First Home Loss as Rovers Drop Points
21 July 2013
Hamersley Rovers 1:2 South Perth United
A late goal saw Hamersley Rovers lose by a one-goal margin for the second consecutive week at home to South Perth on Sunday.
The game took a while to come alive, after a scrappy start that saw both sides struggling to maintain possession.
On 12 minutes debutant Steve Senior, who delivered a hard working performance on his first outing for Rovers, overlapped well down the left wing and delivered a good cross to the front post, though this first real chance of the game was collected well by the South Perth keeper.
A few moments later it was the home side whose goal was under threat, as a South Perth strike took a deflection and rattled off the underside of Dave Wood’s crossbar.
Both sides were working hard to gain the ascendency, and while Hamersley were edging it with better possession, South Perth were matching the home side’s effort by closing down with determination.
South Perth took the lead on 27 minutes. A strong run down the right, assisted by an overlapping run that drew a Hamersley defender wide, saw the striker cut inside and unleash a fierce strike that swerved into Dave Wood’s near post, leaving the home side’s keeper little chance to react.
Hamersley reacted well and were almost instantly level after a great ball from Senior found Asa Nicholson, whose shot went just wide. Nicholson played a neat one-two with Matt Thomas moments later and struck well across goal, but the South Perth keeper managed to poke out a left foot to steer the goal bound effort away.
On 36 minutes Hamersley threatened again, as Nicholson was put one on one from a great through ball. Unfortunately Nicholson stumbled slightly at a crucial moment, though managed to get an effort away that came back off the keeper to Ricky Andrews, who in turn drilled an effort goal bound from the edge of the box while South Perth were at panic stations, the keeper somehow managing to get back to his line to keep both Andrews’ effort out and then complete a triple save as he got down to keep a follow up effort from Shaun Gibbons out as well. Gibbons seemed certain that the ball had crossed the line before the keeper saved, but the referee moved out of hearing range from the midfielder’s earnest appeals.
Rovers threatened yet again before half time as a Senior cross was met by a glancing Nicholson header, though the effort did not have enough on it to direct it goal bound and the home side remained a goal behind as the teams entered the break.
Hamersley came out brightly in the second half, enjoying good possession and patient build up play, though just lacking the final ball or touch required to set up clear goal chances.
On 51 minutes Ian Browne did find himself presented with a chance to make the keeper work, as he was played through for a one on one effort with the keeper. The Irishman’s first touch took him slightly wide however, and his eventual well-struck effort was saved to the keeper’s right.
Hamersley found themselves level on 57 minutes. A trademark Matty Emery long throw caused all kinds of problems on its way to the back post, and as Nicholson looked to lay the ball off with his back to goal he was scythed down by a South Perth defender for a blatant penalty. Matt Thomas confidently stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way and give the home side a platform from which to go on and win the game.
Rovers were nearly caught napping a moment later though, Conor Fullard reacting well to clear off the line at the far post from a South Perth corner.
Despite this momentary lapse, the home side were on the ascendency, Nicholson and Thomas looking lively and demonstrating a good understanding with each other up front, the midfield supporting well and working hard to get the ball to them and the defence looking solid.
However, as the half progressed to its final stages, a few decisions started to take the momentum away from Hamersley. The energetic Browne, amongst others, was penalised a number of times for challenges that clearly saw him win the ball fairly, and the resultant free-kicks started to turn the game the way of the visitors. Stu Simmons and Dan Fowler were brought on to add further bite to the Hamersley attack, though on 86 minutes the Hamersley defence was undone as a Rovers player slipped and South Perth tore down on goal, the final ball past Dave Wood to the second striker appearing to be offside but the goal being given.
Hamersley continued to apply pressure in the final minutes but the clock got the better them, leaving Rovers looking to the next round to reverse their recent dip in form and fortune.
Hamersley Rovers Reserves 2:1 South Perth United Reserves
A last gasp Robin Maerte goal saw the Reserves claim a deserved victory in the earlier fixture.
Hamersley dominated the first half and should have put the game beyond the visitors early on, seeing numerous chances go begging. However, for all of their dominance, a scrappy moment in the South Perth penalty box that eventuated in Chris MacMichael planting the ball home remained the only goal at half time.
The opening moments of the second half were characterised by Hamersley possession and chances; Nick Hage striking from distance that the keeper felt needed to be tipped over and Steve Kruit bearing down on goal though just unable to convert.
A Daniel Scudder strike thundered of the bar moments later and nearly embarrassed the keeper as the ball came back down with spin and bounced just wide, much to relief of the shell shocked visiting No. 1 who had no idea where the ball was.
Hamersley’s inability to put the game to bed nearly cost them as South Perth scored a scrappy equaliser in the final stages.
The goal stung Hamersley into action, and they were rewarded with a deserved winning goal as a corner was put into a dangerous area, won initially by Paudie Byrne and eventually struck home firmly by the hard working Maerte, with what proved to be the last kick of the game.
The Ressies will feel relieved that they avoided losing the three points that they deserved, but can also feel pleased with the hard work they put into the game and will now look to add to this victory in the next round.
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