We’re in for a bit of a baller for Match Day Monday this week. Why you ask? I’ve been working at a folk festival all weekend. This means I’ve definitely not managed to fit in all four games this weekend, despite how hard I tried (and trust me I tried), and I’m a teeny tiny bit over everything after spending the weekend telling people “no this is a festival, we don’t sell tickets to individual performances, go to a gig” over and over again. For a couple of these matches I caught the full thing, and it was marvelous because we’ve got some prime Dub action this weekend. For the other half of matches we are going to take a punt at what’s happened and see how far off the mark I am once I’ve actually caught up on the matches. Either way, buckle up, we’re going back to the roots and old days of Molly’s Footy Rants where I could only catch one or two games a week and had to patch work the rest of what happened.
Sydney FC 3 – 0 Western Sydney Wanderers
Ok. I might be a little salty I couldn’t stay long enough on the mainland to squeeze in a Sydney derby. However I did make sure I knocked off early enough to watch it live on my ipad. When I say I made sure to knock off early enough, I mean that it wasn’t a Friday game where it would’ve been outside of my control because the masses of folk festival folk demand wristbands on that night, which look I totally get.
Foord. What a no nonsense forward we have on our hands here. With the game still in the balance, and Sydney only one goal ahead, on the hour mark Foord had clearly seen enough. Instead of dilly-dallying like most of Sydney’s forward play involved, Foord took it on herself, went completely direct for goal and got it. Her celebration was one of a pissed off older sibling doing a chore that their parents have been banging on about to their younger sibling to have already done. Her celebration for the second wasn’t much different.
Experience. For a side consisting of players with the years of experience of Khamis, Ledbrooke, Uzunlar and Halloway, it doesn’t seem right to be pulling them up for a lack of it. However their play throughout the season hasn’t always held the confidence or wisdom of an experienced side, which was once again highlighted against their neighbors. On the 80th minute, two goals down and a comeback looking increasingly unlikely, a Sydney forward gets in behind the defence, looking through to a one on one with young Simonsen in goal. What to avoid in this situation: a clumsy, red card offence and penalty. What happened: A clumsy, red card offence and a penalty. It was just unnecessary, meaning Jarvie won’t be available next round and a respectable 2-0 scoreline went to 3-0. It’s been a hard season for the Wanderers, and this is just one of many cherries on the cake decorating the mess it’s been.
ACL. No one likes seeing anyone go down clutching their knee. Particularly when it’s a young player who has really come on and staked a claim in the side recently. Unfortunately that’s what happened to Taylor Ray. After some really nifty play, and quality first touches and forward runs, Ray went down early holding her knee. It’s since been reported it was her ACL. Just as heartbreaking to see Harrison there, who has just come back from her second consecutive ACL injuries, holding Rays hand while waiting for the medics to get on the field. Whilst ACL injuries may never be totally gone from the game, we need to make it a priority for ACL prevention in every club to ensure there is every opportunity to ward against it from happening.
Melbourne City 0 – 1 Brisbane Roar
Before even knowing much of what happened but a quick peek of the result after confirming with a friend that the match wasn’t a classic requiring an immediate watch, I happened upon a tweet that summarized the match how I thought it was going to wind up playing. It essentially went, City had a lot of possession and opportunities but Roar tails to the wall with one decent counter get the goal that proves to be the difference. I’ve since caught 30 minutes of the game, and yeah that’s all that happened.
Centre forwards. Some teams are blessed with their centre forwards this season, just look to Perth or Victory. City isn’t one of those blessed sides. Had they got Taylor as intended it would be different. That’s the type of player they need right now with the way they play. Spencer is an asset no doubt, however she’s much better on the wing unless City convert how they play to a more long ball, in behind the defence, type of play, rather than possession based as they’ve got the midfield engine to employ successfully. Their best option without a late transfer into the squad? Butt. Place her slightly further up the park than she already is, because let’s face it she’s been their most threatening player lately. Put Butt in as a false nine, City’s midfield is strong enough to move Butt technically a little higher on the park, then have Dobson and Spencer use their pace to exploit the space Butt could create in that false nine position. The space Butt could create both for herself and others could really be something special to get City’s front line kicking. Instead though, expect City to not do this at all and put Jones in at number 9. Because you know, no actually I don’t, so I’ll stop now.
