Sunday, March 15, 2009

Zebras and Lions share the spoils of the hunt

Photos (top to bottom): 1 Ross Hinkley's free-kick clears the crossbar
2. Charles White tussles with Ryan Smith
3. The captains greet the officials for the toss
4. Ben Crosswell is shown the red card

[Click on photo to view large version.]

Tilford Zebras (3-5-2): Kaden - Telega, Smith, Pace - Brazendale, Fagg, D Lapolla (Engels 77), Thorpe, Self - Crosswell, Walsh [Substitutes not used: Connolly, F Lapolla] [Coach: N Lapolla]

Kingborough Lions United (4-4-2): Voss - Palmer, Iseli, Pearce, Wells - R Hinkley, Andrews, Marchioli, Schuth - Greg Freeman (McDonald 54), White [Substitutes not used: Bremner, Bevan, Leamey] [Coach: Geoff Freeman]

HT: 3-2 Att: 120 Ref: B Kopra

The score in this game could have been 9-9 and it wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow amongst the spectators.

Either side could have won it.

A 4-4 draw seemed fitting, therefore, in a game that featured atrocious defending and squandered opportunities.

Greg Freeman had three good chances in the first 11 minutes, but it wasn’t until the 25-minute mark that his efforts were rewarded.

He went on to score two goals before being substituted because of injury shortly after the interval.

Ben Crosswell was sent off in the 64th minute. He had been fouled on the half-way line and was awarded a free-kick when he inexplicably picked up the ball and threw it at Joel Schuth’s head.

A sudden rush of blood to the head? It has cost him the chance to win a second consecutive Vic Tuting Silver Medal.

The two goalkeepers - Zebras’ Troy Kaden and Kingborough’s Jason Voss - usually did what they had to do well, but the same cannot be said of the defenders in front of them.

Both defences proved porous and gave away needless goals, which added to the spectacle but which will have their coaches rushing to devise training sessions to overcome basic deficiencies.

The strikers from both sides will be kicking themselves at their misses. Easy chances were waiting to be snapped up but went begging. They’ll have nightmares about some of these.

Kingborough created the first chance of the match. In the 5th minute, Charles White fed Freeman down the left, but his shot was deflected for a corner.

In the 9th minute, Ricky Self got his head to a corner at the far post, but a defender also got a touch and the ball rose into the air and landed on top of the crossbar and dropped out of play for another corner.

A minute later, Freeman caught the Zebras defence flat-footed and raced clear, but he sent his shot wide.

Within seconds, Freeman was again in with a chance, but being stationary, he could not get any power into his header, which he tried to loop over Kaden, and the ball fell into the keeper’s arms.

In the 11th minute, the Zebras’ Aaron Brazendale sent in a perfect cross from the right, but Daniel Lapolla headed over the bar.

Dwayne Walsh showed a nice turn of speed in the 20th minute as he outpaced the Kingborough defence, but his shot flew wide.

Freeman hit pay dirt in the 25th minute. His first shot was blocked, but he netted from the rebound to put the Lions in front.

It took the Zebras only five minutes to draw level. Josh Thorpe’s free-kick from just outside the box on the right was headed home by Crosswell.

The Zebras should have been ahead a minute later when Crosswell put Lapolla clean through the middle, but Voss blocked the shot with his feet.

In the 33rd minute, Freeman should have put the Lions in front. He controlled a cross from the left by Ross Hinkley and outfoxed two defenders, only to shoot over the bar.

He atoned for his laxity when, in the 36th minute, he collected a long goal-kick by Voss and again beat two defenders. This time he fired past Kaden to make it 2-1 for the Lions.

Zebras were level within a minute, Walsh running on to Lapolla’s pass and beating Voss with his shot.

Kingborough hit back as Schuth struck a firm shot over the bar in the 42nd minute.

