MATCH REPORT CENTRE
ESFA Premier League – Round 5
3pm, Saturday 5 May 2012
Coogee United PL 1 – 0 Phoenix PL
Before this gets underway I want to warn all of the fact that I left university in 2010 and haven’t written anything remotely like an essay since then… oh and my final university grade was a Desmond.
Weather Conditions: Apparently the ressies game was end to end with 10 goals scored and the wind was up, but as I had a heavy one (that I think everyone knows about, thanks for that and apologies for sat morning Jules) and arrived moments before 1st grade kick off, I am just recycling information. But by 3 ‘o’ clock the wind seemed to drop and the conditions were okay with the pitch not looking too bad.
Starting line up: Curtis, Nick Flower, Jake Peacock, Brian Keating and Gav as the usual and solid back 5. Jake Flower and Power started on the wings with Daz and Roman starting in the middle. Oran and Pacey up top.
Strong bench as always: Jools, Sam Hallam, Alan, Pykey and Poppa.
With Ian back from international duties it meant there was even more of a buzz in the camp in addition to the already rolling season.
The first half kicked off and Coogee looked confident and Phoenix up for it. The early stages didn’t really flatter either side with bit of a slow start. But Coogee, around 15 minutes in, started to play with their usual flare and ability. Daz as always in the thick of it with power looking to go at his man at every opportunity.
Chances were few and far between from what I recall but there was a goal, It pains me to have to write about it. Power stepped up with a fantastic solo effort running past 3 players, with one even trying to halt his process diving at the ball with his hands, reaching the edge of the 18 and smashing a left foot strike into the top corner. A definite shout for Goal of the season.
This gave Coogee their next gear with a few still to work through, whilst Phoenix looked a little nervous in possession with their left back in particular under pressure. Coogee carried on with some lovely football right the way through till the half time whistle, 1-0 Coogee.
The second half began the same as the first ended with Coogee continuing to play their own game and making Phoenix work hard just to get possession. But, without putting the game to bed, Coogee started to relax and allow Phoenix to get into the game. Changes were made and Sam came on For Pacey to sit in behind Oran. Shortly after this, there was one of the worst incidents ever to be witnessed in ESFA football.
Oran was fouled on the left side and then kicked put at whilst still on the floor. Jake F immediately came heroically to his brother’s defence to break up a confrontation as Oran asked the Phoenix player what he was playing at. Out of nowhere the same player head-butted Jake sending him crashing to the deck. There were all sorts of scenes and protest after that which resulted in the Phoenix thug rightly getting a straight red card. Jake had suffered a deep cut to his eyebrow from the assault and, after a few moments on the sideline attempting to stem the flow of blood, was driven by Jimmy to the local medical centre to have the wound stitched up. Get better soon Jake.
This meant changes for Coogee again, bringing on Jules for Jake, Sam going on the right and Power on the left. This was an awful series of events, but left Coogee needing no incentive to put 110% in and see the game out for the win.
The later stages were end to end with Coogee squandering possession at times and wasting opportunities as Phoenix, despite being a man down, threw caution to the wind and put the Coogee defence under pressure. Pykey was bought on for Roman to sure it up in the middle and win the physical battle. A combination of work rate and some resolute defending right through the team meant the game finished 1-0 Coogee.
Showing a great spirited performance, and keeping yet another clean sheet, we secured another important win, giving Coogee 5 wins from 5 and remaining top of the table
MOM: Had to be Power due to the solo effort but it was a brilliant gutsy team performance with everyone working for each other.
Sorry if i missed any individual brilliance, and feel free to add it, but there were a few incidents that sadly stole the show and wiped my memory.
ESFA Premier League – Round 5
1pm, Saturday 5 May 2012
Coogee United PLR 6 – 4 Phoenix PLR
Coming along for the ride was the Finchy, Pee-on (me), Peeky (snuck him in the luggage), an orange fellow who looked strangely like Japp, and Lee. All under the watchful eye of our coach Jimmy W aka The Fat Controller…. figuratively speaking.
Crowd: Jason, Stevie Hammer, 42 others and the twisted remains of a marquee
ESFA Premier League – Round 4
Coral Sea Park
3pm, Saturday 28 April 2012
Maroubra PL 0 – 1 Coogee United PL
BRA BOYS BEATEN LATE ON!
Gavlar steals the points for Coogee in an end to end final five minutes at Coral Sea in this top of the table clash!
Coogee United line up: Curtis, Gav, N. Flower, Jake P, Brian, Power, Pykey, Daz, Alan, Oran (c) and Jules.
Bench: Jake F, Roman, Pacey, Gudge, Sam.
Conditions: Long grass in patches, short in others. Blue sky, crisp day, birds tweeting etc.
As these two in form sides lined up for a top of the table clash, both sides knew the importance of how this could affect the league table come 4:45pm. The ‘battle of the eastern burbs beaches’ (to Gudge), and with CUFC’s 2010 coach looking to get one over the club he loves to hate, we were poised for an interesting match! With the ressies leaving the field having dismantled a sorry looking Maroubra ressies outfit, the 1’s were motivated by their commanding performance and wanted to head back to CBH headquarters with 6 points in the onion bag.
Both teams started the game strongly. Maroubra playing 4-3-3 and aiming for the 3 up front with the long ball method; Coogee playing their 4-4-2 system with an unchanged team for the second week, looking strong with the usual wide men, and two up front chasing any sniff of a ball around them. Also, not to forget the back four who are improving with every game.
To be honest, the game was missing that final third bit of inspiration from both teams to get that first goal. Coogee were playing some good football in the middle of the park but weren’t able to get behind the Maroubra defence. No real chances surfaced in the first half except for Jules making a run into the box, receiving the ball with his left foot and shooting (unheard of with his unfavoured left foot) with the keeper saving well. I suppose one goal on Anzac day in the cup was all he was going to get. Maroubra’s only chances came from a couple of corners, which the Coogee players dealt with with ease.
The whistle blew for the end of the first half and everyone looked like they needed that 15 minute break to recharge their batteries for the epic second half yet to come. At least we had some half time entertainment with injured Ben in goal looking like a pro whilst keeping the crowd entertained.
Maroubra began the first 10 minutes of the second half the stronger side and produced a few chances in front of goal, but didn’t have the quality to finish them. A couple of seasons ago Coogee would have struggled with the intensity for the whole game, however, with one of the strongest squads to date, coach Jimmy decided to give the subs a run. Jimmy bought young Sammy on for Jules and Jake F for Power. The game was starting to open up and Jimmy played his last cards by bringing on Roman for Pykey, Pacey for Alan and also the Gudge for the oldest of the Flowers, Nick.
The goal came 5 minutes from the end of the game and was a well worked training move. Coogee got a throw on the left side of the pitch in Maroubra’s final third. Jake F threw the ball to Sammy, who controlled it and passed it back to Jake who then pinged it to Oran and to amazement of the crowd did not head it in the goal, instead controlled the ball and back-heeled it to Gavlar, who finished it off nicely into the lower left side of the goal. The celebration was as good as the goal as Gavlar made a run for the infamous Coogee cameraman, Redderz, with the rest of the team following suit.
Well Done Boys…
Final Score 1-0 Coogee
MOM – Since he scored and gave me a MOM Gavlar
Crowd – Everyman and his carpet cleaner was watching
Next week’s game should be a good one – Bring on Phoenix
ESFA Cup – Second Round
Coral Sea Park
1pm, Saturday 28 April 2012
Maroubra PLR 2 – 5 Coogee United PLR
Eastern Beaches Derby – Ressies Report
A beautiful autumnal day provided near perfect weather for football. Dash, fearing a cold southerly might come through, donned his full upper body compression garment.
A bit of a fun session with the solitary football was followed by a focused build up with everyone appreciating the importance of the game and the need to put in a consistent 90 minutes.
The Gaffer announced the return to a more traditional 4-4-2 with Poppa in goal; Lee, Eamonn, Niall and Mark making up the back four; Peeky, Adam, Mikey and Jason across the middle of the park; Redders and Fionn up front. The bench as ever was strong with Jez, Belch, Milos, Dash and the Gaffer.
Coogee started strongly with some good moves and strong tackles. Adam got himself involved early firing a shot from inside the box over the bar. The Bra Boys soon got into their stride and on the 16th minute mark a cross swung in from the left hand side found their right wing unmarked, who duly slotted the ball in at the far post.
Mid way through the 1st half Jason sustained a nasty shoulder injury and was replaced with Jez in a straight swap. We later found out that he had broken his collar bone and will be out for a good few weeks. Get well soon mate.
A goal down but without panic, Coogee set about righting the score. The break came on the 25th minute when Doc riffled in a shot which the keeper could only parry, Redders was quickest to react and slotted home the equaliser.
Coogee kept up the momentum and within 5 minutes found themselves in front with Peeky firing one in from the edge of the box after a nice build up which included a Redderz back heal (yes they do work sometimes).
It was all one way traffic now with Coogee driving forward trying to exert their dominance. In the 36th minute Redderz lofted a delightful chip over the keeper, only to see it come back off the cross bar. Fionn found his shooting boots with the quickest reaction of those around the ball and volleyed in the rebound for the 3rd goal.
Half Time 1 – 3
The half time talk was about keeping focused, maintaining the dominance and not allowing Maroubra back into the match. It was duly done when in the 49th minute Fionn neatly took his second of the day and seemingly kill off any comeback with a rifling shot from outside the box. It was also one of the last efforts from the Irish forward who was soon after replaced by Dash (still wearing the lycra layers).
The home team did provide a brief fight back when their centre forward drilled home a (softly awarded) free kick from 20 yards.
The result was put beyond any doubt when Redderz bagged his second of the day lobbing the keeper after a clever pass from Jez.
With the Gaffer looking to batten down the hatches he decided to withdraw the Scottish fullbacks and reward the pair with a taste of the single malt from his hip flask, Milos and Belch were introduced to the fray. Dash eventually realised that there was no cold front coming and bared himself to the many ladies and children at Coral Sea Park in removing the extra layer.
Full time 2 – 5
Man of the Match went to Redders, 2 goals on the day and 6th consecutive game scoring as we were all made aware of at the end.
As clichéd as it sounds it was a strong team performance with all 15 players on the day putting in a solid effort…. Bring on the first home game of the season!
ESFA Cup – Second Round
Parade Grounds Pitch 10 (relocated from Moore Park Pitch 19), Centennial Park, 2:30pm, Wednesday 25 April 2012 (ANZAC Day)
Coogee United PL 3 - 0 UNSW AA2
“The game was like listening to a Conch Shell you find at beach.” – Dz
Coogee United (4-4-2): Curtis; Gav; N. Flower; Eamonn; Gudgeon; Power (Jules 65); Roman; Eric (Daz 45); J. Flower; Pacy; Sam
Unused subs Jake, Oran,
Scorers J. Flower 34’, Pacy 60’, Jules 78’
Conditions Clear Skies, -30*c wind chill
Please ignore the use of all American Spelling.
