QCSA  SW1 – Rd.8 Wrap Up

West End kicked off Round 8 with a good win at home against Rosewood United 2-0 with a master-class performance from Grace O’Connor, in the absence of the magical Brazilian, Rani Lustosa. Blackstone United maintained their team ethic with a range of goal-scorers in their 10-1 win over a shell-shocked Logan Uniting team who were unlucky not to defeat Westminster last week.  

The youngsters from Salisbury Baptist continue to shine with Olivia Georges and Ilone Hicks scoring a brace and a single goal to Sophie Moore in their strong 5-1 win away to Logan Metro. North Pine Baptist made the long trek to the Brisbane Valley and returned with the points winning 2-0. In the showcase game of the round, the Westminster girls edged out Raceview 4-2 in a much improved performance from last week.  

So, with the half way mark of the season next week, North Pine Baptist and Blackstone United sit on top with 21 points closely followed by Westminster Warriors and West End on 19 points. A small gap has emerged to Raceview and Rosewood United on 15 points. With two wins on the trot, Salisbury Baptist are inching up the ladder slowly as they have overtaken Logan Metro and Logan Uniting. The Brisbane Valley continue to give it their best, but, as has been the case on so many times this season, they get beaten by an odd goal or two in their quest for their first points. Keep in their ladies!  

SW1 Match of the Day (i) – Sat. 20th June 2015  

West End 2 vs Rosewood United 0 (H/T:1-0) @ Davies Park  

Ref: David Ward  +  Asst Refs: Justin Horsey & Joe {a West End supporter}  

Coach/Manager: Jorge Cabrera / Grace O’Connor (West End)  

& Raylene Vejle / Gayle Fitzgerald (Rosewood United)  

A visit to Davies Park on a Saturday afternoon is always a pleasure. The City Cat sails past on the Brisbane River amongst the other sailing craft and the ambience of the markets, practically on the sideline, taking away the importance of Division 1 football and reminds you of playing in the park with your friends. Hang on …. hmmm ….that’s what most of the players in the QCSA do in any case!?!  J  

Both teams were coming off losses last week and began to shake off the cobwebs and assert their authority from the start. As is the case in the middle of the season, the sign of colder nights also brings in niggling injuries, the dreaded flu and other nasties {like the cold causes brain fades and players get lost trying to get to venue on time – anyone you know Rosewood girls???}  which tend to disrupt the flow and familiarity of teams and their play is not as fluent as maybe it was in the early rounds. Not to mention injuries from playing Futsal (where was the mercurial midfield magician Rani?)  Grrr….  

The intimate feel of the park is definitely not felt by the goal-keepers as they both had a mine field in front of them at each end and of the field, and the players on both teams didn’t play fair and "share the love", by peppering them continually with shots anywhere from the attacking half. To their credit, West End’s Jamie-Lee Cosgrove was irrepressible, whilst Rosewood United’s Amber Lombard wasn’t too far behind, as they saved high crosses, low shots and were on their toes to come out to the magic through balls that were played through to the strikers and wingers.  

So what were some of the highlights………..?   

The midfield battle between Grace O’Connor and Monica Di Pasquale from West End and Janita Taylor and Shauna Harper from Rosewood United.  

The dangerous strikers on each team – Aleisha Dunn and Toni Turnbull for the home team and Samantha Tooby for the visitors.  

The pick of the defenders were: Karen Snowling & Anita Phillips for West End and Kaylah Smith and Madeline Lehmann for Rosewood; and of course the two g/k’s.   J  

Now to the goals ……  

The clock had ticked to the 34th minute mark and the most creative player on the park, Grace O’Connor was facing away from goal about 30 metres out when she produced a sublime back-heel which Toni Turnbull instinctively knew was coming as she bolted towards goal and found herself in space down the right heading in towards goal. Turnbull took a touch and struck the shot sweetly as it went through the clutches of a spreadeagled Rosewood gk for the opening goal to the West End-ers.  

Early into the second-half, in the 52nd minute, the range of skills of Grace O’Connor was on display again as she lead the visitors on a merry dance through the middle before releasing an inch-perfect pass to her captain, Aleisha Dunn. A deft touch to control the pass and an unexpected toe-poked shot flies low into the corner of the net leaving the Rosewood gk prone on the ground clutching at straws. West End took a 2-0 lead and maintained this until the final whistle although there were a few scares at both ends of the field but were well handled with desperate defending, timely tackles and the safe hands of the respective gk’s.  

