Sep 242020

Hi all,

Recent match reports.

Round 12: Saturday, 12 September 2020

A’s v Pulteney OC: 2-2 Draw. Report by N. Thorpe.
⚽️: A. Panousakis (2).

Round 12 at Ranger Park provided the boys in blue with an opportunity for revenge against pulteney following the 4-2 defeat suffered in round 2 and the boys came out fighting early on.

The first half began strong with attacks down both flanks targeting Pulteney’s weakness in the full back area’s. Aristos made their right back wish he’d stay in bed as he ran circles round him time and again during the first half leading to 3 key moments in the match. First up came an excellent take down from a throw in and dart down to the bi line where the wizard played a superb cut-back to in-form skipper Tristan Owen to cleverly finish at the near post.

However, not for the last time for the day a controversial decision to rule the goal out for offside was made and the boys reset to go again at nil-nil. Not long afterwards and Aristos again tore the right back to shreds winning a free kick in what looked a defendable area from Pulteney’s perspective, however some quiet words from Spiros lead to an excellent direct free kick finding the top corner and the boys took a 1-0 lead.

As the midfield of Declan, Nick and Andrew on for the injured Howey early in the match began to run rings around their opposite numbers Aristos popped up again this time being dragged down in the box all be it a controversial decision again as the man himself said.

Nonetheless after being forced to retake the first successful spot kick he calmly put the ball in the bottom corner beyond the keeper’s reach at the second time of asking. The remainder of the half sore the rangers on top bar one effort from Pulteney that Sir Wesley in goal expertly parried away to his left, meaning the boys took a 2-0 lead into the sheds at half-time.

Pulteney came out in the second half with a clear plan, kick the living daylights out of us until we cracked. Unfortunately we cracked slightly giving away a penalty that was converted to half our lead. Some questionable tackles made by the Donkey in the number 16 fired us up, but Pulteney capitalized on one of very few lax moments by the otherwise clinical back 4 to draw level with 20 to go. At this point the rangers lost their way slightly but regrouped to match the increasingly physical Pulteney for the remaining 15 minutes as the game threatened to fizzle out.

However in a final 30 seconds you had to see to believe the game burst in to life, George held up Pulteney on the right forcing a long ball into our box where the ensuing scramble left screams for a penalty, however not given and seeking one last push the ball was cleared wide, where Nathaniel at left back played on despite knowing the ball had clearly crossed the line, hoofing it long the front 3 took over as Tebogo and then Manny charged forward only for the final whistle to be blown as Manny’s cut back form the right of the box was tapped into leave an all 22 players and surrounding staff and fans both baffled and angered.

All in all the Ranger’s showed fight to hang in against a much bigger and more physical team boding well for the last 2 rounds of the season where we look to redeem early season results.

B’s v Pulteney OC: 5-1 Win. 
⚽️: O. Asbanu (2), A. Brown, J. Power & G. Oliva

Nil report. Unley smoked the Pulteney Crabs from start to finish. Oscar starting off the onslaught with two goals (his first for the Rangers). Jack also made it onto the score sheet with a cross/short (second goal in two weeks, pushing his agenda to be the main striker for the team). Browny and Guiseppe continuing their great form, also scoring with solid finishes.
The side also debuted C’s Captain Fedi. and passionate Ranger – Will Longshaw. Could name the entire list who were well drilled and far superior. The win sealed the boys a place in the newly formed final series.

C’s v Mercedes OC: 1-4 Down.

Nil report. Local derby against Mercedes are always hotly contested from the first whistle. From what I could see, we fought hard, but were not able to capitalise. In the end, Mercedes were too strong.

D’s v Uni Black SC: 3-1 Win. Report by Y. Kharel 
️: M. Davis, J. Rochford & L. Rowan.

