Breakers v Wollongong

Round 18 Match report by Chris Dunkerley
Breakers v Wollongong

A scrappy start but 3 good moves from the Wolves (WW) showed they were there meaning business. A great move from Halpin which only earned a corner. McGuire then caught off-side on a good move (not the last time tonight). Breakers (NB) were being too slow to close down and the WW looking a bit desperate as well they might! At 10 min Joseski has a half chance and at the other end McGuire has a big chance - and bombs it! Halpin takes one of his nice corners but the attack is not positioning well and young WW keeper Brodbeck (in lieu of Hughes) takes well!

NB decide to pick up the pace and Halpin takes a long range shot, and then Ritchie challenges well but Brodbeck gathers up. 15 min and a period of midfield scrapping leads to a well struck Harry James shot which Brodbeck again takes well. Then another period when NB are pushing up but they take the long ball option too much.

WW find hope with a free Joseski strike saved by Baker. McGuire has a chance at the 35 min. but it hits Brodbeck's outstretched legs! Ebb and flow with both teams pretty committed, then James has a half chance at the south end, while in front of the Rowdies now finding voice Reda forced a save out of Baker. NB playing the off-side trap well as WW push for a goal before halftime, although Surjan goes very close.

It is NB through Troy Halpin who at last break the deadlock. A head-up Austin picks out McGuire with a nicely timed (on-side) and weighted through ball, and the young striker centres superbly to Halpin lurking at the far post (TFP) who makes no mistake. 1-0

After the sponge down at half-time the Wolves look even more determined, and really want the equaliser. Joseski makes a feeble attempt but WW building well from their own half with width. NB are also trying to get more width and a cross from Halpin is well cut out by Brodbeck with 3 NB up. 57 min and Ceccoli is free but Baker saves.

WW push up and run the off-side trap well with NB (esp. McGuire) continually caught out! Baker palms away safely a 30m strike from Connolly, followed by a good forward move by NB with Ritchie making a good try. Then James puts in a good cross which Brodbeck again picks out.

WW are looking stronger and at 72 min Joseski is left free but puts it over. Laybutt goes free well down the right channel but Austin makes a copybook sliding tackle to clear. Van Egmond puts a superb long through ball to Chipperfield which Baker does well to cover. Joseski has a half chance at one end then NB have 3 up on one but Brodbeck reads James well. Wilson tries a long shot but is over the bar.

WW are now pressing up and NB are looking to expose them on the break (seems fair! :-)). Several more half chances to both teams end with the final whistle and the Breakers are 1 - 0 (3rd win in a row!)

Best: MOM Brodbeck, followed by Halpin.
Best for NB: Halpin, James, McGuire, Wilson.
Best for Wolves: Brodbeck, Connolly, Van Egmond, Joseski.

Rowdies: Well supported with the chants coming over well on OV. This time Cockerill even mentioned you.

A hard fought and even match. I suspect that our players were a little off the boil after two heavy weeks but maybe the rest next week will help. Wollongong are a step down and sometimes it's easier to play the better teams. We certainly missed Scotty Thomas and Sharpley wasn't a real fill in! Hopefully Ironside and Bennett will be fit in Rnd 20 and we get back Scotty and Clayton. Let's hope Halpin's card didn't take him over. Good to see the squad depth coming to the fore though! Knock off Sth Melbourne and top 6 is more a reality! Shame about UTS getting those points!