I've seen the Hillmen play three times this season (WDL) and each time they've looked OK without being all that impressive. A good squad with solid defence and some good attacking players they need to work a bit harder in the midfield. And they need to capture the spirit that saw them come back well to win against Ballarat in the opening round.
Looking forward to seeing Westgate play for the first time. They have an upper mid-table position and form to match from all accounts.
I'll blog from about 2.15. so I'll catch the end of the ressies. I expect it to be freezing and sunny. A two-ouzo game.
Some background on Westgate from their web site (which seems a little out of date):
Westgate "Sindjelic" Football Club (Синђелић), is a Serbian-backed club based in Ardeer, Melbourne. The club was formed in 1985 and entered Division 2The Facebook page is much more useful! This, for example, is its constitution - though why anybody would want to read it is beyond me.
Arrived with 20 mins or so to go in ressies. 1-1. Even game. Westgate looking good in attack with the light wind behind them - running away from clubhouse.
|Action from the ressies.|
Good period for Clifton Hill. Able to get behind Westgate defence.
Westgate one-on-one. Very brave keeping. This is the keeper who came on against Moreland two weeks ago. Did well then as well.
|Action from the ressies.|
Really good open game. Lots of effort. End to end stuff.
Handbags. All in. Out of nothing really. Enjoyed the Westgate coach screaming out: "Marko! Marko! Get back in the farken goals!" after keeper nearly does a hammy trying to get to half way to join in.
Full time. 1-1. Good game.
|Westgate players stretching before game. Clifton Hill townhouses behind them.|
|I was Wrong about the weather. It's now officially pouring and miserable.|
- Why do you do it? Love it!
- What about the abuse? Don't notice it.
- Which games do you hate? The ones furthest away!
- What about the hotspot games? They have to be done.
The older assistant tells me he's refereed NSL games where he's been spat on and escorted from the ground. But he wouldn't take back a moment. Thicker skin than mine!
The money's OK. $150 for refereeing at this level. $75 (iirc) for running the line.
They told me that Daniella, the female ref at Altona East who stopped in the 83rd min a few weeks back, had suffered an asthma attack and did not, as was rumoured, get scared off by crowd or player abuse.I was there at the time and that certainly didn't seem to be the case.
|Referee James Milloy, with a thickish London accent, centre. |
Assistants are an Aussie and a young bloke.
3.00. All of a sudden it's fine. Underway. Clifton Hill on attack immediately.
3.02. Good cross from Bobby met at back post and headed behind.
3.03. Attacking free kick for westgate. Defused. Ball returned. Weak shot saved by keeper.
3.05. Enterprising Clifton Hill attack. Bobby tricky backheel. Saved by keeper.
3.06. Referee pulls up Clifton Hill captain for bad foul. Lets the player know what for! 'I got the ball ref!' 'Yeah. But you also got him!' He has the advantage of looking and sounding 'harder' than the players! Free kick centred and headed over.
Clifton Hill looking good with the ball today. Yet to put together a threatening attack.
3.10. Great run down right by westgate's Raffael Origlia. (I hope I have the spelling right.) Excellent cross met with diving header. Just over.
Good game so far. Both teams look to have goals in them.
3.13. Lucky deflection for Westgate in attack. Poor decision-making by striker to shoot from too far out.
3.14. Clifton Hill break and shot saved. Westgate go to other end and keeper clears. Clifton Hill on attack again. No-one in the middle to receive powerful cross.
Clifton Hill dominating but Westgate showing enough to be a threat.
3.16. Bobby offside, again.
3.17. Westgate attack. Keeper out bravely. Ref sees foul in any case.
3.19. Bobby good run in from right wing. Probably selfish in the end. Ball cleared.
3.20. Sustained Clifton Hill attack. Should have scored. Put behind by good defending. Corner cleared.
|Clifton Hill defence dealing with long throw in.|
3.23 Long throw by Westgate cleared. Attacking header wide.
3.27. Good period for Westgate. Long shot wide.
3.28. Attacking free kick to Westgate. Clifton Hill breaks. Bobby fouled. Yellow. Free kick cleared.
3.30. Good attack by Westgate. Origlia again. Good cross. How did the striker not put it in the net? Westgate appeals for handball.
