35/2 Red 2018
RND 1 VS CASTLE HILL UNITED
DRAW 1 - 1
Drew 1 -1. Started with 10 men until Mahmoud came from work in the second half but were boosted thanks to Albert, Peter and Glen (who hurt himself in the warm up) playing whilst carrying injuries.
First half full of holding the ball, losing it to poor passing, and worst of all arguing with each other or with the referee. Half way through the first half we went one nil down thanks to Neil Q’s own goal, neatly slotted in off the head from a corner. However a good flowing move saw Vargha pull the trigger and Nasser sneaking a toe in the back post to put it away to draw level. In the second half we started to play quicker balls and could have had more goals. Much better from all in the second half.
Very hot day with few subs and no real time together so well done all.
Only up from here!
(Match report courtesy of a WhatsApp description from Neil Q to Ninja Warrior).
Player of the Match: Payman
RND 3 VS WINSTON HILLS
DRAW 3- 3
Numbers were boosted by Luke, Jason & Terry coming back for their first game of the season and what a game it turned out to be. Both sides gave it their all in a match that ebbed first one way then the other finally finishing in a deserved draw (for both sides).
The first 20 minutes saw us well on top, crisp passing producing a number of chances one of which was well taken by Nasser who raced through to finish clinically past a despairing goalkeeper. This should have been a springboard for us but it turned out to be a defensive Fosbury Flop as we went 2 -1 down.
Nothing daunted we were back in it when Nasser managed to hassle a ball that eventually broke to Luke who calmly stroked it into the net, the chasing defence unable to stop its gentle progress over the line.
Back came the opposition and, with the defence holding off, a long range shot (this one a toe poke) saw the score climb to 2 – 3 with around 10minutes to go. More chances at either end with Luke’s long throws causing panic in their defence. A number of times we just needed someone on the far post to connect but then the ball came across their goal, keeper missed it and young Peter stooped and conquered, the ball bouncing into the net to make it 3 – 3!! What a game!
Almost there but a final heart stopping moment when their pacey forward raced through with Neil Q the only one nearest to him. Well, Neil’s experience and nous came to the fore but where did he get that turn of speed from?? Pacey guy was ushered to the side robbed of the ball by a tackle that a professional would have been proud of and the game finished all square.
Thanks to everyone including the referee and a very good opposition.
Player of the Match: Luke
RND 5 VS KNIGHTS
LOSS 1- 2
This match was played on a balmy Friday night under lights but the only real barmy thing was the two silly goals we gave away.
The 6.20pm kick off didn’t help with players coming late. Numbers were down with others sidelined with injuries but we were indebted to young Ric Corner from the O35/5’s who filled in and produced a strong performance in defence.
Our opponents all looked to be about 35 plus one day and certainly ran around like road runners on steroids but they came up against experienced road blocks and didn’t get any joy until awarded an unnecessary penalty mid-way through the first half. Soon after parity was resumed with a well taken goal by Payman from Neil G’s astute through ball.
Game settled down to cut and thrust with both sides coming close but turned on a moment of madness when the ball, instead of being launched into the Never Never was gifted to an opponent who accepted the chance and left us with the ‘what if’s’ (a draw would have been a fairer result).
So, next week a 7.30pm Hills Cup match v Norwest AA9’s at Ted Horwood 2 on Wednesday night in lieu of training and a 1.00pm game on Saturday v Kellyville Colts at Bernie Mullane.
Player of the Match: Kieran L
RND 6 VS KELLYVILLE KOLTS
LOSS 1- 5
A cold, windy afternoon saw us pitted against the, so far, undefeated form team of the competition.
Decimated by injuries it was a wonder we managed to scrape up a team although most were carrying niggles that would normally have had them sitting at home with their feet up. The worst was losing our keeper, Dariush, to a bad shoulder injury courtesy of the Hills Cup match last Wednesday night to a much younger Norwest AA side. A big thank you to Nasser, on one leg, who answered the mad scramble to find someone to take his place between the sticks.
