Curtin held at home by ill disciplined Balga

5 MAY | BY CAMPBELL BALLANTYNE

A glorious crisp Friday night saw us held at 1-1 at home by a strong, but ill disciplined, Balga side. The game changed drastically only 9 minutes in. On advice from the assistant Balga’s Danny Cain was sent off for what appeared to be stamping on the knee of Khaled Salhah and Curtin were awarded a penalty. With Salhah off the field receiving treatment for stud shaped lacerations on the inside of his left knee Carlo Chiellini stepped forward to convert the penalty and give Curtin an early lead. It was 10 v 10 for 7 or 8 minutes while Salhah got treatment, but when he returned Curtin had a man advantage for the remained of the game.

Curtin started to grow into the game for the remainder of the first half, despite having some chance they failed to extend the lead which would of made life very tough for a 10 man Balga. The second half saw Balga come out strong and for much of the half looked the better team. Despite that Eddie Tikoft had a powerful low shot well saved down to his left by Jordan Howell. Balga got their just rewards for mounting pressure, Antony Russo miss qued a header beating both Curtin centre backs before Rob Keegan miss his clearance. The ball fell kindly to Daniel Moss who beat jack Kenny with a low strike on 64 minutes.

The remainder of the match saw Balga have most of the possession, but despite a series of corners and set pieces did not create many cut throat chances, to the credit of the Curtin Back four of Keegan Beven, Donnelly and Chiellini. Sid Mokala had the best chance to send Curtin 2-1 up his first time strike was saved, from just under the bar by an acrobatic Howell, when perhaps he should of scored.

Following the first half incident Salhah only lasted 5 minutes of the second half before having to be withdrawn. Post match Salhah felt the incident was deliberate and malicious. Balga coach Aleks Vrteski said “ I spoke to the player and he told me he caught him but didn’t mean it, I went in hard but it wasn’t a stamp” . Vreski will wait with baited breath on the length of suspension which could be 1, 2 or 3 weeks depending how the referee interprets the incident. Balga however will have to address on field discipline as 8 other players were cautioned to go with the sending off.