Match Day Monday – Round 4

It’s been absolutely hectic this week guys. We welcome back Thursday nights, Sydney held two games but wound up with no points between the two sides (that hurts) and Perth is forcing me to have an all nighter by having a Sunday night kick off at 9.45pm, aka half an hour before my bedtime. Further, to make this week of footy watching interesting, I had a fight with a fly. Ultimately I won, however my bedroom light bulb had to be sacrificed as a swooshed my tea towel at the buzzing menace. The result is note taking for this round during the non-Sydney games was pretty disrupted, a bit like Sydney train services. However, the entertainment throughout this round was complete quality, there being some blockbusters, meaning there is so much to talk about. So let’s get to it.

 

Thursday Night|| Adelaide United 2 – 0 Canberra United

So just wanted to say to begin with, these are the types of match ups that have been so often lacking coverage. I may be wrong, and people can throw old tv guides at me if I am, but usually a match up against Adelaide and Canberra just wouldn’t be televised in the days of one match per round. Especially when there is a Sydney v Victory games on the cards, plus Perth taking on City. Without coverage of every game this season, a game between two clubs outside of the heavily populated east coast cities just wouldn’t reach our screens. Now with the improved coverage, we get to watch a game that I would’ve usually shrugged off and only followed at random intervals for a score update.

Boy was this a game to watch though. Adelaide have done their homework and the hard work. I don’t remember an Adelaide side who have held the ball so comfortably in possession. Even for the romping Adelaide gave Sydney a few seasons past, that nightmare is based on counter attacks, not holding and playing with the ball. Adelaide did this well, they’ve recruited personnel that suit what they’re after, being well structured without the ball and comfortable holding the ball until they find the gaps to counter. Quality.

Meanwhile Canberra were left scratching for lengths of this one. A repeat performance should not have been on the cards after the Jets game round 3. However it was. Still without the spark needed to really fire on the forwards, further the side often looked disjointed in attack, with very little support for the player who finally broke the lines of a solid Adelaide defence. Again Canberra struggled against a defence who sat back and didn’t allow the forwards to play in behind. Adelaide did their homework, Canberra didn’t adjust from this failing against the Jets, meaning it bit them again.

Adelaide have yet to concede a goal. If anyone had predicted this at the start of the season either force them to buy you a lottery ticket, or set their pants on fire, users choice.

 

Saturday Night || Western Sydney Wanderers 0 – 1 Newcastle Jets

I would love to say I had the pleasure of watching this one live. Honestly, no matter the match, I do love being at the game live and experiencing it at any level. However, interesting is perhaps a good way to put it. Honestly I don’t see the point in having making media passes mandatory to get into the press box, anyone who can find the entry into most press boxes deserves that seat. For Marconi, the venue for Saturday night, to make it to the press box means once there to not leave, it’s too far a journey to reach the seats right below the box honestly, not worth it.

For the Wanderers it was another frustrating night in the office. There were times when it seemed there was a chance. Unfortunately for the home side, not having scored a goal so far has left a monkey on their back, which they just can’t manage to shake off! The urgency wasn’t with the Wanderers when they had possession, and when they attempted to play the ball out from the back it was frightening and not in a fun way. It became clear by half time that Whyman in goals was carrying a knock, the Jets were most definitely informed of this at half time and started to press from the goal kicks. However the Wanderers defence clearly didn’t get the memo, playing dangerously with the ball in the back. It was through this a goal was conceded, because of course it was. Australia’s endorsement of playing the ball out of defence when it just isn’t on be on baffles me. When a goal is harder to find than a pair of undies at the end of the week, to have a defensive error be the difference between conceding a goal and possible goalless draw, hurts.

The Jets once again did what they was needed to get the win. This is not a side who appear to have found their scoring boots, they should’ve had more, but they got the one that counts. Massive questions have to be asked over where Crummer fits, the Jets defence remained solid, especially through the guts. Having not conceded in her absence, there has to be doubts over whether Crummer can fit into that back four. Otherwise, Stengel was a clear handful up front, doing everything but scoring.

In the end though, all we can hear is murmuring around the ground of “a team in transition”. I sure hope so. There is a guts of a young side in Whyman, Lowe and Nevin who are absolute quality. But to go four in a row without points or a single goal is a harsh reality. Need to shake off that damn monkey. Otherwise they will be naming it Harold and it’ll be a long season.

