Hyundai A-League - 2011/2012 - Season 7

Bolton a bolted-on cert for 'Man of The Match' as Roar held by Heart
By Andrew Demack

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 22
7:00pm, 2 March, 2012
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 1
(Mitch Nichols 32’)
drew with
Melbourne Heart FC 1
(Curtis Good 49')

(linked from FFA web site)

Clint Bolton and Michael Theoklitos were the two stand-out performers in a high-quality A-League encounter between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Heart at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The game finished in a 1-1 draw, probably a fair indication of the balance of play. Roar certainly had the greater share of possession, but Melbourne Heart were competitive throughout, and were always keen to counter-attack.

The game was played in draining humidity, and the second half was played in bursts.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Melbourne Heart looked to be at full strength, with Fred, Matt Thompson and Jonathon Germano in midfield, Eli Babalj in top form leading the line, and the dangerous raids of Aziz Behich from left full back to worry Brisbane.

But it was Brisbane which started the brighter, with Broich and Nichols prominent early on. Between them they create most of Brisbane's best moves. Broich tends to pick the ball up on the run, and cut in from the left of the pitch.

Nichols receives the ball in the “inside right” channel, and is much more direct towards goal.

So the Roar creative team were on the job, and for the first half hour, the home fans were happy. Colosimo and Curtis Good were working overtime to block shots, and keep an eye on Besart Berisha.

Berisha did succeed in wriggling free in and got in a shot on the turn, but Bolton stuck out a leg to deny him.

In the 32nd minute after much Roar pressure, Nichols got the opening goal. A Broich ball aimed at Berisha was hacked away by Colosimo, but only to Mitch Nichols on the edge of the penalty box. One touch to steady, and then next one to bury the ball low past Clint Bolton's despairing dive into the right corner of the goal.

Only five minutes later Ange Postecoglu decided to withdraw Nichols from the contest, as a precaution according to the club PR man on Twitter.

James Meyer came on in his place. Meyer is much more an out-and-out attacker, and the change meant Broich came in from the left to the centre of midfield, and according to this writer at least, into a role with a greater workload.

Brisbane work best as an attacking unit when Broich hasn't been tired out by a lot of donkey work. That's what Massimo Murdocca and Erik Paartalu are there for. But missing Nichols, who attacks and defends with equal vigour, I think slightly blunted Brisbane's attacking edge in the second half.

Starting the second half a goal down, Melbourne Heart cranked up the pressure in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Twice in two minutes Michael Theoklitos pulled off fantastic goal-denying saves. But then from the resulting corner, Curtis Good powered home a fine header. A man on the post might have kept it out, but there was nobody stationed there.

Melbourne Heart's goal was enough to create a whole new dynamic in the game. Brisbane had to continue to push forward looking for a winner. Heart could sit back just a tiny bit and try to counter.

But the warm sweaty evening took its toll on all the players, and the pace of the game dropped off. Brisbane's fluency was also suffering, Broich was out on his feet, and Shane Stefanutto was having an unhappy game.

Issey Nakajima-Farran came on and added some energy into the Roar attacks. There were a couple of half chances for the Roar in the last 20 minutes of the game, but it wasn't until after the fourth official had held up the board showing 4 minutes of injury time that the final act was played out.

Berisha was chasing a ball into the box when Colosimo brought him down.

With Henrique suspended, Mohammed Adnan stepped up as the new penalty taker. Adnan is a very confident player with the ball at his feet during the game, and he also has a spectacular free kick goal to his name in the win against Sydney.

So the home fans were confident of a vital home win. A penalty in injury time, what a way to win for the Roar, what a devastating way to lose for the Heart.

But Clint Bolton had other ideas, and he swatted away Adnan's powerful shot to his right.

The game was a draw. A better result for the visitors than for the Roar.

Next up for the home side is their first Asian Champions League fixture, on Tuesday night against Tokyo FC. Are we ever looking forward to that!

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 22
7:00pm, 2 March, 2012
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 1
(Mitch Nichols 32’)
drew with
Melbourne Heart FC 1
(Curtis Good 49')

    Crowd: 10,988


    Brisbane Roar FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Besart BERISHA, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 16. Mohamed ADNAN, 17. Mitch NICHOLS (21. James MEYER 38’), 22. Thomas BROICH, 24. Nick FITZGERALD (11. Issey NAKAJIMA-FARRAN 64’)
    Substitutes not used: 4. Matthew JURMAN, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (rgk)

    Coach: Ange Postecoglou

    Yellow Cards: James MEYER 72’
    Red Cards: Nil

    Melbourne Heart FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Michael MARRONE, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 5. FRED (c) (7. Rutger WORM 61’), 6. Matthew THOMPSON, 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 13. Jonatan GERMANO, 16. Aziz BEHICH, 18. Curtis GOOD, 19. Eli BABALJ, 23. Mate DUGANDZIC (11. Alex TERRA 85’)
    Substitutes not used: 3. Brendan HAMILL, 30. Sebastian MATTEI (gk)


    Yellow Cards: Michael MARRONE 33’, Eli BABALJ 53’, Matthew THOMPSON 71’, Simon COLOSIMO 88’, Wayne SRHOJ 90+4’
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Ryan Shepheard 7/10
    Assistant referees: tba; Fourth official: tba

    BOTN Player Points:
    > 3. Clint Bolton (MH) … astounding save kept his team alive
    2. Michael Theoklitos (BR) … two amazing saves
    1. Mitch Nichols (BR) … classy finish … Brisbane need him fit for the game against Tokyo

    Pitch rating: 9/10

    Game rating: 8/10 - high intensity, plenty of excitement

    Match Report and ratings: By Andrew Demack

Nil photos

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