Anzac Cup Day started at 8:20AM, when we received a message from the Manager explaining that the venue has been moved. We were now set to face UNSW on the somewhat familiar ground of Centennial Park, instead of Moore Park pitch 19, undoubtedly one the hardest fields I’ve ever played on. Rumor has it, Moore park pitch 19 was not acceptable for the supreme skills of Ressie player-manager Mr. Whiteford’s 2012 debut. Regardless of the cause, it was definitely in both teams interest to have the game moved.
The pitch was looking well groomed and full of lush slow moving grass, which was something we were accustomed to. The conditions could be described as sunny, clear and extremely windy, which many of us would say are the worst conditions for Soccer.
With 20 minutes to go before the match, there was still no sign of our opponents. Many of us were hoping they would pull a no show, or mainly Power, as he was still disappointed that his Anzac Day shenanigans were ruined. The fact of the matter was that ESFA Cup games are very tough to get up for and this was set to be one of those days.
The half started with the standard complacency speech from our inspiring Captain Oran Weldrick, so we definitely knew it was a big game. The game was ours to win, as we were the favorites, but we all knew that was a very dangerous position to be in. The game kicked off and we were moving the ball with great patience and strategic thought. But as the game settled, the pace and intensity began to drop; iteverything seemed to happen in slow motion, or as I call it underwater soccer. The ball was moving from side to side along the back and midfield, but rarely penetrating their final third. Not because their shape was organized, but because we seemed to lack confidence to take the game to them.
We took a few chances but none of them were noteworthy. Finally, after 30 minutes without a goal, Pacey knocked a cross in (which from my angle went out of bounds) and luckily J Flower forced it home from 3 yards out. Most of the park thought the goal was disallowed, as no one really celebrated except J Flower, or was it that no one really cared? Either way, it was another example of the intensity and determination that the game was missing.
The first half could be described as the most lack lustre half so far this season for Coogee United.
The speech at halftime was not a surprise and we all knew the level needed to lifted. Jake the interim Manager thought making some changes was key to improving the intensity, so Daz was on for Eric. The second half started almost exactly like the first, the ball was moving side to side, but the pace wasn’t fast enough to open up the opponents. We were finding success down the right side with Gavin making overlapping runs like Danny Alves, but rarely leading to anything substantial.
A great Left sided corner form Gudge found the near post and UNSW failed to clear ball, with Pacey managing to get his leg on it and put it in back of net. After the second goal you would have thought the goals would start flowing, but it wasn’t the case. It seemed to even get slower, with UNSW defending each carefully planned attack.
Jake made a strategic decision and moved Sam to right-mid, bringing Jules on for Power. With minutes Jules decided on fresh legs, that he would personally change the pace of the game. Every touch he took was forward running at the defenders. When he finally found himself isolated against one defender just inside the box, a trademark cut brought the ball on to his left foot and, using the wind, he whipped the ball past the keeper in to the far post. It was now 3-0 and UNSW were asking the official every other play how much time was left.
Overall, a very disappointed game to watch, but the win was deserved and games like this are expected. Its win’s like this that lead to championships, a win is a win.
- Power wasn’t sure if it was long grass or the antibiotics that prevented him getting beyond his defender.
- Our two favorite supporters said the game was boring.
- Even the Hamster dog fell asleep.
The other team asked “how come you play your home games at Heffron?”. He didn’t think a Prem’s team could have such poor home pitch.
Man of the Match: Gavin/J Flower – I felt like nominating myself, but if that’s not allowed, I thought J Flower had a solid game.
Fines: Everyone for making the game boring to watch.
Attendance: 3 – The usual groupies plus dog. The rest of the audience was distracted by the Monks playing 5 a side behind the goal.
ESFA Cup – Second Round
Parade Grounds Pitch 10 (relocated from Moore Park Pitch 19), Centennial Park, 12:30pm, Wednesday 25 April 2012 (ANZAC Day)
Coogee United PLR 3 – 1 Queens Park AA1
On a bright but extremely windy day the Coogee boys gathered in Centennial Park hoping to up their game from the previous week to overcome their latest opponents and reach the quarter final stages of the ESFA Cup.
The gaffer put us through our paces in the warm up in an attempt to flush out those who had a big night the night before, but the signs were good the only whiff of alcohol was coming from the gaffer himself. The team talk was brief but to the point; get the ball down and play at the high tempo we are capable of.
The starting line up read, Pops, Donne, Belch, Brian, Doc, Jimmy G, Jimmy W, Lee, Jezza, Redderz, & Fee-un. Coogee were sticking with their tried and trusted 3-5-2 formation. The game started exactly the way the gaffer had planned, we kept the ball on the ground and there was plenty of movement and runs being made by the midfield and strikers. Fee-un seemed to have plenty of room up front early on, we later discovered the reason their centre half was reluctant to mark him was he had been rolling in dog poo during the warm up.
The game was still in the feeling out stage when Coogee won a throw in deep in the opposition half. An eerie silence fell over Centennial Park as if the thousands who had visited Centennial Park for Anzac day knew something spectacular was about to happen. With Jimmy W making a run and distracting the Queens Park defence, the Irish centre half crept forward (almost squirrel like). Doc fired the ball to the advancing Brian, and with a quick look up there was only one question on the centre halves mind, would he strike it with the left or right? He opted for the latter to fire the ball into the top left corner from 35 yards, leaving the Queens Park keeper with no chance…. Cue the Cantona like celebration.
This was a wake up call for Queens Park who immediately upped their game and started to put some nice passes together and really get in the faces of the Coogee boys. The next 15mins saw both teams struggled to find their men in the windy conditions. Eventually Donne had enough and took it on himself to create something. Coming forward with the
ball out of defence, Doc made a break for it and Donne obliged by playing a low ball splitting the Queens Park defence. Doc got on the end of it to round the keeper and slot it home for his first ever Coogee goal. (No nude run for you Doc.)
Again Queens Park upped their game and it took two last ditch but well timed tackles from both Brian and Donne to prevent Queens Park from scoring. Queens Park did however manage to score just before half time. A free kick from the right curved towards Poppa in goal, but their inrushing centre-mid decided it would be easier to take Poppa
out than attempt to header it. With Poppa taken out the ball found the back of the net directly from the free kick.
The half time chat was to stop long balls, stop the b**ching at each other and get on with the game.
The second half saw the introduction of Mike, Dash, Hally, & Peeky to try and lift the tempo of the game. A couple of half chances were had until a great ball from Redderz on the left found Mike unmarked at the back post, but he volleyed over from 4yards. Redderz was as busy as ever up front and eventually, (many, many, many flicks later) he decided to do what he does best and used his pace to out run the Queens Park defence and dink the ball over the advancing keeper for a calm and composed finish. 3-1 Coogee, and as a result Queens Park dropped their heads knowing defeat was ominous. The remaining 15 mins were uneventful with both teams realising that the Coogee boys had done enough to go through.
Well done boys, we’re sure to meet tougher opposition in the next round as we’re at the business end of the cup now. Bring on the quarters.
Fines: Fee-un for the dog poo incident & Mike for blazing over from 4 yards
Attendance: The usual Coogee WAGS and their dogs, plus the 5,000 – 6,000 who entered the gates of Centennial Park, even if not all came to watch the game.
ESFA Premier League – Round 3
Heffron Park, 3pm, Saturday 21 April 2012
Glebe PL 2 – 5 Coogee United PL
The Coogee boys arrived at a surprisingly dry looking Heffron to face fellow high-flyers Glebe in what was one of the most eagerly awaited fixtures of the ESFA calendar thus far.
The pre-match hype was dominated by a rousing speech from Captain Weldrick about remaining focused and not getting too carried away with the previous
victories, and how everyone needed to win their individual battles on the pitch. Feeling duly inspired the firsts went off to the familiar looking Heffron 4 to commence their warm up.
In other news pre-game:
Peacock exploded at Curtis in the changing rooms for organising a blind date for him on the Saturday night. It was to be the first of a long line of outbursts. Finchy banged in a quality equaliser for the ressies to maintain their own unbeaten run.
Team line up: Curtis, Gav, Nick F, Jake P, BBB (big bad Brian), Paul P, Alan, Pykey, Harry from One direction masquerading as Dazzler, Oran and Pacey aka grass cutter / facebook stalker
Subs: Vince Vaughn, Milos, Sam Hamman, Jake F, Empire
Both teams started the game with strong intentions in the knowledge that neither side had conceded a goal thus far in the season. Glebe were playing an aggressive style looking to punt the ball to the big, yet skilful attackers whilst the Coogee boys were looking to utilise their main attacking outlets Gav, Paul P and Alan whilst feeding the channels to Oran and Pacey.
As the game settled down, in a nice move the ball was shifted to Nick F on the left from circa 45 yards from goal, who moved it on to his weaker right foot to ping a delightful cross in the Glebe box, where an unmaked Oran scored his 50th headed goal of the season so far. 1 nil to Coogee and thoughts began turning towards another dominant performance.
Until Glebe, a little over 10 mins later, went up the other end to deliver their own cross from wide where their left winger cleverly pushed / made Alan slip over to pull away and clip a delightful/ unstoppable shot into the bottom left corner of the Coogee net. 1 all and game on.
Reeling from conceding the first goal of the season the boys in black and white showed real character to regain control of the game and were rewarded when a driven corner from Alan was met by the unmarkable Oran hammering home his second header of the game. In fairness to Glebe they were pressurising the Coogee defence and responded
well putting the backline under pressure against the wind with some high balls and physical play around the box. Yet again they countered, with what can only be described as unstoppable free kick with the power of Cristiano Ronaldo and the bend of Roberto Carlos’ free kick in Le Tournoi circa 1997.
2-2 as we moved in to half time with both sides being tested for the first time this year.
The half-time team talk was dominated by Peacock’s Churchilian rhetoric demanding that every man stand up and fight them on the beaches around the Glebe box, and now was the time to show true character in pursuit of that maiden ESFA Premier League title.
Coogee began to take hold of the second half and despite a couple of hairy moments, one of which being Curtis, whilst thinking of his evening meal on Saturday, sliced off a dodgy back pass from Peacock for a corner. However Gav, the increasingly influential Paul P, Pykey and Oran all wining their individual battles whilst Jake and BBB were in control of the opposition strikers. Daz was also showing some nice touches, this time on the pitch and not his 16 y/o female fan base.
In summary (these things take longer than you think and I know Dash has a $50bn project to deliver) the most noteworthy points of the game are as follows:
- Paul P showed real class to put Coogee up 3-2 with a headed effort from a great cross from the lively Sam.
- Paul (referee) was conned by Tom Daley who was moonlighting for Glebe to give a penalty.
