Balmain notched their fifth win in succession with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Prospect United on Saturday. Dave Hardwick picked up where he left off last week, taking advantage of some charitable marking to head the first corner of the match into the back of the net inside three minutes. The Tigers proceeded to utterly dominate Prospect for the next quarter hour, with strikers Daniel Totaro and Julian Bracewell spurning decent opportunities to extend the lead, and Bracewell having one disallowed by a very dubious offside call. Jackson Gothe-Snape forced an opponent from the field with a candidate for the hard-but-clean tackle of the season award, while keeper Charlie Sosa enjoyed a fine afternoon in the sun with a pack of cards and a newspaper. Nothing of much notice happened for the latter period of the first half, and the Tigers led 1-0 at the break.
Despite Balmain enjoying most of the possession, more scrappiness ensued as the second half got underway until Sosa was finally called into action for his one and only save of the day. Faced with an attacker only six yards out, Sosa pulled off a magnificent point blank block before going back to reading the sport section. The Balmain pressure finally told when Jeremy Deasey headed in Luis Soares’ looping cross to take the scores to 2-0. Sadly for the Tigers, Daniel Totaro saw double yellow then red in record time after disagreeing John McEnroe style with the referee over a line call. The referee had barely retracted his arm from issuing a yellow before he thrust it skywards again and Totaro was left to trudge from the field disconsolately. Its not all bad news though as the gourmet chef will be manning the barbeque next week at Birchgrove, so be there early to get your osso buco and kebab napoletana. Back to the game, and substitute Henrik Andersson scored the third in injury time to add a little polish to the Tigers’ goal difference. Charlie Sosa’s hard day at the office earned him the Exchange Hotel man of the match award.
The U21s fought back from a goal down before allowing a late goal to concede yet another game 2-1. Following a string of below par performances, the team knew a result was required and the attitude and performance for 88 mins was a welcome turn around from previous weeks. The Tigers welcomed Tristan Aguire back from an injury layoff, and faced with only the keeper to beat shortly before half time he kept his cool and neatly chipped his opponent to level the scores after Prospect had taken an early lead. With the score at 1-1 and two minutes remaining, some indecision at the back allowed an attacking throw to land inside the six yard box and Prospect bundled it over the line for the winner. A disappointing end to the match, making six losses from the last six games a sorry stat.
An under-strength U19s squad went down 3-1 to Prospect in the opening game of the day. Starting the macth with just nine players, the Tigers could have scored from the kick-off and had another three goals in the first 15 minutes. However with Simon Roddy still overseas, the Tigers lacked a cutting edge up front. A deflected shot that sent Vince the wrong way allowed Prospect to take the lead after 14 minutes. The score stayed at 1-0 until the break. Two minutes into the second period, the Tigers were level as Mitchell Bonus rose at the far post to head in an inch perfect cross from Matt Coelho. The joy was shortlived though as minutes later the boys lost concentration and allowed a quality shot from outside the box unchallenged which left Vince stranded. Tiredness and lack of numbers finally told as Prospect secured the win with a third goal shortly before full time. Despite the loss this was a great effort from only nine players, and with a little bit more luck they could well have come away from the match with a point.