2012 NWPL: Balmain (5) 9 : 7 (5) Drummoyne

This match was a low scoring affair. Balmain did better than in the previous several matches – most players seemed aware of the shortcomings that let them down recently.

James Clark was again a hero for his team saving a lot of difficult shots throughout the entire match and delivering them victory by blocking two goals in the after-match penalty shoot-out. He also was making a particular effort to pass to and communicate with his team-mates well.

Balmain converted 4 extra-man opportunities from 6; two of those conversions were particularly important psychologically as they were scored when the team was down by one goal; Paul Sindone made it 2-all scoring from a ‘3 x 3’ formation and Ian Calpin evened it again for 3-all from a ‘post’ position after an excellent pass by Paul Sindone. In both instances a good degree of technical sophistication was demonstrated by the named players.

Ian Calpin also scored an important centre-forward back-hand goal that was demoralizing for Drummoyne.

However, the vestiges of Balmain’s shortcomings were still present. They were manifested first and foremost in the actions of Chris Gronow who made several technical mistakes in attack and defence through bad passes, tactical errors and poor reading of the situations. Those errors not only ruined Balmain’s patent goal-scoring chances but created unexpected ‘gifts’ for opponents. Were it not for James Clark, the team would have lost the game as it did in the previous matches that I have watched.

Gavin Woods worked hard again but the team did not take advantage of his skills by not ‘servicing’ him properly.On only 3 occasions in the entire match the ball  was delivered to Gavin when he was in the CF position. Each of those instances was extremely dangerous for the opposition.

The Devils looked less fresh than against Hunter the day before. Their counter-attacks were not as sharp and set-attack actions were less dangerous. However, as I have commented above, some credit for this should go to Balmain’s committed performance. Adam Polivka and Tyler Martin scored Drummoyne’s goals when it was most needed and that is why the match went to the penalty shoot-out. John Hahn was more reliable in goals than in the previous game against Hunter.

At the end of the match, when the score was 5:4 in Balmain’s favour with 16 seconds remaining on the clock, a controversial penalty was awarded against Balmain by referee, Daniel Bartels. My reading of the situation and opinion about the sequense of events coincides with that described by Balmain’s coach, Phillip Bower, whose views about the match are cited below along with that of Drummoyne’s coach, Dmitry Gorshkov.

Balmain has retained a theoretical chance to make the top 6 in the regular season and Drummoyne is now more in the danger zone of possibly not making it.

X-man: Balmain 6/4 (67%); Drummoyne 5/2 (40%)
5-meter penalty: Balmain 1/1; Drummoyne 1/0
Turn-over fouls: Balmain 2; Drummoyne 4

Referees: Nick Hodgers and Daniel Bartels

Coaches’ comments –

– Dmitry Gorshkov:

“I am not happy with the refereeing and time-keeping at all. There was not proper
interpretation of a number of instances and no consistency. I do not understand why our CF was getting more turn-over calls than his counter-part at the other end.

As far as my team’s performance, generally we are not playing well. Not yet. There were some good moments in attack but defence was poor. We also did not defend our extra-man when it was needed and did not realize a man-up opportuntity when it was needed. I am not using it as an excuse but we miss badly our leading player, Samuele Avallone, and our main centre-forward, Emiliano Cranco, who could not perform at 100% as he is unwell.”

– Phillip Bower:

“Our game against Drummoyne was a do or die effort, I was very happy

with our commitment in defence. The effort put in by ALL my players was excellent in that no one gave up and there were no shortcuts in defence. James Clark was our star and Gavin Woods every week gets battered from pillar to post with little or no protection from the Whistle Blowers.

Our attack at times was good but our final pass option was not always correct nor carried out with technical expertise.

In regard to the Penalty awarded against ME for calling a time out after the 30 second possession had elapsed, the decision by the Referee furthest from my bench was incorrect I called with 2 seconds showing on the clock. He had not blown a foul for the 30 sec expiry and we had complete control of the ball.

I am advised that when the 2 Referees met one offered the opinion that I had called the time out in the proper time. Neutral observers and a few knowlegeble Drummoyne spectators also verified this. That a Referee can make this type of decision is an injustice to all my players and my club. I am answerable for my decisions as is every coach to my players and my Club we all make decisions that prove wrong and we must live with these decisions.

Who are Referees answerable to?

Twice the referees deemed to reset the shot clock in Drummoyne’s favour, I don’t know if they were right or wrong BUT the one time I am watching the Clock and my team is aware that I will call a timeout with a minimum of time on the Clock, the Referee with a noisy crowd and the Clocks behind him, changes the Result.


We were robbed of 1 competition point and it could mean the end to our season.”

About Erkin Эркин Shagaev Шагаев
European, world, Olympic champion, two times World Cup winner Чемпион Европы, мира, Олимпийских игр, двукратный обладатель Кубка мира

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