Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Olympia pull off last-match escape act with draw against Zebras

Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League (KGV Park, Saturday, 14 August 2010)


Tilford Zebras 2 (B Crosswell 19, R Self 50)

Olympia Warriors 2 (A Nandan 16, C Kumpulainen 35)

HT: 1-2 Att: 400 Ref: B Kopra

Tilford Zebras: Voss - Fagg, Telega, Muller, K Engels - Self, Cairns, Ladic, Welch - Walsh (M Hall 76), Crosswell (Macgregor 91) [Substitutes not used: L Engels, Jambie]

Olympia Warriors: Nester - J Hey, Richardson, Fletcher, Mohamad (Wadawu 25) - Phillips, Mason (A Hedge 68), Cronk, Nandan - Kumpulainen, Grillas (Meredith 70) [Substitute not used: Farrugia]


Olympia Warriors needed a point from this match to escape the drop to Division One. With Taroona having drawn with Glenorchy Knights the previous evening, the pressure on the Warriors was intense.

As it turned out, Olympia led twice and eventually got a 2-2 draw, which was enough to save them.

The game could have gone either way. Both sides squandered excellent chances to win.

Olympia almost came undone in the closing stages as several players came down with cramp after all three substitutes had been used.

But, they hung on and could even have won as Nick Meredith hit the woodwork and Warren Wadawu chipped a good chance over in the closing seconds.

Chris Kumpulainen missed two good openings for Olympia in the early stages of the match, but the side’s endeavour was rewarded when Alex Nandan put them ahead in the 16th minute.

Kosta Grillas found a way to the goal-line on the left and his cross eluded two Zebras defenders inside the box and reached Nandan, who fired home.

Zebras were level three minutes later, however, as Jayden Welch beat his fullback on the left and played a low ball across the goalmouth and beyond the far post, where Ben Crosswell netted from close range.

Olympia goalkeeper, Dmitri Nester, who seemed rooted to the spot as Welch’s low cross rolled across the 6-yard box to Crosswell, did much better in the 24th minute. Dwayne Walsh was put through the defence and Nester was quickly off his line and deflected the striker’s shot for a fruitless corner when a goal seemed imminent.

Warren Wadawu, Olympia’s recruit from Zimbabwe, replaced the injured Youssef Mohamad after just 25 minutes and he soon showed his impressive array of skills and deft touches.

Zebras almost took the lead on the half-hour when Welch raced into the penalty area and had a clear shot at goal, but to Olympia’s relief, the effort flew wide.

Ten minutes before the interval, Kumpulainen restored Olympia’s lead in somewhat fortuitous fashion. He received a pass down the inside-right channel but mis-kicked. That was enough to deceive the advancing keeper, Jason Voss, who over-ran the ball. Kumpulainen was able to recover and round the keeper and score and send the Olympia supporters into delirium.

The half ended with Zebras’ left-back, Kurt Engels, sending a shot from the left just over the bar.

The second half was just five minutes old when Rickey Self turned in Walsh’s low right-wing cross to make it 2-2.

Three minutes later, the Olympia supporters and players breathed a collective sigh of relief as Andrew Telega somehow headed a corner wide with the goal at his mercy.

Adam Hedge and Nick Meredith came on midway through the second half for Lee Mason and Grillas, both of whom had run out of legs.

In the 72nd minute, Wadawu sent in a shot straight at the goalkeeper. The ball came back to him and his cross from the left found Hedge unmarked and close to goal, but Hedge had obviously not picked up the pace of the match as yet and his tame header was grasped by Voss.

Four minutes later, the marauding Telega again went close from a corner, this time heading the ball narrowly over the bar.

In the next minute, Self managed a toe-poke at goal, but it lacked power and Nester was able to save comfortably.

Zebras were really applying pressure at this stage and, within seconds, Telega sent in a shot from range that drifted wide.

It was then Olympia’s turn to apply the pressure and, with 4 minutes remaining, Kumpulainen directed a shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Deep into injury time, Meredith hit the angle of bar and post with a cheeky chip from the left, while Wadawu might have done better than chip over the bar when well placed.

But, 2-2 was enough for Olympia to avoid relegation and, when Mr Kopra blew the final whistle, their fans raced onto the pitch to celebrate survival with the players.

