Friday, April 3, 2009

Tilford Zebras lose perfect record in Reserves

Reserve League, KGV Park, Friday, 3 April 2009

Tilford Zebras 1 (K Engels 56)
New Town Eagles 3 (M Fennell 30, 44, 80)

HT: 0-2 Att: 100 Ref: P Galloway

Tilford Zebras: Mainella - Mcguire (Young 68), Fotak, Genovesi, Stevens - K Engels, Hall, Pullen, Fisher (McGregor 70), L Engels - Venettacci (Viney 62) [Coach: R Frediani]

New Town Eagles: Minty - Westland, Grabek, K Lebski, Ashwood - Ferrall, Pope (Quan 70), Shackcloth, Whitehall - Anderson (J Clamp 55), M Fennell (Hagger 85) [Coach: R Bones]

Everyone who saw this match will be wondering how it was that Reserve League leaders Tilford Zebras lost to fifth-placed New Town Eagles.

Zebras dominated possession and had more than twice as many shots as New Town Eagles, yet they lost 3-1.

Matt Fennell is one answer.

The Eagles striker was playing his first match of the season in the reserves and scored a hat-trick, characterised by intelligence, opportunism and clinical finishing.

It was the Eagles counter-attacks that sank a Zebras side that played some attractive and effective football, but who also squandered chances galore.

The Engels brothers, Luke and Kurt, were excellent for Zebras and they combined to make and score their side’s solitary goal.

The experienced Brett Pullen was unlucky not to score when his header, after a corner, came back off the crossbar.

Shortly afterwards, Tommy Fotak, Matt Hall and Kurt Engels all had close-range efforts blocked on the line as the Zebras threw everything at their opponents.

Adrian Venettacci had chances galore, but squandered them all, partly because of good goalkeeping by Eagles’ Craig Minty, but also because of poor technique and lax finishing.

Adam Mcguire was unlucky when his effort struck the Eagles woodwork.

Eagles had their chances, too.

Zebras goalkeeper Frank Mainella had to pull off a fine save from Fennell, who had been put through by a precise pass from Adam Shackcloth, while Mainella again did well to beat Shackcloth to a dropping ball and clear in the nick of the time.

Mainella was also at his best when he tipped Fennell’s expert volley on the turn over the bar.

Eagles hit the front on the half-hour when Barry Pope’s well-struck shot from the right cannoned off the far post and left Fennell with an easy tap-in.

Fennell made it 2-0 a minute before the interval when a long ball forward was deflected off a Zebras player before Pullen could intercept. Fennell seized the opportunity to lob Mainella from the edge of the box.

In the 56th minute, Zebras pulled a goal back when Hall released Luke Engels on the left. He outwitted a defender and crossed from the byline for Kurt Engels to score.

With ten minutes remaining, a long clearance from the back caught the Zebras defenders off guard and the quick-thinking Fennell lobbed the ball over Mainella and into the left-hand corner of the net to make it 3-1.

The win lifted Eagles up one place on the ladder to fourth.


  • Tilford Zebras coach, Romeo Frediani, said:

“I thought we were very unlucky, the way the guys performed.

“They played very well. Exceptional soccer out there, I reckon.

“We just couldn’t finish. We had plenty of opportunities.

“But, that’s the way it goes.”

  • New Town Eagles coach, Rodney Bones, said:

“You’ve got to score goals to win games.

“We scored three and they scored one, but, you know, in the second half we were under the cosh a bit at the back, but we had one chance and we scored.”


28 Goal Attempts 11
12 Shots on Target 7
5 Corners 2
7 Fouls Committed 6
1 Off-Sides 1
1 (Pullen 77) Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

Tilford Zebras:

L Engels 4 2
Fisher 2 0
Pullen 2 1
K Engels 4 2
Hall 6 1
Venettacci 6 2
Mcguire 2 2
Fotak 1 1
Stevens 1 1

New Town Eagles:

Ashwood 1 0
Fennell 4 3
Ferrall 2 0
Pope 2 2
Shackcloth 2 2

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