Saturday 8 May
AAC vs Lugarno WON 3 - 1
AAB(Res) vs Oatley RSL WON 3 - 2
AAB(1st) vs Oatley RSL WON 3 - 1
AAA(Res) vs Hurstville Glory Draw 2 – 2
All Hail the King Nathan, He stands at 5 feet nothing, And delivers what is trueHe is the King of the Glory, 2 goals fired through, All hail the King NathanThe feast day of Nathan the Prophet was on Saturday 8 May 2010. What a game!!! After a week's absence relaxing from what has been a stressful couple of weeks doing sweet FA, the author returns to report on a game which had it all. A recalcitrant official, an overzealous spectator, an in-form Ferguson (in terms of encouragement), a keeper that dared fate, a running back that was being outpaced at every corner, a mid-field that was lack lustre at best during the first half and a sook who ran out of tissues. It also marked the last game of the season for our beloved and mighty Garin the Gun. It was a corker.
The team started flat and bad habits quickly returned. Starting a 1st versus 2nd play-off against a team with a shared history with the Rovers and who were pumped, it wasn’t going to be pretty. Nonetheless, the game went on and recruits quickly followed. Our opponents were quick, fit and skillful but invariably lacked clinical execution. Even their early goal came from a Rover's error. An over-sized male dressed in goalkeeper attire made a lazy and uncommitted attempt to intercept a cross which led to a poor clearance by jesse Gump resulting in the Glory's 1st goal. The game continued with a lack of passion by the Rovers and tension which flowed off the field at the half-time break. It was mayhem with sledges at every turn. The BBQ wasn’t the only thing on fire in the 2nd half. Notwithstanding conceding an early 2nd goal, the Rovers were pumped and stepped up to take control of a tiring opposition. Having gone full speed all 1st half, our opposition lacked the endurance and sustenance required to maintain their lead. The Rovers came marching in. And then it happened-the second coming in the 2nd half of the 2 goal hero, the all powerful King Nathan. Bullets, scud missiles, scorches, almost sook like rockets were unleashed, leaving the Glory keeper wondering. The last goal coming at a pubic hair of a second before full-time. A justified result given the beginning. Had the clock kept running, the score would have been demoralising for our worthy opponents. Grateful for the whistle, the Rovers were ready for the next battle-a souvlaki-a-thon to celebrate the departure of their brother and friend, the Gun.
AAA(1st) vs Hurstville Glory Lost 4 – 1
A big test against one of the top teams. The first 30minutes we played like a top team ourselves but a goal against the run of play was a big kick in the guts. We continued to stick to the game plan and played nice and tight but again a small lapse in concentration and poor tracking of opposition players allowed Glory to score a crucial goal that was well taken. We started slow in the second half and took some time to get a bit of rythym as we seemed to be chasing the scoreboard and not the game. We started to find space on the flanks but some very dodgy decisions by the match officials at times against both teams influenced the outcome of key plays at crucial times. Glory made us pay after another lapse as we started to tire and push forward with a penalty and audacious chip giving them a strong lead. However, we didn’t give up and pushed on to the end as we pressured with some committed midfield and forward running to get Terrier a goal and then miss several strong chances to get back into the game.
This week was about effort and passion to play as a team and we did that. Now we need to get the ball into the net more often to reward the effort and get some points. All players put in and that’s what counts.
PL (Res) vs Banksia Tigers Draw 3 – 3
PL (1st) vs Banksia Tigers Lost 2 - 5
Sunday 9 May
AAW/B vs Connells Point WON 7 – 1
A tough encounter where the score doesn’t reflect the closeness of the game. Basically, we copped the first goal scored against us this year but we battled well where we sustained the pressure to win the ball and before we knew it in the last 30 minutes it became a goalathon where with some pretty impressive passing, running and finishing we absolutely stunned our opponents. Regardless they are a good side and work very hard but today was our day. Well done team.
O35A vs Kogarah Waratahs Lost 1 - 3
Saturday 1 May
AAC vs Hurstville Minotaurs WON 3 - 0
Dissappointment as we were leading 3 nil when game abandoned due to Minotaurs behaviour with the match officials. May need to be replayed, watch this space.
AAB(Res) vs Arncliffe Aurora Lost 0 - 6
AAB(1st) vs Arncliffe Aurora Lost 0 - 7
AAA(Res) vs Penshurst West WON 3 – 2
Story in progress
AAA(1st) vs Penshurst West Lost 3 – 1
Another game that just got away from us. After a strong start we got away to 1 goal lead when Hans scored but then our inability to move the ball around, maintain possession and create chances for the forwards to work beat us more than the opponent. Have we forgotten where the opponent’s goals are? Lets see if we can get some consistent attack going forward instead of sideways and backwards. Back to basics lads, as we need to settle down very fast and play to our potential. We all talk big but let the writer confirm here and now all of you are delivering small at the moment. Some more quality training and with our full squad now back can only help us improve. A big thanks to the Reserve grade for lending us some players this week – they were the only Men of the Match.
PL (Res) vs Oatley RSL Lost 3 – 4
A diabolical outcome against a team that with all due respects would struggle in AAD. There is no excuse for the outcome and all the players (we fielded a very strong team) should take a long hard look at themselves and dig deep to bring a more can do & will do attitude in the future. We were in control yet we lost to a team with more spirit if not anywhere as much ability as us show ponies. Too many individual efforts (and some that were very good) but a real lack of sustained team work when it counted, silly passes, poor defensive shape at crucial times, amateurish finishing and a real lack of game smarts cost us dearly. Surely we can’t serve that rubbish up ever again. All players in this team need to be pushing 1st grade every week but its not happening?
