Two quality games on Saturday across both teams. The Ressies showed their quality in the second half, whilst the Firsts continued to show their quality and put pressure on the league leaders who dropped points which makes the league table very tight going into the final two rounds. Unfortunately, Allambie’s aggressive play and propensity to foul resulted in a number of injuries, with Luke and Harry the worst affected. With two rounds to go, we’re in a good place and ready to wrap up the season with a win.
We go again next Saturday against the school boys at Saints.
It was a beautiful day for football. The boys were revved up after watching the Ressies come agonisingly close to a well-deserved comeback win, as well as a good warmup, ensured the boys were on the front foot early in the match. The Manly Allambie boys were struggling in the midfield with the strength, aggression, and skill of Haz, Dougs, Neno, and Izzy. As a result they struggled to build a platform from which to attack and allowed us to break on the counter with relative ease. A quick ball to Connor down the line allowed him to cross in to Kearns who scored effortlessly in the opening minutes. Frustration soon crept into the Manly Allambie game and the flow of the game became stop start as they began to foul the BTH boys, culminating in Conor dislocating his thumb and Dr Badyari giving medical treatment and putting it back in. The first half continued without much fanfare, wrapping up with Ryan challenging the goal keeper for a loose ball inside the box, which unfortunately resulted in a foul and a free kick. Surprisingly, this was the second clash between the Allambie keeper and Ryan – the first one resulted in Ryan breaking his cheekbone.
The second halg began with a different energy from the Manly Allambie team. The instruction seemed to be make as many fouls as possible and take a swing at the BTH boys where possible. They also started to play some football in between the mounting fouls. The wayward passes from the first half began to hit the mark, and they started to compete in the midfield. Whilst our defence held strong, their possession play and building ultimately lead to no real chances on goal. The BTH boys started to suffer from all of the reckless tackles and fouls and injuries began to occur, as Tricks went down from a studs to the knee, and Haz was taken out and stretchered off with his ankles blatently taken out.
Moving into the last 20 minutes of the match, up steeped club legend, and team talisman, Jonathan "The Wall" Grew who was sent hurtling over the back corner and the Manly Allambie winger took the ball into the box. Dave Sheldon prepped his arms for the defence and gave their striker a light shove which the referee immediately blew a penalty. The penalty was a quality finish, thumped in the top left hand corner, leaving Tommy diving the wrong way. The scores were locked at 1-1 and the tension was at its peak and the game got really scrappy. Manly Allambie started to get a bit of a roll going and the boys found themselves on the back foot. Jason Sorbara was soon fouled and had a quiet word to the ref about Manly Allambies continued fouls and the fact that they had injured two of our players, continued to foul with intent, and with no consequence. This proved to be too much for the embattled official who turned his frustrations onto Sorbs, and sent him to the sin bin.
Down to 10 men things were looking quite grim for the BTH boys, however, the Allambie boys were well contained and didn’t look like breaking through. In the 85th minute, a great run down line resulted in another foul just outside the box. Up stepped the big dog Isman to take the kick. Isaak approached the spot kick with tremendous confidence, despite having scored only one of his free kicks in the past 32 attempts. Having come close to scoring from a similar position the week earlier, he took a big sweep with his long legs and curled the ball over the wall, away from the keeper and into the top right hand corner. Goal!!! The boys and the bench began to celebrate before Captain Doogs calmed the group and reminded us the game wasn’t over and we were still down to 10 men. Soon after Sorbs was back on the field and the boys rode out the remainder of the Manly Allambie attack without too much concern. After the game the boys were ecstatic Isaak had delivered the game winning goal, but equally as concerned with undoubtedly the most annoying bloke in the squad having scored an absolute worldie. With this win the boys are now 1 point behind joint competition leaders, overall a great result.
