Rovers Push North Perth in Spirited Comeback
14 September 2013
Hamersley Rovers 2:3 North Perth United
A goal each from Asa Nicholson and Dan Fowler almost set up a glorious comeback for Hamersley, though ultimately the deficit proved too large after conceding three goals in the first twenty minutes of the game at Carine on Sunday.
Hamersley were stunned after only 5 minutes of the game when a side footed effort from some distance rose into the air and carried all the way into the back of the home side’s net.
And on 10 minutes things got worse as a high-footed challenge went unpunished by the referee, which allowed the North Perth striker to break down the left and slide the ball across to his team mate to finish from close range. There was also a strong suspicion of offside to the final finish, but the goal stood and left Hamersley with work to do to get back into the contest.
North Perth were not done there however, as on 17 minutes another strong appeal for offside was not given by the linesman, allowing the beneficiary of the decision to race through and finish to put the visitors three goals ahead.
Hamersley have demonstrated on numerous occasions this season that they are never a side to be written off, and threatened through a fierce Nicholson strike on 22 minutes which produced a good save to his right from North’s keeper.
Hamersley had been in the game from the first whistle and as the half wore on began to dominate, with free-flowing football stretching the visiting team. Indeed, Hamersley’s first goal just before half time was a result of excellent build up play that started with Ben Ashton keeping the ball in play deep within his own half and passing out of trouble. A fine flowing move through the middle and down the right involving a number of players (think Carlos Alberto, 1970) eventually found Nicholson, who drilled his effort goalwards. The keeper did well to parry but Nicholson followed up to finish and give Rovers the momentum going into the break.
Just 3 minutes into the second half Hamersley were presented with an opportunity to get another, as the ever-present Nicholson was clearly scythed down in the box. Ricky Andrews stepped up though was unfortunate to see his first effort saved well and his second, after the referee spotted a misdemeanour by the goalkeeper, just elude the bottom right hand post.
Andrews and Rovers were characteristically not to be put off, and worked hard and well to create further chances, such as on 60 minutes when delightful skill from Michael Garcia saw him make a fool of the defender and pull back to Nicholson, who in turn found Shaun Gibbons, the keeper just getting fingertips to the goal bound strike in order to see the ball over his crossbar.
Rovers continued to press and North Perth began to sit deeper and deeper in order to try to protect their lead. After a number of half chances, Dan Fowler got himself on the end of a ball from wide to finish from close range on 83 minutes and set up a grandstand finale.
Ben Matthews was wreaking havoc in the North Perth penalty box with his trademark long throws, and Hamersley almost levelled in the final minutes as Conor Fullard bamboozled the right fullback and picked out Andrews on the edge of the box with a floated ball. Andrews could not have hit the left-foot volley sweeter and the keeper was nowhere as the ball rattled off the crossbar, high into the air, and fortunately for North Perth back down onto the roof of the net.
The game ended moments later, and though Hamersley were beaten in score line they were certainly the better side in terms of play and possession, and will now look to next Sunday as their opportunity to get back to winning ways.
Hamersley Rovers Reserves 6:1 North Perth United Reserves
The Ressies came back from a goal down to end comfortable winners in the earlier fixture, with Howell, Broom, Coomber, Kruit and Knoche all getting on the scoresheet in a solid performance.
Hamersley started well and enjoyed comfortable possession, but were stunned early in the first half as a good run and pass through eluded the home side’s defence and allowed the striker to finish low to Alec Glass’ right hand side.
The home side were soon back in it however, as good play from Jon Knoche saw him deliver a tantalising ball into the box which Dave ‘Fingers’ Howell finished off with a glancing header.
A fine ball across the box from Steve Kruit found a surging run from Paul Broom who finished well from close range moments later, and Rovers had netted three by half time as a free-kick from the right found Ben ‘Cheese’ Coomber, who buried his header past the North Perth keeper.
The goals continued to come in the second half as more good work from Knoche found Kruit, who couldn’t miss from the position he was in. Knoche deservedly got himself on the scoresheet later also, which brought out the infamous arm-wheeling celebration, and Coomber bagged his second in a surreal moment towards the end of the game as a dog got onto the pitch and ran through the defence with him, though it didn’t detract from a fine run and finish from the young fullback.
Hamersley scored six for the second week running, though were pleased most of all with the flowing football that they played and the willingness to support teammates and be options for each other all over the park. They will now look to take these traits into next Sunday’s game.
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