Sunday 17th April at Taree Zone Field
Two undefeated sides faced each other at Taree Zone Field as FMNC hosted Hamilton Olympic.
The boys could have been forgiven for being flat as it was their 9th fixture in 8 days, with a solid runner-up effort at the Telstra Youth challenge in the days prior. The game started with FMNC controlling much of the possession in the first 10 minutes, and a lot of that time was in the final third. However, no clear-cut chances were created, and as often is the case in football if you don’t capitalise on your possession you can find yourself behind.
And on 11 minutes that’s what happened, with a through ball and some lightning pace Olympic took a 0-1 lead. Two minutes later a similar move saw the visitors double their lead, and it remained 0-2 until halftime.
The second half started poorly for both sides, as possession was given away on both sides of the ball. FMNC found their passing game soon after, and after some nice interplay between Cian Murtagh and Angus Bear, saw a beautiful strike From Angus find the back of the net on 55 minutes. Seven minutes later after some tenacious play, Cian Murtagh levelled the score at 2-2.
FMNC had some real opportunities to take all 3 points, but two good saves from the Olympic keeper denied a dream comeback. Final result a gutsy 2-2 draw.
– Match Report by Brenton Moore
Sunny conditions welcomed the Hamilton squad to Taree Zone Field for their round 5 match against the FMNC 14s.
The boys were backing up after the Telstra Youth Challenge which saw them play 7 games at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility mid-week. Not surprisingly, this seemed to have an impact on the boys with them slow to come out of the blocks.
The first half saw both teams battle for possession but neither was successful in finding the back of the net leaving the half time score 0 all.
The second half commenced with the break and regroup providing the 14s with the opportunity take a breather and revisit their game plan. With renewed vigour, it wasn’t long before we found the back of the net following a beautifully placed penalty kick from Sam Modderno. The goal seemed to provide the boys with the confidence that was needed and 3 minutes later we went up 2 – 0 following a well-timed through ball from Levi Barclay. With their heads up, the 14s continued to play some great football, tiring Hamilton as the game progressed.
FMNC managed to find the back of the net on a further two occasions, at the 56th and 64th minute mark. The full time whistle saw FMNC 14s victorious over Hamilton 4 – 0.
– Match Report by Sonia Hughes
Having recruited well in the off-season and with good early season form, Hamilton were always going to be tough opposition.
From the whistle neither team held back, with the game flowing from end to end. The fast Hamilton forwards pressed our defence numerous times but were repelled each time. FMNC could have gone 1 up early on with a nice break up the left side by Ryan Waite with the ball just sliding across the face of goal. Eventually Flynn Goodman earned a penalty after driving into the box and being bought down by a Hamilton defender. He made no mistake with the penalty shot to put FMNC up 1-0 at half time.
The second half continued in the same fashion, both teams attacking and defending well. Numerous yellow cards for both teams indicated the effort being put in by both teams. With the score remaining at 1-0 late into the game, Hamilton were awarded a penalty deep into the attacking half and were able to convert after the ball glanced of the inside of the post from the header. That’s where the score remained as FMNC pressed in the last 5 minutes with only 10 men after some poor discipline resulted in a red card for a FMNC player.
Overall, 1-1 was a fair result for a good game of football between two teams that will surely feature in the finals at the end of the season.
– Match Report by Brett Clacher
On recent results it seemed the visitors should wipe the floor with the local team but the boys in black and white had other ideas.
The game started well for FMNC with a number of sharp attacking raids early, one of which saw Logan Palmer hit the far post. The ball deflected tantalisingly across the face of goal but was cleared well by a defender before it could be tapped in.
As expected Olympic then took control of possession with FMNC happy to adopt a solid defensive shape which frustrated the visitors. A few long range shots did little to trouble Olabarriaga in goals with the best chances of the first half falling to FMNC on the back of some quick counter-attack. That all changed after 30 minutes when Olympic defended a corner well and launched a counter-attack of their own down the left side. Before FMNC could regain their defensive structure the Olympic winger had cut inside and launched a shot into the top right corner. That made it 1-0 at halftime.
The second half began with the FMNC defence being put under the blow torch. Wave after wave of attack came from Olympic but exceptional discipline saw FMNC repel everything that was thrown at them. That was until a free kick was awarded wide on the left side to Olympic. While the referee distracted some of the FMNC players who were attempting to set up a wall, Olympic took a quick kick down the left side and put a pinpoint cross to the far post where it was headed home uncontested. Despite protests the goal was allowed to stand which made it 2-0 and things looked bleak for the home team.
However, their heart can’t be underestimated. FMNC kept digging in, winning plenty of ball and the tide of possession began to turn. They began to implement a high press in defence and panic set in for Olympic. The extreme pressure paid off on 73 minutes when FMNC won the ball high up the park, a ball was played into the box for Dylan Webber to drive home.
It was one way traffic at this point with FMNC coming home with a wet sail. Unfortunately they were deprived of an opportunity to equalise when some gamesmanship saw only 2 minutes of football played during the last 7 minutes.
A 2-1 defeat but there were many positive signs for the black and white and repeated performances like this will see the results start to come.
– Match Report by Michael Grass