Here we again Saturday comes. I am excited and I can imagine most of our guys are too winning 4 or 5 in a row. We continue to do so as we get into gear. There is always some laugh going on beforehand we get into the circle and get warm up. Here the real deal starts with final word from coach and captain. It was nice day to playing some football at ranger park with some flying ants.

Apparently, some of us shallow some as we needed some protein to go with it and get the energy flowing. Game gets underway form the kick-off. We start where we left last week which was putting the pressure and being the intensity up to the opponent which they can’t match us. We always bring pressure up notch for first 20 minutes of game and create many chances as we do that every week we had few chance from throw in the box, unable to finished Some of us kept going with the pressure first for 10 minutes.

We had great chance as the ball come through the defensive and myself happen to be chasing that ball and put in the box Unfortunately, Nick shot was blocked by keeper even though uni blacks create some chances, our defensive we’re on top and paddy, which he was pretty active. We play nice passes in the middle and create some chance again but unable to finished them now.

Game was up and down the park, end to end another chance, comes from the cross or the corner from Deniz , It happen to fall in Leigh lap and once again he fail to convert into goal we reshape and continue to pressure somehow uni blacks decide to score before us with all that chances we had.

It was just unfortunate for paddy to save that goal, which was top corner. We continue to look for equal, Nick had few chances for his shot which were not on target. We had great chance again, we played from the right wing from jimmy, tank and yog who final pass to mike he had shot but, unfortunately it was over the top and it was goal kick and their keeper wasn’t great at all. He kick was shocking so Jesse decided to jump up and down like yo yo the keeper must of like seeing that it he decided to kick directly to jesse head That’s way we got our Equal short after then it was half time.

At half time, we had chats about what we can improved and how we can get goals to win the game. I reckon, if we didn’t get the goal in first half our coach would lose it and went for long walk.

Anyways, second half was much better from the start. Basically, playing in there half continue to create opportunities to score goals and we improve the second half by playing the ball to feet.  Deniz had great chance to gets us Infront but somehow it wasn’t on target. Jesse and yog and out wings putting good pressure in forward and giving our midst time on ball and play nicely from backline. We were looking really good uni blacks had some chances, but our defensive was on top and so was the paddy gain we are playing nicely on both wings back passing around the ball and bringing it up forward and create chance and having shots.

We had few throw in and got the balls in the box many times. Again, the final touch wasn’t there. We are dominating the game by passing around and uni black haven’t got pass the halfway for a while. We continue to keep our shape and pressure. I think it was Elvis who put in big throw in and someone landed to Leigh and he decided to score with his calf, I never seen anything as scrappy as that before. Also never seen Leigh run that fast to high five our coach.

We had injured concern with nick while doing his Hamstring which was only downside. There was also a positive side which was kesh was back from injuries which was good to see. He had few good impacts in the game straight away. He had great chance to get us another goal. It was so unluck with hitting the post.

I think we had another throw in or something. And the ball was in the box and mike gets us another goal. It was also scrappy but at the end it didn’t matter how the goals came we had dominated second half and show them how it’s done. we wouldn’t to lose to uni black again as we are chasing for title this year it was not bad all after all on ya boys keep going the way we are we might get promotion to A League you never know anyways It was good win for sure win is a win no matter how it happen my apologies if I miss anything.

That’s all I can remember over and out cam the Ranger. Next up Sturt Lions.

Round 13: Saturday 19 September 2020

A’s v St Pauls OC: 1-3 Win. 
⚽️: T. Owen (2) & A. De Candia.

Nil report – solid win and performance from our A’s boys against a very formidable side. Spiros was extremely proud of the boys, ensuring we continued to play the Ranger way from start to finish.

B’s v St Pauls OC: 1-1 Draw. Report by W. Longshaw.
⚽️: G. Oliva.

St Paul’s are no Barcelona, but that didn’t stop them holding a high-flying Unley Rangers B’s side to a scrappy 1-1 draw on Saturday.

A pre-game Sofi Tukker pump up failed to kick the boys into gear, and the Rangers found themselves 1-0 down early on.