First half was a very fast paced, even affair, with our shape holding as firm as a nubile dancer with two good goals being shared. Theirs from a 25-30 metre shot that almost burst the net, Nasser no chance, and ours from Kieran’s bullet like header from Peter’s firmly struck corner.
Unfortunately as players succumbed to their various injuries the next 40 minutes saw us fighting a rearguard action to finish in the runners up spot. No disgrace considering the problems we had and well done to all who turned up.
So it’s onto the next challenge, another 1.00pm kick off v Hills Spirit next Saturday.
Player of the Match: Luke E
RND 7 VS HILLS SPIRIT
DRAW 2- 2
All black cat’s had better beware this season as we must have run over a lot with the injury list getting longer and longer.
1pm starts on hot days don’t help as, with no reserves. We had to start with the bare eleven and our own version of poker machines on the field. One legged bandits Neil Q and Jason (knees) shared the joys of goalkeeping with Nasser (foot) up front with Reza (toe) in midfield.
Still, things started off well with probably the goal of the season so far. Luke racing through behind the defence delicately guided Peter’s magnificent dead ball free kick past a statuesque keeper. Quite balletic in the movement and execution. Game then became a bit of a mid-field slog with few chances until the Spirit jagged a fortunate equalizer to draw level by half time.
So, into the second half with not much change until a direct free kick was given to us about 20 metres diagonally to the left of the goal. Up stepped Payman to send a bamboozling ball past a bemused bevy of beefy blokes directly into the net.
Hooray for Payman! We were looking good for the three points but at the wrong moment Lady Luck deserted us and in the end a draw was the inevitable result.
Thanks to everyone who turned up especially to those who played when they probably shouldn’t have. Drinks afterward were good though.
Player of the Match: Luke E
RND 8 VS NORWEST
LOSS 2- 3
Disappointing would be an understatement!
Started off with all the positives. We had a referee; two young AR’s and, after a really good first half, were two goals up and cruising. Should have been more with the chances we let slide by but, hey! that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
The only thing crumbling in the second half was us. No positives. Lack of team discipline, rush of blood in tackles, and loss of focus that let the opposition in to steal away the three points and being the good guys.
For some players to blame the referee, to lose focus on some decisions is simply inexcusable! At the end of the game two players given red cards for brain explosions and now have left the team short of players for the foreseeable future.
Get a grip guy’s! We are better than this. Just remember that you are all part of a team and what you do reflects on all of us! We are supposed to be adults! This park football, not the World Cup!
Lastly, a sincere apology to the referee having to put up with this type of effluent after a game has finished.
Player of the Match: Luke E
RND 10 VS CHU
LOSS 2 - 6
With only nine players to call on we had an injured Neil G bravely volunteering to be in goal whilst Dariush, who could run, went out to the unfamiliar wide open field. Proved to be a mistake as although Neil G acquitted himself well Dariush lent a helping hand and received a red card for the handball. This made things very hard and could be said we ran out of time as, although we managed to score a couple, our opponents were able to take advantage of the disparity in numbers and scored a few more than us.
CHU a good bunch of guys to play against with a few laughs after the match.
Player of the Match: Luke E
RND 13 VS WINSTON HILLS RED
WIN 7- 3
This was our first game for three weeks following a bye and a forfeit when we only had 7 players available. Well, eleven players this week for the late kick off under lights PLUS Michael (from the O35/2 Blues) and Ramen & Fernando (from the O45/1 Blues).
Turned out to be a blue night for our opponents as it ended up as a goals fest starting with Kieran’s quick goal and ending with Ramen’s chip shot/cross over the keeper. In between times goals were shared by speedster Luke (2), Michael, Vargha and Nick.
Apart from the goals the pleasing thing was the way in which we kept our structure plus a solid defence, ably marshaled by Glen.
The win tasted like sweet nectar after the previous few weeks and hopefully we can build on this morale boosting win.
A big thank you to the three guys who helped out (see above) and also to Jason who took over the hard task of goal keeper whilst Dariush was overseas. Well done Jason.
Also a shout out to the WH’s players who were a really good and fair sporting team.
