05/07/14 – State 2SE – Round 13
Mooroolbark 1-4 Peninsula Strikers
Mooroolbark: Doug Kai Turner (70)
Peninsula Strikers: Bradley Jackson (27), Cameron Teiermanis (35), Domenic Dimanche (82,90)
Nostalgia IS what it used to be
When I first started watching Barkers (not so long ago), they had the entertaining, if frustrating, habit, of beating the top sides and losing to the bottom ones. You could guarantee a mid-table finish, together with beating the champions on their own soil and getting done home and away by Hampton Park. Then along came Andy “The Special One” McCabe to spoil it all by adding consistency to the mix. Oh how we longed for the days of getting leathered by Monbulk one week and going to Fitzroy and beating them the next. Anyway, 2 weeks ago Barkers won at Warragul (then top) and were now top themselves. Now we faced the bottom side Strikers at home – what could possibly go wrong?
Strikers began well, and on 13 minutes Teiermanis slipped the ball from the left in to Negassi, whose half volley was straight at Havercroft. Barkers replied on 21 minutes when a Cauteruccio free kick saw Tronconi rise like a salmon to head over. Then a long high ball from Brickell forced Safi to punch clear for a corner and it seemed Barkers were working themselves into the game nicely.
….or not. The corner came to nothing, then Barkers lost the ball in their own half to Rix, who put a through ball to Jackson. He had only the Puy de Scunthorpe to beat and duly dispatched the ball into the net for 0-1.
Back came Barkers, and from Super Mario’s next free kick, Tronconi rose like a trout to head over. Five minutes later, though, Teiermanis found himself 25 yards out with the ball and tried a shot – Havercroft got most of his body behind it, but this wasn’t enough as the ball spun wickedly into the net for 0-2. Potter then hit a close-range shot which forced a one-handed save from Havercroft. Half-time came with the unlikely scoreline of 0-2, but it was no more than Strikers deserved.
Four minutes into the second half, another Cauteruccio free kick was played through to Brickell, whose curling shot was blocked, and Huynh hit a tame shot to the keeper. Then Adams turned smartly at the edge of the box and shot, but again there wasn’t enough power to trouble Safi. On 55 minutes Strikers broke and Havercroft came out to tackle the forward. Havercroft was down injured for some time and Juan Munoz was warming up for his league debut, but eventually Big Rob was able to continue.
Barkers tried everything to get back into the game, and with 20 minutes left, the surrealism of the day was emphasised when Turner buried a loose ball in the back of the net to pull a goal back. You see, Turner had never before scored a senior goal in 39 appearances.
This, however, proved a false dawn. As with 9 minutes left, a Strikers corner from the left found the unmarked Dimanche, who headed home for 1-3. As the game entered stoppage time, Dimanche tried a long shot, and the result was eerily similar to Teiermanis’s goal, as Havercroft blocked the ball but the ball spiralled over him into the net for 1-4.
So the Barkers of old are back, but let’s give Strikers some credit as they certainly didn’t play like a bottom of the table side. Barkers’ game was riddled with errors which no doubt McCabe will point out during the week. The ladder being so tight, Barkers now drop to 4th as Strikers rise to 11th. Next week Barkers travel to Old Scotch (7th). If Scotch win they will be only a point behind us – this is certainly not a dull league.
Mooroolbark: Robert Havercroft, Alex Holly, Brett Tronconi, Nhlanhla Dube, Eric Huynh, Yiannis Christoforou, Mario Cauteruccio, Kai Turner, Brechan Adams, Doug Shields, David Brickell. Sub used: Brandon Kamieth.
Peninsula Strikers: Hewab Safi, Laben Stringer, Adam Ventieri, Lewis Potter, Domenic Dimanche, Daniel Tagliaferro, Aaryn Rix, Cameron Teiermanis, Bradley Jackson, Yohannes Negassi, Jordan Avraham. Subs used: Matthew Hames, Daniel Swanborough.