- Tom Daley skyed his effort high and wide – karma said Peacock, I can repeat what Roman said on email (he was duly booked)
- BBB turned in to a vicious fighting machine and everyone on both teams (except Pykey) soiled themselves.
- John Devaney was spotted clapping Glebe’s goals, Remee remained diplomatically neutral (is he Irish?)
- Jake blew up for the second time of the day, this time at Gav who to be fair held his ground (reports are they had to be separated at the CBH later that night).
- Back from his wedding crashers II shoot, Vince Vaughn was spotted with his hands alover the Glebe right back like it was a piece of skirt from Melbourne “your not at a wedding now shooted the crowd”
- Power created his very own goal mouth scramble to score with his unfavoured right.
- Jake F showed a cool head in front of goal to add his second of the season and Coogee’s 5th for the 3rd time in a row.
Final score – 5-2 Coogee
MOM – Captain marvel Oran
Biggest fine – Gudge ($10)
Crowd – 67 – including half of Maroubra (are they scared now??)
Notable absentees – Sheree and Harley (the half-hamster dog)
Quote of the day – “title favourites” P.Hennesey
Looking good boys
To say I was annoyed would be an understatement…..
ESFA Premier League – Round 3
Heffron Park, 1pm, Saturday 21 April 2012
Glebe PLR 2 – 2 Coogee United PLR
….annoyed at the fact a full set of fixtures didn’t go ahead in the league this weekend. A full set would tell the full story of the season so far and truly reflect what a dominant start to the season Coogee United Firsts and Ressies have had! By 4.45pm on Saturday Coogees United’s stock had risen even further!
Have I got your attention?…I will begin. With the inclement weather hitting Sydney in the build-up to this fixture a lot of people would have had the right to presume this Saturday would have come and gone without any of us kicking a football around. How wrong you would have been. With Heffron Park’s first class drainage system it was Glebe Wanderers who were to host Coogee United FC (Reserves) who were unbeaten in two. The sun was shining and after a tough Wednesday night training session the Coogee faithful were pumped and ready to battle it out against one of our closest rivals.
I was pleased to be part of a continually strong squad that keeps improving week-in-week-out in class, enthusiasm and commitment. Gaffer ‘Taste of Torres’ Whiteford selected an outstanding eleven to open proceedings. The cast for Saturdays outing was as follows; Poppa (GK), Eamonn (CB), Antonio (CB), Niall – Captain (CB), Peeky (LM), Jason (RM), Eric (CM), Mike (CM), Adam (CM), Finchy (CF) and Redderz (CF). Those asked to wait in the wings were Jez, Doc, Belch, Jim G (me) and ‘Taste of Torres’ Whiteford. Coogee were by far the better side in the opening exchanges. Eammonn, Antonio and Niall were comfortable in possession at the back and cherished the ball until off-loading to our midfield, who were always available to receive. With Eric playing the deeper of the three centre mids, he was dictating the rhythm of the game with Mike and Adam both tough in the tackle and setting up the momentum in attack.
Upset were we not to see a reward for early domination with a goal, we continued to majestically play keep ball using our energised wide men Jason and Peeky, who in turn were always looking to release the goal scoring machines Finchy and Redderz. Some of the triangle passing going on from the Coogee boys was to frustrate Glebe, however, as a quick as a flash Glebe played the long ball and got a shot away which was part blocked by a great challenge from Antonio and saved by safe hands Poppa.
You had to keep your eyes firmly on the game to wait for a Coogee break through, it was inevitably going to happen but by whom and when? Coogee won a corner which was superbly driven across by Peeky to be met by a leaping Redderz at the near post who connected full head on ball to see the Glebe net busting. 1 – 0 to the men in black and white. A just reflection of the game so far, and Coogee were pushing for a second maybe third which would have ultimately killed the game.
Jimmy (Taste of Torres) was his usual self bellowing tactics from the sideline and directing his men with firm authority. It’s clear to see he has the team playing with a confidence and composure that’s required to maintain a winning mentality.
Shame would bestow the hard work done when Coogee were dispossessed inside the opposing half and Glebe attacked. The referee awarded a penalty to Glebe after Mike got tangled up with their centre forward, who was running away from goal. The Glebe player stroked the penalty into the corner of the net giving Poppa very little chance of saving it.
On top for the majority of the first half, Coogee now found themselves 1-1 going into half time.
You would have been mistaken during the half time chat to think Coogee were actually losing the game such was the disappointment on the lads faces. The underlying message from Gaffer Whiteford and the rest of the team was keep the ball and be patient. Coogee were rehydrated and back on the pitch waiting for their opponents. Glebe it would seem were reluctant to exit the changing rooms to commence battle for the second half and kept CUFC (and the officials) waiting.
For all the praise heaped on the Coogee boys start to the first half they didn’t fly out the blocks in the second half with the same drive and flair. Glebe started to play and match Coogee in all areas of the field. What started as an exhibition in football from Coogee started to get scrappy, with both teams reluctant to concede again and almost accept 1-1 as a fair result. With little incident to remember I can only recall Finch going through one-on-one, Mike getting his standard whack to the head and frustration all round.
Treating us to such a quality display early on and not maintaining that form mystified and surprised a loyal fan base. Glebe attacked the Coogee goal only to be thwarted by an excellent block by Poppa, who turned the ball round the post for a corner. From the resulting corner the Glebe centre back was unmarked to head the ball in the net from 16 yards out. 2-1 Glebe.
Me, like everyone else, was starting to think our excellent preseason and season thus far was going to have its first wobble. Gaffer Whiteford realised that some lads had run themselves into the ground and it was time for a change in personnel.
Like for like (but with fresh legs and self-branded boots) Belch was to replace Antonio in defence. Similar to Antonio, having ran himself into the ground and played excellently, Adam was next to give way to Jez. Another swap occurred when Jason, who put a great shift in up and down the right, gave way to Doc.
That change in personnel seemed to lift the Coogee spirit and the lads started to find their momentum again. Doc made a couple of mazy runs down the right which resulted in him getting a shot away and nearly putting it on a plate for Redderz. Belch was to ensure that Coogee weren’t going to concede in their pursuit of an equaliser. Jez was playing a quarter back role with some fine passing into the final third of the field making sure the Glebe defenders were turning and being tested. Finch, Mike, Eric and Redderz seemed to find their second wind and Coogee looked in control again.
However, during the charge for a second Jez was booked. Dissent. As was Mike. Dissent.
You couldn’t keep your eyes off the final stages of this local derby and it was with 2 mins left that Jez delivered an intelligent angled through ball which caused the defence to tangle and Finchy was there to put in the header. A well-deserved equaliser to level the score at 2 all.
Are next week’s opponents watching? I hope so, because what they will take from this is that Coogee play some tidy controlled football however when called upon can scrap it with an opponent and still get a result. As always Glebe were battling opponents who contested a fair game, however, I don’t know if they could raise their game anymore than they did. Coogee didn’t play well in patches which cost them victory. We have played better and with competition for places remaining red hot victory will be restored next week.
Forgiven you would be if you got too carried away this early in the season but the Coogee United FC march for the title continues.
Subs not used – me (the author of the match report) and gaffer/player Jimmy W (Taste of Torres).
MOM – Eamon
Attendance – Sheree wasn’t there, finger injury at netball. Bree was there and she had a small bag of nuts with her.
ARE THE OLD BOYS SHOWING THEIR AGE??
ESFA Premier League – Round 2
ES Marks Athletic Stadium, 3pm, Saturday 14 April 2012
Waverley Old Boys PL 0 – 5 Coogee United PL
Coogee Starting XI: Curtis, Gav, Jake P, Brian, Nick F, Darren, Pykey, Alan, Power, Oran, ‘New’ Jules
Subs: Sammy H, Pacey, Roman, Antonio
A beautiful Autumn’s day saw the in-form Coogee United travel to 2011 season grand finalists Waverley Old Boys for what promised to be an exciting and physical game of football. Waverley’s home ground also happens to be Coogee’s training ground, so it felt like a home game for both sides and there were to be no complaints about the playing surface The 10,000 seater stadium may have been a tad ambitious for bookies’ favourite Waverley’s 20-strong home support, but it still looked the part.
The ‘unavailable’ players list had increased by a couple this week and it’s worth noting that Coogee could turn out a 3rd XI team of injured/holidaying players alone!
Jake Flower was away as he doesn’t like to play or train on days with a Y in the name, Gudge was away at various weddings around The Hunter Valley and Ben Davis was nursing an injured knee after sacrificing himself in a tough tackle in last week’s Waratah Cup match. Asked when he expected to be back to fitness, Ben was happy to announce that he thinks he will be able to ‘Dance’ on it in time for Creamfields on April 29th. Eric and Eamon were also both non-runners.
Despite the missing players, the omens were looking positive. Brian managed to find the ground and avoid a fine and even Gudge’s squeeze, Sheree, had rocked up just in time with her ‘lucky mascot’ hamster in tow. Although he’s not a huge hamster fan, Gudge says it does keep her from bringing up the subject of children, so he’s happy to go along with it for now.
As the Ressies romped home to victory to the repeated chants of ‘SAME OLD RESSIES, ALWAYS WINNING’, the mood in the first-grade dressing room was upbeat. Jimmy Whiteford has merged seamlessly into the stand-in Di Matteo role and he sent the team out with the mindset of denying the opposition any space or time on the ball. Coogee had beaten Redfern Raiders 5-0 in the first round of the season, but this was to be a different opponent altogether. Alan was looking fired up and his grasp of the English language is improving by the week, which is encouraging.
The game started with a furious tempo and it was Waverley who looked the most likely to draw first blood. Their central midfield trio were linking up well and looking tasty on the ball and the Coogee lads took a bit of time to get to grips with the play. The first 10-15 minutes were littered with a lot of fouls from both sides and one notable chance fell to the Waverley number 9 who volleyed way over the bar from 9 yards after a cleverly placed free kick beat the Coogee offside trap.
Then it all changed……
Coogee survived the initial onslaught and began to throw some of their own ammunition back at Waverley. The little and large midfield combination, Daz (tidy) and Pykey (freight train), began to close down their opposite men and take control of the majority of second-balls which fell in their vicinity. This allowed the wingers to get into the game and Power finally listened to advice and began to run at his full back – God, he looked quick and strong for someone that never goes to the gym! His right-sided counterpart, Alan, was making life hard for defenders on his wing and steadily the possession and the corner count began to creep upwards in favour of Coogee.
By the half hour mark, the deadlock was broken: A Waverley clearance was beaten back by the Coogee defence and the ball fell to Oran’s feet, who after moving up the field and shaping to shoot, laid the ball off to Jules. Jules quickly looked up and and threaded a neat short pass to Daz, the blonde Iniesta, who stepped into the box and calmly placed his shot under the advancing keeper.