RND 14 VS KNIGHTS
DRAW 2 - 2
Story of the season so far. Playing short with only the bare eleven, no reserves and no fill ins against a team with a full bench of subs this game on a big field was going to be a tough one. However over the last few games we have evolved a team structure that has really suited the players that have been available and, cometh the hour, cometh the man or we should say, the men. With Dariush back in goal, Glen playing a starring/disciplined role in front of a back three, a hard working midfield quartet and Vargha up in his preferred position of ‘up front on the right’ the game was afoot or it should be said the ‘ball was afoot!’.
It became a mid-field battle with a few breaks, theirs mostly from chasing long kicks downfield, and ours from well worked balls along the flanks. First goal to our opponents. It came from another long ball and quick feet by their winger but parity was restored with Vargha’s strong run and shot that left the goalie diving in vain. We went one up through a great move from speedy Luke on the right cutting the ball back across goal, Terry dummying over the ball to leave Vargha free to send another bullet past the keeper ‘Smoking!!”
Almost there with the three points but cruelly undone by a deliberate handball goal, referee unsighted and the player not owning up to it. Left a sour taste in what had been a good tough game.
Next week a big match against Kellyville United the undefeated league leaders. No Kieran so it looks like another 80 minutes for you Terry!
Player of the Match: Vargha
RND 15 VS KOLTS
DRAW 2- 2
What a game and what a fantastic result!!
Today we faced the unbeaten league leaders who had won all their games so far with one draw and also had a bench of subs. Last time out we ran out of time against them and were second in a five two score line.
However during the second half of the season we had formed a team structure that suited our individual characteristics and this time we had the luxury of a sub. So game started with spirits high until Neil G succumbed to a groin problem in the first few minutes and had to leave the field of play to watch disconsolately from the bench.
First half was a bit of an arm wrestle with their good ball players against our resolute defence and midfield. Chances for them but few for us until Vargha (that man again) with determination etched on his face beat their defence to a through ball and walloped the ball into the net. One up! Whoo hoo!
KK’s response was to draw level just before half time that took some of the sweetness off the half time drinks (water) but did not dampen the spirits.
Second half was a carbon copy of the first except this time KK took the lead about 5 -7 minutes in and were hot to trot although the trots did not trouble Dariush to much with Glen, Kenny, Jason and Nick a formidable barrier in front of him. Peter, Luke, Payman & Albert performed heroics in midfield keeping the link between defence and our attack and using the wings whenever possible. Around the 65th minute it was this that made our equalizer, ball up the right wing, Vargha winning the race to the ball against his defender and absolutely lashing a wonderful goal of the season right foot volley from just outside the 18 yard box to send the ball across the despairing dive of KK’s custodian into the onion bag.
The 15 or so minutes that remained seemed to tick by like time was standing still especially when Albert left the field to a hamstring problem, the referee being asked every 5 seconds ‘how long to go?’. At last the whistle sounded and tired limbs were dragged off the field for a well-earned rest.
KK’s body language after the game was very telling – just quietly sitting around with heads down. Different story in the Kooka’s camp though with congratulations all round.
Well done everyone you all deserved points.
Also thanks to the referee and linesmen who did a great job in keeping a tight rein on proceedings.
Next week a home game being played away v Hills Spirit. 1.00pm at Kellyville Park number 7.
Player of the Match: Vargha
RND 16 VS HILLS SPIRIT
WIN 3 - 1
With this win we still have a slim hope of reaching the semi-finals, slim, but slim is better than it was some weeks ago.
Once again not enough players meant Neil Q’s first game back after his European fact finding mission was on the field instead of lounging on the sideline (good to have you back Neil). However Kenny’s goal after 13 minutes settled any nerves we may have had, his shot from just outside the 18 yard box sending a poor clearance back with 1000% interest into the net. Great shot Kenny!
Why we didn’t increase our goal tally before half time was due to very thick posts and bar, wayward shooting and bad luck with Luke having his fair share of the latter.
