Thanks to Ciaran McGettigan, Craig Tweedy, and Richard Bates for contributing to this week's Match Recap.
This past weekend saw us taking on Whitehorse United SC away.
After a strong performance in the first week without the points to show for it, the Reserves were out to right the wrongs and gain their first win of the season.
The boys struggled to get out the blocks in the initial stages of the game with the small pitch contributing to a scrappy affair. However, the team gradually worked their way back into the game with the forward partnership of Jake Buckley and Nigel Madzi providing the Whitehorse defence a number of headaches.
The headache soon turned into a migraine after a swashbuckling run down the right wing from the bullying Buckley resulted in a bullet cross which Nigel gratefully accepted and buried it with a powerful header into the back of the net.
Buoyed by the confidence of the goal, the Collingwood midfield managed to gain some control of the game, with debutant Andrew Tzimas gradually finding his feet in the game. So much so that after a quick counter attack, with the ball at Andrew’s feet and the Whitehorse defenders retreating, he looked up and without any hesitation flighted the ball from 30 yards over the despairing reaches of the goalkeeper and rippled the net, nestling in just under the crossbar.
As the second half came to a close, Whitehorse mounted a charge with the defensive unit, marshaled by Dave McKenzie, managing to hold the opponents at bay albeit with a few heart in mouth moments.
The second half began with a changed line-up with Cris Tümkaya coming in to spearhead the line-up. Whilst the additional attacking impetus present on the pitch did result in a number of chances being created and unfortunately squandered, it was all being done on the counter-attack with Whitehorse controlling the game.
A rather dubious penalty was awarded (a running theme of the day) to Whitehorse early in the second half, so dubious in fact that the referee attempted to book the wrong person. Up stepped the Whitehorse winger and coolly converted into the bottom corner despite the best efforts of Craig Stirling to distract him with his best rendition of Blazing Saddles.
The pressure tightened even further with roughly half an hour to play when the normally Mr. Reliable Josh Frewen was dismissed for two yellow cards in quick succession. For the remainder of the game, it was very much a “backs to the walls” job with Kevin Fitzgerald battling a tight groin and Dave having to be withdrawn due to a tight hamstring.
Whilst not inspiring onlookers with our footballing aesthetics, the Collingwood boys battled gallantly to what almost proved to be the final whistle. A Whitehorse set-piece led to a scramble in the box which was bundled in on the third or fourth effort by the Whitehorse player.
A bitter pill to swallow but the boys can take some positives from the game and pick themselves up for the challenging fixture ahead against Camberwell.
The seniors took to the park making one tactical change, Jason Minglis coming in for Tommy Kent and looked to capitalize on a fine start to the season with our first away points. The playing surface wasn't the best we have seen, but also not the worst. Ready to silence the crowd, our wingers took over in the opening minutes, exploiting the sides with our speed. Dan Quinn agonizingly missed a chance from a cross on the right side, testing the opposition early on.
The Citizens were nearly on the back foot early after Adam Gallo was judged to have committed a foul in the box. We assume it was him based on the player that went down, but he was not spoken to or carded for his action. Gallo was let off easy as the Whitehorse player went for power and blasted it over the top of goalie Christoph Achsenick, forgetting about accuracy. The score remained level at 0-0 as someone went out to the car park to fetch the ball. We then took the lead in the 31st minute from a David Kilcommons free kick. Launched from the half way line, Dan Quinn managed to get on the end of it and with a slight head flick bagged his first of the season. The rest of the half had limited chances and we headed to the change rooms with a 1-0 lead.
The second half got bumpy as the Citizens couldn't keep a hold of the ball long enough to make our possession minutes count. Long balls took the place of our calm movement out of the midfield and passing game. Mike Maddocks nearly made it two but couldn't capitalise on the counter. Whitehorse made us pay for the missed chances as they equalised coming in from the left hand side, with a low curling shot. Our problems compiled as we went down to ten after Adam Kweifio-oka picked up his second booking. To say the Referee was card happy might be an understatement. The match saw five players from CCFC go into the book before the match ended. Christoph Achsenick did his best impression of Manuel Neuer making a couple of very important second half stops, tipping one against the post to keep us level.
With the big man on the park, substitute Lee Hayward became our target man up front and came close to putting us on top again but his shot hit the post. A square post would have turned it in and the rebound came out, dangling in front of Nick Tzevakos who couldn't get there in time to put it in.
Not accepting the fact that we were down a man, with five minutes left the defense sent up a long ball that was met by Lee. His flick on was met by Mike Maddocks who ran on to it, slotting it away from just inside the box for his second goal and winning goal in as many games. Collingwood scraped out tough a win all things considered and will be hoping for a more cohesive performance at home against Old Camberwell Grammarians this weekend!
After the game, manager Richard Bates said
"Although it was not a pretty game to watch and we did not play our possession game, we showed great fight, passion, and team character for us to get over the line. We must continue with this attitude and desire to dig deep when we need to and focus on our next match against Old Camberwell."
Photos by The Sporting Wall
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