Venue: Monash Uni
Score: 1 - 1
Match report by Michael Jhoomun
No satisfaction in draw.
A big week for Monash and Australia with Timmy Cahill making a special request to share the same change room with the mighty stallions. Unfortunately Cahill did a bit of research and after reading Stallions match reports was overawed by multiple golden boots, Monash legends and players with more ‘characters’ than a Disney movie not to mention the Asian Mafia.
Home game against another top ranking team in Old Melburnians. Stallions were up for the challenge with another strong squad and all players keen to be part of a winning squad.
In goals was You tube hero Chendi who has been thinking of making a duet with Reza on You Tube of a remake of Taylor Swifts Hit "Two is better than one" (Don’t ask how I know that song).
Defence was led by mining magnate Kenny who after next week will be departing for the World Cup, Mafia Boss Jack who has been rumored to have a few ‘friends’ stand over Serhat to ensure Rob remains in the thirds, Mr. Monash Konrad and on loan Melbourne Victory member Anthony.
Mid field was Greek CFO Pana who has been rumored to be in discussions with the Asian Mafia to find Brian to bail him out of a Greek Bonds trading scheme that went horribly wrong, New father and new Stallions debutant JJ, ‘Iron man’ Arnie and 2IC Jin.
Up front was Lou’s new best mate Nektar and Nektar's best mate Lou.
On the bench was returning ‘Designer T-Shirt’ Steve who when questioned about his choice of T-Shirts was alleged to have said "What?? This old thing it’s only ‘cotton on’", Mad Chef Kaibil, and ‘Special 1’ coach/player myself. Alex was missing due to confusion after training that we were playing at Etihad Stadium.
On to the game…
The game commenced well with an even affair after a pre game speech of no passengers, all players were putting an effort in to help out their teammates, build up play. In a tight contest chances were at a premium but Arnie was able to use his speed to constantly create space, defence were working as an absolute unit, with good communication between midfield Monash were giving and absorbing pressure.
Old Melburnians were creating some chances but realistically defence was managing the risk. Defence was allowing Stallions to compete in the midfield ‘contest’ which slowly Monash were starting to assert their experience and authority. Old Melburnians were absorbing this pressure well resulting in an even contest throughout the first half.
The moment required a special moment from a Stallion and a special moment it was. Anthony was took a throw in and after ‘dummying’ a throw forward Matthew kemp style was able to land a neat throw in to Konrad. Konrad was aware of the importance of creating chances and was able to see Nektar at the near post. Konrad put in a long cross that after reaching its mid air peak started to head towards the top right corner…GOOOOOAAALLL! An opportunity taken resulting in a Monash 1-0 lead. Konrad was able to ensure his ‘shot on goal’ was genuine with a goal line clearance moments later. Konrad has been balancing coaching commitments with player commitments and after spending a season coaching last year showed that with continued focus on positioning could easily play thirds or possibly reserves this season.
Monash were 1-0 up but were
facing a tough opponent with a few talented players. A few tactical
changes which were approved with a thumbs up from 2IC Jin, allowed Kaibil
and Steve on and Konrad now man marking Old Melburnians most dangerous
player #5. This change allowed Monash to remain 1-0 up until the 42
minute mark with an unlucky handball to Kenny giving Old Melburnians
a penalty. Chendi through his best efforts was thinking which side but
it was dispatched well by the striker to make it 1-1 at the break.
The 2nd half
tight with a focus not to concede anymore if we were to win the game.
This message did not have to be repeated with everyone making an effort
to assist and build numbers towards the ball. Defence were able to hold
strong although Old Melbournians were able to provide pressure from
the corners but could not get on to some well taken far post corners.
Once Monash were able to withstand the first 15 minutes we were able
to create some chances of our own. A quick switch in play from JJ to
Steve allowed tie for a neat through ball to Lou. After a nice first
touch the ball sat nicely for a sweet strike by Lou which enforced a
finger tip save from the keeper. Pressure was building with nice build
up play but no clear cut opportunities for Monash. With me and Nektar
now on it was time to build up play. A few goal kicks from Kenny to
me and neat touches (had to get myself in somewhere) but realistically
we were controlling the ball too far from goals to create any real
It was to be a game of small
chances and moments with the last to come from a killer through ball
from Jin to Arnie...with Arnie through the team held its breath but
the keeper was able to make an easy save. Although we only had a few
chances we could have won the game with a bit of luck.
1-1 it remained with some great defence capped off by Monash best 2nd half defensively to date.
Monash were able to play smart football in defence and work as a unit all day. This was supported by a hard working versatile midfield and strikers. The result did not go our way and we were good enough to win but will take some reward for not conceding from open play.
Another tough opponent next week in a must win game with several players returning for next week.