Things improved a bit in the second half with our superior fitness a telling factor and Vargha showing up with a late note. Midway through Peter found himself in acres of space in the middle just outside the 18 yard box. He had time to steady himself before picking his spot and sending a powerful shot past the goalie. Great shot Peter! Next it was Luke’s turn to put his name on the score sheet and he didn’t disappoint by accurately dispatching the ball into the net. Great shot Luke! Aren’t they all!
With that third goal Spirits spirits sagged but revived slightly when Neil G decided to give them a helping hand with a hand ball and penalty kick but there were no more goals to talk about after that.
Another good result but we should have had more goals in the plus column. Might seem greedy but hey! goal difference may count after next week’s games.
Thanks once again to Ramen from the O45/1’s for helping out again but bad news for Vargha. He has a week off after collecting another of his favourite yellow cards today.
Player of the Match: Kenny
RND 17 VS NORWEST
WIN 6 - 0
What a great turn around.
From a mid-season slump with too few players and where we even had to forfeit 2 games with just 7 players available we are still in with a shout of making the semis. Still struggling today to field a full team this was an opportunity as Norwest were similarly shorthanded to take revenge for a first round loss and improve our goal difference. In the end for us it turned out to be a goal fest and brought that semifinal spot tantalizingly closer.
First half was a frustrating affair with shooting boots seemingly left on the sideline whilst square toed concrete slippers were in their place. Passing was OK until the 18 yard box where the safest place to stand was in goal, no danger of getting hit by any ball. That was until Albert saved some blushes, latching onto an errant pass to dispatch it unerringly past the keeper. Next up was Luke who finished off a move, initiated by Jason who had sped, yes, sped up the right wing to deliver a perfect assist to the aforementioned Luke to strike a firm right foot shot into the net.
Only 2 nil at half time but should have been 5 or 6 with the number of chances we had. Both Neil’s and others had plenty of positive things to say during the break so it was with a spring in the step and the concrete slippers discarded that we went out for the second half.
With our opponents tiring gaps in their defence started to appear. Luke collected 2 more excellent goals for his hat trick, Jason got on the score sheet, coming in from the right to slot the ball home from an acute angle and Terry scored his first for the season from another Jason assist.
Hopefully other results this weekend have gone our way and next week will be a Super Saturday for us.
Good luck lads.
Player of the Match: Luke E
Hat Trick Hero: Luke E
RND 18 VS BHFC BLUE
WIN 3 - 1
Today was ‘Do or Die Day’.
This was against our fellow Baulko team who were riding high in the table. Nothing in it for them as they were firmly ensconced in second place but we were expecting a tough, unforgiving match especially has we had a bench of one and they had a cast of thousands (eighteen anyway). Could we overcome them and squeeze into the semifinals on the back of a six game winning streak?
Started well and because our play was not disrupted by bench changes we played with a more cohesive structure and were making good inroads into their defence. This paid off with a quick break with Luke, on his jet propelled bike and chasing down a seemingly lost cause, managing to toe the ball past a defender and keeper into the net (seemed to go so slow but it made it, Phew!). One up and playing well although the Blue’s had their chances as well.
The second goal and one that settled our nerves was from the 12th man, Mr. OG, from an assist by Vargha. Soon after a corner or free kick into a crowded goal mouth had Kieran stooping to conquer to send us three up. Only blip in this half was from a mix up in defence that left one of their forwards with a Christmas gift of a goal and then a lot of scrambling going on in the final 8 or 9 minutes before halftime.
Second half saw the game played out in good spirits but without any real goal mouth action and petering out with no alteration to the score line.
Immense games from all: -Dariush (The Great) in goal (apart from the blip), Kenny, Neil G (Defense Lynchpin), Glen, Neil Q (apart from his free kicks), midfield of Luke, Peter, Kieran, Payman (his best game), and up front Vargha and Albert (his best game as well).
Scores from other games in the division, with rumours abounding, had us hopeful of further progress but time and the Hills Association will tell if that is so.
Whatever happens thanks to everyone who has contributed this season especially to those stalwarts who stayed loyal for most of the season when we struggled for numbers in many games.
Player of the Match: Payman & Albert S