1-0 Coogee – A fantastic team goal, straight off the Barcelona training ground.
Sensing a chink in the armour of the normally rock-solid Waverley, Coogee kept their stranglehold on at full strength and after ten more minutes of relentless pressure with and without the ball, the scoreline was doubled. Disciplined shape and pressing from Coogee had begun to frustrate the Waverley players, who conceded a risky free kick 25 yards out on the left-wing. Daz stepped up and his fizzing free-kick found Pykey’s head at the far post who calmly nodded the ball goalwards to Jules’ chest. 6 yards out with his back to goal, Jules turned sharply and rifled a volley into the roof of the net.
Desperate to see the first half out with a two-goal advantage, Jake P and Brian rallied their defensive troops with the ever-confident Curtis marshalling his final third of the pitch confidently. The Waverley strikers were having no joy whatsoever up front and Gav and Nick F had the two wingers in their pockets. Even One Direction would struggle to score with these boys around.
Half Time: Waverley 0-2 Coogee
A rousing half time talk from Whiteford kept the mood elevated. Complacency was going to be the enemy here and we needed to maintain the intensity and tempo that had found us the lead in the first place. The real threats from Waverley were coming from their three creative men in the middle. Keep them off the ball and we prevent them from scoring.
Pykey, who has become something of a first half supersub, was replaced by the hairy and slightly dirty looking Roman, who got stuck in immediately and made a number of strong (and suprisingly clean) tackles. This allowed Daz the freedom to get on the ball and spray the passes around like he had done in the first half.
Midway through the second half a through ball from the right hand side saw Oran give chase with two Waverley defenders in hot pursuit. Oran, eager as ever to get on the scoresheet, made his way into the box and was sent to the ground as the defenders sandwiched him. The Ref consulted the linesman and awarded the penalty. Nick Flower calmly strolled up from the back and dispatched the penalty into the top right corner with a one step run up.
3-0 Coogee – A carbon copy of his Waratah Cup penalty. Impressive composure and accuracy from the left-back.
Next, Alan called upon a ‘tactical’ left/right wing switch with Power. He claimed it was tactical, but it was pretty obvious he wanted some of the lemon & lime gatorade that Power had cleverly stashed on the left touchline at the start of the second half. A few subs over the next ten to twenty minutes saw Antonio on for Jake F and the front pair of Oran and Jules replaced with Sam and Pacey, who didn’t take long to make his mark.
Waverley were beginning to looked ragged now as they chased a game that was steadily creeping out of their reach. However, Coogee weren’t finished yet.
A clever bit of link up play involving three players saw Power turn and shoot on his left foot from the edge of the box, only to see the keeper pull off a fantastic save and tip the ball around his far post. The resulting corner was cleared but, soon after, Coogee won yet another corner. The ball was floated to the far post, where Pacey brought the ball down nicely with his chest and volleyed back across the keeper to bulge the net just inside the near post.
With the clock counting down into the final minutes and Waverley resorting to fouls and trash-talking, the game was all but won. Coogee knew the importance of maintaining a clean sheet and thwarted any attacks that Waverley managed to muster.
Then, with injury time looming, Coogee put the final nail in the coffin. Power managed to dispossess a Waverley player in the middle of the park and ran toward the goal. Skipping easily past the last two men, he slotted the ball under the advancing goalkeeper and ran into the arms of a jubilant and victorious Coogee team.
The final whistle was blown soon after. All game the defence had cleared up pretty much everything thrown at them, while at the other end of the field, lots of chances were created and then, crucially, converted.
Coogee fans and players celebrated, while Jake P furiously sent text messages to other players/managers of the league. ESFA didn’t believe him and waited for confirmation from Waverley.
Final Score: Waverley Old Boys 0 – 5 (Five) Coogee United
Goals: Daz, Jules, Nick F (pen), Pacey, Power
MOM: Power – I think he is still owed a jug of beer
Special mentions to: Daz – great midfield work rate and distribution, Gav – a revelation since shifting from midfield to right-back, Jake P - for putting in another solid performance and well, pretty much everyone for playing in such a fantastic, spirited team performance!
Combined with the Reserves win, it was a great day for the club. Waverley will not have suffered a defeat of that size in the Premier League for some time and future opposition will certainly be sitting up and taking note!
After a lot of back slapping and more out of tune renditions of the team song, it will soon be time to get back down to business. Next week sees Coogee travel to Glebe, who have recorded impressive wins against both Dunbar and Waverley in their first two games this season. The game is set to be a difficult one and there is still a long way to go in the season, but with recent performances and confidence high at the club, we can certainly take a lot of winning belief into Round 3.
Phil ‘Power’ Taylor
ESFA Premier League – Round 2
ES Marks Athletic Stadium, 1pm, Saturday 14 April 2012
Waverley Old Boys PLR 2 – 3 Coogee United PLR
Table topping Coogee United were looking to continue their impressive early season form against 2011 league winners and regular contenders Waverley OBFC. Coogee arrived at their home away from home, ES Marks, to find that as hard as it is to believe, the hard working folk at the council had forgotten to open the gates to the ground. Rumour began to spread that Jonny Council was parked up on Allison Road staring at the fillies wandering into Randwick Racecourse….something that had nearly caused several of the CUFC contingent to have minor car accidents on their way to the game.
Once in the ground CUFC players were greeted by a superb looking ES Marks and talk of a big walk up crowd. The players filtered into the second*(see J Peacock) best facilities in ESFA premier league and there was a sense of excitement about playing on a nice pitch with good conditions. Players discussed their meticulous preparation having eaten well the night before and getting to bed early….only to be told as the gaffer rolled (yes rolled) in that he had a massive hangover. Benefit of the doubt, we will assume this was due to having a few red wines whilst finalising his squads/formations for both squads over video conference with A. Fergusson and H Redknapp. Lets hope he didn’t listen to Harry – sorry Power.
The warm up was fast and furious and the gaffer called us in to get out of the heat so he could name his starting line up. GK Damo, Back three, Niall(C), Milos, Jonny H, Mid field right to left, Jase, Jimmy G, Mikey, Dash and Lee making his CUFC ESFA debut, up front Finchy and Redderz. Such is the blessing of an imposing squad, yet another strong bench was named featuring Hally, Doc, Adam, Jezza and Sam who was busy trying to find the van Julesy gave him for work.
The game got under way in near perfect conditions, if not a little warm for the high percentage of English, Irish and Scottish skin on display. The first 10 minutes were a feeling out period with few real chances as Coogee settled into their now famous 3-5-2 formation. A few robust challenges began to come out and on 10 minutes a hard but fair challenge from Mikey in midfield saw a flare up involving the centre half for Waverley, Coogee’s crowd favourite Finchy and a small angry bloke (pot kettle) from Waverley wearing the number 12 shirt. The ensuing scuffle saw Finchy and the number 12 booked and warnings issued all round by the ref fearing thje worst when he saw the look on Finchy’s face.
Play continued and Coogee grew into the game as the new midfield trio of Dash, Jimmy G and Mikey worked tirelessly to break down Waverley. Their midfield could not get a foothold in the game and one of many interceptions, this time from Dash, followed by a lovely pass through to Mikey on the right touch line that saw the Irishman cutting in towards goal with Redderz and Finchy busting a gut to get to the box. As Mikey approached the 18 yard box, he gave the Waverley Keeper ‘the eyes’ and, with all involved expecting a cross, calmly slotted a left foot finish inside the near post. 1-0 Coogee.
Coogee continued to dominate the half with Waverley reduced to speculative shots from 30+ yards. The back three of Milos, Niall and Jonny H were winning everything well and playing out from the back. Lee and Jase were up and down the touch line whilst keeping a watchful eye on their opponent. Waverley’s only chance of note came from a free kick which was pumped into box, a shot was saved well by Damo and without thought for self preservation, he dived on the rebound receiving a clattering in his ribs for his troubles from a Waverley player following in.
Coogee should have been 2 up having broken down the right and but for a marginal offside call against Redderz it would have been a deserved score line. CUFC were however not to be denied and following a great flicked through ball from Mikey, Dash was in on goal only to be taken down in a tackle that would have impressed most rugby players. Penalty to Coogee and a red card was understandably brandished for preventing a clear goal scoring opportunity. Redderz stepped up, his confidence growing with his 100% penalty record for the season, and he duly sent the keeper the wrong way. 2-0 Coogee and as the half time whistle sounded 2 minutes later, the Coogee players walked off trying not to get ahead of themselves knowing that the job was only half done.
The gaffer’s half time speech was very much along those lines, he heard too many conversations sounding as though players thought the game was already over. He hammered home the need to take control of the first 15 minutes and really kill off this game with a further goal.
CUFC showed that they either were hard of hearing or were knackered from a frantic first half in very warm conditions as they sat back and let Waverley come at them. The football that had served them so well in the first half was gone, as was any cohesion. Waverley’s niggly number 12 made Coogee pay as he collected the ball in acres of space and threaded a neat ball in behind the Coogee defence for the nippy right winger who finished well into the far corner. 2-1 and a reality check for the boys in black and white. The gaffer acted and made changes to increase the urgency, Adam was sent on for yet another CUFC debut in midfield and Sam, having found Julsey’s van parked on a roundabout, came on up front.
The fresh legs were noticeable and Waverley were once again opened up by some slick passing, Sam made his way into the box where he was brought down for penalty number 2 for the day. Redderz stepped up, his fan club (Bree, Sheree and a small dog) braced themselves, the crowd (Lee’s parents plus 3 or 4 lost races goers) were on edge….bang, top right corner and the 100% record was intact. 3-1 Coogee and all concerned breathed a sigh of relief hoping this had killed the game off.
CUFC restored their confidence and the passes began to stick, Sam made his way through the Waverley defence once more and finding himself one-on-one with the keeper was left with two choices
1 – round the keeper, slot home and run off to celebrate having secured the victory
2- knock it passed the keeper, think the ball is too far away so throw yourself into the keepers outstretched arms in the hope of a penalty
Option 2 it was, calls for a penalty were turned down and the game was still alive.
With that, the gaffer opted to send on reinforcements for the final 5 minutes and sent on Doc and Jezza for wide men Jase and Lee. A goal mouth scramble shortly after saw Mikey have a shot blocked by a desperate Waverley defender….time seemed to stop as the ball fell to Coogee’s in form striker, open goal, 3 yards out, a chance to secure glory, a hat-trick and the love of his fan club + dog….unfortunately for CUFC’s media baron, the ball somehow comfortably cleared the crossbar. The crowd, yes crowd, erupted in ironic jeers.
