Saturday, May 30, 2009

Knights move to within 4 points of Zebras with win over Clarence


This win for second-placed Glenorchy Knights took them to within four points of Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League leaders Tilford Zebras, who have a game in hand.

Clarence United stay fifth, also with a game in hand.

Goalkeeper Michael Moschogianis was missing from the Clarence line-up, not because of any legacy of last week’s collision with team-mate Sam McIntyre, but because he dislocated a thumb at training on Thursday.

Ben Parker and Luke Cripps both suffered nose bleeds during the game and had to change into fresh shirts and wear bandages across their noses.

Tom Sherman was missing from the Knights team.

Clarence’s defending was atrocious and the Knights could have tripled their score had they been clinical in their finishing.

Twice Amadu Koroma rounded goalkeeper Sam Sweetten, only to shoot across the face of goal with an empty net beckoning.

On the second occasion, substitute Corey Smith got to the ball beyond the far post and also had a shot at goal, but the ball again went across the face of goal and straight into the arms of Sweetten, who was desperately trying to get back into the goalmouth.

The 16-year-old McIntyre had a promising game for Clarence. This lad seems a star of the future.

He was generally reliable in defence and frequently pushed forward and joined in the attack. He saved what appeared to be a certain goal in the first half when he managed to thwart James Hope and concede a corner, while he made the goal for Luke Cripps.

In the second half, he should have scored one himself, but he volleyed wide when a goal beckoned. He was clearly annoyed with himself.

McIntyre is tall, has an air of confidence and good technical ability, and he reads the game well.

Alex Tatnell, a former Clarence goalkeeper, was brilliant for the Knights. His reflex save from Parker’s header, following a free-kick awarded against Jade Clay and taken from deep on the left by Mattias Toghill, was outstanding.

Clarence’s first defensive error came in the 18th minute. Adrian Lawler crossed the ball to the edge of the box from deep on the left and Hope eluded the defenders and raced at goal. Before he could shoot, however, McIntyre got a vital tackle in and deflected the ball for a corner.

In the 21st minute came the second error. Matt Lewis literally gave the ball to Koroma, who rounded the advancing keeper but rolled the ball across the goalmouth instead of scoring.

Jacob Huigsloot was lucky to stay on the park in the 28th minute after an awful tackle on Clay, which left the Knights player limping. Six minutes later, Huigsloot was substituted by Andy Barron as coach Andrew Brown obviously wanted to finish the game with 11 players.

Knights took the lead in the 29th minute when a poor clearance by Sweetten fell to Hope, who immediately played Koroma through and he rounded the keeper and stroked the ball into an empty net.

In the 38th minute, Tatnell produced his superb save from Parker’s header, but within two minutes, the Knights should have increased their lead.

A long ball forward by Will Roberts found Josh Fielding, who put Hope away on the right, but his rising shot from a good position cleared the bar.

The half ended with Parker’s flicked header releasing Cripps down the inside-right channel, but his powerful shot was directed straight at Tatnell.

Three minutes after the resumption, Cripps’s shot from an acute angle on the right glanced the crossbar and stayed in play, but the Knights cleared.

In the 54th minute, the excellent McIntyre, venturing forward once more, chipped a delightful ball into the box and Cripps steered an accurate header beyond Tatnell and inside the keeper’s right-hand post to make it 1-1.

Clarence were lucky in the 76th minute when George Stevens, positioned at the near post for a corner, sliced Clay’s corner back towards his own goal and straight into the arms of a grateful Sweetten.

A minute later, Koroma and Smith combined for their near misses at the open goal, but in the 85th minute, the Knights did go ahead again.

Julian McMahon’s foul on Lawler was punished with a free-kick deep on the left. Fielding floated the ball into the box and Alex Holmes rose above a pack of players to beat Sweetten with a firm header to make it 2-1 for the Knights.

Two minutes later, an amazing passage of play by the Knights, reminiscent of a pack of seals playing with a ball, led to their third goal. They worked the ball forward from defence and through the midfield without it touching the ground through a series of headers by Jackson Marsh, Hope, Fielding and Koroma.

Koroma’s final header put Smith through on goal. Smith nodded the ball down and then stroked it past the advancing Sweetten to make it 3-1.


  • Glenorchy Knights coach, Eamonn Kelly, said:

“It was a good game of football, the second-best game of football we’ve played all year.

“We played football like we know we can play football. You know, ball on the ground.

“We were a bit shaky in the first half, but in the second half we came out and I think we dominated,

“I think Amadu [Koroma] had a great game, and James Hope had a good game and [Alex] Tatnell had a brilliant game.

“The back-four did well. We’ve been working on the back-four pivoting and I think we’ve got the stability there now and we’ve got the right formation there.

“We most probably need to settle on what we’re going to do up front and who we’re going to play up front.

“Amadu is definitely there, but it’s a question of who is going to work alongside him and who we’re happy with.

“We were a little bit light this week not having [Tom] Sherman there, but you know, he’ll be back next week.

“The boys enjoyed it tonight. There was some good constructive football and we kept possession in the second half.

“I think Alex Holmes and Alex Tatnell have been the finds of the year for me. They’ve been very good. We put these young lads on and we told them if they do the right thing and persevere, we’ll do the right thing and persevere and have confidence in them.

“And that’s what the aim is. You know, take each game as it comes each week. We’re not worried about, and we’ve got no aspirations about, winning premierships.

“All we want to do is keep winning games. The rest will look after itself.”

  • Clarence United coach, Andrew Brown, said:

“I thought Knights were thoroughly deserving of the victory today.

