3rd Grade Men’s v Sydney University 13 August 2022 at Lidcombe

Result: Glebe 1 lost to SU 4

Half-time: Glebe 0 SU 3

Penalty corners: Glebe 6 (one goal) SU 5 (one goal)

Scorer: Brad Goodridge

Glebe players: Craig Martin (goal-keeper), Tony Wark, Aiden Najdzion, Brad Goodridge, Cameron Johnston, Sam Bagley, Zane Goodridge, Andrew Cheong, Chris Farrugia, Cooper Drabsch, Suresh Raja, Peter Bush, Jamie Travis.

Unavailable players: Simon Wark (Canadian holiday), Clark Foster (second grade), Adam Campano (calf), Paul Jowett, Sid Roache (hamstring), Dan Palomique (second grade), Tom Alexander-Prideaux (work), Pat Wark (knee), Rob Curlewis

Pre-match prediction:

SU are running fourth and Glebe are in tenth spot (second last) on the competition ladder. SU have a goal difference of +4 and we have a goal difference of -14. Before we start to feel too sorry for ourselves consider the following. The last team in the competition Northern Districts have a goal difference of -102 and Glebe’s first grade team has a goal difference of -15, so relatively speaking we have been reasonably competitive this season.  SU have had eight wins and five losses and Glebe have had three wins, one draw and ten losses.

The third-grade team is a thrown together make-shift outfit for this game, with the addition of five players from fourth grade, as the Club administration forfeited the fourth-grade game. Irrespective of grade, I am sure all players will do their best for the team.

My prediction is a 0-5 loss. Anything less than 0-5 would be a good result for us, considering the circumstances.

Match report:

Glebe tried hard all night and were competitive, a few lapses of concentration cost us dearly. The score was Glebe 0, SU 3 after 14 minutes and it was looking like a long night for Glebe. The last 54 minutes of the game resulted in one goal each. It was a good effort by a cobbled together team.

Cooper Drabsch, Suresh Raja, Peter Bush, Jamie Travis joined the team from fourth grade and they all of them acquitted themselves well and seemed to enjoy themselves.

After two minutes Glebe gifted SU a goal from a 22 metre restart, when a SU player ran from the 22-metre line into the Glebe circle without a tackle being put on him and tomahawked the ball past the Glebe goalkeeper Craig Martin. This was a disappointing way to start the game. The intention of the SU player was obvious and the Glebe defenders were caught napping with very little awareness of what might transpire. Glebe 0 SU 1.

The SU forwards kept coming at the Glebe defence and probing for gaps. It was only intelligent, desperate, scrambling defence from Brad Goodridge and Chris Farrugia that prevented more shots on goal by the SU forwards.

Six minutes into the first quarter a SU forward ran down the right wing hugging the sideline, then ran along the backline before passing the ball across the face of the Glebe goal for a teammate to slap the ball past goal goalkeeper Craig Matin. The Glebe defenders needed to tackle a lot earlier than they did and the SU forward was given much too much room. Tackle early and tackle often is a good policy. Glebe 0 SU 2.

Jamie Travis at inside forward made some penetrating runs with his short sharp sprints with the ball, which created problems for the SU defenders. The Glebe forwards were running too much one-out and not giving the ball early to a teammate and running to a field position to take the return pass.

Vision and game situational awareness were in short supply. This was a problem we had most of the game. The passes were not given early enough and powerfully enough. This allowed the SU defence to regroup and reorganise and the gaps were closed off. There did not seem to be a sense of what were available if free hits were taken early. The long, hard hit down the sideline was not used often enough.

Three minutes before the end of the quarter SU scored again from a well worked team goal to make the score Glebe 0 SU, 3. SU had 55% of the territory in the first quarter and were playing the better of the two teams, but Glebe were starting to gain a bit more traction towards the end of the quarter. The score at the end of the first quarter was Glebe 0 SU 3.

At the start of the second quarter halves Cameron Johnston, Peter Busch and Sam Bagley were tackling very well and had the SU forwards contained. SU were passing the ball well and using the full width of the field, but Glebe’s sliding defence and tenacious tackling made life difficult for the SU forwards and any shooting chances the SU forwards had they were always under pressure from a Glebe defender, making life hard for them.