St Paul’s were awarded a penalty inside five minutes after Ari Kolovos was judged to have handled the ball inside the penalty area. St Paul’s converted from the spot, and from that point on struggled to carve out any meaningful chances.

A dry and uneven pitch didn’t play to Luke Guardiola’s boys’ strengths, with the Rangers battling to keep the ball on the deck as they looked to get back in the game. Fortunately for us, St Paul’s were making an even harder time of things – with one human meatball of a striker leaving the pitch in tears as his coach dragged him early for his shameful performance.

The Rangers grew into the game as the first-half dragged on, with Matty Rodbourn and Matty Evans causing chaos down the righthand side. With St Paul’s focussing their defensive efforts on the two Matts out wide, a midfield trio of Jason Lange, Alex Dal Pra, Giuseppe Oliva turned it on through the centre of the park – with Oliva sweeping home past a stranded St Paul’s ‘keeper to level the game.

Then he pulled his hammy.

The second-half was a tense affair, with both teams struggling to take complete control of the game. The referee tried his best, but couldn’t handle the heat the Rangers were bringing to the Division 2B kitchen. A number of calls missed by the match official could have changed the course of the game – including a St Paul’s player kicking out at substitute Will Longshaw behind play for “grabbing at his pecker” (it was an accident, bro. I swear).

With two minutes on the clock, the Rangers saw their best chance to grab the three points fire past the wrong side of the post – with Dal Pra watching on in disbelief as the ball rolled out of play for a goal kick. Unlucky, mate.

It may not have been our finest showing, but there’s no doubting the fight in this team. Finals are just around the coroner – let’s see out the regular season with a win at Ranger Park, and finish the job by bringing in home in the finals series! #COYR #jogobonito

C’s v Sacred Heart: 2-2 Draw. Report by D. Wilmont.
⚽️: H. Mart & M. Rudd.

The match started with the Rangers attacking hard, winning most contests. Ten minutes into the match, Sacred Heart appeared to have settled, and the contest was relatively even. As the pitch was both long and wide, both teams used their wingers consistently, as well as some excellent passing from Defense through to the midfield. One of Unley’s set plays resulted in a goal by young Harry Mart, scored from out of the 18-yard box. As this was Harry’s first goal, the team got around him with great positivity. To Sacred Heart’s credit, they responded quickly with a goal from a cross. Halftime came with the score 1-1, the boys sweating from the surprisingly nice weather.

Second half began and it was even contest again. However, Unley appeared to be fading slightly, considering the team was carrying somewhat 7-9 injuries. Furthermore, the team was missing their captain Fedi, whom had been called up for the B Grade. Nonetheless, Unley managed to put a second goal away, scored by Matt Rudd. The ball sailed into the top left corner from what seemed to be a tricky angle. Yet again, Sacred Heart managed to respond with another goal, evening things yet again. The game remained even until the final whistle, resulting 2-2.

Despite coming out disappointed with a draw; the Unley Rangers held their head high, considering the absence and injury of the bulk of their team.

D’s v Sturt Lions: 1-1 Draw. Report by M. Davis.
⚽️: S. Collins.

There’s a feeling of pressure on anybody writing a match report for their football club, but especially for those of us in Div 6 (home of the mighty 5s that are the Ds) at the Rangers. I mean, not only do we have to deal with the scrutiny of our teammates (which includes the irredeemable Jesse), but there’s also the PC oversight of the Club’s Committee (mostly scrutinising the efforts of the aforementioned Jesse).

I embark upon this match report with little joy, some trepidation and a nonchalance that is only matched by Kesh joining us for a warm up. His mental scars from two years of playing with us (mostly Josh and Jesse) are still too raw.