Waverley sniffing a chance sent a long ball through where Coogee’s left midfielder (who will remain nameless) made a hash of his clearance and allowed Waverley a strike on goal. The strike deflected off a covering Coogee leg and with the ball seemingly destined to drop over a stranded Damo, he somehow managed to get an outstretched hand to it and produce a superb save tipping the ball onto the bar and out for a corner. The corner was swung in and Waverley got a good head on goal, Jezza stood on the near post defied his player bio height of 5ft 3″ and got a head to the ball and onto the cross bar as it looped towards the top corner, the clearance was unfortunately in vain as a more desperate Waverley reacted quickest to head between Damo and Jezza on the line. 3-2 and a nervous finale for all concerned.
Thankfully the referee did not play many more minutes and blew the final whistle. A relieved CUFC celebrated knowing that their dominance was not reflected in the score line. 2 from 2, 6 points and top of the table but improvements still needed.
Glebe next week will prove a tougher opponentbased on early results and a more complete performance will be required from the men in black and white.
Goals – Mikey 20 mins, Redderz Pen 43 mins, Pen 65 mins
MOM – Mikey, superb game, bossed the midfield and a quality goal.
Crowd – 17 + half a dog
Fines – Redderz for THAT miss
Waratah Cup – Round 1
7pm, Wednesday 4 April 2012
Prospect United 0 - 0 Coogee United PL (1-1 AET, Prospect win 4 – 3 on penalties)
For the local soccer purists glancing over this fixture on paper, many would have been happy to judge this contest a mismatch. A state league side for the last 25 years, Prospect United finished fifth in Division 2 last season and must have fancied their chances when seeing Coogee United of the ESFA Premier League roll in to town.
However Coogee United, although unknown to the hosts, must have been quietly confident about the fact that they had the quality to push Prospect all the way. With a team rammed with quality, whatever the starting 11 chosen, I get the impression that this is a squad that trusts everyone around them to put in 100% when the black & white jerseys are pulled over their shoulders.
Daylight saving meant it was dark on arrival, with the floodlights gracing the carpet like surface. Everyone was early, let alone on time, telling its own story about how keen the players were to lace up their boots and stake a claim to be this week’s hero.
With a pitch worthy of getting any armchair fan up for a game, let alone the on song Coogee team fresh off the back of Saturdays 5-0 win, Jimmy needed to say very few words in the changing room prior to kick off. To test ourselves against a State League team was all the motivation we needed. There’s an aura around this squad that makes me think everyone’s up for doing something special this season, and brushing aside a team of Prospects standard would be the kind of statement we’re keen to make!
With some strong performances from the 1’s and 2’s on Saturday, Coogee named a couple of changes to the starting 11 that reflected that.
Coogee started with the formidable looking 4-4-2, naming Damo (GK), Gavin (RB) Paul G (LB) Jake P (CB) Ben (CB) Daz (CM) Pikey (CM) Paul P (LM) Jake F (RM) Oran (CF) (c) Jules (CF) Subs – Nick F, Eric, Eamonn, Alan, Pacey.
With Coogee chomping at the bit from the kick-off, we started bossing the game early on. The game had a tempo that defied the level it occupied, and each player was on their toes and there to put a serious shift in. We had the better of the first twenty minutes, limiting Prospect to scraps that would even make my Mrs dog starve in next to no time.
Damo was vocal in goal, Jake P was winning every header coming his way, Ben had composure that defied his years, with Gavin and Paul G quietly going about their business in an ultra effective manner. Paul P had their RB in his pocket, Jake F was making decent runs, and the front two were looking as formidable as ever without having much time on the ball. Daz was doing great with three touch football in the middle of the park, and Pikey was winning every header by a comfortable margin. I’m inclined to name him “The Wardrobe” after Paper Bouba Diop, I think with his height and large frame he’d be aptly named!
Oran volleyed over from close range after terrific play down the right and Daz hit a left foot peach from 20 yards that was narrowly wide. Coogee were denied a penalty when Oran turned on a sixpence, made a great run and was brought down after pulling the trigger 10 yards out. The linesman flagged for it, but the refree must have had a very good view, electing instead to waive play on. It wasn’t quite “Old Trafford” but the home side were getting their fair share of decisions.
Half time came and the feeling was positive. We were pressing them in pairs the whole half, barely given them time to breath, and there’s no shadow of a doubt that Prospect knew they had game on their hands.
I have no doubt the opposing manager was telling his squad at the break that the second half would be theirs. With their extended pre-season starting several months in advance, they must have felt that their fitness would pay off. However it was a testament to Coogee that we continued to boss possession and stake a claim for a famous victory.
Prospect were proving more dangerous on the counter attack, and Damo plucked out more than a couple of chances that were destined for the top corner. Eric had come on for “The Wardrobe” and was displaying a calm presence on the ball. Pacey had also come on for Jules late on, with Alan previously replacing Jake F. We were limited to shots on target in the second half, with Power almost winning it at the death, but don’t let that detract from the fact that one team had a heart and desire that was head and shoulders above the opposition. Personified in this case by Jake Peacock, who had rattled their forward so much that his first touch was non-existent. Ben also put in a crunching tackle to his detriment at the death, but his willingness to put himself on the line only to get carried off the pitch afterwards, shows what steel this team is made of.
Extra time came along and it was visible to Prospect that they had no easy way of winning this contest.
Once the whistle blew for the extra 30 minutes, again, Coogee rallied! Most of the squad must have been running on fumes by now but you wouldn’t have guessed it. With both teams sceptical about being caught on the counter, there weren’t any guilt-edged chances presented to either team for the majority. Pacey tested the keeper from Oran’s cross, but unfortunately it was unable to make the net, and Damo once again tipped over a pile driver at the death.
With 116 minutes on the clock, Coogee got their just desserts. Oran made an epic run, faded past a defender, only to be tag teamed and brought down 5 yards out. The team were beaming, finally, a decision in our favour after battling from the minute we pulled in to the car park. Eric stepped up, and portraying his usual calm self, sent the keeper the wrong way to put Coogee 0-1 up with minutes left. Celebrations were epic but we knew we still had a job to do. Prospect rallied one final time and to everyone’s amazement, after two of their players jumped for the same ball in our box with black and white shirts surrounding them, the referee pointed to the spot. Prospect converted to level the score and take it to a shootout.
Eric, Nick F, Pacey, Oran and Alan put their hands straight up when the opportunity of a penalty was offered to them, with Eric taking the first kick. Unfortunately it was an unsuccessful one, and Coogee found themselves 1-0 down after the first round. Nick stepped up and placed it bottom right corner to make it 1-1, with Damo then saving to make it all square. Pacey missed, and then we found ourselves 2-1 down after 3 each. Oran and Alan dispatched superbly to make the 10th penalty the decider, but although Damo got both hands to it, the ball flew in to the roof of the net and sent Coogee United out of the cup.
Despite feelings that the award of the equalising penalty in extra-time was harsh, Coogee United can hold their heads high after a gutsy display, having only been edged out on the lottery that is the penalty shoot out. I don’t feel it necessary to take the shine away from the many positives that can be taken from this game, and that leads me to conclude that if we can consistently mirror this performance, we have a great season in the making.
Best of luck to Prospect United in the next round.
Final Score: 0 – 0 after 90 minutes, 1 – 1 after 120 minutes, Prospect win 4 – 3 on penalties
Man of the match: Split between Gavin, who was on the money the whole game, and Damo, who was there to make testing and very important saves when needed.
ESFA Premier League – Round 1
Turruwul Park, 3pm, Saturday 31 March 2012
Redfern Raiders PL 0 – 5 Coogee United PL
Well. Finally. Round One.
The sun was shining, it was a beautiful Sydney autumn afternoon and the air crackled with anticipation. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite as excited about a season ahead, and you just knew everyone else was feeling the same.
As First Grade filed in, they discovered two things…
First, Peacock’s warnings of an absolute cow’s paddock were completely unfounded (not the last time that day he wished he’d kept his mouth shut). This field was actually schmick.
Second, the Ressies were having some fun against the new entrants to the league, Pacey and Daz in particular taking a real liking to them. A 4-0 win set things up very nicely, and as 1st Grade made their way into the pitch, their excitement was almost matched by the new boys in the Ressies discovering they get to drink free beer after the game.
There were a couple of changes to last week’s line-up, Ben D coming in for his Coogee centre back debut in place of an injured Eamon, and Nick ‘yeah I’ve got a left foot’ Flower getting a deserved chance ahead of an unfortunate Gudge. The quality of the bench had everyone thinking (well, definitely me anyway) that a massive performance is needed every time you step onto the field this season just to hold onto your place.
Starting XI: Curtis, Gav, Jake P, Ben D, Nick F, Alan, Roman, Eric, Power, Oran, Jules
Bench: Gudge, Jake F, Sam, Damo
The brand spanking new changing rooms heightened the general feeling that Peacock didn’t know what he was on about, and after changing in pleasant, if compact, surroundings, Coogee embarked on a vibrant warm up. There was a buzz. A definite, tangible, audible buzz. We were ready. The team talk focused on maintaining our shape, being ruthless, doing the simple things well, and playing risk-free, high-tempo football.
Coogee were out of the blocks in Bolt-like fashion. The game plan of bossing the first 20 minutes against our inexperienced opponents was followed to the letter. Coogee were dominant and incisive, controlled and ruthless.
Some of the passing and movement was bordering on sublime, and Redfern were being stretched to breaking point all over the park, with Coogee’s defence winning everything that came their way, particularly in the air. Although this correspondent’s memory of how the goals eventuated is dubious at best, Coogee had a 4-0 lead by half time, three coming from skipper Weldrick and one from his trusty new sidekick Bracewell. Alan delivered a beautiful corner for Oran to glance home one of them, and the others were a blur of slick forward interchange and clinical finishing, the highlight being Oran’s impudent back-heel that took at least four Redfern players (including the keeper) out of the game, allowing Bracewell to side-foot home into an empty net. Exquisite.
Power and Alan were bossing their full backs, Gav and Nick were getting forward at every opportunity, Jake P and Ben were winning all their battles and Roman and Eric were controlling the middle of the park expertly. As Curtis would say, he only had general ‘housekeeping’ to take care of, but performed it in the manner of a seasoned homemaker. He’ll make quite a catch one day.
Half time and we’ll do well to better that 45 minutes.
The chat from Ian at the break was of not letting up, going looking for more goals and keeping the all-important clean sheet. We knew they would have a spell at some point, and wanted to see that out.
Redfern came out for the 2nd half with the words of their incensed coach still ringing in their ears, and although no doubt shell-shocked, clearly felt they now had nothing to lose.
They pushed Coogee back, as their inevitable ‘spell’ materialised. Time for the defence to stand up. Their response was fantastic. The collective organisation and determination to maintain their fourth clean sheet in a row was exemplary. Ben, Jake and Curtis were developing a good understanding, Gav and Nick completed the resolute backline, and Eric and Roman were throwing a blanket on everything in front of them. Cries of ‘clean sheet’ could regularly be heard, and on the couple of occasions when Redfern did find themselves in threatening positions, the scrambling defence told of a desire for shut-outs that bodes well for future encounters. The point-blank save by Curtis followed by last-ditch blocks from Nick and Jake was the closest Redfern came, though Curtis’ scrambling tip-over from a long-range effort was no less impressive. What was not quite as impressive was him then becoming entangled in the goal net like some hapless tuna.
