Sunday saw the Tigers rack up their third defeat inside a week, this time going down 1-0 to bottom of the league White City. Despite dominating possession, Balmain could not crack a resolute White City defence that was fortunate to get away the win after two disallowed goals and a penalty save. This was one of those days when nothing went right for the Tigers.
The game began at a pedestrian pace, with the home team content to sit back and watch Balmain pass the ball around. Unable to fashion a decent chance, Balmain were punished when White City lumped one down the middle and found their striker in the clear and able to thump the ball into the corner for the simplest of goals. Soon after, a free kick found Matt Jaffrey at the back post, who headed back and across goal for Ilias Hatzidavid to head into an unguarded net, only to turn and see the linesman’s flag up in a most puzzling offside call.
The miserable luck continued when Hatzidavid deflected a shot from Lorenzo Merlino into the net midway through the second half, again to be denied by the linesman. John Buonavoglia earned Balmain a fighting chance when he beat his marker and was agriculturally hacked down in the box for a penalty. Buonavoglia stepped up to take it but found the White City keeper up to the task, flinging himself to his left and producing an astonishing save to deny a penalty that looked headed for the corner. Despite throwing everything forward towards the end, a frustrated Balmain could not find a way through and came away with what can only be described as an embarrassing defeat.
Looking rusty, and perhaps a little complacent after their 7-1 demolition of Greenisland last week, the reserves played poorly but still managed to scrape a 1-0 win against the league cellar dwellers. In a game of few chances, Owen Nalhony, playing his final game for the Tigers before leaving to run for Prime Minister in the upcoming election, had a first half penalty saved and could only nod the rebound back to the keeper. Balmain received another penalty in the second half and this time Admir Smajovic stepped up, tucking the ball nicely into the corner to seal the win.