PL (1st) vs Oatley RSL Lost 2 - 3
With our supporters struggling to cope with Reserve grade’s capitulation it was with some relief to see 1st grade attempt to set the afternoon right working the ball and opponent hard from the start. Despite going into the game without a recognised keeper we were deserved leaders at 2 nil up after Richard & Zola had put away some tight chances. We didn’t seem to be struggling as we were dominating the exchanges on a ground not suitable for top level football. However as we headed to the break a well taken goal to Oatley from a set play got them back into the hunt at 2-1. The writing must have been on the wall but like all accidents waiting to happen you can’t see the problem until it’s too late and happened. We started the second half off the pace a bit but still competed ok and as they say teams they play down to their opponents level end up being better at that level than the opponent. Boy did we drop a gear or two? After a bit of an arm wrestle Oatley were chancing their arm spoiling our play and forcing us out of our game plan (remember that?) and into pub footy. Before we knew it a couple of turnovers in their half when we were attacking saw quick interplays by Oatley saw them surge straight through the heart of our defence at the half way mark that opened the gateway to our goal line where they duly obliged us with 2 good finishes to take all 3 of the unwinnable points. A special mention to Raffi for putting his hand up at short notice to go between the sticks and did a great job for us despite the score, thanks mate. Next training session Lesson 101 “How To Defend in 1st Grade when leading a Game”. We simply need to stop leaking silly goals to give us a better chance of winning matches.
Sunday 2 May
AAW/B vs Sans Souci WON 6 – 0
O35A vs Forest Rangers WON 2 – 0
On a day when frolicking at the beach would have been more appropriate we turned on enough dazzle to get the points from a determined opponent who also had some chances to get some points out of the game. While we had enough ball to put the cleaners through any team our finishing was a bit off costing us a bigger result. A couple of moments of class in each half saw “Mr Send It” Spiro bag a top brace after great lead up play. There was a lot to admire on the day especially a rock solid defence that saw Sok, PF, Billy, Bonesy, Simon K, Zoran rotate through and a busier midfield where our little general John S kept the distribution going releasing Louis, Ange, George, Michael, & Dave on many forays. Mal had another blinder doing nothing in goals. Well the rest of the pack is talking about us so we need to stand and deliver. More time on the ball will help our endurance. Big day out next week on Mothers Day!
Saturday 24 April
AAC vs Forest Rangers Draw 2 - 2
AAB(Res) vs Hurstville Zagreb WON 4 - 1
AAB(1st) vs Hurstville Zagreb Lost 1 - 2
AAA(Res) vs Kogarah Waratah Draw 3 – 3
This week's report is written with disgust and dismay at what can only be referred to as the worst game of this squad's tenure together. A lack lustre effort from the beginning. Not worthy of any kind of commentary or critical analysis, the result was about the only favourable outcome on the day. Unless this team decides to pull up its socks and get its act together, last year's crown and glory will be short lived. With players turning up 5 minutes before kick off and some 5 minutes late, what kind of outcome could be achieved, accept for the one we fortunately managed to pull off and against a lesser team. This is not the squad the author has come to write about with endearment and passion. Its not the squad that drowned the rovers' rap with endless praises, accolades and excesses. We are better than this boys, both individually and collectively. We deserve better, the club deserves better and our loyal supporters deserve better. Starting this Saturday, lets pull together and unite behind our legendary reputation and deliver an outstanding effort and result, second only to the Melbourne Storm's heroic display of solidarity and unity in the face of chaos and turmoil last Sunday. And yes the author concedes that we are not being paid in excess of any salary cap, but we do have memories to play for and a legend to live up to. So come on you mighty Spartans lets do it.
AAA(1st) vs Kogarah Waratah Lost 1 - 5
Pretty hard to compete in 1st grade for 90 minutes with 10 players. SOS anyone seen our team mates?
PL (Res) vs SCOTS Lost 1 - 3
Lost the game in 1st half as we didn’t “turn up” until half time. Played much better in 2nd half and maybe with better finishing we could of got a result. So it proves we can play when we want to. Must be an attitude thing? or is a motivational thing or worse a commitment thing? This team needs to work out what it wants to achieve and just do it.
PL (1st) vs SCOTS Lost 0 - 4
3 nil down after 14 minutes didn’t look promising and the big crowd on hand was wondering why they came to watch our capitulation. Thank god the souvlaki was good. Scots showed us why they were last year’s champs and how to be effective and strangle your opponent out of the game. They were switched on from the kick off, hiot their men early and showed plenty of zip. We were punch drunk and confused as they seemed to be jumping out of the ground at times with zippy play. Fortunately we stemmed the flow and even created some of our own chances in the 2nd half but some stirling keeping and off target delivery and finishing let them off the hook. Whilst the result was comprehensive it didn’t need to be as we again failed in some areas of our defensive shape when not in possession of the ball eg not tracking our player at times, ball watching, out of position. We can work on all this going forward but communication and awareness is critical as is “all stations go” from the kick off. We can’t afford slow starts ever again.
Sunday 25 April – ANZAC Day
AAW/B vs Oatley RSL Draw 0 – 0
O35A vs Hurstville Glory Draw 3 - 3