Gudge came on for Gav at full back, Sam replaced Alan for another debut, Jake F gave Oran a break, and all three instantly added to the game and upped the tempo. The Redfern spell had been seen out and Coogee were now keen for some icing on this particularly impressive cake. Jake F duly broke down the right channel and drove a peach of a cross in for Jules to wrap it all up with minutes to play.
Redfern’s eagerness to go to ground and their writhing in pain at the slightest hint of contact was a bit of a blight on the game, but they’ll soon discover that’s not the best way to prosper in this League. Peacock picked up an unnecessary card for reacting badly to one such incident, but as his teammates said to him after the game, this was out of character for him and there aren’t expected to be any more glimpses of yellow throughout the season.
Although there are definitely sterner tests ahead, this was an impressive first-up performance with stand-out displays from the whole squad all over the park. Ian’s going to need some industrial strength Panadol when he picks the next team.
The team song was sung with gusto, but after subsequent events at our beloved sponsor that night, plans to change the lyrics might just be put on ice. It was a quality night down the Coogee Bay Hotel, with some staying till very late, others smoke-bombing it to stave off the hang-overs, and still others having their mind made up for them on when it might be a good time to leave. A fun night. WAGS everywhere, lawnmowers on display, no foam, plenty of really important yet quickly forgotten conversations and a generally great time.
Final score: 0-5
Scorers: Oran3, Jules 2
MOM: Oran, with honourable mentions to Power, Jules and Jake P
Attendance: 49, boosted by Jappy’s pre-wedding entourage
ESFA Premier League – Round 1
Turruwul Park, 1pm, Saturday 31 March 2012
Redfern Raiders PLR 0 – 4 Coogee United PLR
Waking up to a sunny Saturday morning, there was a vibe in the air not yet felt during a thorough pre-season campaign. The excitement in the air, the anticipation building to a fever pitch: it could only mean one thing. ESFA Premier League season opener!
The Ressies boys were drawn against the Redfern Raiders, a new team of unknown calibre. There was much rumoured talk of the pitch going to be similar to a cow pasture but to the pleasant surprise of all in attendance, it (other than being a tad dry) was lush and divot-free. The Coogee lads carried on their pre-game warm up with focus and intensity regardless of the surprisingly scorching heat. Apparently autumn is the new summer here in Sydney.
Starting XI: GK: Poppa, Centerbacks: Brian, Belch, Jappy, Left Midfield: Peeky, Center Midfield: Daz, Pyke, Jimmy G, Right Midfield: Jason, Strikers: Pacey, Redz
Subs: Finchy, Dash, Mike, Doc, Antonio
The opening minutes saw both teams trying to shake off the nerves from the adrenaline rush that comes with opening day. Once the game settled down, the Coogee boys began knocking the ball around and passing neatly. Both teams had the odd attempt at goal but nothing resulted. After 20 minutes of play, Jason worked the ball up the right hand side to earn a throw in deep in the attacking third. From the throw the ball somehow found its way to the turf through a scramble which made its way to an alert Pacey who smartly turned and hammered home the ball on the turn, smashing off the post and in! Coogee United deservingly opened their account for the season to go up 1-0.
The goal sparked a boost in confidence to the boys who then really started to take it to an increasingly tiring Redfern squad. The next quarter of an hour saw Coogee barrage their opponents from both wings and straight down the middle. Luckily for Redfern, Coogee were guilty of some offside calls (some no-doubt the right call, some with a heavy smattering of benefit-of-the-doubt given the lack of a linesman); a theme that would carry throughout the match. Around the 35 minute mark, Peeky won a throw in, this time down the left hand side. Pyke then stepped up to launch in a cannon of a throw-in which was pin-point accurate to the head of Brian who then flicked on to Redderz. Redderz met the ball with a firm header 8 yards out and the keeper was called upon to make a great save, only see the speedy and attentive Redderz react quickly and calmly bury the rebound from close range to send Coogee up 2-0! A great show of the never-give-up-on-the-ball and the rewards it produces.
Despite some good passing movements Redfern were frustrated at the organisation Coogee had in defence and the attacking intent causing them problems further up the field. This began to tell as they started to argue amongst themselves – a sure sign that Coogee were doing the right things.
In the closing stages of the first half, Redfern sent in a high lofty ball forward which resulted in some miscommunication between Brian and Poppa. The Redfern striker was able to get to the ball first but had to watch his attempt go agonizingly wide.
Halftime score: Redfern Raiders PLR 0 – 2 Coogee United PLR
The second half saw Coogee continue where they left off, with repeated smooth flowing attacks which really wore on Redfern. The combination of Peeky, Daz, Pyke, and Jimmy G were cutting up the defence like swiss cheese on rye bread, but in a much less flavoursome manner. The reason being was that the chemistry and timing between midfielders and strikers was not yet in full bloom resulting in offside calls in the double digits. This is certainly a point of focus in the weeks to come.
Midway in the second half, Coogee began produced their best football. A flowing move began with a throw in from the right from Jason to Redderz in the final third. Redderz cushioned the ball down the line for Jason to run on to and whip in a Beckham-like cross to an oncoming Daz, who cracked a stunning first-time volley on the one-hop from about 8 yards out. A brilliant goal even the legendary Van Der Sar would not have stopped. 3-0 to the good!
Around the 70th minute, a similar build up to Coogee’s 3rd goal produced a glorious chance for Peeky. Redderz ran on to a great through ball on the right edge of the box before skinning his defender on the by-line and heading for the 6 yard box. The keeper forced him towards the penalty spot as he guarded his near post and Redderz dragged the ball back for Peeky to have a shot metres from the goal line, but somehow skyed it over the net, much to the horror of himself and his fellow teammates. He’d be having nightmares about that one. All substitutes were brought onto the pitch with Finchy, Dash, Doni, Doc and Mike all having a great showing with fresh legs and strong pedigree causing the home side issues. Luckily for Peeky, he was able to redeem himself 10 minutes later with a neat finish inside the box after some good work by Dash on the right. 4-0 Coogee Ressies. The defence stood tall throughout the game thwarting any Redfern scoring opportunity that arose. The final whistle brought to an end a successful debut to the Ressies campaign with a final score of 4-0.
Man of the Match: Daz
Scorers: Redderz, Peeky, Daz, Pacey
Attendance: an estimated 50, most of which was the team Jappy members visiting for his wedding over the long weekend. Flown in from all over, they caused a stir and presented a strong intimidating factor to the home Redfern team. Unbeknown to the team, Jappy had bribed them with post-match Hahn Super Dry. Cheers to the victory and the Pioneering Beering from our great sponsor. Super goes in, Super Dry taste comes out =)
Fines: Peeky for missing that sitter in the 2nd half.
A combination fine to the midfielders/strikers for the record-breaking 6,000 offsides.
Waratah Cup Preliminary Round – Tuesday 27 March 2012
Polonia Rams 0 – 6 Coogee United Prems
Coogee United travelled to Blacktown on Tuesday evening for a 7pm kickoff against Blacktown Association Premier League side Polonia Rams in what was First Grade’s first competitive game of the season. Although the trip out west on a school night was long, the quality of the pitch more than made up for it with a perfect playing surface.
Coogee went in with an unchanged side from Sunday: Curtis GK, Gavin RB, Paul G LB, Jake P CB, Eamonn CB, Alan RM, Power LM, Roman CM, Eric CM, Oran CF (c), Jules CF. Subs: Nick F, Jake F, Daz, Redz, Ian.
Coogee didn’t know what to expect from their opponents but with competition for places keeping the starting XI on their toes, the lads were well up for this game and Eric fired in Coogee’s first shot of the match inside the opening 60 seconds. Coogee bossed the game from the off with the front pairing of Jules and Oran causing Polonia’s defence numerous problems. The back four were marshalled well by Jake P and the author of this match report loving the fact that he’s finally playing with a Centre Back who has more grey hairs. Both fullbacks were given plenty of space down the flanks which they were both exploiting. Eric and Roman put in typically solid shifts and Alan & Power were a handful all evening. Coogee deservedly opened the scoring on the 12th minute mark. Jules controlled a beautiful through ball from Oran before turning two defenders inside out and slotting the ball home. 1-0. Coogee continued its dominance as the half went on and after the defence switched the ball to the right, Gav and Alan combined well before a pinpoint cross found Oran who slammed home. 2-0. Coogee continued its dominance but only went in 2-0 up with Curtis cleaning up the few half chances that Polonia did make.
Coogee were slow out of the blocks in the second stanza despite bringing the Flowers on with Jake at left mid and Nick at left back. It was looking rather rosey on Coogee’s left. It wasn’t until Roman toe poking home on the 60th minute mark did Coogee kill the game off. 3-0. Redz and Daz came on and added plenty of spark. Redz got his standard yellow card in another Chiek Tioite style performance. Jules got Coogee’s 4th which came from a well worked corner as Coogee were totally rampant now. 4-0. Jake F scored the next after some great team play. 5-0. Ian brought himself on at right back and played in a delightful 40 yard free kick which Oran powerfully headed home to give Coogee a resounding 6-0 victory and progression to the next round.
Final Score: Polonia Rams 0 – 6 Coogee United (Jules 12, 70; Oran 35, 85; Roman 60; Jake F 75)
Man of the match: Difficult to give with a great team performance, but Oran slightly over Jules. Jules stealing the authors goal made the decision far easier.
Moment of the match: Romans toe poke which killed the game off as a contest. Very Brazilianesc like finish
Save of the match: Polonia’s Shaka Hislop lookalike pushing Oran’s first half header onto the crossbar.
Surface: Surely only St James Park would be better.
Crowd: 47 (Coogee not quite selling their allotted 1 seat away section, but falling agonisingly close)
ESFA Cup 1st Round – 3pm Sunday 25th March 2012
Lions FC forfeited, therefore CUFC firsts are through to the next round with the Prem ressies and AA1’s
Coogee United Prems Firsts 8 – 0 Greenwich FC
Instead Greenwich FC rolled into town at the 11th hour for a friendly match lead by former CUFC shot stopper Mikey Nixon.
Line up: Curtis, Gav, Jake P, Eamon, Gudge, Alan, Eric, Roman, Power, Jules and Oran (c)
Subs: Damo, Flower N, Flower J, Gaffer, Daz & Mike and his blue socks.
