Photos (Top to Bottom): Zebras give the ball away in midfield; Twenty players squeeze into a narrow strip in midfield at a goal-kick; Kingborough's Tom McDonald is foiled in front of goal; Kingborough's Trent Pearce misses a chance; Kingborough's Marc Iseli heads over the bar from a corner; Kingborough's Trent Pearce is denied a goal; Zebras keeper Troy Kaden catches a corner; Kingborough's Marcello Marcioli wins the ball in midfield; Zebras' Ben Crosswell is thwarted inside the box; Zebras' Jayden Welch flashes the ball across the face of goal; Zebras' Ben Crosswell runs away after scoring, followed by happy team-mates Ricky Self, Kurt Engels and Fabian Lapolla
TILFORD ZEBRAS 3-2 KINGBOROUGH LIONS UNITED
This was not a game worthy of teams in the top four of the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League.
Tilford Zebras did not look like league leaders, while Kingborough had no goalkeeping problems this time but fell down badly in attack.
Both sides squandered golden opportunities and that is why the match did not end up as the type of goal feast that has characterised the meetings between these sides in the league this season.
Still, five goals is a mini-feast, I suppose. But, there should have been many more.
Kingborough will be ruing their missed chances in the first half against a Zebras defence that was poor.
Time and again, Charles White, Tom McDonald and Trent Pearce were presented with fine openings but failed to capitalise.
Troy Kaden and Henry Fagg frequently saved the day through sheer good fortune rather than design and it looked very much like a comedy of errors.
I have often praised the talents of Kurt Engels and Jayden Walsh, the two Zebras wingmen. But, they both had poor games and could be feeling the pressure in the top flight now that Aaron Brazendale has left for overseas.
After missing several early chances, Kingborough hit the front in the 11th minute when White cut the ball back across the face of goal from the byline on the left and Trent Pearce was untroubled in side-footing home.
Ben Crosswell, who had earlier hit a post, equalised in the 20th minute with a fine curling shot from wide on the right, the ball lodging just inside David Leamey’s far right-hand post.
Fabian Lapolla also went close with a low drive that flashed just wide of the same post.
Crosswell put Zebras in front in the 54th minute when he was left unmarked beyond the far post at a corner from the right and looped a header back across goal and into the net.
A delightful pass by substitute Matt Hall in the 71st minute put Dwayne Walsh through the Lions’ defence and he finished clinically to make it 3-1.
White should have scored for the Lions in the 77th minute when he was unmarked close to goal, but he mis-timed his header badly from Michael Wells’s left-wing cross and put the ball high over the bar.
Marc Iseli did pull a goal back in the 89th minute with a header from a corner, but the Lions had used their extra lives by that stage and could not claw their way back.
- Tilford Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla, said:
“In the end, it was three points. It’s as simple as that.
“Three points, and we’ve just got to keep winning.
“I was a ‘dirty’ win. We played good in patches, we played bad in patches, but it was three points.”
- Kingborough Lions United coach, Geoff Freeman, said:
“I was happy with the way we played in the first half, except for our finishing.
“We should have been probably 4-2 up at half-time.
“In the second half, we didn’t play with the same intensity and they came at us and probably deserved to be in front.
“But, late on, we battled and probably did enough maybe to have snuck a point.
“Disappointed with our finishing today. We created enough opportunities, and clear-cut opportunities, but we just didn’t take them and they took theirs.”
Tilford Zebras: Kaden - Fagg, Telega, Smith, Pace - K Engels, Self, F Lapolla (Hall 67), Welch - Walsh, Crosswell (Substitutes not used: Connolly, Mainella)
Goals: Crosswell 20, 54, Walsh 71
Kingborough Lions United: Leamey - Palmer, Iseli, D Pearce, Wells - T Pearce (Bremner 85), Andrews, Marchioli, Hinkley (Bevan 63) - McDonald, White (Substitutes not used: McConnon, Voss)
Booked: Andrews 65
Goals: T Pearce 11, Iseli 89
Ref: P Galloway