Two minutes before the break, confusion between Voss and Michael Wells allowed the Zebras to take the lead for the first time. They both hesitated and each left the ball for the other, enabling Henry Fagg to nip in and score into an open net to give Zebras a 3-2 lead at half-time.

With just under an hour gone, Schutch found himself on the edge of the box but unable to make an angle for a shot. He knocked the ball back to Marcello Marchioli, who scored with a marvellous shot that gave Kaden no chance and took the score to 3-3.

In the 61st minute, Thorpe’s corner to the back post was headed back across goal by Ryan Smith and Fagg was there to head his second and Zebras’ fourth.

Two minutes later, Kaden had to dive to his left to keep out a shot by White.

Zebras’ cause was dealt a blow in the 64th minute when Crosswell received his marching orders and the Lions smelt blood against just ten Zebras opponents.

In the 66th minute, Kaden again did well to bring off a save, this time against Ross Hinkley.

In the 70th minute, it was Voss’s turn to come to his side’s rescue. Lapolla crossed from the right to Walsh inside the 6-yard box, but Voss smothered two efforts by the striker to force the ball into the net.

Within a minute, it was 4-4. Substitute Tom McDonald robbed Smith of the ball 30 metres from goal and he was untroubled in advancing and slotting the ball past an unprotected Kaden.

Thorpe should have done better than shoot straight at Voss in the 75th minute, but White missed an even better chance for Kingborough with two minutes remaining when he was left with only Kaden to beat, but he fired wide.

The match thus ended at 4-4 with neither side satisfied, but probably relieved at having at least earned a point.


  • Tilford Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla, said:

“Defensively, we just let silly goals in. We just let them in.

“Every time we scored, we just let silly goals go in.

“A controversial sending-off changed the game. A few off-sides didn’t go our way.

“Not a good day. Not a good day.”

  • Kingborough Lions United coach, Geoff Freeman, said:

“Not much defending, or quality defending, from either side.

“Certainly, both sides going forward looked dangerous most of the times they went forward.

“I think we showed a lot of character after going up, and then going up again and them getting ahead 3-2, we showed a bit of character to get back in the game.

“We let ourselves down defensively, but going forward, a lot of promising signs.

“We should have won it. We should have won it.”


17 Goal Attempts 14
9 Shots on Target 6
7 Corners 5
6 Fouls Committed 13
1 Off-Sides 5
1 (Smith 85) Yellow Cards 1 (Marchioli 89)
1 (Crosswell 64) Red Cards 0

Tilford Zebras:
Thorpe 5 2
Self 2 1
Crosswell 2 1
D Lapolla 1 0
Walsh 3 2
Telega 2 1
Fagg 2 2

Kingborough Lions United:

Greg Freeman 6 2
Schuth 1 0
White 4 2
Marchioli 1 1
R Hinkley 2 1


Charlie White said...

8 goal thriller! Glad i was not in the backline for either team, although I'm pretty sure that Zebras were pretty happy that i was up front at the end! Good point Lions, shame about the muppet misses...

harden up maggots said...

what was the sending off for ???

Charlie White said...

Benny got fouled at about half way right next to the tough line and he had the ball in his hand as he was walking off, I think a few boys were having a bit to say to each other about the weather and then Benny was walking away from Brett Andrews and he flicked the ball back without looking at where it was going and it Brett in the head just above the eye. It was not a send off offence, I think the ref simply saw Ben flick the ball backwards and head contact, means he gave a red. Benny did not intend to hit Brett in the head and it was soft to say the least, but I suppose that is the breaks. It was Zebras free kick too, so I think it was costly to say the least for them.

Old Man River said...

Funny how people seem to get so worked up over simple conversations about the weather!

Stick said...

Great to see such a humble man as you Charlie, very accurate comments.. Wouldn't expect you too have hit the target with your right foot without any pre season, extremely lucky for the Zebras to come away with the point, definately lacking a bit of leadership and stabliity, but that will come.. What about the outside of your left Charlie???

Charlie White said...

I think if it was on the outside of the left it may well have crept in!