3.32. Good period for Westgate. Winning balls in midfield. Wingers working well getting around their full backs.
3.34. Bobby skies one, to the frustration of his teammates.
3.35. Good Clifton Hill cross from left headed behind for corner. Another corner. Punched away. Subsequent cross cleared.
3.38. Clifton Hill corner. Headed away. Long cross from left, over and wide.
3.39. Soft free kick to Clifton Hill in midfield. Cross from right. Cleared up the right wing. Westgate get throw.
3.40. Bobby runs and cross. Appeals for handball. Shot from right into side netting.
3.42. Free kick to Westgate on left wing. Yellow for foul.
|Dangerous moment as ball comes in from throw. |
Westgate could have done better as the ball goes behind for a goal kick.
3.44. Another great run from Origlia. Good low cross produces lucky backheel from Clifton Hill captain.
3.45. Pressure from Clifton Hill on right. Keeper gathers. Westgate throw on right. Clifton Hill clears.
3.46. Another good run by Origlia. Results in attacking throw on left. Long throw headed over.
3.47. Half time. 0-0
Westgate looked sparkling in patches and even though Clifton hill probably shaded the half, Westgate looked more likely to score. Clifton Hill are a good team playing without luck/confidence.
A good entertaining half. Let's hope an early 2nd half goal can lift the game even higher.
4.02. 2nd half underway. Rain eases slightly. Westgate going downhill with wind and rain at their backs.
4.07. Westgate shot blocked. Corner right. Wasted Into side netting
Rain seems to have dampened the spirits. Players yet to warm to their tasks.
4.11. Clifton Hill attacking free kick from right. Headed away by striker back in defence.
4.12. Clifton Hill move from midfield but no one in position up front to receive.
4.13. Clifton Hill attacking free kick on left. Headed clear. Follow up shot just wide.
4.15. Clifton Hill long ball from defence. Why?
4.16. Ambitious long shot from Westgate left. Impressive but always covered.
4.17. Clifton Hill attack down right. Long shot hooks wide.
4.18. Bobby breaks. Good cross if anyone had been there. Dangerous Clifton Hill free kick 25 out in front. Powerful strike hits wall. Out for corner.
|As usual I take the photo about a second before the ball rebounds and is put into the net.|
4.19 Goal. Rebound from save driven home Clifton Hill 1-0.
Clifton hill starting to look dominant. The goal has sparked them.
4.25. Westgate attacking free kick 30 out. Beautiful kick curled around wall hits left upright and out for goal kick.
4.28. Ref tells player to 'Get up!' like an opposition crowd would. I like this bloke.
4.29. Great cross from Bobby met by no. 10 who hits post and falls over. Tries to put the return ball in from the ground and slices over.
4.31. Bobby starting to play well. His appeals for a penalty are turned down. Good lead up work leads to shot over.
4.33. Fantastic double save from Westgate keeper. Tips header onto bar and saves the return shot well.
4.34. Clifton Hill almost relentless now as Westgate losing structure.
4.35. Westgate long throw from left attack interrupted while refs speaks to players. Effective throws leads to blocked shot. Goal kick.
4.39. Clifton Hill attacking free kick on left. Nice cross headed over.
4.42. Another Westgate dangerous long throw from left. Handball appeals as ball put behind for corner.
4.43. Corner headed wide.
4.44. Yellow to Westgate for holding back Clifton Hill attacker.
4.45. Long kick caught easily by Westgate keeper.
4.46. Seemed a clear Clifton Hill penalty to me. Weak shot wide by Westgate after quick break.
4.47. Long shot by Westgate. Hit and hope time.
4.50. Westgate working hard but can't penetrate.
4.51. Full time. Clifton Hill wins 1-0.
|Westgate's Raffael Origlia didn't see much of the ball in the second
but impressed me with his pace and skill and excellent crossing
on the right wing in the first half. One to watch.
The right result in the end but Clifton Hill should have won more easily. Westgate looked good from time to time but couldn't do it for long enough and their defence seemed to lose the plot at times. Their keeper had cracker too and Raffael Origlia is a player with bucketloads of potential.
But Clifton Hill! The enigma wrapped in a mystery, stuffed into a souvlaki. When they crack the code they will be a real threat in this league.
The real star of this game for me though was the referee: good natured, stern, officious, relaxed as required he struck the right note at all times. He tried to stay in the background and helped it to be a good game conducted without much rancour at all. Well done James Milloy, possibly the best ref I've seen in FFV competitions yet!