PL Match Reports v Footscray - 30 June

July 01, 2018 at 5:31 PM

Doncaster very competitive again but not quite enough                                                Women

Doncaster’s Premier League Women have played two of the top three teams in the previous two matches, on Saturday they faced the third top three side in Footscray.  Obviously a tough month for Doncaster and Saturday was up to expectations with second placed Footscray winning 2-1 but the score did reflect a strong Doncaster performance.

The opening ten minutes of the match was a real arm wrestle with the ball spending almost all its time between the 25 metre lines as both defences built brick walls.  There was very little pressure on either goalkeeper early.

Gradually the Bulldogs were able to hold the ball for sustained periods and the match moved to their forward half.  Amber Deo, Aimee Dixon and Sam Snow were very strong and keeping the Bulldogs at somewhat of a distance.  When the Footscray forwards were able to push into the circle and take shots, Tess Jackson was more than ready to turn the ball away.

Doncaster didn’t control as much ball in their attacking zone as Footscray but when they did new comer Mariona Serrahima was showing flashes of the brilliance that almost had her included the in the recently selected Spanish national team.  And when Doncaster did penetrate the Footscray defence followed the Doncaster lead turning the ball away.

The second half started with both sides more willing to open the match up and push the ball more quickly into attack.  It was a Footscray fast break at the five minute mark that opened the circle and following the contest it was the Footscray striker that won out and the first goal was on the board.

The goal didn’t appear to set Doncaster back and they continued to push forward looking for any gaps to penetrate as deep as possible.  Within four minutes of Footscray’s first goal Doncaster were given a short corner and while Snow made the most of the opportunity and found the net, the umpire didn’t allow the goal ruling a Doncaster obstruction.  The wrestle continued.

With just six minutes remaining a Footscray short corner resulted in a powerful drag flick that beat the Doncaster battery and 2-0 now appeared too big a bridge for the Dons.  However, the Dons refused to go through the motions.  A long pass from Dixon to Serrahima saw her deep in the circle and while her first shot was saved, she regained the ball and her second shot did find the net, her first goal in Australia and Doncaster’s first for the day.

Doncaster 1 were defeated by Footscray 2

Goal: Mariona Serrahima

Best players: Tess Jackson, Amber Deo, Mariona Serrahima

Control almost everywhere but the scoreboard                                                   Men

Doncaster’s Premier League Men, current league leaders, journeyed over the Westgate Bridge on Saturday to play 9th placed Footscray.  Looking at the ladder, one might see this as being a long drive but a relatively straight forward match.  Not so.  Despite controlling more than their share of the match, Doncaster could not find the net and lost to the Bulldogs 2-0.

Conversion in and around the goal has been a little up and down in recent weeks for the Dons and Saturday’s match was on the down side.  Doncaster certainly took control of the match early; the Bulldogs were on the back foot from the outset, a goal looked imminent.  However, Footscray’s last line had other ideas, goals weren’t on the menu.

In fact, a Footscray fast break at the nine minute mark resulted in a shot at goal that just hit the right hand post then rocketing to the sideline.  Doncaster may have dictated play but came with in centimetres of being a goal behind.

Up forward Daniel McBride, Kiran Arunasalam and Calvin Martinz were keeping the Footscray backline under real pressure but the final contest was consistently won by the Bulldogs.

While Footscray appeared reliant on the fast break, they were able to hold possession for longer periods as the half progressed.  The final 15 minutes of the first half did see more mid-field contests.  When Footscray did push deep into attack, Doncaster’s Jarrod McBride, Jay Randhawa and Lachlan McGowan were hard to pass.

The 50:50 battle late in the first half continued as the second half got underway.  Doncaster would push forward, then Footscray would hold possession and push forward.  Both nets remained clean.

At the 13 minute mark a long Footscray pass entered the circle and hits the left hand post and fell to the control of the Bulldogs striker, all Doncaster’s defenders were now wrong footed, the Bulldog striker had an open net and didn’t miss.

At the 21 minute mark Footscray were awarded just their second short corner of the match.  Keeper Mike Kelly saved a very powerful shot but the ball remained in the circle and the Footscray striker took enough control to slot the Bulldogs second goal.

Doncaster may have controlled the majority of this match but now with only 12 minutes to play, the clock was becoming the enemy.  Footscray were now comfortable to win the ball in their backline and move the battle to the mid-field.  Attacking their goal may open some doors that Doncaster may capitalise on, a mid-field battle was fine for the Bulldogs.

Doncaster certainly threw caution to the wind and attacked at any and every opportunity.  The Dons peppered away in and around the circle but the recent curse of conversion was back and goals couldn’t be found.

Doncaster 0 were defeated by Footscray 2

Best Players: Daniel McBride, Lachlan McGowan, Jarrod McBride