Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hobart Olympic down University in fine semi-final

Photos: (Hobart Olympic women's squad (top) and University women's squad (bottom) [Click on photo for large view]

Women’s State-wide Cup Semi-final, KGV Park, Wednesday, 29 July 2009
University 1-3 Hobart Olympic

Both teams produced an exciting display of football and the score should have been much higher.

Hobart Olympic’s Lauren Barnes was playing her last match before taking up a football scholarship in the United States of America.

University employed some clever tactics and tried to play balls over the Olympic defence into space for their strikers to run on to and this often had Olympic in trouble.

Poor finishing by University negated these tactics, however, but the goal they did score was marvellous.

Olympic almost opened their account in the 3rd minute, but Barnes fired wide.

In the 11th minute, Olympic hit the front when Bliss Cantrell’s neat flick put Vanessa Johnson in on goal and she easily beat the unprotected keeper, Madeleine Jona.

Holly Ayton was everywhere for University. She took free-kicks and corners, attacked and defended, and in the 16th minute she fired over the bar from a long-range free-kick from the left.

Olympic were producing some fine combinations involving Johnson, Cantrell, Nicky Hale and Chrystal Dean down the right, while Sarah Fitzgerald was a force in midfield and Natalie Price and Barnes were effective at the back.

University counter-attacked well, however, and Lucy Quayle should have done better than shoot straight at keeper Nicola Smith five minutes before half-time.

University were often guilty of poor decision making, with players choosing to shoot rather than pass inside to a colleague.

At one point, for example, Sarah Tassel broke through on the right and shot wide when team-mate Kathleen Prescott was unmarked on the edge of the box.

A minute after the resumption, Dean put Cantrell clear on goal, but she shot wide.

In the 52nd minute, Fitzgerald fed Johnson, but she hit the side-netting.

The right-wing combination worked again in the 58th minute as Dean released Cantrell down the flank, but Jona did well to turn the effort wide for a corner.

Olympic increased their lead on the hour when Johnson returned the earlier favour and put Cantrell through the middle. She rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into an empty net to make it 2-0.

In the 70th minute, Sally Prescott attacked down the right and chose to shoot rather than pick out the unmarked Tassell inside, but the shot flew wide.

Three minutes later, the excellent Johnson forced the University keeper to turn her effort wide for a corner.

University pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute, and what a fine goal it was. Bianca Risorto and Quayle played two precise one-twos as they made for goal and Risorto finished clinically.

A minute later, Olympic restored their two-goal buffer when an error at the back by University allowed Dean to gain possession on the right of the box and her shot from an acute angle took a deflection before flying into the net.

Fitzgerald was sent off in the final minute after clashing with Quayle.

Olympic will play Clarence United in the final after Clarence beat Glenorchy Knights 2-1 in the other semi-final earlier in the evening.


• University coach, Les Richardson, said:

“I thought we were basically undermanned, so we were outplayed because of the undermanning.

“We only had eight of our regular players in there and we filled up with one of the under-16s and four of the Division Ones who have never played Premier League in their life.

“I thought the girls did a really good job against a very, very good opposition and, certainly, Olympic deserved their win.”

• Hobart Olympic coach, John Fiotakis, said:

“The first half was very scrappy and we weren’t settled. There were a couple of girls tired and injured out there.

“In the second half, they put it together and started playing the ball to feet and backing each other up.

“But, all in all, it was a fair outcome.

“Uni had their chances and we had our chances and took them and got them.

“But, a good game in all. A very tough game, but the girls are fairly tired. They’ve had a lot of games in the past month as they’ve had to catch up and that.

“But, no, I was happy with the result.”

• Hobart Olympic coach, Atef Abdaltam, said:

“I think, in the first half, we played flat-footed.

“In the second half, we came back better.

“They were more hungry than us and we didn’t win the ball enough in the first half.

“But, in the second half, we played better, but not the best.

“But, that is football.”


University: Jona, Ayton, Papadakis, Cables, Roach, Risorto, S Prescott, K Prescott, Reale, Murray, Quayle, Parodi, Cliff, Tassel

Booked: Ayton 67

Goals: Risorto 83

Hobart Olympic: Smith, Jones, Jarvis, Markellos, Dean, N Hale, Cantrell, price, C Hale, Johnson, Shreeve, Fitzgerald, Barnes, Ortmann

Sent off: Fitzgerald 90

Goals: Johnson 11, Cantrell 60, University own goal 84

Att: 50

Ref: N Clements


Decentric said...

It was an interesting match. Uni have been the most effective team at closing down Olympic's passing game in the matches this season, and stifling their passing sequences.

Olympic have frequently been able to string together sequences of 6 to 14 passes consecutive passes. A phenomenon not often observable in the men's premier league.

Decentric said...

Lauren Barnes may have been the best defender in the league to date. She will be missed by Olympic when she goes to America. She also displays leadership qualities, which would have been an asset to Mel Minstrel, last Sunday.

Perplexingly, she failed to win selection for the Southern team against the North last weekend. By her standards she had a poor match against Uni. Nevertheless, she looked more composed in defence than Hannah Emmanuela, Harkana Dixon and Ashley Tolman did for the southern team against the north. The southern defence was held together by the steadiness of Mel Minstrel.

Hannah has been overwhelmed by the Olympic offence this season in club matches.
Harkana was a striker and midfielder in state and academy teams in previous seasons. She is a good reader of the game, but a cogent case a can be presented that Vicky Linton has stifled her natural instincts as an attacking player at right back. She appeared diffident going forward, as though Linton has encouraged robotic tendencies. A shame to see a good player make poor decisions.

Ashley Tolman also looked shaky at left back. She used to play as a midfielder, quite successfully too. Is this another Linton failure as a converted defender? Linton has seemed reluctant to select defenders for the TIS programme. In her infinite wisdom she seems to prefer to convert players, often reluctant, from other positions. There are better premier league players, like South Hobart's Clare Farquhar, Olympic's Des Jarvis and the aforementioned Barnes, in the defensive positions than the TIS converts. The Uni defence as a cohesive unit, has also been miserly in the women's premier league competition, but these players were also missing from the line up.

It seems a shame that Tassie institute players, who have had a privileged rep season at taxpayers' expense, including a trip to China and a guaranteed place in a state team for the national championships, regardless of the opinion of the incumbent state coaches, take the places of rank and file premier league players in rep matches. This is particularly in light of the fact they performed worse in their assigned positions than regular premier league players.

Sentinel said...

As Coach of the North, I was dissapointed that the southern team played the Institute girls rather than Premier league players.
Apart from fresh legs,I thought this great occasion should have been for the players who do the hard yards week in week out in the premier league.
Players like Lauren Barnes,Vanessa Johnson who has been and probally still is a great representative for the womens game were denied a game in front of a large crowd on a great playing surface at the expense of the "Chosen" few,who as Decentric states been given opportunities that others haven't (and might never)
I contacted FFT when I found out the South were going to use the TIS girls, and was informed they were eligable to play because they play in the local Comp, I know this is not the case.
All the Northern girls played games on the Sat as did most of the Southern girls, but I know the TIS girls didn't, all I wanted was the game to be played on equal terms.
I hope FFT re assess for the second game, although some great premier players might never get the chance to play in a game as the Aurora one.
On the game it was great to watch and the Sarah Fitzgerald goal was as good as you will find in any level of the game.
I have had said to me,why whinge let's give the youngsters a go ,well I did I had a15yo,16yo and 2 17yos&2 18yo in the Northern team.