Roar. Everyone has talked about how City know how to grind out results late in the season for a finals spot, however we all forget that Roar know how to do that too. This is a side who have thrown me completely all season long with the way they play. Some days I love their style and approach to games play, whilst others I just begrudgingly accept it. However, with Andreatta at the helm this is a side who can adapt to most games. That’s something pretty special. Roar can play with the ball and without it, and they’ve shown both of that this season. They did it here again against City.
Newcastle Jets 3 – 1 Perth Glory
Instead of listening to some jams at the folk festival, my mum and I looked at each other at 2pm over some soft drink and we’re just like “nope, let’s go home”. And we did. So, come game time I suddenly have all the free time to watch the match. See my set up here in the photo above? The sun was shining and the nicest view is to my right. Brilliant.
Kerr-Tinted Glasses. Kerr is brilliant, her header for the opening goal absolute quality. However, this Perth side sees people looking at them through Kerr-tinted glasses, where they are unbeatable because of Kerr goals. Whilst this can be true, there is also more truth to Perth’s form away from home that must be considered. It’s a tough journey heading east for this side, and their results reflect this. The second half the side fizzled out. Whether it was the travel, heat or Jets just having their number, who knows, but they weren’t in it after half time.
Back Three. I finally got to see the Jets much lauded back three. And they slayed. If Crummer must play centre back, then yes, play her on the right of a back three. I’m not saying she necessarily played amazing, but all three defenders looked comfortable, and that is a massive feat against a front line consisting of Kerr, Hill and Mautz, all in fine scoring form. The shift with having a back three completely changed the dynamic of how the Jets played, and really looked like the boost they needed in the back end of their season. It’s the move I was praying to not see last weekend against Sydney, but they’ve finally brought it back and I can hear the praise from Newcastle all the way from Tasmania. Good move Craig Deans.
No EVE, No Problem. No Van Egmond for the rest of the season is a massive blow, however Wright made that midfield position her own here. Every touch was moving forward, bringing the play to Perth’s defence and demanding they do something to stop her heading towards goal. Wright changed the match for the Jets. I would’ve loved to see the Jets come out with a midfield of Wright and Van Egmond together, but alas, not meant to be.
Canberra United 1-0 Adelaide United
The ticket office of a festival is a quiet place by the end of the Sunday, when this match was happening. I thought I was clever, so intended to stream the match on my phone. Genius right? Nope. About 5 minutes into the game my screen goes black and I don’t have it in me to figure out what happened as technically I shouldn’t be watching it anyway. So here’s the patch work I’ve made up.
Defence. All season I’ve been rooting for Adelaide’s defence, talking about how well structured they are and difficult to break down. It was very much to my disappointment to watch a clip on Canberra’s goal. Adelaide’s defence were missing. No pressure, no idea how Canberra had that much space to get the goal off. I missed the lead up, so maybe Canberra were just that good at stretching Adelaide, but I’m unconvinced as Canberra have very much been sticking to one flank at a time and when they do switch play it’s not the quick, ping-pong stuff to then put it back into the middle, with where the goal was shot off. Credit to Canberra for breaking down Adelaide’s defence, but come on Adelaide, I was backing you!
Fortress McKellar. I’ve been there just as a Sydney supporter, I know how it goes. Canberra haven’t had the most stunning of seasons, but they’ve managed to largely keep their home fans happy, having not lost a game at home this season. Considering some of the changes that have gone on for Canberra across the last few season, even just the change of them being favourites for silverware and now a team a bit off the pace, one thing that hasn’t changed is how McKellar is their fortress and a special place for the team. A win against Adelaide to keep them somewhere around the mark to make a late, late push on fourth, is a hell of a way to keep this good thing going.
Flannery. Like I’ve said, I’ve yet to sit down and watch the match, but Flannery was subbed off at half time. The bits and pieces I’ve watched of the flying winger has me super intrigued and hungry to see more of her. If she is wearing different colours next season I wouldn’t be surprised. Honestly, if Flannery can find a happy place, where she can continue to develop her football, she will be an asset and could very well go on to do some flipping marvelous things. If you’re a W-League coach starting to plan for next season, this is a player who could very well be up for grabs and would be a massive early coup. (On the down low please come to a Sydney side so I can watch you week in and week out please.)