2001 Round 3 - Reserves vs Dandenong

Author: John Jhoomun

And so after a week’s break For Easter in which some players went To sydney and scaled dizzying new heights, ( Climbed the harbour Bridge), others ate more food than they should have, the Monash reserves returned to the number 1 ground for the first time this season for the game against Dandenong. Having already played Dandenong more times than Cedric has had women this season, the Monash team were to play a rather familiar opponent.

The side that Alex picked was not without controversy. With players spilling blood at training during the week and shinguards the order of the day competition was fierce. Young Michael Jhoomun was back in goal after De La torre was dropped by Smurthwaite after Alex conceded a goal in the last game. High standards have been set. The back four were Peter Pana and Luke Davies in the centre with the suave Cedric at right back and making his debut for Monash in the much vilified left back position was David Moody. With Mark Rogers singing in the land of sheep, David was ready to stake his claim. In midfield was the oldboy Mickey Kral with David Downes. On the right was Matt Mumme who has an interesting surname and does nothing much on Friday nights. Rumour has it that he prepares fastidiously for each game by watching old Match of the day highlights, hoping to spot his boyhood idol Glen Hoddle. On the opposite side of Matt in every meaning of the word was the man who wouldn’t shake Glen Hoddles hand if he cleaned him up in a tackle, Johnny Jhoomun. Upfront was Swinging Sergio Llopart and all hail, doff your caps to Simon Serebryanikov whose is in sparkling form when he isnt getting tackled. On the bench was Timmy, the heart and soul of Monash ,Pasco De Rosa aiming to repeat his phenomenal goal scoring prowess of recent weeks in the 3rds, and Stefan Tsardakas. Having bribed his way into the team after promising to publish damming photos of Alex’s sister with Paul Apostopoulous, Stefan was a happy little camper again.

The first half was a relatively even affair with both sides holding sway at particular points. Monash did not start particularly well with passes being mishit, underhit or overhit. When Monash got out of first gear they looked good with the ball being distributed well but it was the final pass that went astray, much like Stefan’s efforts in some of the less distinguished establishments hours earlier. David Downes and Michael kral were starting to exert a presence in the midfield and the defence was looking rather ominous. Michael jhoomun was in total command of his box, something he was able to do without looking at his clipboard. He was plucking high balls and was just really good. When the ball went wide Monash did look a threat with both Matt and Johnny whipping in crosses although there was no-one at the end of them. You could hear Tommy rice muttering ‘ in my day that wouldn’t happen’ ….

Simon and Serge were good value upfront but despite a few chances including Matt and Pana from a freekick after Johnny was upended outside the box the game was evenly poised at the break. Simon and Serge were doing good things, with Simon’s new found work ethic causing many to wonder, including every former coach who has ever coached the backheeling Belarussian.

No changes were made at the break and the team strode out determined to keep its winning record intact. With the crowd swellling Smurthwaite was absolutely itching to come on , so he could score the winner just as it had been in his dreams last night. Monash attacked and attacked, but just couldn’t break down the resolute defence. Serge and Cedric were subbed for Stefan and Timmy, with Matt going to right back in the reshuffle. Stefan was determined to be noticed and proceeded to throw his considerable weight around although to be fair he did cope some bad tackles. Adopting a European style of play, ie arms waving and no running Stefan proceeded to make his mark in the middle, although he made his mark more often on his opponents than the game itself.

David Moody was faultless in his debut game for Monash. He was swashbuckling as Cedric was suave. Perhaps he take Cedric out on the town amongst the girls down at Toorak College in Mount Eliza.

When Pasco came on for Johnny , the scene was set for the aforesaid entrepreneur and chief sponsor of Monash to add to his impressive tally of well taken goals. Within his first minute the ball was played through to the boy from Cairns but his speed was just not enough. He looked dangerous and with Timmy and Micky combining , it seemed the goal would soon come. Mickey hit the side netting, Timmy was dangerous as ever causing Peter K sitting on the sidelines to go into shock when told of young Tim’s age. And check out his running, twisting and turning in a 30 minute cameo reminscent of his effort against Beaumaris where he blew kisses to the crowd similar to that of Shane McGowan to Dublin beermaids. Timmy was on fire and brought the crowd alive chanting ‘ There’s only one real President’.

I could go on but with a few missed chances in both halves the Monash twos were indeed in a game. It was tough, fierce but I think that we just needed a bit of brilliance to finish off Dandenong. Perhaps Ben Rowlands 40 metre goal in the 3rds was what was needed. Go Benny !!!!

Simon, I apoligise for the distinct lack of humour- its hard to be excited by a 0-0 draw unless you’re a Chelsea or Spurs fan. Simons dad has a horse so perhaps Simon’s dad will have more excitement.

And so a draw in the battle of the Alamo ! I eagerly await the return fixture Enjoy your weekend