Aiden Najdzion covered a lot of territory in the midfield with his tenacious tackling and cover defence. He did not allow the SU halves to run forward with the ball. In the middle of the second quarter Glebe had a series of five penalty corners. A couple of these corners looked dangerous, but on the whole our efforts with our penalty corners was mediocre at best.

Glebe more gaining more territory in the second quarter and more into the game. A pass down the right-hand sideline from around halfway by Suresh Raja down the righthand sideline found Tony 30 metres from the SU backline. Tony sprinted down the sideline, along the backline and had a flick shot for goal from an acute angle, which was stopped by the SU goalkeeper. The direct shot at goal from the acute angle was probably not the best option for Tony. Either a pass across the face of gaol for a teammate to tap in, or even running the ball himself to the penalty stroke spot before firing a shot away would have been better options.

The Glebe forwards were pressing the SU fullbacks well when they were taking 16 metre hits and SU were finding it hard to clear the ball from defensive field positions. This was a good quarter for Glebe and SU looked a bit shaky when put under pressure. The score at the end of the second quarter was Glebe 0, SU 3.

SU started the third quarter well and make a few promising attacking raids on the Glebe goal. SU were pressing our fullbacks hard and Glebe found it hard to clear the ball out of its defending 22 metre area. Glebe forward Cooper Drabsch was taking good field position and giving his defenders a target to hit further up field. The long, hard hit down the sideline does not come naturally to Aiden Najdzion, but he tried this tactic a few times in tonight’s game with good effect. Suresh Raja threw four or five beautiful early passes down the sideline to a player up field which created scoring opportunities for Glebe. Suresh was reading the game well.

Andrew Cheong played in the preceding second grade game, but still had plenty of energy and zip-zip in the midfield for the third-grade team. When he sprints forward with the ball Andrew looked dangerous and he is probably our most penetrating forward. He proved a headache for the SU defence. Sam Bagley took excellent field position and often popped up at critical moments to make vital interceptions and defuse dangerous situations for the Glebe defence. Sam is a steady influence on the team.

Ten minutes into the third quarter Glebe were awarded its sixth penalty corner, after a very promising raid down the right-hand sideline. The movement involved Suresh Raja and Cooper Drabsch, with Cooper having a one on one with the SU goalkeeper. This was an excellent goal scoring opportunity for Glebe, but the ball did not bounce our way. From the ensuing penalty corner Brad Goodridge pushed the ball past the goalkeeper’s outstretched leg into the corner of the goal. Glebe 1 SU 3. This brought the game to life, as a second goal by Glebe at that juncture would have put the Glebe team into a position to stage a surprising fightback.

Towards the end of the third quarter SU were awarded a penalty corner. The ball was passed left of the battery and a SU forward hit a well struck tomahawk shot past the Glebe goalkeeper Craig Martin Glebe 1, SU 4. This was the score at the end of the third quarter.

SU started the fourth quarter strongly and managed to make five or six circle penetrations and have some good shots at goal, which either went wide or were stopped by Craig Marin in the Glebe goal. Craig had an excellent game and won the man of the match award. Glebe looked dangerous on the break, when the ball was passed early and the Glebe forwards had a couple of excellent scoring opportunities inside the SU circle which could not be converted into goals Aiden Najdzion.

Glebe had a penalty corner midway through the final quarter that Brad pushed into the SU goalkeeper’s pads. The rebound was there for a Glebe forward to push goalward, but the chance went begging. Glebe was tackling tenaciously in the midfield with Cameron Johnson prominent. SU were pressing hard in the last seven minutes and were awarded two penalty corners, which were well saved by Craig Martin.

Glebe did manage a couple of quick breaks in the final few minutes that looked dangerous. A couple of shots at the SU goal went just wide of the goal. In the final couple of minutes of the fourth quarter Chris Farrugia drove a ball towards the penalty stroke spot from the halfway near the right-hand sideline. This was an excellent option, unfortunately Chris lifted the ball and a free hit was awarded against him. The final score was Glebe 1, SU4.

It was a hard-fought game and the team battled well all game against a team that was skilful and had excellent teamwork. Congratulations on a fine effort.

Next week, 20 August 2022, at 1230 hours, we play our last game of the season against Briars at Cintra synthetic turf, Concord.