Monday, 6 June 2011

Still can't beat them - South Melbourne 0 Heidelberg United 0

At the start of the match, what with all the results going our way more or less, and with the fact that we hadn't beaten this mob during the season since 2006, only a win would have been acceptable. But by the end of the game however, after being reduced to 10 men for the last 30 minutes or so, a draw seemed acceptable, if not exactly palatable. That's football in a nutshell I guess.

The first half was dreadful. Comparatively, Heidelberg were slightly less dreadful than we were. Sure, the wind played havoc with both sides, but there was scarcely anything worth remembering from the first half, which would have been tolerable if it was two sides at the foot of the table, but it was two sides in the top half of the ladder. And I couldn't understand our reluctance to cross or shoot early instead of holding the ball for too long.

The game received a certain jolt of interest when a stray cross which was heading into goal was tipped over the bar by Griffin McMaster. The officials surprised everyone by calling for a goalkick, leading to Jesse Krncevic being sent off for dissent. Now I don't know what he said - he certainly didn't seem to be yelling or remonstrating in any obvious manner - but considering the poor tackles that go unpunished every week in this league, which sees the few genuinely talented players that give us some sort of joy in this cesspool receive no protection, surely cutting down swearing and dissent should be at the the bottom of the list of priorities?

Krncevic sees red; Vasilevski is shocked. Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
Anyway, the game livened up after that and we put in a decent effort, though it was helped by Heidelberg seemingly playing for the draw even more than we were. I felt we looked most dangerous from set piece situations, but a win after Krncevic's dismissal was always going to be a longshot. So while we're still winless against this mob in five years of league action, at least we haven't lost to them this year. It's a very small thing to appreciative of, I know.

Next Game
A tough midweek Mirabella Cup game against Port Melbourne, before we head over to Singapore. Recchia didn't get off the bench yesterday, which may mean we'll only get to see him play a bit part during our midweek cup clash. With Jesse missing for another few weeks, it'll at least mean he's less likely to get injured before Singapore.

Have you seen our dog?
Recent signing Jean Charles Dubois has apparently either done a runner to trial in Thailand and won't be coming back, or he'll be playing for us in the Singapore Cup after said trial. This is the risk you take when you sign up players on amateur contracts, and Knights fans, who were burnt in the same manner by the same player, are justifiably having a good laugh about the situation. Still, apparently we've signed a replacement from Hume, one Stephen Weir, who scored twice against us when we were down to nine men during the recent Anzac Day match. Take that whichever way you will.

Heidelberg Harisimidis (and friends) Watch
No sign of that lunatic running up and down the wing yesterday for some reason, which surprised me. Steve from Broady in particular would have been pleased with his absence, after Heidelberg Harismidis, without invitation, started eating Steve's chips at the Hungry Jack's inside Melbourne Central.

And a big shout out to the Heidelberg fans who tried to get in for free at the back gate. Three of you made it through, but the rest of you who tried didn't have so much luck once George Koukoulas came around and locked the gate. The reason that gate was unlocked in the first place? So stray balls that ended up over the fence could be retrieved. When Heidelberg sent one over during their warm up, the poor lad sent to get it couldn't get through.

Still, we should have had a marshal there in the first place, but it was funny seeing three Bergers fans make their way towards that gate after probably being tipped off about it and having to turn back. That's not to claim some sort of moral high ground - quite a few clubs around the place have supporters who will try and find ways around paying at the gate, ours included. But there was a small measure of justice yesterday.

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