City 3

A bit late, but what the hey... Entertaining, but nevertheless very average game standard wise. East were horrible in the first half, City at least put a lot off effort into their defending, and created a few chances as opposed to their hosts who could only manage one underhit shot for the first half. City went ahead about 13 minutes in I think, very slack marking from East, City player had about 5 years to put it away and he did. After about 20 minutes, 2-0, bizarre mix up in the East defence, players including the keeper all out of position, and the ball eventually went in.

East coach chucked a wobbly at half time, but City got the goal on about 55 minutes, a nice counter attacking move with a good finish to boot. Game over one would have thought, but City fell away as the game went on, and East pulled a goal back in controversial circumstances with the incoming cross appearing to be knocked out of the keeper's hands for a headed goal, but i was too far away to make that judgement, maybe he hadn't hadn't caught it cleanly? Later what some said was a foul about metre inside the box was given as a free kick which East hit into the wall. City player got sent off late for a second yellow card. Goal for East with about five to play, and all of a sudden it was on, but City held on for a deserved win. East improved markedly in the 2nd half, but one shouldn't expect miracles once you're 3-0 down, but at least they've broken their goal drought. City are the hardest working side I've seen so far in VPL or State 2, but can they run out games? Finally, refereeing was shocking for both sides more so for City, some perplexing decisions and non-decisions.