Around the Grounds
The Winter winds had moved on this weekend and it was cracking weather around the grounds for our Junior games. Our Westside teams are starting to showcase the skills on the field they have been working hard on at training all Season and are proving to be competitive and coming away with some well-earned goals.
The Tigers Round 16 fixture was away, playing against Dayboro Red. The Tigers were very excited to kick off for this match perhaps due to a change, playing away for the first time in 5 weeks.
Early in the match the Falcons thought to have got the first goal with a kick from Asher from mid field but the ball got chased down by a Red’s defender for a save before crossing the goal line. That disappointment seemed to encourage the team, and the goals started trickling in one by one starting with Oscar, then Theo for four goals, then Ryker and Max S.
An outstanding performance by all the Tigers in this match for defending and challenging for the ball. There were good attempts to pass the ball to each other and run up the line to create chances. A great confidence booster for the Tigers heading into the final two matches of the season with a 7-4 victory.
The Player of the Day awards went to Blake and Max S.
The Falcons Round 16 fixture was at home playing against Bardon Latrobe FC Avengers. The Falcons faced the Avengers previously in Round 5 when they pulled off their first win of the season. In this match it was a seesaw contest in the first half, heading into the break locked at 1-all with Ned scoring for the Falcons.
The Falcons turned up the pressure in the second half with several opportunities on goal. The Avengers were exposed defending in front of their goal which the Falcons capitalised with a pass from Jasper into the middle for a goal by Cooper to get ahead in the match. Most of the play from that point was in the Avengers half. A corner kick by Cooper hit an Avengers defender for an own goal to wrap up the match for a 3-1 win.
A very solid effort by Ben, Braxton, Oli and Jasper for defending and Woody in goalkeeping. Likewise great hustle by all to challenge for the ball in the middle, and for Ryan, Ned, Cooper in play making to create chances to score.
The Player of the Day awards this week went to Braxton, Ryan, and Ned.
The Brumbies had a tough match against Toowong FC White finishing the game with a 1-1 draw. Lily posted one of the fastest goals of the Season scoring from the kick-off, but the Brumbies couldn’t find the net for the rest of the match after creating numerous chances. It was a great team effort!
Abandoned, suspended, or forfeited? Saturday morning was filled with drama, tears, and confusion.
The Dingoes faced off against Taringa Rovers Anacondas for the second time this season. Although Vinnie had a good opportunity, the Dingoes were unlucky to concede a goal in the first ten minutes. However, the team remained unfazed and continued to work hard.
As the game progressed, the physicality of the match began to increase. Despite the pressure from the Anaconda defenders, Harlem and Diego remained strong. The Dingoes relentlessly battled against their opponents, utilising their skills and teamwork to push past the defenders and create opportunities for their team to score. Their perseverance paid off, and Diego managed to score an equaliser.
Meanwhile, Elliot frustrated them with his skills manoeuvring around them. Joel also made impressive drives through the defensive lines but was unlucky not to score just before halftime.
In the second half, Ryan took a shot on target but was saved by the Anaconda keeper. Noah also made great defensive plays to shut down an Anaconda attack, making his return to the team even more valuable.
Just before the final whistle blew, the coach of the Anacondas made an abrupt, frustrating, and unfortunate decision. He walked onto the field and called out that the game was over, pulling all the players off the pitch.
During this unprecedented and unfortunate event, the officials and support representatives from Westside behaved commendably while discussing the incident with the Anacondas coach and support personnel. However, they remained inconsolable and stuck with their decision to finish the match early at 1-1.
Back on their hallowed home ground – minus the Westerly’s – and with Coach Brett returned safe and sound, the Wallabies were noticeably excited for the 2nd game this year against the Virginia United Heat team.
Last time the teams met we bore a significant loss against a side with some standout players. This time, primed with the plan of attack from Coach Brett, the red side was ready.
Under pressure early doors, the home team responded with some precision passing between Dash and Nash – and though we didn’t know it at the time, this set the precedence for countless more 1 – 2s and a superior passing game straight from Coach Brett’s playbook that was evident for the full 50 minutes.
The teamwork from the Wallabies was rewarded with an early goal from Rhys after a bit of a scramble in the 6-yard box – and it looked like it was going to be a good day!