All in all, one of the best sportsmanlike games I’ve seen in a long time with the referee and the two linesmen getting every call right (surely that can’t happen!?!) or the players got on with the game and actually focussed on the football and not on being referees themselves. By the way, congratulations to the man in the middle, David Ward, and his two excellent assistants, Justin Horsey and a ring-in by the name of Joe. The game flowed as it should and I could enjoy my Hungarian “Langos” bought at the markets moments earlier and not need to write copious amount of notes in my book. It’s always a pleasure to watch West End’s coach, Jorge, call out his instructions, walk around with his little bub, greet spectators who come and say hello to him and obscure my view as he moves around so much! Rosewood United’s coach, Raylene Vejle was calm under pressure, even as players were turning up all through the first half but she has this curious tendency to yell out “C’mon Laidley!” Well, at least her team thought it was funny as a chorus of players whilst playing on the field, and their spectators, all came back with “Rosewood!!!”   J  

SW1 Match of the Day (ii) – Sat. 20th June 2015  

Westminster Warriors 4 vs Raceview 2 (H/T: 1-1)  

Referee: Eddie Hodgson + Asst Refs: Ethan Doran & Edward Wright  

Coach/Manager: Paul Janson / Sue Peacock (Westminster)  

& George Grant + Mark Freeman / Sarah Triggs (Raceview)  

For a number of years now, whist players have come and gone, these two teams have been the standouts in SW1 and this showdown would continue this rivalry as the three points would help either team either keep up with the leading pack or else fall away into the middle group on the ladder.  

After a sluggish start last week, the Westminster girls came out of the blocks and played some wonderful attacking football. Apart from a rare attacking foray by Raceview, the opening 25 minutes saw Westminster dictate the play with short passing from the back, through the middle with their technically gifted midfielders, before either hitting Lauren Herring at the point of attack or else releasing the pace of Caitlin King and Lauren Kreis down the flanks.  

Lena Sorensen tried her luck from distance in the opening minute from 35 metres out but Raceview’s gk, Paula Oldfield, had it well covered. In the 5th minute, Marissa Maitland won a challenge on the half way line and also tried a pile-driver from just inside the attacking half but saw it fly high and wide of the mark. Sorensen’s corner in the 7th minute was perfectly met by an advancing Lauren Kreis as the ball flashed past the near post. The problem for Raceview was that Westminster’s high attack meant that they could not play the ball into their attacking half so Westminster kept attacking from patient build-ups after winning the ball, or else, cutting off the defensive passes and creating opportunity after another.  

The opening goal for Westminster did finally come in the 10th minute in a well-worked move. Lauren Herring received the ball short from Nyomi Paczkowski and after turning her opponent delivered a great chip over the central defensive pairing of the Hoffman sisters. It was an inch-perfect pass as Lauren Kreis bolted forward from a deep run and beat the gk and the defenders to the ball and after a rebound off he gk, went on to muscle her way in front of the defenders and slide the ball into the net to the joy of the home spectators. Westminster continued their positive play until about midway through the half, with the interchange of players to rotate the work amongst the team, when Raceview started to take over and build up some momentum of their own.  

Raceview’s gk and back four began to play out from the back since the Westminster forward line was less reluctant to press high, allowing the experienced midfield combination of Jodie Neale and Leah Sibbick to assert themselves in the middle of the park and allowed Neale to play her wonderful range of passes to the forwards and wingers. Jessica Robson and Brooke Carroll were receiving passes in their opponent’s penalty box whilst the pacey and highly skilled Amy Ingram was devastating down the left flank. After relentless pressure, Raceview deservedly equalised in the 37th minute from a corner on the left wing. The corner is whipped across dangerously and with a crowd of players in front of her, the rebound lands kindly for Sarah Triggs just outside the penalty box. With a fantastic chip over the g/k, Triggs sends the Raceview players and spectators into delirium as they celebrate a sensational goal. To show the commitment of the Raceview team, after a fantastic run for about 60 metres by Nyomi Paczkowski, Raceview’s Amy Ingram tracked back from the left wing and finally slid into the time her challenge and put the ball out for a corner and diffuse a dangerous situation. So the score ended one-apiece as the girls went off for their half-time refreshments.  

Football is often likened to a game of chess and the opposing coaches are actually playing chess in the form of tactics. Well let me remind you that chess pieces are inanimate, whereas the coach has to deliver his/her message to 11 players (& a few more off the bench) and each of them have feelings and human foibles! As it has been each week, one team seems to follow the tactics to a tee and seemingly come out a new team to that in the first half. Whatever was said at half time, the subtle adjustments to the game plan brought about dividends for the Westminster girls as they outplayed the Raceview team for almost the whole second half.  

The plan was to play the ball wide to the flanks and eliminate the dominance of the central midfield and central defensive combinations – the heart of the Raceview team. The injection of Nyomi Paczkowski on the right wing and the continued dominance of Caitlin King on the left flank was bound to reap rewards soon enough. After finding herself in one vs one with the Raceview gk on two occasion in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half, Paczkowski made no mistake with her 2nd effort to place the ball past the diving gk, after Paula Oldfield pulled off a great reflex save minutes earlier. A 2-1 lead to the home team became 3-1 in the 59th minute after another dangerous corner from Lena Sorensen was met by the head of Phoebe Lindburg at the far post.  