 

Sunday Afternoon|| Sydney FC 2 – 3 Melbourne Victory

Turns out there are two Jubilee stadiums. Plans of going to the City and wondering around until I find the stadium were quashed upon finding out I had the wrong one in mind. Turns out though, making friends with the photographers have more upsides than getting to butcher their photos onto pop-culture references, they will also help out with lifts! The great bunch they are.

So stakes are high coming into this match. Victory have set the pace early, and Sydney were the early favourites of the competition before the season’s kick off. It’s a matter of pride too really, what Sydney side likes losing to any Melbourne side? Let alone the possibility of two rounds on the trot. Unfortunately that’s what happened.

Dowie was primed for this match. Unstoppable in moments and completely honed in on goal, not needing any second chances, Dowie’s performance was inspired. Whilst it brought some level of peace to this Sydney supporter to see Kennedy back in the lineup, the battle between Dowie and Kennedy was something else. Forget any idea of David v Goliath, this is like Woolworths and Coles fighting it out for supermarket superiority, everything is in play and they’ll do anything to succeed over the other. Whilst both players managed to get on the scoreboard, the battles winner has to go to the hat trick hero. However had Kennedy’s free kick inspired a come back, that would’ve been special too.

There are so many things that could be said about this match. Some of the match ups were delightful, the intensity throughout was reminiscent of the intensity I showed trying to follow google maps getting back from Fairfield late after the Marconi game to not wind up lost (so super high yeah). So honestly, just watch the game, it’s worth it.

Two things I find interesting though is the correlation between the two defeats. Both matches had the oppositions centre forwards bag a hat trick. Both matches had the opposition go down to ten players with about 10-15 minutes to go. Sure Sydney have lost two games on a trot, they’ve not played the middle of the park or between the lines well enough in either. However, the second point, of two games in a row the opposition going down to ten players, shows signs of Sydney putting pressure on their opposition and forcing wreckless, though unnecessary, challenges. The centre forwards goal scoring spree though is of concern and points to some defensive problems through the centre.

 

Sunday Night|| Perth Glory 5 – 2 Melbourne City

It’s late, I barely make it back home in time for the late kick off at 9.45pm, but it’s a late night to be had. Honestly as I write this, the final whistle is only about 10 minutes old. Usually I like to stew in my thoughts before writing these up, so lets just hit the basics, ramble on a little and we can talk properly later after sleep if it’s necessary.

Five past City feels super sweet, I can only imagine it would feel sweeter as a Glory fan. Perhaps my favourite things here, and the most striking, is Perth’s complete up yours to the City style of play. Perth didn’t even pretend to hold onto possession for spells in the back before they attacked, when they wanted to attack it was dead on direct. With a long ball over the top, and forwards like the Kerr and Hill combination, there is no need to play the hodge podge that is holding the ball between the centre backs until everyone gets bored.

City meanwhile had Kyah Simon back on the field, though she was deployed as a wide forward with Spencer retaining her spot in the middle. Kellond-Knight was restored to defensive midfield, take a moment to rejoice, however a defensive midfield can barely cover those long balls over the top if the defensive line is high enough to allow Kerr or Hill to get in behind. However City just couldn’t find a goal from open play. The opposite to Perth, who didn’t feel the need to take the foot off the pedal when on the counter by burying the five goals.

Two goals were stand outs and one save could probably trump it too. The first goal for Perth came early, and by non other than Kerr. With ball at feet, Kerr thundered forward, defenders surrounding her. Maybe Kerr smells bad? Or maybe the City defence were playing chicken? Either way, the defence left Kerr far too much space at the top of the box. The result was Kerr pulling out a top notch finish with that space to put her side ahead early. The second stunner of a goal was City’s first. With Kennedy setting the mantle down earlier in the day, Kellond-Knight decided to one up her. With precision, KK curved the ball into the net from the free kick. Wipe your eyes, two amazing free kicks in the space of half a day.

Goalkeepers don’t get enough praise, so here’s a massive shout out to Campbell here. With the game still in City’s reach, a cross comes over the box, landing just right for Dobson who one touches the ball straight towards goal. Campbell somehow managed to stream across the goal with the cross and makes a diving save mid-air from Dobson’s one touch shot in the mixer. It was a special save. If it’s not in the MyFootball clips I demand we go with anarchy until they rectify the situation. Campbell pulled out a couple other quality saves, but this for me is save of the week.
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