Thanks to Jono the Birthday Boy for the write-up
Another sunny Saturday invited football to Millers Reserve, where the Raiders took on Manly Allambie. The reverse fixture of this match ended in a 2-4 defeat for our lads, however, many lessons have been learned since and great improvements have been made. The boys in yellow (or in this case – the magical blue away strip) were out to bounce back from their previous outing with Allambie.
The first half started at a frantic pace, with the ball pinging from box to box, and play being exclusively played on the near sideline. Nervous moments from both sides saw everyone’s energy rise even further, with the sideline banter affecting Allambie heads. In their all blue away strip, the Raiders showed good intent in attack, cooking up half chances and skimming shots wide of the Allambie goal. The midfield along with the flanking fullbacks, looked to gain control of the game with intricate 1-2s and first time passing, creating havoc for the Allambie defence. But the inability to convert chances and take the game by the throat was our undoing. Frustration crept in, followed by miscommunication, mistakes, and finally goals for Allambie. We conceded 2 goals before the referee blew half time, but what followed would surely shake the boys to their core.
We sought the shade of trees to regroup and cool ourselves from a sapping and disappointing first half in the sun, yet what came next would render even a Fujitsu air conditioner useless. Rob was to deliver an old-fashioned half time spray. With a full stomach thanks to Harry’s breakfast delivery for the gaff, old mate would deliver an onslaught that would shock the boys into silence. Even Neil was caught by surprise that Mount Robert had erupted. No player was safe, even the saint himself Luke felt the heat. With a final death threat from our passionate centre back Spud to hammer the message home, the boys really only had one choice; win the game.
Revitalised. Inspired. Life-changing. These words don’t do justice to what the boys felt after Rob’s spray. Even before the referee blew his whistle to start the second half, the Raiders were already on the move to hunt down their missing goals. Challenges were coming in quicker, passes were more direct, and players were running with greater conviction. Allambie seemed shocked themselves that this team was the same team they played in the first half. It soon became apparent that they were not coping with the pressure. Our young, flying forward Ryan was causing headaches for one of their older defenders, with Ryan’s physicality and skill being unmatched. The old bloke could only reply with fouls, before a heated exchange occurred pitting the two players at each other’s collars, and the old fart threatening to throw punches. After the ref’s lack of intervention, cooler heads presided and the match continued without harm.
More pressure was heaped onto the Allambie defensive line, with more half chances being created for the likes of Glyn and Baker. Set pieces provided great opportunities, but in open play it was Stoney who took his chance and secured a goal for the Raiders. If Allambie didn’t know they were in a scrap, then the scoreboard would soon show.
Down 2-1, the boys pushed on again winning more corners and set-pieces thanks to Carden’s theatrics. Unfortunately, the added pressure and increased intensity resulted in Allambie reacting with late challenges, horrendous and blatant tackles. The worst of the lot was when an Allambie midfielder went in late into a challenge at full speed and headbutted Lukey square in the forehead. A despicable act that should never have happened and resulted in Lukey heading into Emergency with a decent cut and swelling around his forehead. The BTH players responded with a ferocity that we haven’t seen all season. This lead to the play progressing into the attacking third and we won another corner.
It was from this corner that the Raiders would find their deserving equaliser, and it was that man again Stoney to provide. From 2 metres out in front of the keeper, the least graceful bicycle kick you’ve ever seen. A brace from Stoney got the Raiders back to parity, and the game was up for the taking.
The boys fought harder in all facets, but like the colour of their jersey, Allambie had to piss on our parade. Scoring with 10 minutes to go and seeing out the game from a brave Raiders fight back, Manly Allambie secured the win. Gutted for the boys, especially after an entertaining come-back.
It was a steep learning curve for us, with a lot of honesty and passion being shown that day. The spray was warranted. The response was brilliant, but not enough. The boys will look to continue improving on their performances and game day preparations to secure a chance for a “Final Round” game, and to do it for the badge.
Thanks to Andrew, King of the Chudd’s for the write-up
ROUND 11 RESULTS