The tremendous energy and positive attitude that went into Saturday’s two matches was genuinely inspiring and it showed in the on-field performance across both teams. Both teams absolutely fired from the kick-off and two solid team performances resulted in our first 6 point weekend of the season! This weekend also reinforced the importance that a unified team spirit brings to our team’s success and joy on and off the pitch.
Against Pittwater, there was also a wonderfully delicious side act, where our Captain was in fine form, shining against best mates, the Southern Brothers, who have been lauding their pre-season friendly win for some time now. To keep them both quiet for the entire match with a clean sheet is a fair effort as both are capable players. To add insult to injury though, both of them received a yellow card after what can only be described as a forgettable day. I expect they will be silent for some time to come.
I will also ask the club to provide us with a few more BTH jerseys as they have become all the rage this season. Players from Allambie, Avalon, Forest, Mosman, and now Pittwater, have all tried to take the shirts off our players backs in the past seven weeks and at this rate, we’ll run out of shirts before the end of the season. But, it’s great to see the might Raiders jersey in such high demand!
Lastly, whilst the referee in the Firsts game received criticism, it’s a reminder to all of us that the referee doesn’t put the ball in the back of the net. All we can control are our actions. We have had our fair share of disappointing decisions this season, especially in the Reserve grade (I’m still upset about the 1 metre inside the wall decision), however, we have always remained dignified and respectful towards the officials and I am exceptionally proud of that. We go again next week against Wakehurst, where the Ditchfield brothers face off against each other!
After a miraculous decision from the local council to allow football after light rain on Friday, the boys were keen for a win. The Reserves won and Conor kept saying the vibe was good, so the pressure was on. They kicked off and we literally just staunched the ball, mooks waltzed down the right wing, crossed the ball low, and Conor hit it back across the keeper with aplomb. Pittwater were clearly rattled by our revered "AL2s!" Thing we do.
So it was 1-0 with 89 minutes and 50 seconds remaining. Doug's asked me if everything was alright and I was like yeah dude.
Then less than 5 minutes later, another beautiful set up from Sheldon (playing out of Right Back), and Conor lofted another one past the keeper. It was 2-0 and Doug's asked me if everything was alright again. As it turned out he should have been asking Isaak because he was not alright and was air lifted to hospital at the 30 minute mark. All of a sudden our defense was missing it's talismanic tree.
The referee had a difficult task because the mischievous men in green seemed intent on hurting as many players as possible. Must have been some "sweep the leg" chat from Gavin, Pittwater's coach. We went into the sheds at half time beaming like Jase would have been if he had gone to his fancy dress party instead of playing football.
Anyway we started the second half and Pittwater had decided to pull up their socks and foul us more, and our whole team decided that the defense didn't need any help. Doug's wasn't about to let his best friend Max score a goal so he changed position to sweeper.
We endured the storm though, their closest opportunity missed by, like, 5 meters or something. And then, as in the first half, they went back to their plan of just straight up hacking and the ref was not impressed. Multiple yellows and sin bins were handed out, with Pittwater suggesting the turf, wind, political climate, and magnetism of the earth were to blame for the fouls rather than frustration.
But we knew the truth, and before the final whistle, young Isaiah was able to latch onto a beautifully worked cross from Jason, to slam home the final goal to make it 3-0. Special mention for his other attempt which looked less like a bicycle kick and more like how Jordan looked at the Bavarian a couple years ago. All in all a great performance and a great way to round out a fantastic weekend for the mighty raiders.
Thanks to Jeremiah the Wiring Specialist for the write-up
What seemed to be an inevitable washout weekend produced some really entertaining football and not only a well-deserved first win for the Ressie’s but a 6 point party for the boys in Yellow & Blue!
The Ressie game started off fast paced with the new formation adopted for the second week running, Pittwater just as fiery and eager taking a good 10 minutes before everyone had settled from the initial burst of adrenaline and were comfortable in their strides.
First time in many weeks that there was a stacked bench with all positions taken on the card for both grades, a number back from injury and eager to play. The young attacking forces of Ryan Haworth, Luca Feijo, Lachlan Baker and Michael Howe kept the defenders on their toes and frantic to keep up in the opening stages of the first half with a number of one on ones and continued pressure from within their own half leaving the only option to play the hail Mary long ball.
Belrose continued the siege of attacks and a volley off a corner saved in a knee jerk reaction by the keeper which was certain to go in…and what would have been a contender for goal of the season for young Ryan. And it wasn't long before one of these opportunities paid off and saw Ryan score a well struck finish after beating the keeper and putting the mighty Yellow & Blue deservinglyahead.
The physicality and determination of the team to get their first win was really evident with everyone committing to playing their assigned roles no matter the task ahead, substitutes coming thick and fast slotting right into the previously players spot. The first half seemed to last forever and tired legs gave Pitts a couple of opportunities to get back in the game. Corey Pullinger stepping into a CDM role and anchoring against the centralised attacks, James Trickey putting in a shift in defense and Glyn Archer making some great efforts in goals saw the first half end 1-0.
A very direct team talk from the Head Coach Neil and some inspiration for sidelined Andrew Chudd-chudzynski got the boys ready to resume play. Second half started much the same as the first and Belrose continued to move the ball through the wings and the likes of Lachlan and Jacob Ditchfield taking on players at pace and eventually resulting in a pin point cross back post that Luca got on to tap past the keeper. 2-0
Pitts slowed the game down with a number of fouls and defensive plays which didn’t help their cause, however the transition of pace from Ryan once again saw him beat the CB twice before finding the back corner… 3-0 with less than 20 minutes to go!
A last ditch effort by Pitts saw them attacking in great numbers and a run across the top of the box which would surely be a goal, only to be greeted by Mr. Reliable Dan Noble who won the ball only to hear the whistle blow which left both sides confused which way the foul was to be called. After what seemed like 5 minutes a penalty was given against the Raiders! A well struck penalty which hit the bottom right corner was unstoppable by Glyn even picking the correct side. Final whistle was silenced by the cheers from the whole squad as all the hard work and a bit of luck had finally gone our way.
Honorable mentions to Glyn Archer for putting the team first and staying in goals the whole game, Ryan for 2 wonderful efforts and bringing his goal tally to 3 goals in two games and Aidan Diaz, for coming back from injury kitting up and cheering the boys on
Thanks to Neno the Horse Whisperer for the write-up
ROUND 7 RESULTS