In A League Of Its Own – Issue 3

Tom’s weekly outlook on the A-League

Of the ten teams that played in round one of season 2010/11, only one took home the full 3 points. Subsequently, the other four matches resulted in a draw. 16 minutes into the new A-League season and Melbourne Heart’s A-league journey, Central Coast Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson tucked away a header to give his side the only goal for the match and the only victory of the round. Despite a late flurry from Heart, a little over 11,000 saw the Gosford based side rise to the top of the table.

After that opening game, every match was a draw. Two of these matches, were brilliant three-all draws that were fantastic advertisements for the A-League, whereas the other two were genuinely excruciating stalemates. The second fixture of the round was played at Hindmarsh stadium in Adelaide, and two newly managed teams cautiously made their way to a predictable nil-all result. The other shocker was from Skilled Park and was the South-East Queensland Derby (surely there’s a shorter name than that) contested (barely) between hosts Gold Coast and new-look Brisbane Roar. These two sides provided us with a couple of very fiery matches last season, but there wasn’t any of that on show come Sunday afternoon.

On the other hand, Saturday night’s thriller would have been the most exciting game of football going around in Perth if it wasn’t for a tight West Coast match at Subiaco, which attracted twice the amount of people than the A-League classic. After just six minutes, Perth capitalised on ridiculously lazy defending from North Queensland to score a goal that probably left the Fury faithful wondering why they had made one of the longest domestic sport trips in the world to watch their  pathetic team lose again. But then two of their three good players (David Williams and former Sydney player Chris Payne) turned things around up the front end, scoring two to give them the lead early in the second half. Just as they thought they might grab a flukey win, the Fury conceded two with their awful defence playing a big hand in both. The last chance came in the ninety-second minute through a corner. Fury pushed their keeper up, who took a centre-back for marking in the process, leaving Fury captain Chris Grossman to score a headed equaliser.

The “Grand Final Rematch” from the Sydney Football Stadium (SFS) was a brilliant contest. It finished three all but there could have been several results in another classic from these two fierce rivals. Thirty-six minutes in, Kevin Muscat showed that he may have gone on a season too long, dawdling with the ball in his own 18 yard box and losing it to Mark Bridge who set up Alex Brosquefor a tap-in. Captain Terry McFlynn made it two after a looping header over new Victory keeper Michael Petkovic. But then, Melbourne Victory scored three in the space of seven minutes to hit the front through Broxham, Duganzic and Celeski and seemed to have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. A soft free-kick given against Roddy Vargas in the eighty-third gave Shannon Cole an opportunity to convert from 20 yards out. Convert he did with a curling shot, and he provided each side with two points to share.

Judging by the first round, there might be a few surprises in store for the rest of the season. North Queensland mightn’t be as bad as predicted, Melbourne Heart may not be powerhouses in their inaugral campaign and Central Coast could well be up there come season’s end. This week, AAMI Park’s game is the Victory taking on Perth on Saturday at 7.30 pm. The Victory want a full house, so after these two sides scored three each last weekend, you can expect a high-scoring game with a great crowd of 25-30,000 and a proper football atmosphere.

About Tom Riordan

Tom Riordan is in his second year of a Bachelor of Journalism at Swinburne University. He loves all sports, and plays for Brunswick Cricket Club. He supports the Western Bulldogs and can be found on weekends among half a dozen others in Q38 on the top level of the MCC.


  1. Tom you’re booting goals with your write-up! I felt I was at the matches. (unbiased tho I am)

  2. Great read, Tom.

    How do you rate Melbourne Heart? A lot of the experts predicted they’d make an appearance in finals, but is that just wishful thinking? Or still too early to tell?

  3. Susie,
    Heart didn’t show alot onThursday night against CCM, although it is very early on, and their full squad has only been together for two weeks. They might sneak into the finals with the brilliant squad they have, but I think that Heart will finish 7th just missing out on a title shot.

  4. Tommy,
    Is there any logic to this spate of 3-3 results? Great drama!

  5. We’ve had no rain at all so far tonight (as I can recall!), which may mean a SLOW upgrade, although cross-city conditions can vary. I’ve ignored Race 2, but owners reckon No 14 is a good chance if the track is not too chopped.

  6. Sorry Tom, put that on the wrong post. Hope the weekend’s soccer is a goal feast and your Victory get a win.

  7. Crio (#4),
    Three Three-Three draws in only two rounds!!! If this is how the A-League is going to pan out for version 6, then wow! Looking forward to tonight’s game at AAMI Park. Melbourne Victory are taking on Perth and it should be a cracker, I’d say the Victory to scrape it 3-2.

  8. Tom
    I think we should get Gigs to run a line over the 3-3 issue. I note he has done it again today with the 2.2 qtr time score and has spruiked early and ultimately with cause.

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