The pre-match warm up was slick and everyone was super charged, particularly Nick Flower who smashed the ball into Powers head at full pelt from 2.2 yards nearly knocking the world class dart player out. The match good under way slightly late due to a couple of Greenwich players waiting for a game at the swimming pool ground – then eventually made it over for a 3.10 k/o. To keep warm we did head-to-head sprint races. The gaffer had pre-warned us he was returning to 4-4-2 and a blistering 45 minutes saw Coogee create some a series of early chances, Jules hitting the post, Oran, Alan and Power all testing Nixon in nets before Oran cheekily netted at the near post. 1-0 Coogee. The defence were dealing with anything coming their way and linking up well with the midfield, Gav was looking solid at right back (but must be fined for his foul throw). Jules was next on the scoresheet and then he scored again immediately after the opposition conceded possession from kick off. 3-0.
Coogee kept pressuring their opponents and Roman delivered a quality cross for Eamon to perfectly head home, 4-0. Power and Alan were delivering cross after cross after cross…….. after cross for the front men to attack and Oran netted another header for 5-0. Curtis then got involved using the outside of his right peg to clear his lines, this was in-between standing still and planning his outfit for his hot date that evening. Eric and Roman were comfortably winning the midfield battle, Roman felt the force of an opposition player landing on his head at one point as he joined Power’s sore head club. (I am guessing at most of this btw) but Jules and Oran linked up well and Jules finished again to make it 6-0. Jules then hit the bar after a goal mouth scramble and Alan leapt above his defender to head home from fully 1 yard to make it 7-0 with 40 mins played. The dodgy ref (Redderz stepping up after the officials from the ressies match had packed up their flags and whilstles and gone home) then informed a Greenwich sub he had to put a bib on over his playing shirt – took his gig seriously, nice to see. On the stroke of half time Oran matched Jules hat trick and the captain scored another. The ref then blew a wolf whistle for half time even though Coogee were literally about to score a ninth (he needs to learn the rules, amateur) – Eric told him so too.
Half time: Wholesale changes were made: Damo in nets, Jake F / Mike replacing Oran & Jules. Nick F on at CB for Roman. Gav into centre mid, Peacock out to right back, Daz on for Eric. With Tuesday’s Waratah cup game coming up everyone was playing for a shirt. Mike was also playing for the honour of some white socks. The gaffer informed us to keep our discipline and start again at 0-0, don’t get involved in any niggles.
2nd Half – Peacock made a run down the right hand side and outpaced (yes outpaced) his man, he either nearly tripped up from tired legs or was given a nudge. The orange bibbed ref waved play on rather than offering a penalty / being fooled into awarding a penalty. Peacock crossed for Jake F to head narrowly over. Coogee sprayed the ball around all half and had many chances: I’m reverting to bullet points:
- Gav danced around a couple of players but sprayed wide
- Jake F had a number of shots
- Nick F was fizzing the ball into people’s feet, testing their touch
- Power felt dizzy – Nick F’s fault probably.
- Damo stood calmly and moped up when required.
- Power got in my way a few times
- Dazza could have scored but his sparkling boots need to be broken in a bit more
- Alan had a good shot saved by Mikey Nixon
- Ian replaced Jake for a cameo appearance at right back
- We didn’t score in the 2nd half
- We should have scored loads more in the 2nd half
- Greenwich won a corner in the 89th minute.
- I’ve just realised I have a quick turnaround time to wash & dry the kit
- Bree Redders told me I had improved as a player – she’ll make a top coach one day
- Jake F / Belch and Kurt did an all-time low on the meat raffle – that’s some achievement in 5 years. Positive Gudge……
Score – 8-0
Scorers: Eamon, Alan, Oran 3, Jules 3
MOM – Mike Nixon (Greenwich FC keeper)
Attendance – 6
Onto Tuesday’s Waratah Cup match in Blacktown. This will be a tough test on a carpet of a surface. Enjoy. (disclaimer: for those selected)
It starts here?
ESFA Cup 1st Round – 1pm Sunday 25th March 2012
Coogee United PLR 5 – 1 Pagewood AA8
Redz (Pen 30, 80), Finchy 40, Pagewood 20
Pyke 60, Jason, 70
And so Sunday arrived for Coogee United Prem Ressies first competitive fixture of the 2012 season. We had been drawn at home against Premier League rivals Pagewood’s AA8 team in the first round of the ESFA Cup. Coogee’s first grade opponents had waived their fixture earlier on in the week, giving them a bye to the second round, but Pagewood AA8s were made of sterner stuff and arrived keen to cause an upset.
The sun was out and the squad arrived keen to get going. Even Redderz was on time having received a wake-up call from Eamon earlier on that morning. Sadly no continental breakfast in a brown paper bag was available.
Jake had adopted a slightly different approach than Eric to washing the kit by using washing powder, and ran the squad through the starting line-up in the changing rooms as we donned our neatly folded, pleasantly scented shirts.
The gaffer had selected Pop in goal; Brian, Jappy and Belch in defence; Milos on the left wing; Jez on the right; Jason, Pyke and Peeky in the middle, and a Redz/Finchy forward line. A strong bench of Dash, Kurt, Doc and Jimmy G was ready to go when called upon.
All of the talk in the changing rooms had been about knowing our roles, working hard, executing them well and not taking our opponents for granted. We knew that if we did this then opportunities should present themselves.
Jappy won the coin toss and the ref blew the whistle to get us underway. Unfortunately Coogee did not get out of the blocks at all, with shape, movement, passing and communication all questionable to say the least. The wake-up call well and truly arrived after 15-20 minutes when Pagewood deservedly took the lead with some neat passing and a tidy finish to get the headline writers licking their lips. Coogee improved as the half wore on, but not before Jappy had gone purple in articulating his displeasure at the scenes unfolding before him. The passing started to click, the movement was better and when Redz laid a ball in to the box for the onrushing Peeky, he outpaced the defender to nick the ball just before his legs were taken from under him. Nailed on penalty!
Having a 100% record so far, Redz placed the ball on the spot. One of the Pagewood defenders tried to apply some pressure by forecasting a Waddle-esque effort to fly over the bar, however, Redz kept his composure to wrong-foot the keeper to level the score. A passer by stopped in his tracks and summed it up as “majestic”, before carrying on along his way. The match was very much on and Pagewood were giving a good account of themselves against a Coogee side that should have been far more dominant on paper.
Both teams continued to press and Coogee took the lead after a fine cross from Milos on the left found Pyke in an advanced position, which he met with a towering header that cannoned back off the crossbar. Finchy was on his toes and was ready and waiting as the ball dropped to nod home and open his account for the season. As the whistle drew the first half to a close the team went back to the changing rooms despondent with out initial efforts. Jake confirmed that we had produced the worst 45 minutes of our pre-season and took the opportunity to remind everyone of their roles in the system we have adopted. The chat was about keeping things positive – unless you were playing like a peanut, in which case you should expect a rocket from your teammates!
Confident that things could only improve, Coogee assumed our positions for the second half. Improvements were seen all around the park as players increasingly looked after the football and put in the hard yards. Pagewood advances were being contained well and we were creating our own chances as their defenders and midfielders tired. A Coogee corner in front of the grandstand was swung in to the mixer and, following a brief scramble, dropped to the right foot of Pyke, who hammered it home on the half-volley with aplomb from 12 yards. 3-1 Coogee.
The Coogee forward line had opted for some direct running at the defenders and were having success getting in behind them. Redz took on his defender on the right and beat him before squaring to Jason 8 yards out in the middle of the goal. Jason is probably reading this report with very tired eyes this morning following a sleepless night caused by mental replays of his effort sailing over the bar. In any team, in any league, that’s a fine!
Redz then attacked down the left hand side and cut back from the near post to leave the ball 8 yards out in the middle of the goal. With the groans of the crowd still ringing in his ears Jason made sure this time around a made the net bulge convincingly to give Coogee a 3 goal cushion. 4-1.
The ref was having a tough time of things with no linesmen, and one dubious call too many brought a yellow card for Redz as he shot in frustration after the whistle had gone. The keeper took particular exception to the effort and made his feelings known. Redz took exception to his exception and voiced concerns about whether he had properly thought things through before donning his dubious bandana. The game continued as both players exchanged banter that could quite easily have been bettered by a 7 year old girl guide.
The final goal of the match came following a Coogee attack that ended with the ball bobbling around 6 yard out after some good work by Dash. It fell invitingly for Redz to fire home with his left peg and settle the argument.
All subs were used, with Jimmy G coming on for Pyke, Dash for Finchy, Kurt for Belch and Doc on for Jez. I can’t recall exactly when each crossed the weird black pitch markings as I was discussing fashion with the Pagewood keeper.
All in all, the right result but a reminder to the squad that we need to work hard for everything if we are to have success this season. A much improved second half performance and another win as we head in to next weekend. Well done lads!
Surface: Overgrown and bobbly
Fines: Jason for that miss, Redz for the yellow
p.s. Apparently the firsts match played immediately after this fixture was extremely well refereed under trying circumstances.
FIRST GRADE PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY - Sunday 11th March 2012
COOGEE UNITED FC 2
COLLAROY STRIKERS 1
After watching the ressies tear up their opponents, the firsts were up for a big one! Redderz made a lot of noise in game one, especially with a 35 yard chip, so the pressure was on. The boss also reminded us that everyone needed to perform to cement a spot in the first 11.
We made a good start, with everyone working hard. The back line was solid, the midfield was working as a team and the two up front were linking well together. We were on top, creating some good chances. Gav tenaciously won the ball in midfield, gave it to Niall - who was making his debut - set up Jules with a clever ball into space. Jules put a smart cross in to Oran who finished aplomb! 1-0 nil toCoogee. Jake was playing well marshalling the back three. Roman was doing a great job of holding the midfield together, whilst not shirking his big man duties. After a big aerial challenge Eamon came off second best with claret coming from above his right eye. Nick ”Wolverine X-Man” had enough of pressure for position and decided to take matters into his own hands, or elbow. “I called for it, so if he doesn’t want to listen he gets hurt!”, he was heard saying. After witnessingthis, Curtis thought he would get in on the act so he broke their striker’s leg! “He won’t be coming near me anytime soon,” he cautioned. Credit to the defense as Curtis was not really tested. We went into half-time one nil up.
The boss sent Alan on to the left. He responded after good work by the forwards, pressing the defense into a mistake. He unleashed a dipping drive that nearly broke the net from 22-yards. “It was me, not the chip in my boot!”, he exclaimed. 2-0 to Coogee. Young Nick came on with St George socks on and we were wondering whether he knew it was the round ball type of football? After a couple of well-timed tackles our fears were allayed. Power was industrious with some good one twos to get out of some tight situations. Daz was sent on and as put well by the boss, ”good work pulling strings.” Oran with some good work down the left set-up Jules up with only a defender on the line to beat. I think he still had Redderz’s 45 yard chip or the imminent return of “Mystique” in his head, so he shanked it wide then proceeded to ask myself and then Oran “what was that?”. Oran and I politely declined to answer. In hindsight Jules, Andy Cole missed one of them in every game. Roman then had a sizzling drive rise just over the bar. The boss sent himself on and had luck of the ball freakishly spinning all the way up his arm. They scored the resulting penalty. Damo,who was now in goal, dived the wrong way. He explained: ”I got distracted by his eyes!”. Maybe he still had a hangover from the Mardi Gras? Eamon showed his country boy grit in coming back on with a gouge of Damo’s vaso. Belch came on late in the piece and showed that we have 10 good centre backs.
