Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Lions fight tooth and claw but cannot overcome Warriors

 Photo:  Olympia's Warren Wadawy stretches for a header (PlessPix]
(PS4 Victory League, Lightwood Park, Sunday, 14 June 2015)

Kingborough Lions United 0
Olympia Warriors 0

Att:  120   Ref:  J Hortle

Kingborough Lions United:  L Davey  -  Palmer, Hedge, Cuthbertson, Pearce  -  Watkins, Turner, Dale  -  Verdouw, Gasparinatos, Cowen  (Subs:  Galante, Schuth, W Davis, A Hinkley, Rickards)

Olympia Warriors:  Paradisis  -  Griffiths, Vandermey, Holmes, Woolley  -  Merans, Hickey, Hoy  -  Wadawu (Meredith 83), Tsakiris (Gustafsson 63), Eyles  (Subs not used:  Nester, Takatsu, S Page)

Kingborough Lions United fought tooth and nail against the Warriors and emerged with a goalless draw to give themselves a point and a hold on fourth place.

Olympia looked the sharper side in the opening half but some glaring misses cost them the lead.  Warren Wadawu, Gavin Hoy, Emmanuel Tsakiris and Alex Holmes were all off target as the visitors pressured the home side, who were well served at the back by Adam Hedge, whose timely tackles denied the Warriors at least two scoring chances.

The Lions were not without some bite, however, and Lewis Verdouw should have been more composed when he got onto the end of a perfect left-wing cross from Billy Gasparinatos, only to scuff the ball wide.  Skipper Nick Cuthbertson will also be disappointed with himself for heading another chance wide.

The second half began just like the first, with Luke Eyles and Hoy failing to score for Olympia from very good chances before Jack Turner cut through for the Lions, only to see his service wasted by Verdouw and Danny Cowen.

Holmes and Eyles then threatened the Lions defence, but unsuccessfully, while in the 69th minute, Olympia suffered a setback when Harry Woolley was shown a second yellow card after he deliberately blocked a potentially dangerous run by Dean Watkins by fouling the Kingborough player.  The youngster was shown the red by Mr Hortle and made the long, lonely walk to the visitors’ dressing rooms.

Olympia were not done, however, and continued to create chances, with Hoy and Fabian Gustafsson squandering good opportunities.

Olympia survived a torrid few minutes at the end as a Cuthbertson header was cleared off the line by Eyles, Gasparinatos blazed wide, and Verdouw fired over the bar.

The match ended with Olympia scrambling back and forth inside their opponents’ penalty area but being unable to get in a shot.

South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, who was watching the game, must have been the most relieved spectator at the ground.  His side went down 1-0 away to Launceston City the previous day and a draw at Lightwood Park was the best result he could have hoped for, apart, possibly, from a Lions win.

Lions coach Colin Robbins was pleased with the point and still rates his side as being in with a chance for the title.

“We had chances to win that game as well,” said Robbins.  “[But] very pleased [with the point].

“They’re a very good attacking team, but our guys were there at the right time, disrupting, pressuring.  It’s something new we’ve found in the team, which is great.”

Olympia coach Glen McNeill was disappointed with his side’s poor finishing, which he believed cost them a win.

“I think our finishing was pretty poor today, so it was [an opportunity missed],” McNeill said.

“We had ample opportunities but couldn’t make the most of it.