PL Match Reports v Altona - Rd 4 (with photos)

May 10, 2021 at 3:42 PM

Goal conversion: the missing link                                                                            Men’s Premier League

The Ric Purser Cup was up for grabs on Sunday as Doncaster hosted Altona for the first home game of the season.  Ric Purser played a huge role at both Doncaster and Altona over the years, hence the Cup is named in his honour.  And while Doncaster have dominated the 14 Ric Purser Cup matches played to date, winning nine with Altona winning just two (three draws), 2021 was Altona’s year winning 3-2.

The match started with both sides very comfortable to hold possession and feel for gaps and opportunities, the ball remained between the two 23 metre lines.  As the first quarter progressed each side managed to find gaps and pushed deeper but both last lines were on top.

With four minutes until quarter time a poor Doncaster pass enabled an Altona intercept from the half way line and a fast break followed.  Doncaster’s Adam Truepenny was outnumbered and Altona scored the first goal of the match.

Doncaster lifted the pressure as the second quarter got underway and the contest was largely in Doncaster’s half.  However, too often Doncaster passes went astray and turnovers followed.  When Donny was in control and peppered away around the scoring circle conversion was absent, the polish was missing.

At the seven minute mark an Altona fast break left the Doncaster last line wrong footed and a second Altona goal was on the board.


Byron Fernandes was more than happy to take on Altona defenders

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

The Doncaster pressure continued with Bevan and Byron Fernandes, Kiran Arunasalam and Luke Davidson winning more contested ball and pushing deeper forward.  With just two minutes until the long break Luke Evered passed to a fast moving Davidson who pushed into the scoring circle.  Altona’s last line fought hard to push the ball out but Evered pounced and went straight back, once again handing over to Davidson and he brought up Doncaster’s first goal.


Luke Davidson puts Doncaster on the score board

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

Doncaster’s pressure had the Seagulls on the back foot; the long break was just what Altona needed.  The third quarter saw the contest moved back out to the mid-field and Altona’s defenders were as strong as at any stage with little deep Doncaster penetration.


Kiran Arunasalam was often dangerous and a handful for the Altona backline

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

The final quarter followed suit, opening with the contest between the 23 metre lines.  At the three minute mark, Altona pushed deep in attack for the first time in the quarter.  A shot at goal was deflected by an Altona stick and the Seagulls third goal was on the board.  Given Altona’s outstanding last line, the bridge Doncaster was now facing may be too large.

Doncaster could see the clock was now the enemy and were prepared to take risks to step up their attack mode.  With just four minutes left to play, Doncaster is given the very first short corner of the entire match.  Unfortunately for Doncaster, Tom Habal’s tomahawk sails over the net.  With less than two minutes to play the second short corner of the match goes Doncaster’s way.  Jayshaan Randhawa’s drag flick is too strong for the Altona battery but Doncaster’s second goal was too little, too late.

Doncaster 2 were defeated b Altona 3

Goals: Luke Davidson, Jayshaan Randhawa

Best Players: Kiran Arunasalam, Byron Fernandes, Luke Davidson


Donny with too much class in Women’s Round                                                 Women’s Premier League

Pink ribbons were the order of the day as Doncaster hosted Altona for Women’s & Girl’s Round on Sunday.  And it took until Round 4 to get a home game.  The home crowd had plenty to cheer about with Doncaster taking the points 4-2.

Doncaster were up and about from the very start of the match and within a minute were setting up for a short corner.  A great save by Altona’s keeper kept the score board clean.  But Doncaster’s pressure remained high and Altona couldn’t find their forward line until well into the quarter.

At the eight minute mark Manisha Arunasalam pushed into the scoring circle and another Altona foot led to Doncaster’s second short corner.  Sam Snow passed the ball across the net to Izzy Peskett on the right hand post, Peskett slotted the ball into the net and the first goal of the match was scored.


Izzy Peskett as busy as usual and on the score board again

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

Just two minutes later and Cassie Stoneham coming from defence pushes into the scoring circle.  Altona’s last line clears the ball but Nicola Hammond intercepts the clearance and back into the circle.  Hammond’s pass to Sarah Down gives her room and with a polished finish Doncaster is now 2-0 in front.


Great to see Nicola Hammond back at Doncaster - first game back and BOG

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

Altona weren’t at all set back by the scoreboard and from the restart pushed deep forward.  A contest follows in the Altona scoring circle and Altona’s striker makes the most of very little scoring the Seagull’s first goal.

Altona were boosted by their late goal and the second quarter gets underway as a 50:50 mid-field battle.  Hammond and Meagan Lendon combine well to enter the Doncaster circle and Lendon finds the net only to have her shot disallowed as a back stick shot.  The majority of the match is now between the 23 metre lines.

With six minutes until the long break, Liz Flack plays a quick free hit just outside the scoring circle and pushes inside.  Flack passes to Peskett who sees an unmatched Lendon, this time her shot is legal and she puts Doncaster’s third on the board.

Doncaster’s pressure once again builds and Altona is on the back foot.  As half time approaches Doncaster are dictating terms.  With just two minutes remaining Hammond’s quick play the ball is once again in the circle and her shot is saved by the keeper.  However, the ball is still ‘live’ and Down capitalises; her second and Doncaster’s fourth goal.


Another two goals this match for Sarah Down and despite having to leave the pitch with a bee sting, one of Donny's best

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

As the third quarter gets underway, Doncaster continues to keep Altona under pressure.  Three short corners early in the quarter reflect that but none could be converted.  In fact, Altona start a fast break from the third Doncaster short corner.  The ball is quickly sent from one end to the other and Altona receive their first short corner of the match.  Altona make the most of their opportunity and a deflection finds the net; a goal against the flow of play.

Despite the Altona goal, Doncaster continues to control much of the play.  During the remainder of the quarter Doncaster receive a further five short corners but none are converted.

The final quarter remains much the same; Doncaster control the majority of play, Altona’s last line is very strong and Doncaster isn’t able to convert the short corners.  The 4-2 score line was too much for the hard working Seagulls and gave credit to a very well organised Doncaster.

Doncaster 4 defeated Altona 2

Goals: Sarah Down 2, Izzy Peskett, Meagan Lendon

Best Players: Nicola Hammond, Sarah Down, Izzy Peskett

Nicola Hammond was also awarded Player of the Match for Women’s & Girl’s Round


Nicola Hammond at full speed

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell