Monday, September 14, 2009

Clarence in final after goal feast with Zebras

Tilford Zebras 4-5 Clarence United


Clarence United won this 9-goal thriller in extra-time, but it could have gone either way in the normal 90 minutes but for some glaring misses by both sides.

Dwayne Walsh missed a great chance for Zebras on the quarter-hour when he was played through by Ricky Self, but he fired over the bar.

Clarence went 1-0 up in the 24th minute when a square pass inside by Tommy Fotak was too short for Andrew Telega and Ben Hamlett nipped in, stole the ball, advanced on goal and beat Troy Kaden with his shot.

Goalkeeper Michael Moschogianis rescued Clarence in the 33rd minute when he saved from Matt Hall, who had been put through by Jayden Welch.

Luke Cripps missed three good chances for Clarence, one of these coming in the 36th minute after an excellent attacking move.

Hamlett put Sam McIntyre away on the right but missed the return ball from the cross. The ball went through to Cripps, but he drove it over the bar from close range.

Kaden did well in the 39th minute to block a shot by Hunt as Clarence sought to extend their lead.

Four minutes from the break, Kaden held McIntyre’s long-range free-kick, which was powerful enough but directed straight at the keeper.

Eleven minutes after the resumption, Cripps missed an absolute sitter from Hunt’s perfect pass across the box.

The Clarence goal led a charmed life in the 61st minute when Ben Parker failed to cut out a Zebras corner and Ryan Smith managed two quick close-range headers, both of which were blocked by keeper Michael Moschogianis, who seemed as if he were playing volleyball with Smith and spiking at the net.

Less than a minute later, Zebras equalised when Kurt Engels’s sweeping pass put Walsh away on the left. He played the ball into the middle and substitute Adam Young fired it home with his first touch of the game, having come on only seconds earlier.

Chris Hunt fired across the face of the Zebras goal in the 67th minute when he might have scored.

Three minutes later, Walsh did well to bring down Hall’s right-wing cross on the edge of the box and turn before shooting past Moschogianis to put Zebras 2-1 ahead.

Engels might have sealed the match in the 82nd minute when Young beat Matt Lewis on the left and crossed the ball low towards the far post, but he mis-kicked and the chance went begging.

Six minutes from the end, indecision by the Zebras defence as they looked for a non-existent off-side enable Hunt to gain possession on the left of the box and beat Kaden with a cross-shot to make it 2-2 and take the match into extra-time.

Cripps atoned for his earlier profligacy when he netted twice in as many minutes shortly after the start of extra-time to put Clarence 4-2 up, his second coming from Hunt’s free-kick from the right.

But, Zebras were not done yet and Welch hit two goals in two minutes shortly after to level the match at 4-4.

His first, in the 96th minute, came after he went on a long run and dribble down the inside-right channel before rolling the ball home.

His second came in the 97th minute when he beat the off-side trap - McIntyre had played him on - and beat Moschogianis with a firm strike.

Hamlett capped a fine game with the winner in the 106th minute when he was left unmarked on the penalty spot and was able to rifle home substitute Andy Barron’s low cross from the right.

Barron had been thwarted a minute earlier by Kaden when Hunt’s cross from the left had put him in a one-on-one situation with the keeper.

Hunt almost added another goal for Clarence when Hamlett’s excellent pass put him away on the left, but he fired into the side-netting.

Clarence were still on the attack as the game drew to a close, Parker even finding the time for a header against the base of Kaden’s right-hand post.

This was Nick Lapolla's final match in charge of Zebras as he has decided to call it a day.


· Tilford Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla, said:

“A brilliant game of soccer by both sides.

“A nine-goal game which was entertaining for the crowd.

“Proud of the blokes that did the job for us today.

“The ones that came on proved that they could do it and hopefully they’ll go on with it next year.

“All the best to Clarence.”

· Clarence United coach, Andrew Brown, said:

“Unbelievable. Traumatic from a coaching point of view, and then ecstatic.

“We have the utmost respect for Hobart Zebras. We’ve had some cracking games with then this year.

“I’m not one hundred per cent sure, but I think that makes us three games each and equal goals each.

“We both play positive attacking football, which is what FFA have recognised that the Australian culture is.

“We leave ourselves open and create space. We acknowledge that and they were good enough to capitalise on the chances they had.

“We maybe could have scored a few more early and put our nerves at rest, but great character.

“They’re very, very young boys and they’ve had a very, very long run playing away from home against really good sides, and then to dig deep again the way they did, two up in extra time, equal, and then still have enough left to go at them, it means that we have a very fearless attitude next week.

“Beastly careless. We’ll go at them.”


Tilford Zebras: Kaden - Fotak (F Lapolla 91), Telega, Smith, Connolly (Young 61) - Welch, Cairns, Self, Hall (Pennicott 99) - Engels, Walsh

Goals: Young 61, Walsh 70, Welch 96, 97

Clarence United: Moschogianis - Toghill, Parker, Lewis, McMahon - McIntyre (Knapek 120), Stevens, L Huigsloot (Barron 70), Hunt - Hamlett (Phillips 114), Cripps (Substitute not used: Sweetten)

Goals: Hamlett 24, Hunt 84, Cripps 93, 94, Hamlett 106

HT: 0-1 FT: 2-2 AET: 4-5

Att: 500

Ref: S Collins


heartbreak said...

Well done to Clarence, was a great game to watch

toyota1 said...

maybe this istnt the greatest concept in the world but istnt it great to see 15 /16 year old players that clarence and zebras put faith in finding their feet and running out games because of this series .some of these boys have been maybe bench or reserve players and to get this experience especially in a grand final has to be a credit to coaching staff at each club.can clarence with their attacking style beat a stubborn sth team that will choke them to death if allowed .go clarence mg