Saturday, 28 July 2007

Round 16, 2007 – Altona City 1 Altona East 6

Lot of aggro in this match right from the start. In the first meeting between the sides this year, City were tough but fair, but today seriously lacked discipline and picked the wrong ref for it too.

It was an even opening few minutes, East shading possession and territory, struggling a little perhaps with the large dimensions of the ground, but probably more so with the very bumpy surface. They took the lead on 15 minutes when a cross from the right was headed towards goal, saved brilliantly onto the back post, stayed in, eventually coming back from the right again for the headed goal, 0-1. City fluffed a chance shortly thereafter, but got the equaliser on 20 minutes when a nicely hit corner to the back post wasn't cleared properly, and the ball was put away quicksmart, 1-1. On 40 minutes, Tolli finding himself with little support tried a low shot which beat the outstretched keeper and went in off the left hand post, 1-2. City ended the half with 10 men when one of their players were sent off on about 45 minutes.

East scored immediately from the restart, a mazey run from Tolli ending up with a chipped goal, 1-3. City found themselves another man down soon after, but conversely with East trying to protect their buffer, City got more of the ball and more territory, with East looking a little nervy at times, but nothing came of it. East went 4-1 up on 68 minutes, a cross to the back post from the left tucked away, game over. The game degenerated from then, with East getting a player sent off after making it 1-5 in the 78th, and City eventually somehow finishing with 7 players on the park. Icing on the cake was a 90th minute goal, but by then the game was a farce and East were cruising for the last 10-15 minutes or so, the game having been done and dusted with no need to bump up an already healthy goal difference. East were pretty efficient in front of goal today, but weren't hugely impressive (the 7-1 against Willy was much a better performance all over the park in comparison). City were exhausted by the end, a game they'd probably want to forget about pretty quickly. East have a massive test next week against Keilor at home.

South Melbourne 5 Oakleigh 2 (soccer-forum artefact)

I thought it was a really good game to watch, but i don't expect any less when you have two good sides who are looking to score goals, unlike certain other outfits who think crossing the halfway line is an achievement. Finally we played a game where we played well for the majority of the match, rather than 20-30 stellar minutes. Waterson was BOG, left everyone in his wake on so many occasions it wasn't funny, but Ricky's free kick was the outstanding moment of the match.

Friday, 27 July 2007

2007 Hellenic Cup Final - South 1 Oakleigh 1 (South wins 4-2 on pens - soccer forum artefact)

Touching a ref is just something that you should never ever do, no matter what the comp, one of those things that goes beyond the game itself, so should make no difference what kind of comp he was playing in.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Round 15, 2007 – Altona East 2 Moreland City 3

Not one of the best games I've seen, despite the amount of goals (the 0-0 against Werribee a couple of weeks back was of a far better standard in my opinion, despite he conditions). East could have wrapped this up in the first 15 minutes. Four genuine chances gone begging with some good keeping and a little luck. On about 20 minutes East's keeper piss farted around with it instead of just clearing it long, which led to a Moreland corner/throw in/whatever, the ensuing cross had a header flicked across goal and headed in for the opener. Five minutes later they had a shot from outside the box go wide. East got back on top after that, and eventually got a penalty, which was slotted away nicely by Gaffar (who had won the penalty) on about 40 minutes, 1-1, at the break.

Moreland were a better side in the 2nd half, both sides fairly even. Moreland got what to me looked like a soft penalty, which they put away for the lead once more. A bit of controversy for East's equaliser, as the cross came over the top with the keeper missing it, it hit East player's elbow, but the referee (and linesman) was on the wrong side to see it. Slotted away, 2-2. Moreland's winner about 15 from time, was a very disappointing way to lose the game. For some reason, about 3 East players peeled away from the area into which the Moreland player in possession was due to run into, he slotted a decent through ball, which our keeper probably really should have run out and at least deflected if not collected, but he did neither and was beaten on the angle, and that was the game. Moreland had one more chance on the counter but didn't take it, and East couldn't muster up too much by the end.