Now I believe that when he opened this report Rosh definitely flashed with irritation and decided to bin this thing and go with a rather bland summary of the game. Of course, a rather bland summary of the game would be rather fitting for the match report based on the actual events of the game. But, this being my first match report for the Rangers in six seasons, I have it on good authority that the point of the match report is not to talk about the actual match. Seems a bit Fight Club to me, which seems to be my bag if my reputation in the 5s is to be believed. I feel it’s a harsh characterisation; the bastard still deserves it!

So I’ll start, if you can call the fourth paragraph a start, by lamenting the ridiculous notion that grown men need to arrive at any game, but especially an away game, some two days prior to the actual kick-off. It’s something that my wife complains about quite regularly (usually 15-20 weeks of the year). Her point is that this game I love with blokes that I tolerate for a club that has given me a home (it is my fourth club after all), takes me away from the kids, housework and gardening for five hours on a Saturday. I think that is the actual point, but I can’t seem to get her to understand. However, I digress.

I was running late for this game, deciding that the 25-minute drive could be achieved in 10 minutes if I timed it just right. Shit! I got the timing wrong, so I was 15 minutes late to the appointed arrival time but four hours early for kick-off. And you know that the arrival time is absurd when you arrive late but still have time to discuss with the gaffer about architecture, building and getting screwed by tradies. We don’t have many tradies in Div 6 – the gaffer simply won’t allow it and they’re also unsure about Josh and his power tools. Still, plenty of time to get ready, warm up, have a chat, have another warm up and then realise that being late but early and never training has earned me a start… on the bench.

I don’t mind the bench when there’s an actual bench. But at Manson Oval in Bellevue Heights there’s neither a bench nor a shelter for shade, which would certainly have come in handy given the forecast storms, drenching rain and cold temperatures was so far wrong that Rich generated sufficient solar capacity to charge a Telsa. Quick side bar: you can mention the weather without starting off the whole match report about it. There were some trees around the edges, which Jimmy ran off for like a dog out to mark his territory, but the referee called him back to have a chat about how wonderful everything would be if Deniz behaved.

Deniz was in goal, so his ability to get too feisty was limited. He looked good in green and we should be grateful for someone other that Patty being in goals… I mean we should be grateful that someone was there to fill in for Patty, who was so late to this one that he didn’t turn up. Some will argue that I’m being harsh and that he advised prior of his inability to play. But when you’re late so often, you earn a reputation.

Leigh has earned a reputation for missing crucial goals, especially the easy ones directly in front with nothing but the goal line to get in the way. So it’s a surprise that he actually scored last week. But he didn’t score this week, which is a bloody problem, because if he did, we would have won. More on that later.

First things first though, we need not talk about the first 20 minutes of the game where we looked like a bunch of drunks lost in a jungle being mauled by lions. Except the Sturt Lions call themselves the Kings on the pitch. Taking the kings of the jungle thing a bit too far – just be the bloody lions. Anyway,

I don’t really want to claim any ownership of the performance using ‘we’ because I was on the bench; it was them. Those blokes I tolerate for a few hours and hundreds of WhatsApp messages a week looked and played like we did in most games before this season. Fortunately, only one goal was scored by the Simbas during that time.

Somehow we got slightly better, even before I got subbed on and Cooksey subbed himself off. I swear that man exploits the privileges of coaching. Fancy playing himself number 10. Admittedly he almost scored a header facing the wrong way. But he didn’t score did he, or I wouldn’t be complaining. Anyway, that was later.

Before then Beaver ran around with much gusto, which seemed to perk a few people up. Who would’ve thought a bunch of middle aged men would get so excited over playing with an energetic Beaver with a moustache. Note: Yes Rosh, I understand the family friendly nature of the audience, but honestly is there an actual audience for these things beyond our own clique!?!

