Games 9, 10 and 11 of my season

by Alex's view from the terrace on Nov 20, 2012

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Whether it's a popular view or not, I'm definitely enthused by the idea of the Wanderers making a strong showing in their inaugural HAL season. So, after their narrow defeat to Sydney FC in their last home outing, an historic first home win (and first home goals) certainly made for an enjoyable evening at Parramatta Stadium. Despite any misgivings that Sydney or Jets fans may have about Mark Bridge's talents, it's his goals that have proved decisive in both of Western Sydney's wins to-date. However pleasing Bridge's effort was on the night, however, it was Patrick Gerhardt's own-goal that really caught the eye. As own-goals go, this one was pretty spectacular. I don't want to appear to be rubbing Heart fans' collective noses in what was, for them, a pretty awful thing to behold but just looking at it again on replay convinces me that this finish will be making end-of-season highlights packages. On saying all of that, Josip Tadic's close-range finish from a tight angle to make the score 2-1 was very tidy indeed and made the closing stages a genuine contest. It should also be mentioned that yet more credit is due to the RBB for maintaining both a spectacle and a noise level throughout the game that is to be admired and applauded.

I wasn't exactly hopeful or optimistic on the way up to Gosford on Saturday afternoon, but I had no idea of just what kind of horror there was to come. If I'm to concentrate on the positives, then I'd have to talk about the Mariners. Rogic and McGlinchey simply ran the midfield and Boston's own Denis Leary continued his second career as an Australian footballer under the assumed name Daniel McBreen. For a commedian-cum-actor, he's making a pretty good fist of it with some ruthless finishing. In terms of sheer comical play, though, it was Sydney's defence that were providing that in spades. Slapstick, farce and travesty were all pretty well covered and as part of Sydney's support present in Gosford, the joke was well-and-truly on us. I didn't see anyone in sky blue laughing, though.

The following round was one that many were counting on to renew some faith in our team. That statement was just as relevant to Victory fans as it was for the SFC faithful. The main difference being, Melbourners might just have had some of that faith in Ange and their team restored. After 7 full seasons of following the sky blues, I'm certainly used to my fair share of the absurd, the ridiculous and the laughable. This was almost exactly what those of us in attendance experienced in the space of 90 minutes at the SFS in round 6 of HAL. It was fairly absurd to expect the home side to be 2-0 after 75 minutes, it was patently ridiculous that that same 2-0 lead would be relinquishes in what time remained and any title ambitions that Sydney may have retained now seem utterly laughable. Rightly or wrongly, Ian Crook decided that enough was enough for him in charge of the team. Whatever else he may or may not have been wrong about, he was very right when he said that his successor will need time to make something of this season.

Important personal stat: Sydney FC vs. Melbourne Victory on Saturday, November 10th was my 100th visit to the SFS to watch football.

OK, I've also seen one game of rugby league there. It was the 80's, I was young, I didn't really know what I was doing...