Some thoughts.
A studs up tackle is a studs up tackle in the 5th and 85th minute. So why won't refs give cards early on when they have the opportunity to impose the rules of the game, and discourage players from putting in bad/silly tackles? This has been really infuriating me this season in particular because i reckon it's getting worse.

Moreland tread the line between hard and reckless when it comes to tackling. One of the least impressive teams I've seen so far, but they're more than competitive, as opposed to Lalor, and they put up a better fight than Yarraville did.

Speaking of Yarraville, ex-coach Fred was there, seems much happier, and unless he's being using Just For Men, the colour (or at least, a deeper shade of grey) has come back into his hair.

How important is positioning for a keeper? Being in the right place gives you a much better chance of making a save, even from point blank range. Some keepers should take note.

One Moreland old fart seemed to check his sense of humour at the gate. After a sliced attempted clearance in defence went up into the air and was caught by the keeper, some wit yelled out 'backpass', and this guy thought he meant it.

Reserves, score was 2-0 to Moreland, both goals in the 2nd half, East put some ok moves together, but defensive fuck ups and Moreland's much more experienced team were pretty much always going to win this one, i caught the 2nd half. Was funny and perplexing to see Twist and Shout used as a club song, but it's all good.

Big game this week, Altona derby. Six points from 3rd to 10th, and we need to start racking up the points. This week is as good as any place to start.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Round 14, 2007 - Williamstown 1 Altona East 7

I said that there'd be one unlucky team this season that would cop a belting when East's chances went in, and the prediction thankfully came true today.

First Half
I think about 14 minutes in East ran the ball up the field, and slotted it nicely past the keeper. 0-1

Willy hit back within a few minutes, a stuff up in defence allowing Willy a relatively easy goal, 1-1.

East player evades two sliding tackles as he streamed forward, eventually easily beating the keeper, 1-2.

Late in the first half, great pressure by East on Willy defensive right hand side, stolen, ball taken up, cut across the face of goal, defender puts it in his own net, 1-3.

Second Half
Free kick whipped over the top for a header, 1-4.

The next two goals i can't remember the sequence.

Cross from the left, ball flicked with the head over the keeper, 1-5.

One i can't recall, 1-6

At the death, low close shot unable to be held by the keeper, scrambled over the line, 1-7.

East did almost everything right for the entire day, except after scoring the first, where they for some reason stayed back and let Willy have time on the ball. Their pressure was fantastic, their pace overwhelmed Williamstown far too often. Willy were kept to few chances, and East had others they could have scored from, but nevertheless, a wonderful performance today, and their hunger to go on with it the icing on the cake.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Round 13, 2007 – Altona East 0 Werribee City 0

This game should be known as the game of the missing goals. Difficult conditions today, rain throughout the whole game, muddy and sticky in some places, bouncy in others, crowd mostly huddled under the limited cover. East going to the golf course end in the first half.

Very even first period, with the Bees having the better chances. East's keeper saved a one on one in about the 2nd minute, both sides had crosses and shots go across the face or wide at the near post. Near disaster for Werribee about half an hour in, after fluffing a golden chance, the ball went up the other end and the attempted clearance by the Werribee keeper hit Marco Tolli i think and rebounded just wide of the goal. Bees also missed a shot from 6 yards out, shot over the bar.

Second half East the better team, but the Bees never out of it. The visitors discipline started slipping, as more rash tackles started coming in. East had a few goal mouth scrambles they couldn't put away, while Werribee were denied late with another brilliant stop by the East keeper, from a passage of play that should've perhaps been called offside. Game should've finished about 4-4 but finished scoreless. Such is life i suppose.

In normal conditions the game would have more than acceptable. In the conditions provided, the game was excellent. Both sides were quick, tried to keep the ball on the ground, almost universally played very fair (very few stupid tackles) and looked to attack.