Sunday, September 20, 2009

Metro throw title away on last day

Photos (Top to Bottom): Metro's Grant Malcolm tries to get in a header; Metro's Wayne Jackson on the attack; Hobart United's John Otto in possession; A line of Taroona supporters watches the action; The Taroona supporters erupt in glee at the final whistle; Hobart United and Taroona palyers and supporters rejoice

Metro 1-2 Hobart United


Metro fluffed it.

In the final game of the season - and a home game at that - they had to beat last year’s champions, but now fifth-placed, Hobart United, to snatch the title from Taroona, who were 2 points ahead.

And, they lost 2-1.

It was an extraordinary turn of events, but once again, it showed what makes football such a wonderful game - its total unpredictability.

Metro will be left to ponder what went wrong.

They imported three Scottish players during the pre-season and won the Summer Cup easily.

It was with great anticipation that they looked forward to the league campaign and promotion back to the Premier League.

They were well in control and were miles in front when they asked player-coach Darrin Chaffey to stand down. He did so for the good of the club and the under-19s coach Bob Nicholson took over.

That’s when Metro started to lose their centre of gravity, just as a spinning top does as it loses its momentum.

What had been a dead cert suddenly came down to the last game.

The recriminations started flying before the final whistle blew and as Sam Sweeney was sent off, he appeared to want to mix it with the Taroona players on the touch-line before being ushered away by cooler heads.

Metro seemed paralysed from the start. They never got their rhythm going and, despite playing with the wind and rain coming off Mt Faulkner at their backs, they could not score in the opening half.

This was also due in no small measure to the calm but efficient defending of Alex Bellini and Ian Walker, and the fine goalkeeping of Nathan Grandin.

Hobart United recovered from a miserable start. John Otto missed an absolute sitter after just 30 seconds when Simon Land could not hold Jacob Taban-Kuel’s free-kick from wide on the right and dropped the ball at Otto’s feet. From three metres out, Otto somehow lifted the ball over the bar.

But, United rolled up their sleeves and gritted their teeth and ran into the wind and the rain with even greater determination.

Jack Turner and Ricky Orr both shot wide of the target for Metro, whose long balls out of defence were usually caught by the wind and picked up too much speed for the front men to catch.

There are benefits at times from playing into the wind as the ball often holds up just right for a crack at goal.

In the 36th minute, the worst thing that could happen did happen to Metro. Turner conceded a penalty when he brought down John Otto.

Taban-Kuel made no mistake with his spot-kick to put the visitors 1-0 up and the seeds of doubt were sown in Metro’s minds.

Five minutes later, it was 2-0 as John Otto’s 25-metre free-kick flew unerringly over Land and into the far right-hand top corner of the net.

The first half, amazingly, went on for an extra 8 minutes, but Metro could do nothing.

Four minutes after the resumption, Orr pulled a goal back for the home side from close-range, but one still had the feeling that they could not catch United, let alone overtake them.

Grandin came into his own in this half and made a couple of marvellous finger-tip saves to deny Metro.

In this way, he thwarted both Danny Cowen and Aaron Marney.

When the final whistle blew, the Taroona reserve players - the seniors weren’t there - and the Taroona supporters raced on to the pitch and joined Hobart United’s players, arm in arm, in joyous celebrations.


· Metro coach, Bob Nicholson, said:

“Obviously, very disappointed at the loss.

“You know, it makes it difficult for next season again to continue the rebuild.

“Congratulations to Hobart United. I thought they were actually, you know, probably wanted the game a little bit more today, even though our guys knew what was at stake.

“Yeah, obviously disappointed, and not really much more to say.

“Well done Hobart United.

“Congratulations to Taroona, I should add, on the season.

“It’s been neck and neck the whole way and a couple of crucial games that we just didn’t finish in front of goals and that’s probably what has cost us.”

· Hobart United coach, Mark Broadbent, said:

“I thought it was a fantastic game.

“I thought coming to Metro’s home ground being on a smaller part of the park, I thought they might have had us in the centre of the park, but full credit to the lads and the way they actually presented themselves in the middle of the park and in defence.

“We kept a strong back-line and it presented options of a counter-attack, which we used to the best of our ability.

“It worked out our way that the ball was still at our feet and we could punish them, which is great.


Metro: Land - Turner (Rahni 91), Malcolm (Hawkins 85), Chaffey, Gasparin - Cowen (McQueen 73), Dawes, Sweeney, Jackson - Marney, Orr

Booked: Sweeney, Dawes, McQueen

Sent off: Sweeney

Goals: Orr 49

Hobart United: Grandin - A Otto (Lotiko 62), Walker, Bellini, Rume - Woodward, Chatwin (E Otto 82), Taban-Kuel, P Otto - Letiko, J Otto (Substitute not used: Smedley)

Booked: Chatwin, Letiko, J Otto, Taban-Kuel, P Otto

Goals: Taban-Kuel 36 pen, J Otto 40

Att: 100 (North Chigwell, Saturday, 19 September 2009)

Ref: I Jozeljic


Robert Lee Hortle said...

Quick note Walter: lots of Taroona's senior team was there. Cox, Horgan, Atkinson, various Careys, Hugo, and a few others.

Sir Mix a Lot said...

Well done to Taroona.
I would say there are 7 premier league clubs not looking forward to playing at Taroona next year and using the 2 metre changerooms at the ground. They will need to improve considerably to avoid getting relegated again.

Walter said...

Hi Robert

I went on to the pitch after the match and was going to take a photo of Taroona's senior players but a Taroona supporter told me only a couple were there. There was pandemonium and people were everywhere so, having been told that, I didn't bother looking for the senior team members who were there. A pity as it was a missed opportunity.

Robert Lee Hortle said...

Yeah it was mayhem after the game. It's good that you got photos of both teams celebrating together though, that was a great moment.

Angela Land said...

It is time I made a comment - I have sat on the fence long enough! It is time to rebuild and move on. Everyone and that includes myself have made mistakes. But everyone also has had the clubs best intentions at heart and sincerely believes their respective decisions where for the betterment of the club. We need to remember all these people have also bought strengths to our club wether it be Jim Mackinnon's recruitment, youth development and attracting sponsors, Darrin Chaffey's building of team morale and dynamics of the team, Anne Saunders work ethic, The Supporters turning up week in week out, The Committee old and new and their tireless efforts and that includes Mrs Ruba and Maxine Cooke they all care and are passionate about our club. But it is time to put differences aside, work on our strengths and move forward.
Angela Land
And for the record my husband can't type and also has not posted comments on this blog or facebook etc and he to if was to do this would place his name beside the comments.

Who cares said...

metro need to return to the days when they developed their players.

money is no good when its used to bring in the mercenaries who piss off when the money runs out and times gets tough.

metro should have a good look at what clarence have built over past 8 years. they have the same resources as clarence they just need a few at the club who know how to build the right culture and get a strong coach ala andrew brown.

i notice big jim has taken coaching at junior rep level. metro could build on this and build a stronghold in northern suburbs.

i see kurt engels, ashley fisher and brendan garth (ex brighton), ben phillips (ex rosetta), jayden hey and andrew barron (ex dominic- all ex state players who live and played with nothern suburbs playing with other clubs.

who has metro picked up? wouldn't it be better to approach these boys rather than bring players from bloody scotland!!!!

Anonymous said...

HUFC better team to rescues Toroona to primer league hahaha