At some point while I was still on the bench the ball found its way to Hummer in the box. In receiving the ball Hummer was Rogered from behind in a rather unglamorous tackle by Roger, the Lion Kings’ right back. It was funny watching Hummer go down acting like he didn’t enjoy it, but the referee had some sympathy for him and decided to blow as well. Hummer bounced up quicker than Santinon chases his own passes into midfield, taking ownership of the penalty. The referee noted that he was going to closely watch for incursions into the box (I think he suspected the occasional box incursion by Rich – we know he’s made it at least once), which may influence the way in which the penalty would be determined. Hummer just blasted the ball past the keeper before anyone had a chance to move. 1-1.

Now at this point in the match report I feel that there’s been too much talk about the football played. Convention has it that every player should be named, so I have to go back and work out who hasn’t been singled out yet. Let’s start with Pete. How old is that guy anyway? Some people believe that he started playing in the 1800s, but I think he was still playing SANFL then. Pete just rocks up, listens to the banter and banal chit chat and then just gets to business crunching strikers in legit tackles and giving them nothing. Someone heritage list him.

Then there’s Needles, playing full back next to Pete. Loud, but only when he invites a tackle, gets chopped and goes down like an accomplished Italian screaming… like that bloody Grosso. Not bitter at all. Needles is Italian if you didn’t know from the black sports tracksuit and the extra ‘O’ at the end of his name. He plays alright though. Just gets kicked a lot. Probably because of the track suits.

Well, back to the game. Perhaps it’s just my hazy recollection of events, but I came on and we played better. Or something else happened that I didn’t think was important. Mostly I watched the ball ping pong over my head, Pete crunching blokes and Santinon running past me chasing his own passes, expecting me to drop into his position. But every now and then we fashioned a few chances building up play through Mex and occasionally passing to Rich and Kesh on the wings. In traditional style, we fluffed them all or Jesse was offside – always a disappointment.

At half-time of the match—bear with me this match report is more than halfway through—we decided that a little bit of encouragement was needed. Some perking up. Cooksey made some changes but they didn’t work. He made further changes later on, including changing up the formation and confusing everyone. I spent a period of the second half yelling at Jimmy to get back in position. Sorry, not sorry! Something almost worked, because Jimmy applied some good pressure in (the entire) midfield and Jesse almost scored again. Almost being the key word; so much so that I felt compelled to use it twice in that one sentence!

So, who have I missed? Matt B and Josh. Not sure what Josh did, but it was nice to have him run the line for a while. Solid and dependable. Like Matt, but Matt does it on the field. Last week he played like a Lion. Given the opposition this week it wasn’t appropriate to do so again. Just play like a Ranger. Wouldn’t recommend throwing in the ball across the top of the box to me again though Matt. Still catching my breath.

The second half was well contested by Sturt and they looked to be playing for a draw, only to surprise us with an occasional foray towards goal. And Deniz decided on a few occasions to get a bit funky with his goal kicks. But we managed to keep them out while we kept pushing for a winner ourselves.

Now I’m almost done, I promise. But first, I must think about what Mex did; no wait I mentioned him earlier. Perhaps I’ll regale you with the last few corners of the game. Firstly, Beaver blocked my header at the back post. Why? Maybe because he’s mates with Mex and doesn’t understand headers. Then Santinon ignored Josh’s well delivered instruction (his best contribution to the game) before the next corner was taken that it was my ball and we got in each other’s way. Probably should have let him have it, but Josh told me it was mine.

Lastly the ball went out for another corner. No one seemed interested in getting the ball until Cooksey ran off to collect it. Of course in his coaching wisdom, he’d subbed off all the corner takers. While Needles, Kesh, Rich and Jimmy (collectively the youth of the side) watched on from the bench I ran over to take it. Leigh “politely’ queried why I was. I put the corner on his head right at the edge of the six-yard box directly in front. “That’s why I fucking took it!’ I replied. Typically, Leigh’s header went wide.

1-1. Our first draw of the season confirmed the title for Rostrevor; bloody hate those guys. Another draw will confirm a second-place finish. But it’s been a great season, so let’s finish it off properly with a win against Concordia.

Thanks for reading. If you made it this far, you’re bored.

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