Sadly, the lead was short lived and Virginia skilfully walked their equaliser into our net despite a valiant attempt by Lysander who started the game in his happy place between the sticks.
His teammates however were responding to some less happy, but hard tackles and once again Eddie owned the midfield outsized and under pressure. Not far away was Remy who was directing traffic on the left and Zac who was holding position – and Virginia at bay at the pointy end.
Across the turf, Nash and Zac saw plenty of action and flying dust as they, together with Alex reminded the travelling team they weren’t at home sweet home.
The 1st half came to an end with the Reds down 2-1 but not before a great run through the middle from Jack, the substituted centre forward, who took another step closer to that elusive goal he dreams about.
After oranges and the magic sponge were warranted, the team were back on the battlefield for the 2nd half. While it was Benson’s clearances that kept the score close in the 1st half, it was an extremely intelligent and insurmountable through ball that set Dash on a run for glory that ended sadly – like the majority of our attempts at goal today – in the hands of Virginia’s capable keeper.
Not to be silenced, the home team upped their agro to match their challengers and I’m sure Alex’s tremendously timed tackles and Lysander’s outfield distribution had their teammates believing there was time for a comeback. Yet despite arguably more possession and undoubtedly more shots on target, the away team stretched their lead and took advantage of some chaotic defending to go 3-1 up.
Our boys battled to the end, but with Virginia playing 3 upfront, even with the courageous cover from midfield, the demand for our duo in defence was simply too much. The game finished 4-1, but the improvement to the scoreboard from the last meeting does not reflect the immense improvement by our team.
Maybe it was (sugar) hangovers that a few of the team were suffering, from the EP nightclub school disco the night before, or maybe it was the 6ft 10-year-old they had to contend with. Whatever the reason, our boys walked off the field today with fresh bruises, maybe a little disappointed and hopefully wiser in the learning that there are, and will be times when even 110% doesn’t guarantee more goals than the opposition.
Player of the Day awards this week were earned by Eddie the midfield maestro for his work rate and I think standout situational play, and Zac for listening and doing everything that was asked of him in a tough environment. Well done Wallabies!
The Wolves came into this one off the back of two consecutive wins, with the goal of achieving five in a row to close out their first season in the K2 division. They were buoyant and pumped up prior to kick off. The boys put in solid shifts during training, with the primary focus being on using formation combined with off the ball movement to keep possession under pressure, as well as a recap on how to shield the ball effectively in 1 v 1 situations. From a technique standpoint, we worked on the reverse and chip passes. The boys have a tendency to overplay clearances and long balls, missing out on vital counter attacking opportunities for the quick front line players. Knowing the last 3 games are at home, at the end of training we utilised the whole pitch to develop the appropriate feel to drop the ball in behind but far enough away from the keeper to maximise potential counterattacks.
The last 3 games are reverse fixtures from earlier in the season, this week being the Albany Creek Excelsior Hearts. We managed to scrape home a 2 – 1 win on their home turf, although it was very much a 50/50 game, their coach mentioning a few players were out due to illness on that day. So, we were expecting a good battle. The Wolves came out the gates very strong, to be honest they dominated the first half. Within the first 5 minutes Teo and Eli hit the top right-hand corner of the goal posts. The defence maintained a good shape, effectively cleaning up their attacks and in general the team pressed well making it very difficult for ACE to find space and passing lanes. Clearly, they had picked up some of the points in training, whilst the execution wasn’t always there, the passing intent and off the ball movement was much better than in previous weeks.
It didn’t take long before they got the first goal. Teo threaded the needle with a great through ball from the right wing into the path of a great diagonal run from Finn. Their keeper made a good block, but the clearance floated up in the air and Eli drove the volley into the bottom left corner. A great team goal, killer pass, great run, followed up with support and excellent first-time finish! They boys kept creating opportunities, Eli with a few shots on target requiring saves from their goalkeeper with Jack nearly scoring on the rebound off one effort. It was also good to see a few chip passes from James, Noah and Sam, Eli nearly scored from a counterattack off one of these balls. Jack saved our bacon at one point with some great emergency defending following two bad bounces that Sam and James tried to clear. Jack read the situation well and got his body in between the ball and their attacker to clear out wide. Teo’s dribbling skills were on fine display as usual, but the second goal remained elusive, 1 – 0 half-time.