In the next 20 minutes Westminster played a mature brand of football keeping the ball from their opponents with short passes and close ball control in order to preserve their two-goal cushion and take the sting out of the match. It was not until the last ten minutes that the intensity of the game actually kicked up a gear after a brilliant individual effort from Amy Ingram brought Raceview back into the match by rocketing her shot into the top corner of the net with Maddison Fitzgerald unable to deflect the ball wide. But within a minute, a catastrophic offside trap set by the Raceview defenders came undone with Marissa Maitland’s free-kick on half-way chipping over the 20 metre distance between the Raceview defensive line with countless Westminster speedsters to run on to. Angie Sullivan won the sprint race and was the first to get to the ball and slot the ball past the gk and shut-the gate for the visitors at 4-2. So after the intrigue of the first half, the second half ended up quite a disappointment – although credit must be given to the home team in dictating the terms, scoring the necessary goals and then squeezing the game to preserve their lead.  

Some of the analysis from this match ………  

·         Both gk’s played well and made a number of top rate saves;  

·         W’s defensive 4 combinations from Sarah Gough, Marissa Maitland, Nikky Dovey, Esther Crook, Amy Paczkowski or Rachel Grant were far more solid defensively and created far more attacking opportunities by keeping possession;  

·         W’s midfield combinations from Emily Smith, Gemma Blake, Lena Sorensen, Lauren Herring or Angie Sullivan were a lot more effective than Raceview counterparts especially when Leah Sibbick and Jodie Neale were deprived the ball in the middle and didn’t get the same service from their defenders as their opponents in the middle;  

·         Raceview had one solitary match winner in attack, the enthusiastic and skilful Amy Ingram, whereas Westminster could draw upon at least half of their team to score as they play a high pressure ball-possession type of game with frequent changes to their midfield and attacking combinations.  

All in all a good win for the home team and back to the drawing board for their opponents. Both teams will face the top two teams next week with Westminster travelling to Murrumba Downs to take on North Pine Baptist whereas the Raceview girls host another high-flying team in Blackstone United with both games promising to be grand-final type games with plenty at stake.

Eddie Hodgson was outstanding in the middle and was well supported by the eagle eyes of the two assistant refs in Ethan Doran and Edward Wright. Well done lads!  

QCSA  SM1 – Rd.8 Wrap Up  

Mansfield Eagles and Logan Metro fought out a nail-biting 1-1 draw in the opening game in Rd 8. Brisbane Athletic continued on their goal-scoring spree by defeating hosts North Pine Baptist 5-2. Westminster edged out Blackstone United 2-1 at Redbank Plains but dominated most of the game and had the best of the scoring opportunities. Sunnybank Saints returned to their winning ways in a 4-2 home win over Whitehill. In the final game, it was the new kids on the block, The Latin Golden Boys, who stopped the leaders, St Paul’s, from winning their 9th match in a row with a pulsating 2-2 at Yandina Park.  

Next week’s Rd.9 will signal the half-way mark of the season and the breakaway three teams – St Pauls, Westminster Warriors and Brisbane Athletic, will be fighting it out for the Premiership whilst a 4th placed finish, and the prize of playing finals football, is quite open with 6 teams in the running with Sunnybank Saints still favoured to remain there at the end of Rd.18. There will be some great games next week, none more so than the LGB vs Westminster match-up and the block-buster game between Brisbane Athletic vs St Pauls.  

SM1 Match of the Day – Sat. 20th June 2015  

Westminster Warriors 2 vs Blackstone United 1 (H/T: 2-0)  

Referee: Eddie Hodgson + Asst Refs: Justin Horsey & Ben Wilson  

Coach/Manager: Nick Coker / John Oliver (Westminster Warriors)  

& Jeremy Bruce / Nyleta Bruce (Blackstone United)  

After being resoundingly beaten by ladder-topping St Paul’s midweek, the big question was, “Did Blackstone United have the stamina to keep up with the fresh & youthful Westminster Warriors outfit?”  

It didn’t take long before Blackstone’s Leslie Thornton was barnstorming towards goals when a timely tackle by Kitugano Ngabunga saw the shot trickle towards, Westminster’s gk Nick Coker.  

A brilliant interplay of passes between Jean Minani and Emmanuel Kpayah in the 5th minute  and then a one two with Stefano Hamisi, sees Kpayah’s shot well saved down low to his left by Dylan Baxter, Blackstone’s gk, with signs that he will feature in much of the action in tonight’s game.  