“We weren’t at our best. Even so, the quality of the football wasn’t great, but it was still entertaining for the crowd.

“There were plenty of opportunities. We were never going to win the game, from the first minute, really.

“And, in the end, it was a matter of who capitalised on the mistakes, and there were plenty out there.

“We weren’t good enough to capitalise on theirs, and they were more than good enough to capitalise on ours and the score really flattered us.”


Glenorchy Knights: Tatnell - Wiggins, Green (Vavoulas 90), Holmes, Lawler (Paite 85) - Clay, Fielding, Marsh, Roberts (Smith 70) - Koroma, Hope (Substitute not used: Peter)

Booked: Clay 37, Roberts 59

Goals: Koroma 29, Holmes 85, Smith 87

Clarence United: Sweetten - J Huigsloot (Barron 34), Lewis, McIntyre, Toghill - Stevens (Knapek 80), Parker, Cannamela, McMahon, Hunt - Cripps (Substitutes not used: Phillips, T Hamlett)

Booked: Huigsloot 28, Cripps 88

Goals: Cripps 54

Att: 143

Ref: I Jozeljic


Unknown said...

Honestly? I take the opposite view to Walter and say that McIntyre wasn't good enough tonight. Many times, in the second half, especially, his headers were misjudged and often missed, barely touching the ball in the last part.

Agreed that he is a future player - will do well with a bit of experience.

Tatnell man of the match for Knights, great game for him. Thought Knights definitely looked more dangerous when Smith was running off Amadu up front.

Anonymous said...

Well. The Knights showed promise tonight. This game was certainly not one to remember for Clarence. Poor coaching, and poor by the players. Fred, i agree. I thought the back four was generally awful tonight. Again, things were mixed up by Browny, again this didnt work. A change might be in need, or at least a wake up call?

Eamon did his homework thats for sure! Tatnell man of the match? big call. Josh fielding lead the Knights well.

Captain said...

yep have to agree. I've seen young macca play lots better than that. Definitely one of the best young players around (if not the best) but I don't think he would have been happy with his overall game last night.

Clarence struggle when key people are missing - and they were. The back up players are a year or two away from bridging the gap.

Anonymous said...

Eamon made comments about Alex Holmes and Tatnell being his finds of the year. They've been great, but I think Brodie Green has been outstanding for the Knights at the center of defence - he's also a player who has worked extremely hard to get where he is and thoroughly deserves his spot. Rarely makes a mistake and gives 110%. Well done Brodie.

Bruce said...

A very specific crowd number Walter.

The combined age of the Clarence backline last night was 66 I believe, at an average age of 16.5. Such a situation will inevitably produce errors, and Glenorchy were able to capitilise.

Clarence were without their two most experienced defenders last night in Moz and Toby Ling, which would have provided the stability that they so severely lacked.

Having said that, Glenorchy are a very good football side, and the young clarence defence did infact thwart their opposition on a number of occasions. However, the only aspects highlighted will be the negatives unfortunately. Its not all bad fellas.

Unknown said...

Bruce, there's a reason why the negatives are the only aspects highlighted! It's the reason why they lost! Enough said.

Agreed with Geoff, perhaps a bit quick on the draw saying Tatnell man of match - think Fielding did play very well.

Also think that #8 says it well - Clarence do fall away when they miss key players such as Ling.

Thought that Adrian Lawler didn't look very happy last night...with his team, that is.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Bruce, the back four which Clarence played have all represented the state, and are quite capable for matches like this. They have been playing with them all year, only a swap has been made in Ling for McIntyre, which surely only benefits Clarence? Ling isnt as capable as the back four which was played last night, he only possesses height which Lewis, Toghil, McIntyre and Hugi dont quite have yet.

Matthew, well said, young Brodie has been a reserves player for quite some time, he's done well based on the fact he has hung around and taken his chance.

Defender said...

I agree Brody has really stepped up, the Knights new backinine is 10times better than in the 1st round of games. Alex at the back doesn't let anything in the air come into the box is a great leader as well. Tatnell made a good reflex save, doesn't make him man of the match still... No team so far has broken through to test him yet the defence has been so strong. Well done to the knights, teams must be wondering how good they will be when the Brazillians hit the park.

makelele4 said...

Robert Bolonja is the most versatile player in the Reserve Premier League - he played at the heart of defence very well on Friday night and scored the winning penalty. He's scored 4 goals in the 8 games he has played, playing as a right midfielder or center midfielder and can play anywhere on the park (even as keeper). His versatility is something that surely would have caught some attention. I can think of many clubs who could utilitse his abilities in their senior squads!

batistuta said...

fielding has been knights weakest player for 3 weeks running and he stepped up against clarence and showed some ticker! good to see the young knights side giving clarence a lesson! its funny how clarence always preach to be a team for the future with young players bla bla bla but that has happened for 5 years now? so when does it get to the point where we say "they are not much chop"? knights have been at the top and then had a rebuilding period last season and this season and are already a competitive unit.. also what is going on with smith and kelly? noticed in kelly's comments a bit of tension? i have only seen the on the field stuff and so far this season smith has been the catalyst for the knights success so i am unsure what is going on off it? important goals in games that have counted and also would like to see the number of knights goals he is involved in the build up?

Captain said...

bit of tension? It sounded like, "how about that you fat prick?" to me.

Corey Smith said...

i didn't think clarence showed much in this game but they were very very good against us early in the year. probably struggling with consistency being a young team. hope we can string consistency together in the coming weeks.
also #8 you heard wrong mate.