We came home in a bit of a wet sail, but we got there with a good 2-1 victory. Well done boys. Bring on Terrigal.
Note: Not all quotes have been substantiated.
MOM : Oran
Curtis for breaking someone’s leg
Nick for the elbow
The other Nick for the socks
Jules for whining too much
RESSIES PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY – Sunday 11th March 2012
COOGEE UNITED FC 4
COLLAROY STRIKERS 0
The Coogee boys continued their pre-season schedule with their first home game of the campaign against the northern beach boys that were the Collaroy Strikers. Mother Nature and Lady Luck were favorable for both teams for not having the game called off due to field closure. Interestingly enough, the adjoining pitch mere meters away was closed. It was either lady luck, or some sort of handsome bribe to the field crews to let us play on.
The Ressies were fielding a particularly strong side for the final trial match before the final teams were being selected. Needless to say, every player was chomping at the bit to get out and show their best stuff in their final effort to secure a spot with the club.
The boys came out flying right from the kickoff, stringing together some sensational stuff in the first 15 minutes of the match. The Collaroy kids didn’t know what hit them! Wait a minute; actually they did know what hit them: it was the ball hitting the hand of their defender which resulted in a penalty kick! Redderz once again stepped up to take the peno. Not to be outdone by his previously suspect penalty shot goal, he hammered a beauty off the post and in, just like how he had planned all along I’m sure he’d say.
As the first half went on, the Strikers of Collaroy began to get their legs and created some dangerous scoring chances. The Coogee defensive line began to be put under pressure and Poppa was called upon to make a couple of key saves to keep the score line 1-0. Milos was making his pre-season debut after returning from injury and had a blinder on defence with some strong tackles and great ball distribution to our attacking midfielders and strikers. Once the boys were able to weather the storm, they followed up with a great counter attack finishing with Redderz heading the ball past the helpless Collaroy keeper. Redderz completed the hat trick with a cheeky 35yr chip of the keeper right on the stroke of half time. Coogee United up at half time by a score of 3-0.
The second half saw some personnel changes including Damo taking over goalkeeper duties as well as Doc in to bolster the defensive line. The 2nd 45 minutes saw the pace drop somewhat due to the heat and both teams running out of some steam. Nonetheless, the Ressies continued to build great chemistry amongst each other with some slick one-two passing and sublime ball delivery. None better then off the foot of Doc who streaked down the right wing and crossed in a perfect ball onto the head of Gudgey who headed the ball into the far corner masterfully to put the game out of reach at 4-0. Collaroy looked to play shutout spoilers late in the game when their striker was sent in alone only to be denied by a superb outstretched save by Damo. The shutout was indeed preserved as the final whistle blew to confirm the 4-0 victory to the Ressies, who are now undefeated in all 3 of their pre-season matches. Well done lads and keep the momentum rolling!
MOM: Redderz, with honorable mention toMiloswho had a sensational game on defence and in midfield.
FINES: Redderz for not having scored another 3 sitters at the very least.
FIRST GRADE PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY – BEACON HILL FC 2 V 1 COOGEE UNITED FC – 26.02.12
For the second week in a row, CUFC dusted down their passports and trekked North of theHarbourBridgefor the annual pre-season fixture against Beacon Hill FC. We knew we were in for a tough test and we were not wrong…
We opted for a more traditional 4-4-2 following last week’s technical 1-2-1-2-2-1-1 formation with the gaffer announcing his surprise inclusion in the sweeper role from the start – Damo in the nets, Gudge, Ian, Ben, USA USA USA Gavla at the back, Alan, Power, Roman, Sam in the middle and Jules (sounds familiar? however this is not the gun sculpting, cat rescuing Jules – This is the well hard ‘gaffer do you mind a spot of post match fisticuffs’ Jules.) and Oran up top. This left myself, Nick, Eric, Eamonn and Curtis on the bench.
BTW I was not surprised Ian with your inclusion and thought you looked magic. World class in fact for the 25 minutes played, I would have given you MOM. Just brilliant
Anyway, enough bum tickling (by me anyway – I’ll get back to this point later…), the game got underway at a frantic pace with both sides keen to impress. Possession was a little scrappy with a few lofted long balls by both sides and some pretty big challenges too. Lots of action in the middle of the park with not too many chances of note at either end. Ben was doing a great job in the air and everybody was vocal… 25 Minutes in and the gaffer rang a couple of changes. He had done his job. Off he came with Sam and introduced was myself and Nick/Jake Flower. I have yet to see them both stand next to each other so I raising some doubt that they both exist. For the sake of the match report, we’ll go with Nick.
Now in the interest of being gentle and remaining positive I am going to go with ‘Player X’ to describe the following 10 minutes… Unfortunately things happen in football which you just cannot explain. Notably such events make it onto DVD’s around Christmas time or onto Soccer AM. I think they call it ‘Taxi for Player X’… The ball was in our 18 yard box and after a couple of failed attempts to clear the ball, it fell to Beacon’s attacker. He struck it lamely however it beat Damo, bounced a few times, hit the far post, trickled across the line and with an attempted smash of a clearance, ‘Player X’ whacked the ball against a Beacon body and it went in. We were behind 1-0 to a nothing goal however no doubt, from a neutral perspective, it would have been a cracker to watch roll in.
5 Minutes later, a similar story. Beacon broke, ‘Player X’ chased down the attacker, threw in a tackle/smash of a clearance and yet again the ball just seem to hit the body of the Beacon player and role perfectly into his stride. He put through a peach of a cross for their centre forward to volley home from 6 yards. 2-0 down however the vibe was still very positive and we believed that we could get back into this.
And that we did… When this guy is not throwing darts, he is one hell of a footballer. Phil ‘The Power’Taylortake a bow. He shimmied not once but twice, looked up and hit a screamer into the bottom right hand corner. Great finish and to be fair to him he had put his money where his mouth is. Left footed winger playing on the right, cutting in and doing the business right before the break.
HALF TIME – BHFC 2 V 1 CUFC
With a change of formation, 3-5-2, CUFC came out fighting after the break with Eric introduced in the middle, Eamonn at the back and Curtis in goal.
I will summarise the second half the best way possible as it had lots of endeavour and effort however the game turned a little ugly and as a footballing contest goes, it was not pretty:
- We were steady at the back and didn’t really look in danger – Curtis had very little to do however he did come out quick off of his line at one point and looked sharp when called upon.
- Lots of battling challenges in the middle – Some excellent tackles from Roman and nice touches from Eric and Gav.
- Alan and Power ran at the full backs all half – The crowd loved Alan!
- Jules held the ball up well up front and ran his socks off.
- Oranbattled all day. As usual, it was typical captains performance. Just didn’t get the reward today. The third bullet point below doesn’t count as a reward.
- Power started a riot with a lovely little kick after being rugby tackled – The ‘tackler’ proceeded to roll around the floor for the next 5 minutes while the other 21 players hugged each other.
- Alan bought several fouls and in the end they just blatantly started to cheat by pulling him down every time he beat his man. The ref got out his book but should have shown red as it was just getting ridiculous.
- Orangot bum gauged and eye gauged however the later finger intruder slipped and found itself in his chops – Luckily it was not the same muddy finger.
Final score – BHFC 2 V 1 CUFC – Effort, fitness, positive play could not be questioned. If we keep working as hard as we did the results will come.
MOM – Ian
Attendance – 69
Weather – Moderate sunlight, Humidity 70%
Pitch – Fair/Good
Jappy – Sweeper, Centre Back, Right Back, Right Winger.
RESSIES PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY – BEACON HILL FC 0 V 1 COOGEE UNITED FC
The second pre season friendly saw the Coogee boys heading north again to what has to be said is the only place inSydneythat is not sign posted… Running 25mins late I pulled into mackers as I knew one man who would know exactly where mackers was and would be able to guide me from there, cheers Jackie.
Redderz had opted for stealth boots (black) this week as he was sick and tired of being kicked up and down the field by big clumsy centre halves attracted to his more familiar florescent coloured boots. In the pre match warm up Pykie stated we get stuck in hard and really take it to them for the first ten minutes leaving nothing in the tank, little did the gaffer know that that is exactly what he would do and after 10 mins Pykie looked to the line for a substitution.
The game started at a fairly decent pace and the Coogee boys settled a little quicker, getting the ball down and passing it around. Dash and Stealth boy up front were making great runs for through balls pulling theBeacon Hilldefence all over the park. In the centre of the field Jimmy and Mike were bossing the show, coming deep to receive the ball and spreading it wide early to keep theBeacon Hillboys working hard chasing the ball.
Jimmy and Mike had been putting several balls through for Redderrz and Dash until the move of the match, it started when Jakie picked up the ball at the back and played it to Jimmy who got a nice turn in the middle and fed the ball to Redderz, a lovely 1-2 between Redderz and Dash saw Redderz send the ball over from just inside the box but the movement and passing was promising.
There were also 3 great chances that fell our way in the first half from set pieces. The first of which Nialler blasted over the bar from a half volley attempt 12yards out. Jackie decided 5mins later not to be out done by his centre back partner and drove the ball further over the bar from 10 yards, but the chance of the half fella to Dash who attempted an overhead kick from 3yards out only to knee himself in the face and miss the ball. It was a nice touch still claiming a corner in an attempt to deflect some of the attention.
The call from the gaffer at half time was more of the same in the second half and Redderz dont try any flicks. We were slow to start the second half and the fresh legs the Beacon Hill boys brought on helped them take get on top for the first 5 or 10mins, and it was one of their half time subs that almost opened the scoring with some fancy footwork to dance past the defence only for Pop’s to pull off a great save and keep the score at nil all.
Eventually we picked up the pace again and with the introduction of some fresh legs ourselves we started getting some useful crosses into their box which unfortunatley we were not able to convert.
I got to get back to work so…
Ill bullet point also:-
- We won a peno
- Redderz took an awful peno (but scored)
- The gaffer brought himself on and within 5mins he himself tried a flick
- The ref gave a shocking penalty decision against us from 80 yards away
- Their striker missed the peno, so far wide infact Im not sure we actually were able to find the ball in the bush
Clean sheet boys, good stuff. Season starts here
FINES: Redderz for his awful peno & The Gaffer for his flick