PL Match Reports v Altona - 5 & 6 June (with photos)

June 07, 2018 at 2:14 PM

Doncaster in charge?  Not completely                                                                  Men

Doncaster’s Premier League Men played Altona in a mid week night match this round.  In a match that Doncaster dictated the majority of terms, Altona never gave in and came within centimetres of drawing the match.  But Doncaster did hang on for a 3-2 win.

Both teams started fast and furious, if for no other reason than to beat the night time chill.  The ball flew from end to end early on but neither team were able to hold possession and build pressure.  Doncaster settled first and did gradually hold more ball pushing forward.  Altona’s last line warmed to the cool temperature and while Doncaster were pushing, little was available close to the net.

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A fast start needed fast players, Zac Meaden and Daniel McBride at home

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

Despite their very good backline, Altona were struggling to push forward.  Doncaster’s Jay Randhawa, Andrew Scheele and Josh Simmonds were winning the mid-field contests turning the ball back into the Dons’ forward line.  Altona were now looking for the fast break and the long toss but Doncaster’s Lachlan McGowan and Hayden Currie were solid on the last line.

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Josh Simmonds in charge in the mid-field

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

Doncaster started the second half in a similar controlled manner as the first, peppering away in the forward line.  At the four minute mark Kiran Arunasalam intercepted an Altona pass from just outside the scoring circle and turned straight to the net.  Arunasalam took on a defender and the goalkeeper scoring the first goal of the match.

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Kiran Arunasalam was busy all match but not until the second half did he score Doncaster's first goal

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

Two minutes later and Doncaster’s Tom Shaw was in the circle and his shot was saved but bounced straight on to an Altona foot, Doncaster’s short corner followed.  Randhawa’s drag flick hit the top right hand on the net and Doncaster had a second on the board.

One minute later and Simmonds intercepted an Altona pass and handed the ball to Bevan Fernandes with an open door to the circle.  A cross stick tackle was given against the Altona defender and Doncaster went to another short corner.  Randhawa moved his drag flick to the centre of the net and it beat the Altona battery, Doncaster three goals.  The opening ten minutes were all Doncaster, Altona in deep trouble.

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Jay Randhawa's drag flicks proved invaluable

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

As the second half progressed Altona simply ignored the scoreboard and revamped their defence and mid-field.  An Altona fast break at the 14 minute mark had the Doncaster last line wrong footed and the tomahawk shot put the Seagulls on the board.  Confidence lifted.

Altona were now better structured and able to hold the ball in possession deep in their attack, goals by the visitors now threatened.  With just seven minutes remain, Altona were peppering their circle and a cross stick tackle resulted in a Seagulls’ short corner.  The drag flick was powerful and Altona were now just a goal behind.

Altona’s confidence was at a high and they continued to push forward.  With just two minutes left to play a Doncaster foot in the Altona circle set up a short corner.  Adam Truepenny saved the drag flick but another foot leads to a second short corner.  This drag flick is strong enough and Altona equal the score.  However, the second umpire intervenes deeming the short corner push out had now cleared the circle, the goal is over turned.  Less than a minute later the final siren leaves Doncaster the goal in front.

Doncaster 3 defeated Altona 2

Goals: Jay Randhawa 2, Kiran Arunasalam

Best Players: Kiran Arunasalam, Lachlan McGowan, Jay Randhawa

Doncaster with 25 seconds to spare                                                          Women

In their earlier clash this season, Doncaster’s and Altona’s Premier League Women played out a tight draw, one goal each.  The return match was almost a carbon copy, the difference this round was that with just 25 seconds left to play, Doncaster scored the only goal of this match to win 1-0.

This mid-week match set the scene early, a 50/50 tussle between the 25 metre lines, neither side was giving anything away lightly.  Doncaster took more control winning the majority of mid-field battles but Altona’s defence built a wall that was hard to penetrate.  Altona then held more possession but similarly Doncaster’s defence turned the visitors around.  Both goalkeepers were feeling the chill in the night air.

Doncaster’s pressure on Altona mid-fielders and defenders was very strong resulting in more play in the Doncaster forward line.  Izzy Peskett, Shae Jones and Hayley Padget lead the team consistently turning the ball forward.  Altona were now looking for fast breaks to turn defence into attack.

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Izzy Peskett's pressure on defenders kept Altona on the back foot

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell 

The second half picked up where the first left off; Doncaster pushing forward, Altona defending stoutly and the wrestle continued.  As the half progressed Doncaster tightened the pressure more and more, the ball saw very little of the Altona forward line and peppered around the Doncaster scoring circle.  The scorers still had nothing to write in their book.

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Hayley Padget comfortable taking on defenders

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

However, Altona’s defenders never staggered under the Doncaster pressure and not only kept the net clean, consistently looked for gaps to attack.  The Seagulls persisted and forced the wrestle closer and closer to their forward line; the match slowly swung into an even conflict, game on well and truly.

While Doncaster’s backline had been strong all match, Altona were now holding more possession and the Dons had plenty to fight.  Chloe Burns, Cassie Stoneham and Sam Snow were taking the leaf from the Altona backline’s book, as strong as Altona pushed, Doncaster pushed back.

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Chloe Burns and fellow defenders remained cool under the increased Altona pressure

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

The clock ticked but with nothing on the scoreboard this match was there to be won.

With just one minute remaining to play, Peskett intercepted an Altona free hit and passed the ball to Padget who went straight to the circle.  An Altona foot set up a Doncaster short corner.  Snow’s drag flick hit the net and with just 25 seconds remaining, Doncaster put their nose in front and they stayed there.

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Sam Snow scores the first and only goal of the match and the girls celebrate with 25 seconds remaining to play

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

Doncaster 1 defeated Altona 0

Goal: Sam Snow

Best Players: Sam Snow, Hayley Padget, Izzy Peskett, Emma Sampson

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