Had I been doing this blog over 10 years ago, I wouldn't have gone more than a few days wihout writing something about the 'Melbourne Derby' let alone a few weeks. For some reason on my way to the match I was thinking about how different the fixture has become. What was once the date I would look for immediately every year when the fixtures were released. What was once something I would countdown to for weeks, is now something I look forward to after work that day. Gone are the days of thousands of people coming close to filling a stadium and creating a pulsating atmosphere. It has now sadly become nothing more than any other game. A great crowd now is anywhere near 1000+ which was once an average crowd against Green Gully or Altona Magic. I have shown such little interest in the ocassion this year that I haven't even bothered to check our rival blog to see what they have been saying about us.
As far as the match itself went, you couldnt asking for much more (other than the three points). If you were wanting to put your case forward about the club to anyone this was the match to do it. The crowd was good, the weather was fine, there were plenty of goals and not a sign of any violence which Melbourne Victory has been plaguing the league with in recent times (without any form of sanction it would seem).
An early lead was as good as it was going to get for us. While a comment about us probably going on tok lose 3 - 1 may not have been correct, it was at least pointing in the right direction. There have definitely been easier losses to swallow than this one, but I don't think we can really fault the boys all that much. We are a very young side with injuries shuffling around our 11 weel to week, against a side who has the luxury of splashing the cash on quality players every year (at least until the government funding runs out).
Jason Hicks may not have done what I was hoping he would do, but he did enough to impress one older Knights fan who went on to claim he is our best player since the NSL, could play anywhere in the world apart from the EPL and that we should send him to Hajduk Split. And we always have the return leg for him to make things right.
Our loss to Avondale hurt me a lot more than the one against South did. I'll even go as far as saying that it is worse than our second round loss to Heidelberg.
Our last Friday night match at home, which I don't agree with for a number of reasons. Mainly because I just prefer Friday nights. And I think the majority of our fans who aren't in or approaching retirement would agree. But also I don't buy the arguement that it's too cold in winter, Sunday afternoons in then middle of winter are bloody cold and if you can bare them you can bare Friday nights. And a lot of people just don't want to go on a Sunday afternoon. I'll go no matter when we play, but Sunday afternoon I believe is the worst time lot and is probably the day I would miss most games due to other commitments. People with young kids who are out at 8am for juniors football don't want to hang around until 5pm. Nor do people want to hang around for a drink as is evident by the place being a ghost town by 6pm. Nothing beats a few drinks before the game after work on a Friday, followed by more of the same until 1, 2 or even 3am on some occasions this season.
Anyway the only thing lacking from our first half performance was another three or four goals. We definitely created the chances but failed to take them. What happened at the break still remains a mystery to me and how two teams can come out the complete opposite the way they did that night just doesn't add up. I initally jumped to the conclusion that our season was over, until common sense prevailed and I realised it was only just the half way mark.
Our last fixture was far more pleasant than the two prior. My first time back to CB Smith since we donned the ol' camouflage jersey. The place sure has changed a bit with the old stand being knocked down and rebuilt on an adjacent pitch. Nice little set up and decent stand, just a shame there was no foresight with some genius placing three light towers between the playing arena and the stand blocking a fair bit of the view from numerous spots. Another match where our 11 had to be reshuffled due to injuries and suspensions but the boys definitely proved they have what it takes. I felt that they dominated throughout the match and the result never really looked in doubt, even after heading into the rooms the exact same way we did the week before.
Jason Hicks took another step closer to anywhere else in the world after the break with a well taken goal on his weaker right foot. The magic man together with Stipo Andrijasevic were unstoppable with both finding the back of the net after assisting each other. But I think the man in yellow may have beat them both for man of the match after showing two Pascoe Vale players red. I really do think that he listened to me when I told him he still owes us three red cards against them.
The win put us back into contention for finals just a week after the season was prematurely labelled over. But even though the boys have shown they have what it takes to put away the teams below us, it seems we may need to have a bit of activity in the window if we are to be able to take on the few at the top.
And finally tonight our much anticipated FFA Cup clash against our Croatian brothers Dandenong City. Win and were probably cunts, but lose and they will all laugh. I learnt from our last cup match that if you are 50/50 about going to a match, go as you will never no what you may miss out on. But if there is one thing that can stop me from going to a game, it's man flu.
*Please note this is a rush job, affected by sickness and medication. Therefor there are no images and more than likely a handful of mistakes with a lot of bad writing.