Rovers Slip Up to Freo Croatia
18 August 2013
Hamersley Rovers 1:3 Fremantle Croatia
A home tie to Fremantle Croatia saw Hamersley dominate all over the park, yet fail to take any points at Carine on Sunday.
An afternoon of misfortune began after only 6 minutes when a clear offside failed to be given by an official not in line with play, which allowed a Fremantle winger to get to the by-line and fire in a dangerous cross to the far post. The danger looked to have been dealt with as the ball was headed clear out of the box, when a shot from distance took a wicked looping deflection goalwards, hit the bar, and subsequently found its way in off the retreating Ian Norgrove. The moment was a slice of bad luck and there was more to come for the home side.
A minute later Rovers were very nearly level however, after a characteristically pacey run from Asa Nicholson saw him eventually shoot hard and low, leaving the keeper rooted to his spot but the effort just creeping wide of the post.
Norgrove made a fine double save on 10 minutes, as good play from the two visiting strikers created a one on one chance. The Irishman got down well to his right to keep out the first effort, and got up to snuff out the chance from the follow up.
On 13 minutes Rovers were further behind, as a firm back pass zipped across the surface awkwardly and ended up past Norgrove and in the goal.
Rovers reacted well again, good combination play from Ricky Andrews and Nicholson presenting Andrews with an opportunity to strike fiercely with his left. The keeper saved well, and as the ball came back to Andrews at pace and with height he was unable to keep his second effort down.
Further strong team play from Hamersley a few minutes later saw Declan Peters unleash a fierce shot, that only just rose over.
After a lull in action, where the home team slowly built and enjoyed good possession, a free-kick was awarded on the edge of the Fremantle box on 30 minutes. Shaun Gibbons and Andrews stood over it, and as the whistle blew it was Andrews who buried a low drive into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Rovers continued to dominate play and Nicholson had another shot on 40 minutes that took a lucky deflection to the keeper, reducing the sting out of an effort that looked threatening.
As half time approached the home side looked strong and had built a platform from which to regain the lead and take the points, and the opening period of the second half saw them continue to dominate, the visitors pegged back deep in their own half.
However, on 61 minutes, a further Fremantle goal against the run of play damaged Hamersley’s chances of victory. A headed back pass brought Norgrove out of his goal, and though he got to the ball first, his clearance fell straight at the feet of a Fremantle striker, who hit the ball from distance over Norgrove and into the empty net, leaving Hamersley rueing their bad luck.
The remaining 30 minutes saw a one sided contest as Hamersley pressed and probed, forcing Fremantle to camp on the edge of their box and adopt an ‘anywhere will do’ mentality with their clearances, but it was to be one of those days where for all their possession and good play, the goals just would not come for the home side. Ryan ‘Razor’ Sochanik rasped an effort just wide,
Conor Fullard linked well with Asa and saw a strike rise just over, Andrews and Peters both had efforts saved and Dan Willis, on as a second half substitute, saw a header go just over from an inviting corner. Crosses were fired in from left and right, but it was to no avail, and as the final whistle blew Tel Stupple’s men finished the game disappointed yet knowing that on other days the same work rate, skill and determination will bring victory.
Hamersley Rovers Reserves 1:0 Fremantle Croatia Reserves
In the earlier fixture a rare Paul Broom goal and a Stuart Simmons drive saw the Ressies get back to winning ways.
In the opening moments a great ball by the Jonathon Knoche, finding a surging run from Broom, saw the veteran fullback finish with composure and skill as he bent the ball round the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner.
The visitors were level on 23 minutes though, as a quick one two saw a snap shot from a Fremantle striker bend into Dave Wood’s bottom left corner.
The home side were soon back in front three minutes later, as Dan Malatesta slipped a lovely ball through to Simmons, who burst away from the defenders and rifled into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Hamersley were well on top in the first half and Simmons saw a further effort well saved with a strong left hand, after good play from himself and the returning Michael ‘El Gringo’ Garcia, and with Knoche delivering some great passes with German efficiency, there were sure to be more chances to come in the second half.
At least three one on one opportunities came in the opening stages of the second half that ended up with passes that came to nothing rather than attempts to beat the keeper, and when Scott ‘KP’ McGowan had the misfortune of having to retake a penalty kick after planting in his first, and seeing it come back off the bar, there were worrying signs that the three points might be surrendered with only a slender lead.
However, the visitors produced little, and though a number of further Hamersley chances went begging and a stonewall penalty shout for Malatesta was not rewarded with another spot kick, Ian Worley will feel that his team were worthy winners despite only doing so by the one goal.
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