Playing long balls into empty space since 2012.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Melbourne Heart FC v Wellington Phoenix FC, 3pm Bubbledome 14/10/12

I'll be live-blogging this game from the media box at the Bubbledome on Sunday. I'll have to miss the VPL Grand Final immediately following.


After a fairly downbeat season preview I was pleasantly surprised by the (err) heart shown by Heart in the Derby. They really should have smashed Victory. Poor finishing meant Heart's dominance was not reflected in the 2-1 scoreline. All of a sudden their squad looks good, given the strong performances of the guys expected to deliver (Colosimo, Fred and co) and the back-up from the others. Williams stood out, as did Macallister. Gerhardt looked a good pick-up in defence. If he can avoid an early yellow he may have an even stronger game. 

Wellington, despite ADP's presence, won convincingly against a poorly organised Sydney. It is hard to draw a line through Wellington's performance and I suspect they will struggle away from home against a fired-up heart. Nonetheless I'm tempted to take some of the $6.00 offered on a phoneix win at time of writing.

Heart Squad

1. Clint Bolton (GK), 
2. Michael Marrone, 
4. SimonColosimo, r
5. Fred (c), y  
6. Patrick Gerhardt, 
8. Matthew Thompson,
9. Dylan Macallister, 
10. Josip Tadic, 
11. Richard Garcia,
16. Aziz Behich, 
17. Jason Hoffman, s 
18. David Vrankovic, s 
20. Andrew Redmayne (GK), s 
22. Nick Kalmar, s  
23. Mate Dugandzic

Wellington Squad

2. Manny Muscat,
5. Michael Boxall, y  

6. Alex Smith, 
8. Paul Ifill, 
10. Stein Huysegems, 
12. Tyler Boyd, s 
16. Louis Fenton, 
17. Vince Lia, 
22. Andrew Durante (C), 
28. Ricardo Clarke, s  
29. Luke Rowe, 
30. Scott Basalaj (GK), s  
31. Tom Biss,
32. James Downey, s
39. Jacob Spoonley (GK) 

Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Ref 1: Luke Brennan
Assistant Ref 2: Johnathan Barriero
4th Official: Alex Azcurra

Arrived at 2.30. Teams warming up. David Williams out with gastro. Tadic to start and Kalmar comes into the squad.

Julius Ross looking splendid in his suit. He's come a long way from the back of the grandstand at KGV.
Not much of a crowd in the eastern stand at 2.45. The home end is building though.A good crowd of 11K in the end.

Tut tut. They're late. I hope this is not the Tasmanian influence.

Apparently a good proportion of the home end love clint Bolton.

3.07. Underway. Heart running to the north end.

3.08. Long ball. Free kick to
Heart just outside area. Garcia kicks over and wide.

3.10. Wellington goes just wide on the counter.

3.12. Good run from Marrone from right back. Final ball could have been better.

Game yet to establish any sense of pattern.

3.17. Dugandzic good run down the right. Dangerous cross after propping. Cleared.

3.20. Wellington threaten in the box. Put behind for corner. Cleared. Ball comes back and Bolton feels the love once more.

Period of
Heart pressure but still awaiting the killer ball.

3.25. Good work down left by Fred. Feeds Garcia who shoots accurately but weakly. Spoonley key gathers safely.

3.27. Fabulous goal to heart. Great run by behich out of defence takes it to penalty area crosses to Fred who lays it back to Thompson who slots it beautifully. Wow. Heart 1-0.

3.31. Heart dominant now. Thompson fires over.

3.33. Rare Wellington counter defused by Thompson.

3.34. Breather for the players after a crude tackle by Wellington. No card.

3.36. Macallister's blushes saved by offside call. But he really should have buried Fred's flick on.

3.37. Muscat blazes over after good Wellington build up. But heart defence looked shaky for the first time.

3.40. Wellington free kick saved well after fumble. Heart counter. Cleared ball punted back in to box by Thompson to no advantage.

3.43. Garcia heads over well flighted Heart free kick from left.

3.45. Ifill blazes over after Fred coughs up the ball in midfield. Wellington starting to show moments of creativity.

3.46. Fred one on one. Walks the ball into Spoonley's grateful arms.

3.48. Wellington free kick 30 out in front. Cleared.

3.49. Fred times his run well, chips the keeper but also the crossbar.

Heart finding it relatively easily to progress in midfield.

3.50. Tadic shot tipped over by keeper. Two corners in succession see
Heart create opportunity without conversion.

3.52. Yellow to Fred.

3.54. Another good flowing attack down right for Heart. Dugandzic with a dangerous cross. Put behind for corner.

3.55. Half time. 1-0.

An entertaining half which
Heart dominated. They should be more than a goal to the good and may come to regret not converting their chances.

4.11. Second half underway.

4.12. Colosimo sent off for handball on the line. Ifill converts penalty. 1-1.

Well there's a game changer. Scores level and Wellington with the one man advantage.

Wellington starting to dominate. They'd have to be favourites now.

4.21. Wellington corner left. Headed clear.

4.23. Another Wellington corner. Cleared. A goal seems imminent given their dominance.

4.25. Wellington corner right. Foul on defender. Heart gives ball away again.

4.27. Heart attack well down left.

4.27. Ifill one on one. Copies Fred's first half effort chipping keeper and bar.

4.28. Heart free kick on right. Wellington counter.

4.29. Wellington corner right. Bolton tips over for another corner left.

4.32. Marrone blazes over selfishly after good lead up work by

4.33. Macallister booked for dissent after poor free kick decision.

4.34 Wellington free kick on right. Saved comfortably by Bolton after some to and fro.

4.36. Smith booked. Fred breaks through with no-one wanting his final ball.

Heart putting together some good stuff but the final ball is just not there. Good to see Heart still chasing game but it may well cost them.

4.43. Great work by Fred. Shot blocked. Macallister tries to bury rebound beats keeper but cleared off line.

Heart with the better attack and chances. But that final ball . . .

Fred is working hard in midfield and has produced some glorious play.

4.49. Muscat yellow. Heart fk 30 out in front. Dugandzic blazes over.

Game seems to have lost some of its edge. Though a goal seems possible.

Crowd 10907.

4.59. All over. 1-1.

Roy Hay reckons the correct result but I think Heart will feel stiff. Considering they played a man short they will feel the sting of their wastefulness. Wellington can't point to the same measure of profligacy.

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