The Olympia fans were there in numbers and they were loud and enthusiastic. One could not help but wonder that if the team had received similar support and vocal encouragement during the season they might not have found themselves in this predicament going into the last league match of the season.

Coach Chris Hey intends commencing pre-season training in the middle of October.


· Tilford Zebras coach, Romeo Frediani, said:

“It was pretty intense there, but the game was all right. It sort of went from one end to the other.

“I mean, a few more goals from us would have been nice. We could have had a lot more possession in the second half. We outran them in terms of fitness but just couldn’t put any away.

“I mean, good for them. They’re still up next year. They put 120 per cent in, so, yeah, they’ll be there again next year.

“I was surprised we had to come back from behind twice. When we score first, we often keep going.

“The first time we came back, I thought, yeah, we’ll put another couple away. The second time we came back, I thought we were going to finish it.”

· Olympia Warriors coach, Chris Hey, said:

“It was a game from the heart tonight from the boys.

“I was standing on the sideline and listening to the crowd’s reaction and it was a fantastic game, particularly for the crowd.

“It was a relief. The players really worked hard for each other.

“I feel sorry for Taroona. I don’t agree that either club deserves to go down and I really feel that FFT should have solved the problem of relegation with play-offs this year and I hope that Taroona keep their heads up and I hope they keep their players together because they’ve showed this year, as we have, that we’re competitive with the best teams in this competition.

“I wish Ben Horgan and the lads at Taroona the best of luck.

“From our perspective, it was touch and go there for a while, with people going down with cramp, and it just showed the heart of the players, and we will be a force next year.”


Anonymous said...

Walter, are you able to provide us with some history on the Premier League over the past few years, in terms of teams relegated, and those that have moved up, please?

Anonymous said...

sorry Chris, play-offs would not have helped Taroona or Olympia this year.

Walter said...

Anonymous 7.29am, if you look at the following site, there's an article by Keith Roberts which will tell you all you wish to know:


Old Man River said...

Hm, would the young legs of Taroona or Olympia beaten the old legs of Beachside?

Pixel 40 said...

mmm unfair for teams to go down from premier league to Div 1, but no unfair for teams in Div one to miss out and have an amazing experience at premier league level
I don't know but I sense a huge amount of selfishness here

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I believe there should be a playoff between last in PL and winner of Div 1.As most know there is a big gap between PL and Div 1.
Only way to determine if the winner of Div 1 is good enough to step up is to have a playoff between them and the (so called )weakest of PL. If the PL side gives the Div 1 side a hiding over two legs played, why should they be promoted ? They should only be promoted if they can prove that they are better than the weakest team in the PL.If not , all that happens is that the PL standard will be affected.If the PL is the best league available in Tasmania , it should be exactly that,THE BEST.Not the fairest just to give everyone a fair go.(if we are serious about the sport in this state)

Pixel 40 said...

Anon 4:15 if what you say is true how come uni is in 3 place in div one after been a successful premier league and Tarona a team to be reckon with after competing with some of the best teams at top level,
if clubs at premier level have a good team. I ask my self why worrier when they should know they would get there after wining the div one against the so call inferiors teams and competition.
wile on the subject, congratulation to Olympia on a well earned perform to stay up where winner take it all and the loser go and regroup and to Tarona for sticking to it where a goal difference saw them lose their spot at the top level

Anonymous said...

Don't think I can recall one player ever coming down with cramp in a Tasmanian game, nevermind half a team. Shows the character of the club borrowing tactics from the scum teams/players around the world!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Don't think I can recall one player ever coming down with cramp in a Tasmanian game, nevermind half a team. Shows the character of the club borrowing tactics from the scum teams/players around the world!

August 17, 2010 7:08 PM

Second half of that game went for 52 minutes and 8 seconds. Me thinks not much time was lost. Trust me the cramps were genuine.

Anonymous said...

wadawu should have been sent off

Anonymous said...

Ricky Self should have been sent off if anyone!

Anonymous said...

even if there was a playoff & the div 1 team won I'm sure the team would be different to the starting line up in the new season. give the div 1 team that wins promotion a chance to recruit & add to their player list & a pre season under there belt & see how they go. we need promotion & relagation to keep things interesting.