A beautiful sunny Saturday morning in May was the setting for Balga’s clash against the U18 Rockingham team who held 2nd position at the top of the table.
With 5 of our core defenders and midfielders unavailable for the match due to injury, it seemed that like an an uphill battle for boys. However, at 10th minute mark we saw a free kick by Isak Falzan curled away from the keeper towards the far post that was met by right winger Caleb Scatini who timed his run to perfection and headed the ball into Rockingham’s nets.
Rockingham put on the pressure to look for the equaliser in the ensuing period. An attempted clearance by Balga’s Abdull Ali bounced against the cross bar into the path of a Rockingham player who slotted the ball away for the equaliser. Balga had a couple of slick moves down the right flank that saw a cross by Caleb narrowly missed our forwards’ final touch and a powerful shot by Isaac Conteh that hit Rockingham’s cross bar. The score remained at 1:1 for the remaining 20 minutes of the first half
The second half saw Rockingham continued their attack down the left flank with Balga working hard as a team to contain their speedy winger. A through ball by Rockingham saw a clash of bone and flesh between our goalkeeper Thongnam and their forward. The ball rolled into the back of the nets but was adjudged as a foul on the keeper and the score remained at 1:1
With 20 minutes to go, a scramble in Balga’s final third saw the ball falling nicely for a Rockingham midfielder who delivered the ball into the net. The score remained at 2:1 until the final whistle.
Despite the loss, the boys can be proud of themselves for working together and to remain resilient under pressure and pain. Both Isak Falzan and Thongnam received heavy knocks but held to their fighting spirit to the final minute. On another day with a fully fit line up for Balga, the score might have been very different !