Hyundai A-League - 2010/2011 - Season 6

Heart-starter
By Alan Clark

2010/2011 Hyundai A-League - Round 5
5:15pm, Saturday 4 September, 2010
at Melbourne Football Stadium

Melbourne Heart FC 1
(Nicholas Kalmar 11')
defeated
North Queenlsand Fury FC 0


(Photo linked from FFA site)


Nick Kalmar's powerful header from a Rutger Worm corner was enough to give Melbourne Heart its first A-League win at Melbourne Football Stadium on Saturday evening against North Queensland Fury.

In previous outings, Heart had been close to a win without attaining it, but this time it was able to hold on, and - to be fair - should have extended its lead to one providing a greater degree of comfort than was obtained by Kalmar in the game's eleventh minute.

Few home fans were in attendance at Heart's home ground, kept indoors by a storm which had swept into the state's capital from the north-west, bringing with it heavy rain and high winds. Across the state, the emergency services were at full alert and their advice to citizens was to remain indoors.

The few hardy souls who made the trek were rewarded for their endeavours by an energetic display from both teams, neither of which looked as if it wanted to depart the contest other than in possession of all three competition points.

But Kalmar's goal, coming as early as it did, was eventually sufficient to keep the points in the southern capital, leaving Fury to rue a raft of missed opportunities.

The first of these arose inside the game's first minute. Isaka Cernak had loosed a stinging shot from an acute angle after he'd worked his way into a dangerous position. Heart goalkeeper, Clint Bolton, had to be alert to divert the ball onto the crossbar before it was scrambled clear.

And shortly after, Eugene Sseppuya was put through by the lively David Williams and, facing only Bolton, somehow contrived to completely mis-hit his shot, sending it extravagantly skewing off-target.

After weathering both the actual storm, and the figurative one launched by Fury, Melbourne Heart grabbed a goal from a well-worked corner move involving Worm, Alex Terra, and Kalmar. Worm and Terra exchanged passes on a short-corner drill, giving Worm a better angle and range to work with. Worm's cross fell perfectly for Kalmar who had made ground to crash home an unstoppable header past the blameless Fury goalkeeper Justin Pasfield.

It had been outfield coverage of Kalmar's run which was lacking, and which again was culpable seconds later when Pasfield's last-second intervention was needed to prevent Heart extending its lead. Terra had found Matt Thompson with a well-directed cross, allowing the speedy midfielder to crash a first-time shot Pasfield did very well to touch over.

Cernak spurned an opportunity to level at the half-hour mark, shooting wide after he'd set up SSeppuya, and then been first to the rebound after Bolton had blocked the lanky striker's shot.

This was a midfield arm-wrestle of a match, neither side able to hold possession for a sustained period, such was the terrier-like approach of both sides when without the ball. It wasn't football for the purist, but it was energetic and committed. Those braving the conditions in the stands were not going to get cold or bored.

Terra should have made the margin safer for Heart ten minutes before the break when he headed wide from a similar position Kalmar had more productively dealt with, and without defensive distraction. Thompson had crossed from the left where Gerard Sibon had stretched every centimetre of his giant frame to head back to Srhoj. Srhoj set up the little Brazilian with a finely-weighted first-time dink only to watch as the clever lead-up work came to nought with Terra's wastefulness.

Gareth Edds almost made Heart pay for that when he volleyed truly, requiring Bolton to work hard to make an effective block, then again with a shot in the same passage of play which this time Bolton was grateful to hold. Eric Akoto had seen the promise of a long pass up the left from an offside re-start, finding Brad McDonald in space. McDonald had ample time to pick out his cross which fell exactly to where Edds would have sought. Edds volleyed beautifully, keeping the ball down and on-target, but for Bolton's intervention.

Seconds later, Pasfield made a similar block to deny Terra at the other end, Heart quickly breaking to take advantage of Fury's chasing the game.

As the game entered its last twenty minutes, John Aloisi made his long-awaited debut for Heart, coming on as a replacement for Dean Heffernan who had injured himself in a challenge. Aloisi quickly reacquainted himself with the top level game, and would have brought a fairy-tale ending to the match but another high-quality Pasfield save.

Akoto, unaccountably, made a shocking error with full-time approaching, misdirecting a pass so woefully it wasn't even clear where he intended to direct it. Sibon quickly gathered possession, and then found Aloisi in space and in a very promising position. But for Pasfield's fingertips, Heart's first win would have been by a greater margin, and one which better reflected the balance of the game.



2010/2011 Hyundai A-League - Round 5
5:15pm, Saturday 4 September, 2010
at Melbourne Football Stadium


Melbourne Heart FC 1
(Nicholas Kalmar 11')
defeated
North Queenlsand Fury FC 0

    Crowd: 4,184 (torrential rain)

    MATCH STATS:

    Melbourne Heart FC :
    Player listing:
    (4-3-3) 1 Clint Bolton (gk), 2 Michael Morrone, 3 Brendan Hamill, 4 Simon Colosimo (c), 23 Dean Heffernan (15 John Aloisi +71'), 22 Nick Kalmar, 10 Wayne Srhoj, 6 Matt Thompson, 11 Alex Terra (19 Eli Babalj +81'), 9 Gerald Sibon, 7 Rutger Worm (24 Aziz Behich +58')

    Substitutes not used: 12. Peter Zois (rgk)

    Coach: John van 't Schip (Netherlands)

    Yellow Cards: Alex Terra 41', Wayne Srhoj 66' (tbc)
    Red Cards: Nil

    North Queensland Fury FC :
    Player listing:
    (4-3-3) 1 Justin Pasfield (gk), 16 Simon Storey, 4 Eric Akato,5 Mark Hughes, 3 Brad McDonald, 7 Gareth Edds (c), 17 Osama Malik, 19 Isaka Cernak (6 Ufuk Talay +63'), 11 David Williams, 9 Eugene Sseppunya (15 Chris Payne 46'), 10 Dyron Daal (2 Jack Hingert +80')

    Substitutes not used: 28 Jerrad Tyson (rgk)

    Coach: Frank Straka

    Yellow Cards: Dyron Daal 66'
    Red Cards: Nil


    Referee: Gerard Parsons
    Assistant Referees: Hakan Anaz, James Nicolopoulos; 4th Official: Kevin Docherty

    BOTN Player Points:
    3. Matt Thompson (Melbourne Heart)
    2. Gareth Edds (Fury)
    1. Simon Colosimo (Melbourne Heart)

    Pitch rating: 9/10

    Game rating: 7/10

    Match Report and ratings: by Alan Clark


Picture Gallery

Nil


Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. FFA has not this season accredited any Photographers for BOTN, so any photos used here, unless attributed, are as supplied by FFA and used by permission.

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