Friday, April 9, 2010

Two late Walker goals give TIS win over Eagles reserves

Photo: New Town Eagles reserves starting line-up [PlessPix]

Premier League Reserves, KGV Park, Thursday, 8 April 2010


Tasmanian Institute of Sport 4 (J de Smith 12, F Kenyi 15, J Walker 88, 90+2)

New Town Eagles Reserves 3 (M Fennell 24, A Gonzalez 59, J Quan 69)

HT: 2-1 Att: 80 Ref: B Kopra

Tasmanian Institute of Sport: Prendergast - McClung, Hill, Abbott, Mearns - Green (Curran 57), de Smith, D Foley - Walker, Kenyi, Hamilton (Devine 74) [Substitute not used: Ince] [Coach: Dean May]

New Town Eagles: Minty - Abrana, Lebski, Wilson, Hay - Foster (Atalay 46), Shackcloth (Quan 59), Pope, Hadfield (Gonzalez 43) - Strang, Fennell [Substitute not used: Ferrall] [Coach: William Cuellar]


Jeremy Walker had an excellent match for the TIS, making one goal and scoring two late goals to give his side a 4-3 victory over New Town Eagles.

TIS led 2-0 after just a quarter of an hour, but then trailed 3-2 with just 21 minutes remaining.

That is when Walker stepped up, eluding two physically aggressive opponents who were intent on stopping him before driving home a superb shot from 20 metres to make it 3-3 and then smashing home a marvellous free-kick from 25 metres to give his side the win.

Eagles recovered well when they were 2-0 down and the introduction of three substitutes made the difference. Two of the substitutes scored to put Eagles in front.

But, Eagles also missed some good chances that might even have won them the match.

TIS were well-disciplined and kept their shape, and they did not shy away from the physical challenges.

They almost seemed to be playing a 4-4-2 at times, with Nicholas Green wide on the left and Sam Hamilton on the right adding great width in attack and providing Walker and Frances Kenyi in the middle with plenty of passing options.

Jamie de Smit and Declan Foley often controlled the midfield on their own, while Will Abbott organised his fellow defenders, Lucas Hill, David McClung and Nicholas Mearns, so that they were a solid back-four that covered each other and also pushed forward to bolster the midfield and attack.

Walker might have put TIS in front as early as the 4th minute, but he headed Hamilton’s left-wing cross over the bar.

TIS keeper Tristan Prendergast was called into action in the 7th minute as he blocked an Eagles shot at his near post and low down.

De Smith put TIS ahead in the 12th minute when he beat Craig Minty from all of 25 metres with a low drive into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Minty did well in the 14th minute to prevent Eagles from falling further behind. Hamilton’s astute pass put Walker through the middle, but Minty came off his line and stole the ball from off the striker’s toes.

But, it was too no avail because a minute later it was 2-0 as TIS cut Eagles to pieces. McClung started the move deep in his own half and on the right and he put Hamilton away on the left. Hamilton found Walker, who took the ball to the left by-line before squaring it for the unmarked Kenyi to tap home the easiest of chances from close range in the middle.

Eagles pulled back a goal in the 24th minute with a stunning strike by Matt Fennell from the left-hand corner of the box after a short corner by Josh Hadfield. The ball rocketed past a helpless Prendergast and lodged inside the far corner of the net to make it 2-1.

In the 32nd minute, Fennell was presented with a half-chance after Hadfield’s corner was only partially cleared, but he volleyed over the bar.

Adam Shackcloth also shot high in the 39th minute when he gained possession just outside the box after an Eagles throw-in on the right and a cross-field pass found him in space.

Two minutes before the interval, TIS hit back, but Hamilton drove wide of Minty’s right-hand upright.

Hadfield limped off seconds later and Alvaro Gonzalez came on as his replacement.

Eagles were becoming a little frustrated by this stage and Barry Pope was cautioned in the 44th minute, becoming the second Eagles player to go into Mr Kopra’s book, Hadfield having seen yellow after just 20 minutes.

The first half ended with Foley firing narrowly wide of the target.

Eight minutes after the resumption, Prendergast had to deal with a dangerous corner from Eagles substitute Gezachew Atalay - he had replaced new English signing Anton Foster at the interval - by punching the ball clear.

Gonzalez showed his worth in the 59th minute, however, when he collected a throw-in from the left, cut inside and chipped Prendergast from 20 metres and dead in front to make it 2-2.

Eagles really piled on the pressure just after the hour mark and TIS were clearly wobbling. In the space of a minute, Eagles had three good scoring chances.

Fennell first shot weakly, but that signalled the beginning of a serious assault on the TIS goal. Within seconds, Prendergast had to block an effort from Retbe Abrana after Atalay passed the ball in from the right, while seconds later, Fennell’s free-kick was turned against the bar by Prendergast. As the ball fell on the line, Atalay over-ran it and a great chance went begging.

In the 64th minute, Pope toe-poked a corner wide, but the ball had taken a slight deflection and Eagles were awarded a corner, which came to nothing.

A quick break by the TIS in the 65th minute almost produced a reward as Walker outfoxed Lebski on the left and cut the ball back for substitute Jesse Curran, but the youngster mis-kicked and Eagles were spared.

Hamilton shot straight at Minty as TIS seemed to revive, but it was illusory as they suffered a major set-back in the 69th minute when substitute Joshua Quan put Eagles 3-2 ahead after collecting a throw-in from the left and beating Prendergast from range.

It was all hands to the pumps for TIS after that and they gradually righted their ship and regained control.

De Smit fired wide in the 73rd minute, but as if to signal their refusal to surrender, Eagles’ Abrana chipped just wide from the right in the 79th minute.

With two minutes remaining, Walker produced his magic. Eagles tried desperately to impede the youngster as he made a diagonal run from right to left in midfield, but he shrugged off two strong challenges and, fortunately, Mr Kopra kept his whistle away from his lips and played the advantage.

Having wriggled free, Walker made it 3-3 with a ferocious shot from 20 metres that gave Minty no chance.

TIS might have had a penalty in the 90th minute as Kenyi was tackled by two defenders on the right of the box, but after going down, he was shown the yellow card for allegedly diving.

Seconds later, Walker gave a sign of things to come when he smacked a great shot against Minty’s left-hand post. The ball rebounded to de Smit, whose follow-up shot produced a fine save by Minty at full stretch.

Two minutes into stoppage time, TIS won a free-kick 25 metres from goal and dead in front. Walker’s shot beat the wall and whistled past Minty and into the net to give his side a last-gasp 4-3 win.

On this display, he is sure to do well in the Football Superstar talent search in Brisbane in May.


· New Town Eagles manager, Segundo Vargas, said:

“It was a very good game for New Town Eagles, but, for some reason, the boys didn’t play well in the last seven minutes.

“That’s when the TIS took the opportunity to score two goals and win the match.

“Our substitutions all worked well and they’re all under-17 players and we’re looking to develop them.

“They have a great opportunity at our club and they changed the game when they came on.

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