This is patchy. Too many distractions. Besides, you all saw it on TV.
This wasn't too bad. But Wolves needed the three points more than Olympic did. The draw was a fair result. I'm more disappointed by the result of the youth game (which followed, because of the TV scheduling). Wollongong, coming second, were beaten 3-1 by Olympic. And Olympic played much of the game with ten players. They held out well. And even scored their third toward the end. And Wolves' goal was from a penalty!
But back to the main event and the distractions. First, the Olympic fans. Through no fault of their own a great many of them sat in reserved seats. Seats reserved mainly for Wolves season ticket holders. But also for Olympic fans who forked out a few extra dollars. The Olympic interlopers came early. An hour early some of them. And were told they could sit anywhere (they should have been told they could sit anywhere at the other end of the stand). But when the Wolves fans arrived five minutes before the game, or as the game was starting, to settle into their reserved seats, guess who was sitting in them. Now, the Olympic fans in our seats were quite polite and shuffled along into someone else's reserved seats. So we were fine. Sitting among Olympic fans. But arguments were breaking out all around us about the rights and wrongs of who should and could and would be sitting where. Almost as many security people were milling around us as were later to appear behind the goal from whence those flares were thrown. The Olympic people must have looked more determined or finders keepers must have applied coz we were soon able to sit back quietly in our little sea of Greekness and watch the game.
Until the Second Disturbance. Which I didn't mind. But which Penny did. As did the Greek supporters around us. There was a Brazilian musical outfit there. Parading around banging drums and wiggling bums with not much pants attached. The sort of thing you've seen during the World Cup or in coverage of South American football. But I gather it's not a very Greek thing. Especially when the Brazilian drummers start up with "Wollongong, (bam, bash, bang), Wollongong etc". Lots of grumbling around us. The grumbling probably rates as Disturbance Three.
Disturbance Four was Christopher taking my pen so he could get the youth team to autograph one of his several Wolves caps.
Wolves started with: Pogliacomi, Souris, Ceccoli, Sinozic, Horsley, Chipperfield, Younis, Spencer, Petrovski, Huxley, Reid. Brooks, Masi and Langan were on the bench. Stanton was away admiring his collection of yellow cards, as I believe Sinozic may be next week, which will save him some jetting about. Surjan joined Dimoski and Karavatakis in the youth team.
Olympic started with Bouhoutsos, Thomas, Tsekenis, Tome, Culina, Cardozo, Emerton, Brennan, Juric, and two guys who weren't in the program and it's too late to look them up but I read in the paper a couple of days ago that Branko was very pleased with the way they'd settled into the team and they sounded like: Durakovic and Duroyavic. Kalantzis and Carle came on as subs.
Souris was Wolves' man of the match. Comfortably absorbed most of Olympic's attacks. Cardozo didn't get much of a look in. Chipperfield did a bearable job of chasing Emerton who was also not that impressive. Culina was dangerous a couple of times. I thought Tsekenis was most disruptive to the Wolves' routine. Several people around me were cheering Brennan.
From the kick off Wolves were hitting long balls for Younis to chase. He often got near to them but wasn't able to do much with them when he had a touch. Brennan and Durakovic had his number. He had a chance after 14 minutes. Tome gave away a free kick tackling Horsley from the ground. Reid's free kick found Ceccoli's head but it went nowhere and was cleared, eventually finding Chipperfield who danced down the left passed four Olympic players, including Emerton, hit a perfect cross for Younis who headed wide.
The first decent chance was from Culina. He turned Sinozic on the edge of the goal box and forced Pogliacomi to make decent save.
Younis had a good break in the 25th minute but Durakovic ran him down and pushed him wide enough to make his shot pretty wimpy.
The same guy cleared after the goalie spilled a Chipperfield cross and Horsley tried to punish him.
Wolves' first decent chance came after Petrovski (who had another swell game) turned on the edge of the area and set one up for Spencer to whack and for Bouhoutsos to turn round the post for a corner. Apart from lobbing the ball towards Younis, Wolves other "tactic" is setting up Spencer for a slog from outside the area. Tonight he rarely got one in just the right place or for the right foot to let loose on target. He had a solid game, though, also doing his fair share of running down Emerton.
A Horsley cross gave Younis another heading chance just before half time but the teams went in 0-0.
Tome had a slog just after the restart when Wolves' keeper and defenders turned on their well-rehearsed "Series of bungles and desperate clearance" act -- but he blasted wide.
At the other end Reid hit one high, and Spencer was on the wrong foot for a hit so he chipped one in for Chipperfield to put a soft header wide.
From half way through the first half to the beginning of the second Wolves seemed on top. But. Then. Things changed.
In the 60th minute Culina forced Pogliacomi to push a shot over the bar. Kalantzis came on for Tome. From the corner Emerton headed his goal (poor old Wolves are such short asses) and down came the flares.
Wolves were rattled. Couple of minutes later Huxley was booked for hacking down Emerton and then Sinozic was booked for finely tripping someone.
Masi and Brooks came on for Younis and Reid in the 71st minute. Reid did well in the first half but tuckered himself out. Brooks had something to prove. And almost as soon as he came on was trying to score with a bicycle kick. He's not wrong in thinking Wolves need how-to-put-the-ball-in-the-net lessons. His goal was a successful attempt at what one of his team mates had just failed. He was pleased as punch. But only minutes later he joined the Spectacular Misses Club and coach Nick T was waving his arms around in exasperation.
Leo Carle came on in the 75th minute after someone was stretchered off. He got back up again and looked like he wanted to resume. But it was too late.
AAP said Emerton's goal was undeserved. Made the game sound more one-sided than I thought it was. Or maybe I've come to understand that Wolves having the ball a lot around their opponent's penalty area doesn't mean much.