The half-time chat focused on how many chances they created and how well they were doing when they were passing the ball. Focus was put on maintaining pressure by closing down quickly and they were encouraged to turn quicker into space from wide midfield positions to progress the attack. Admittedly, something we hadn’t focused on in training for a few weeks. Obviously, being 1 – 0 the boys were reminded that the next goal would be critical.
It was a much more even affair at the start of the second, a bit of a lull in the game from a Wolves perspective. Landon was called into action a few times, cleaning up from a corner kick. Generally, he played well getting good range on the goals kicks and throws when required to. In terms of throw-ins, probably the best game so far from the Wolves, plenty of height and depth from multiple players combined with some good runs. Alex got an opportunity early on after making a great run in behind.
The boys started to pick up again midway through the second half and started to create more chances. Finn got a shot away across the face of goal and Jack was positioned to redirect the shot into the net, but unfortunately the bounce wasn’t very forgiving. Shortly afterwards we regained possession from the edge of the box and Jack made an excellent turn and played a perfectly weighted ball for Eli to run onto down the left wing. Sure enough Eli cut inside and banged it in near post to get that crucial second goal.
In the dying throes of the game ACE got a questionable corner kick. Maxi attempted to clear the ball from the near post, unfortunately it fell to their attacker who executed a great finish into the top right-hand corner. Thankfully we got that second goal. With one minute to go, there was a last-minute scramble, but the Wolves got bodies behind that ball to see out the Win! It was a well-deserved win on the balance of play.
That’s three wins in a row, and five out of the last six. Two more to go, but they are against tougher opponents, we’ll have to be on our game to achieve the five wins.
Everyone agreed it was hard to pick the Player of the Day awards, everyone played well. Eli took it for his 2 goals and Jack for his great turn and through ball assist to get the crucial second and winner.
Be sure to check out the Veo link below and lovely Wolf sisters’ photo who kindly helped out at the canteen.
The Gliders’ away game against the Pine Hills Dolphins provided an opportunity for the players to try out new positions under the guidance of stand-in Coach Joachim.
Katie’s wish to play goalkeeper was granted. Blair played as a sweeping defender with Isla moving forward to centre midfield, Alex taking on the fullback role and Freya moving up as striker.
Early in the game, it was looking like Gliders would score with some impressive cooperation between KB and Freya in front of goal. The Dolphins were quickly onto KB, however, who frequently throughout the match found herself trying to dribble her way through three defenders.
Although most of the action in the first half appeared to be happening at the Dolphin’s end of the pitch, the Gliders were applying fantastic pressure, often against much bigger players.
Katie was being kept busy against the well-disciplined Dolphins and despite some initial self-doubt after the Dolphins scored twice early in the game, she soon hit her stride saving two goals in quick succession. Five minutes later, there was another great save and the Gliders took possession.
Freya, whose home practice is clearly paying off, took the opportunity to score a goal for the Gliders with some lovely footwork, landing the ball in the right-hand side of the net off her left boot. Alas, the Dolphins retaliated with another two goals of their own and by halftime the score was 4-1 Pine Hills.
After praise for playing with full heart, and a sugar hit from Lloyd providing an endless supply of lollies, the Gliders returned to the pitch, keen to resume their usual positions.
Blair, happy to once again be wearing her goalkeeper jersey, was back saving goals and making excellent big kicks, which were picked up by Scarlett and fed forward. The Dolphin’s defence was too good, however, and despite some great physical play by Nina and Sophia in attempts to regain the ball, the Gliders would not score again this game…but nor would the Dolphins.
Alex, Isla and Tabitha were working hard at the back and together with Blair saved the Gliders from greater defeat. The Gliders certainly threw themselves into this game and Freya, Scarlett and Katie all came away a little battle-scarred. Player of the Day awards went to Tabitha for awesome defence and to Sophia for great focus throughout the game.
Coach Joachim expressed what we all felt when he said how proud he was of how the girls played. It was wonderful to see the girls supporting each other and, as a result of the initial position changes, developing a deeper respect for each other’s skill sets.