Saturday, March 27, 2010

Olympia and Eagles break the ice with a draw

Photos Top to Bottom): Olympia Warriors' starting XI versus New Town Eagles; Eagles' Adam McKeown (right) tackles Olympia's Jayden Hey; Olympia's Kosta Grillas sets himself for a shot at goal; Olympia keeper Dmitri Nester gets a hand to the ball and deflects it for a corner; Olympia's Adam Hedge controls the ball as team-mate Jayden Hey arrives to help and Eagles' Alex Leszczynski watches [PlessPix]

Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League (South Hobart, Saturday, 27 March 2010)


Olympia Warriors 2 (B Cronk 14, A Hedge 51)

New Town Eagles 2 (A McKeown 12, 26)

HT: 1-2 Att: 100 Ref: K Barker

Olympia Warriors: Nester - Hey, Lebski, A Hedge (McCallum 70), Wiggins - Richardson (E Tsakiris 37), Phillips, Tracy, Kumpulainen (Howell 82) - Grillas, Cronk [Substitute not used: R Kay] [Coach: Chris Hey]

New Town Eagles: Pitchford - Clark, Clamp (Wass 59), Kent, Page - Whitehall, Menzie, Anderson, Strang [(Iqtadar 17) Pope 78] - McKeown, Leszczynski [Substitute not used: Minty] [Coach: George Krambousanos]


Both sides needed to win badly, but in the end, both will have been pleased to have broken the ice and collected their first point of the season.

It could have gone either way, but Eagles probably missed the best chances. Adam McKeown scored twice, but missed four gilt-edged chances, while Shane Kent missed an open goal after McKeown had beaten the goalkeeper and the ball rolled free.

But, Nathan Pitchford produced what will be one of the saves of the season. Olympia started the second half strongly and, in the 49th minute, substitute Emmanuel Tsakiris hit a superb shot from outside the box towards the far top right-hand corner of the net, only to see Pitchford launch himself into the air and produce a magnificent save, turning the ball wide for a corner.

Both teams were missing their regular twin central defenders and had to improvise at the back.

Eagles had the first chance, after just four minutes, but keeper Dmitri Nester somehow got his fingers to the ball and turned it wide for a corner.

In the 12th minute, Olympia failed to deal with a corner and, with the ball bobbling around in the box, McKeown tucked it home to give Eagles the lead.

Two minutes later, Olympia were level when Kosta Grillas played Brady Cronk through the middle. He rounded keeper Pitchford, but appeared to have lost control of the ball before recovering and squeezing it home.

In the 24th minute, McKeown broke through on the left of the box and rounded Nester, but from a difficult angle, he could only roll the ball at goal and defender Robert Lebski ushered it safely across the goalmouth before clearing.

Two minutes later, McKeown restored Eagles’ lead when he volleyed home Alex Leszczynski’s cross from the left.

Four minutes after the break, Pitchford produced his world-class save, but Olympia’s pressure told within two more minutes when Cronk’s shot took a slight deflection for a corner, taken by Ben Phillips.

Olympia centre-back Adam Hedge came up for the set-piece and powered a header past Pitchford to make it 2-2.

Chris Wass came on for Jacob Clamp on the hour and this released Shane Kent into midfield.

In the 69th minute, an error by Jayden Hey provided McKeown with a shooting chance, but he drove straight at Nester.

McKeown had two more chances soon after but was off target, while Kent had a shot blocked and the ball flew harmlessly across the goalmouth with everyone watching.

In the 74th minute, Eagles were awarded a free-kick just outside the left of the box. Leszczynski rolled the ball back to Kent and his shot from 25 metres hit the bar.

Seven minutes from the end, Leszczynski tried to chip the keeper from long range, but Nester caught the ball comfortably.

Phillips went close for Olympia in the 88th minute with a chip from the right that just went on the wrong side of the far left-hand post.

With a minute remaining, McKeown beat Nester at the edge of the box and the ball bobbled through to the unmarked Kent, who somehow stumbled and poked the ball wide of an open goal.


· Olympia Warriors coach, Chris Hey, said:

“Look, I think, given the way we’ve played in the last couple of weeks, a huge improvement.

“Today, we found our front players’ feet with ease, which is something we need to do.

“I think the combination up front with Kosta and Brady Cronk was excellent today.

“It’s the first game they’ve played together and I thought it was tremendous.

“I thought we penetrated reasonably well down the flanks in the first half.

“In the second half, I thought we got a bit scrappy. Probably ran out of a few legs, of a few ideas.

“Sometimes I think that, you know, I talk to the players about trying to turn defence into attack and, sometimes, I think maybe a couple at the back, a bit of inexperience, sometimes the ball’s just got to go.

“We turned the ball over a couple of times during the game in those instances, where we gave them a chance, but look, a 200 per cent improvement.

“I think we’re getting there. We’ve still got probably two or three players to come into the squad and I think, you know, we’ll start hitting our straps there.

“But, from all the guys, a fantastic performance for them. I thought they worked as a unit today and I don’t think we’ve been doing that, so I take my hat off to them. It’s a good effort.”

· New Town Eagles coach, George Krambousanos, said:

“Yeah, well, it was a different Olympia side to their first two games.

“The back line was a little bit more settled and with a bit more speed.

“Look, I think we should have won the game. We had our two centre-backs out. I mean, they’re six foot two, both lads and they win everything in the air.

“But, at the end of the day, we made a couple of changes. We locked up Kosta a little bit and the game was played like a tennis game, you know, from one end to the other.

“Good luck, and all the best for Chris and his lads and all the best for our lads.

“I think we’re just about getting it right, and we will get it right soon.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Walter, the Shane Kent miss at the end was flagged offside. The ref just awarded the goal kick as Kent missed anyway so made no real difference.