Having chosen the worst spot to watch the game from - behind the goals during both halves - one can't say how well or not the defense played, nor how close some of North Geelong's attacks got to getting in, nor how close their numerous offsides were to not being offside, including the one from which they scored a disallowed goal from. I'm sure we'll watch the video later on and see how things went down, and relive the thrilling moment when an indistinguishable player of ours cleared the ball off the line when we were 2-0 up late in the game.
Nikola Roganovic was listed on the team sheet but was reportedly injured during the warm up, and was replaced by Zaim Zeneli. From last week's starting eleven, Hatzikostas and Theodore were replaced by Schroen and Mala, with Mala playing at centre back. I can't really fault any player last night, as most did their jobs, but some of the decision making continues to baffle - leaving aside the greater issue of short corners, how does one get a corner and end up playing it so far back that you get back to the half way line?
The very late subs also didn't make much sense to me, especially once we went 2-0 up. Why not give someone ten minutes instead of three? Overall, there were some better signs last night, but I don't think anyone is getting carried with anything. A couple of crosses hit the mark for a change, and that made a lot of difference. There also seemed to be more numbers around the box looking to clean up the scraps, though for the most luck and poor connections meant that we couldn't open our account in the first.
It was good that Milos Lujic managed to hit the back of the net, even though he was being that tightly marked that his defender could probably see the washing instructions on the tag inside Milos' shirt. That whole sequence of play leading up to his goal was quite good to watch actually, with the exception of the People's Champ throwing a minor hissy fit when he didn't receive the pass back from Brad Norton. Still, we probably didn't take as much advantage as we should have following that goal, with North needing to commit numbers forward and leaving more space behind.
As pleasing as it was to progress to the next round, it was just as pleasing to have done it during regulation instead of extra time. Having won this game we now face Bentleigh away for the right to enter the FFA Cup proper, as well progress to the Dockerty Cup semi-finals. Though the online fixtures at this stage have us listed as playing next Wednesday, I believe at this stage that is merely a placeholder date. Were that game to be held next week, there would need to be some re-arranging of the league fixtures.
The mid-season transfer window is now open. People seem apprehensive that we won't be making many, if any, signings, all while some other clubs have already been active. My limited mail is that we are, in fact, looking to make some signings, but my source has indication who we may be looking at or what perceived deficiency we may be looking to cover. Until then we'll continue to work with what we've got.
Sunday at 4:00PM against Northcote at Lakeside. Not that they're doing terribly well this season, but I think we'll be facing a much improved Northcote from the one we easily beat earlier in the year.
In addition, the women's team will be the curtain raiser for this match, while after the senior men's game, the Greek national team will have a training session at Lakeside.
There were two players out there on Wednesday night wearing the number 99. It's a terrible gimmick.