An unfortunately timed Blackstone United backpass is cut out by an ever-alert Emmanuel Kpayah and he charges forward in a one v-one with the gk and after rounding him, slips the ball into the net and out of the reach of a desperate lunge from Brett Klein on the goal-line, for Westminster to take the lead.  

Moments later, a brilliant save from Baxter again as he denies Jean Minana and the follow-up shot from Kpayah, causing havoc in the penalty box. Blackstone United counter attack and well-timed diagonal ball by Leslie Thornton takes a bobble and Ashley Sullivan’s first touch lets him down with the goal at his mercy. Lucas Torrisi’s receives Cameron Osborne’s pass in the 20th minute and with a swivel, turns and shoots agonisingly wide of the post with a screamer of a shot. In the 23rd minute Jason Osborne delivers a peach of a corner with Blackstone’s aerial dominance seemingly a huge advantage, but is scramble out by numbers in green to avert an equaliser.  

The game can be cruel at times, and after weathering a Blackstone barrage, Westminster counter-attack in the 30th minute, and against the run of play, create a goal from nothing. A mesmerising run by Chan Akech sees him control the ball after the ball bounces around in a pack of players, somehow squeezing the ball to Jean Minana to slip it through a maze of legs for the home sides 2nd goal. The home side continue to attack but are repelled by either Blackstone’s gk, Dylan Baxter, or the strength and good reading of the game by Brett Klein.  

With the score 2-0 at half time in favour of Westminster, it is common knowledge that this is an uneasy scoreline with the opponents poised to gain momentum if they get the next goal. Sadly, the exciting attacking football from the first half is replaced by some argey-bargey as a result of some nonsense both on and off the park. Firstly, some unruly spectators in and around the Blackstone supporters, and not necessarily Blackstone supporters either with a few neighbouring club’s players in attendance, begin to question refereeing and linesman’s calls. The nonsense off the pitch then continues onto the pitch as the contrasting styles of play begin to impact on each other. Westminster’s speed and technical skill is countered by Blackstone’s strong tackling, never-say-die attitude – a trademark of all Blackstone teams throughout the ages, probably dating back to the first Blackstone teams from bygone eras. A couple of overtly strong challenges, and some play-acting by the home team didn’t help either. The referee Eddie Hodgson laid down the law the first time, made another even firmer warning a moment later for the whole crowd to hear. Standing amongst two experienced coaches in front of the canteen, we all came to the same conclusion the next foul will result in a card being brandished. This is a time for level-heads in the team to calm their players down for the next 5 minutes or so, until the dust settled.  

Unfortunately, two players got into a tangle and Blackstone’s influential target and striker, Lucas Torrisi, found himself with a red card! In the ensuing minute or so, the positive actions of a couple of his teammates to shepherd him to the bench is what teammates should do. Secondly, another great piece of mateship was displayed by Jason Osborne as he left the bench, and probably sacrificed by forfeiting some playing time, to walk round the field with his teammate Torrisi to assist him in his disappointment in being sent off. Finally, the wives and girlfriends of the Blackstone players took over from Jason Osborne and calmed him down and consoled him on the hill in front of some of the crowd, who it is my belief, played a critical role in Torrisi’s dismissal by their ‘very ordinary’ calling out and yahooing which spoilt the spectacle of a great game.  

Whilst dominating possession, there was nothing to mention of Westminster’s play and thus they didn’t trouble the scoreboard for the remainder of the game. On the other hand, Blackstone’s tenacity and courage and playing against the odds with one player down, added to their legs beginning to feel the effects of a tough match mid-week, they certainly stood up. Cameron Osborne played out of his skin as he does week in and week out. With Klein moving forward, the defence as bolstered by Matthew Ward and Leslie Thornton and they threw their body around in desperation making many tackles in the last line and heading away half-chances. With such determination, it came down to the youthful Brian Callaghan who had demonstrated some wonderful skills himself throughout the match, to slip past two defenders and smash a 25 metre rocket-like shot into the top corner with Westminster’s supremo, Nick Coker, beaten for the first time on the night.  

Time ran out and Westminster were happy to collect the three points and keep them in the one-one sit just behind St Pauls. In my opinion, the referee, Eddie Hodgson (who happens to be, if not the best, then one of the top three referees in the QCSA) had a very good game and was well supported by his excellent assistants who kept up with the play and made top decisions. Maybe, the ref erred on one or two occasions, but, with so much action happening all over the field at such pace, we are after all human! [Yes, I know I have made a few spelling or grammatical errors here, or heaven forbid, got some of the names wrong!?!]  

Finally a wonderful moment happened after the final whistle, when the banished Lucas Torrisi went up and met the referees at the gate, shook the referee’s hand, and apologised for his actions half an hour earlier. It takes a “real man” to do so and hopefully, an example to many others in our association who are either too arrogant or too dumb to admit that they are wrong and their actions not only let themselves down but their teammates and loyal spectators too!