For every round of A-League football in 2020/21, FTBL will be handing out awards for the brilliant, bad and bizarre moments each week. In round six, there were kung-fu kicks, new records set, and a shocking tackle.
The Flying Boot Award
The Wanderers and Victory both decided on Wednesday night that challenging for a high ball with your foot is far more effective than your head.
Well, at least they thought this was the case.
First Graham Dorrans fly kicked Marco Rojas in the face.
The Kiwi had to come off immediately and was taken to hospital with facial lacerations.
In the second half, Dorrans put the Wanderers in front from the penalty spot after Rudy Gestede returned serve by raising his boot to Bernie Ibini in the area.
Yeah that’s a penalty. Bernie Ibini of the Wanderers is caught high by Rudy Gestede of the Victory in the penalty area during tonights A-League match at Bankwest Stadium. @gettysport @gettyimages @wswanderersfc @bernieibini @RudyGestede @ALeague pic.twitter.com/MrUaRbLdhf— Ryan Pierse (@RyanPierse) February 10, 2021
The selection of roundhouse kicks on display was something more akin to Taekwondo rather than football.
The History Maker Award
Macarthur striker Matt Derbyshire made history on Friday night by becoming the first to score a hat-trick in any competition for the Bulls.
The Englishman was well-known for his poaching ability back in the UK. We finally got a glimpse of what he is capable of against Adelaide.
4 - Matt Derbyshire (@mfcbulls) was directly involved in four goals in this evening's #MACvADL #ALeague match (3 goals, 1 assist) - only one player has had more in a game in the last nine seasons (5 by Alessandro Del Piero - 4 goals, 1 assist v WEL in January 2013). Night. pic.twitter.com/wpnnPCdlLM— OptaJason (@OptaJason) February 12, 2021
All three of his goals came inside the six-yard box, whilst he also laid on a deft touch to send through Mark Milligan for their third goal of the game.
He also scored in Redcliffe against Brisbane last Tuesday, taking his tally for the season so far to five.
The Young And The Restless Award
As brilliant as Derbyshire and Macarthur were, the Reds defensive woes run deep.
Carl Veart has a massive task in trying to get his young troops organised at the back.
They conceded another three times in the last twenty minutes of the match.
Half the goals Adelaide have conceded this season have come in the last twenty minutes.
Given the number of young players playing each week consistently, you can understand such a statistic, due to the potential lack of stamina compared with more experienced players.
Feeling much better about my preseason prediction - Derbyshire for golden boot.— Rob Cornthwaite (@robcornthwaite) February 12, 2021
Adelaide United’s away form can not be ignored any longer. Can’t fault the effort but basic defensive principals ignored.
Kids are an excuse but the gap between AU best and worst is miles apart.
However, the manner of the goals is the biggest concern for Veart.
Late on in games teams can switch off from set-pieces, but to leave gaping holes centrally in the defence is amateurish.
Adelaide must sort out their basic defensive structure before the manager pays the price.
The Award For Worst Tackle Of The Season So Far
We mentioned the horrific high boot challenges from Wanderers and Victory players last week above.
However, even those two tackles cannot be compared with the out of control tackle by David Ball on Matt Simon in Wellington's clash with the Mariners on Sunday.
The Englishman first made a stupid decision to play at a 50/50 ball in a non-threatening area of the pitch.
The tackle itself was a disgrace, with both feet off the ground, studs up and Ball using excessive force.
No wonder referee Daniel Elder made the decision so quickly.