Thursday, April 11, 2019

Lions meow yet again instead of roar

Photo:  A diving header by Kingborough's Danny Cowen comes to nothing [PlessPix]

(NPL Tasmania, Lightwood Park, Wednesday, 10 April 2019)

Kingborough Lions United 1 (C Downes 95)
Olympia Warriors 4 (N Cuthbertson 28 og, W Wadawau 58, N Mearns 75, J Thompson 84)

HT:  0-1   Att:  50   Ref:  J McInerney

Kingborough Lions United:  Stalker  -  Sammut, Schuth, Cuthbertson, Smithies-Sharples, Douce  -  Easton, Steele, Kantzos (Downes 69)  -  Cowen, Brennan (T McDonald 69  (Subs not used:  Biggar, Hall, Zammit)

Olympia Warriors:  K McDonald  -  Stevens (Wadawu 46), Vandermey, Leaman  -  Thompson, Hill, Ladic, Scott, Mearns  -  Mulungula (N’Koso 75), Ryan (Allan 76)  (Subs not used:  Curtis, Randall)

Photo:  Kingborough's Nick Cuthbertson flies for a header [PlessPix]

On the balance of play and the chances, Kingborough Lions United should have done much better than lose 4-1 to the visiting Olympia Warriors.

Phil Kantzos, Danny Cowen and Jacob Brennan all had attempts at goal but were either just off target or foiled by Warriors’ keeper Kyle McDonald.

Kantzos did have the ball in the net at one stage, but it was disallowed because of a foul on the goalkeeper.

Teams can also have misfortune, and that’s what Kingborough had when Nick Cuthbertson deflected a cross from the right past his own keeper while under pressure from Jonathan Mulungula to give the visitors a 1-0 lead at the break.

Photo:  Olympia's playmaker, Jordan Scott, chips the ball forward as Kingborough's Danny Cowen moves in [PlessPix]

Olympia made it 2-0 in the 58th minute when a Jonathon Ladic shot ricocheted to substitute Warren Wadawu, who turned on the proverbial sixpence in the wink of an eye and fired past Mitch Stalker in the Lions goal.

In the 75th minute, Jake Thompson had two shots blocked, but the ball fell for Nick Mearns to poke home and make it 3-0 for the visitors.

Thompson grabbed the fourth in the 84th minute to ensure Olympia of the 3 points that took them to the top of the standings, but having played two games more than second-placed Devonport City.

In the 5th minute of stoppage time  (which went for an incredible 7 minutes), substitute Chris Downes took a free-kick from wide on the left and the ball beat the defensive wall and bounced just in front of Olympia keeper Kyle McDonald and into the net to give the home side a consolation goal. 

Photo:  Olympia's Jordan Scott eludes Kingborough's American import Cameron Steele [PlessPix]

Here are a few more observations:

It was a perfect night for football.  The Lightwood Park pitch was in excellent condition and the floodlights are the best of any soccer ground in the south of the State.  There was little or no wind and it was cool, but not freezing.  The crowd was poor.  I reckon there were about 50 people watching.

Olympia’s English duo, Jack Ryan and Jordan Scott, were both booked for needless verbal complaints.  This is going to see them eventually suspended, to the detriment of the club.  It’ll come at a time and a game when they are both needed.

Having said that, Ryan had a poor game.  He is out of form and must find it again soon.  Scott, on the other hand, was imperious.  He reads the game so well and knows when to play one-touch football and when to hold the ball.  He thinks quickly and his excellent skills (skill is defined as technique when under pressure) allows him to make the correct decision immediately.  He is one of the few NPL Tasmania players who knows what he is going to do with the ball before he even gets it.  He can pass long or short, is creative, and has excellent vision.   He can also be tough and is prepared to drop deep and defend when required.  I’d say he is the league’s best player at the moment.

Photo:  Olympia's Jake Thompson puts pressure on Kingborough's Phil Kantzos [PlessPix]

Kingborough desperately need a goalscorer.  Danny Cowen can pull one out of the hat at times, but he also misses a lot and drifts in and out of games.  Chris Downes is in danger of becoming a one-trick pony, limited to set-pieces.  Opponents read him like a book whenever there is a free-kick.  It was a goalkeeping error that enabled him to score tonight.  I have sen him score brilliant free-kicks, but this wasn’t one of them.

Kingborough missed their other American import, Horacio Gutierrez Jr.  He has a foot or ankle injury and could barely perform his duties as match manager.  Indeed, such a duty for a player, let alone an import, I find demeaning.  He will be assessed, but it doesn’t look good.  It could be an Achilles injury.

The attendance must have been hugely disappointing for a club the size of Kingborough, which has such a huge catchment area and so many teams.  Superb pitch, great floodlighting and weather made for football.  If supporters can’t be enticed to a game in such perfect conditions, what hope is there?  The game was covered on live stream, which is a point of debate, too, but which I don’t wish to comment on other than to say that the crew do an outstanding job, and for those who really cannot attend, it’s a boon.  In fact, I often wonder whether the standard of our local game warrants such excellent coverage, which better leagues would die for.  The Lions have the potential to roar, but at the moment it’s just a meow.

Interview with Olympia Warriors coach, Rob Clarke.

Interview with Kingborough Lions United coach, Greg Calvert.


Anonymous said...

Problem with Kingborough can be summed up in 3 words.


Sign em said...

Spot on walter looks like Nicky butt & plays like him . As for borough again can’t see any of the forwards scoring if I was Greg try and get Pajari & Isaac from south not going to make first squad been waiting long enough

Anonymous said...

Kingborough coach looked and sounded very stressed in interview. If you put your hand up for jobs like Boro you must be prepared to accept flack. All coaches ‘ give a shit ‘ as you put it , about their players. NPL is about results no matter how you try and mask that . You can call it a plan or development but that is just covering up poor performances .
Look at last night, no ball boys , very few supporters , no atmosphere , Just a game .
As many have said already acceptance levels in the past don’t appear to have changed much . Words no longer do it. Performance /results are the only way now.. sounds harsh but theme is the facts.

Anonymous said...

Live Feeds are killing crowds local clubs need the income! DELAY THEM BY TWO HOURS AND GIVE THE CLUBS A CHANCE .

It is not about commentators or the overseas viewers great product but surely a two hour delay is a prudent measure .

Next day said...

Yes delays by 2 hours good i idea or Even better 24 hrs

Anonymous said...

Very fair and accurate report as usual Walter
What is going on at Kingborough? Things change but nothing gets better at the Den

The Phoenix said...

For this reason many either watch the feed or follow along on the TFC Facebook page. There is not much support any more for club's outside their usual faithful. Some club's have even managed to drive some of them away.

Anonymous said...

I believe live feeds limited to one a round is the way forward and fair it seems we are doing nearly ever game a match of the round feed each week would be spot on .

Anonymous said...

Calvert is a loyal, football man. He knows he has a tough task but the lack of recruitment in the senior team is hurting Kingborough. They simply do not have enough classy players. Plenty of effort and willingness but short on ability.

Anonymous said...

It’s not classy players that they need. It is players who have a good understanding of the game and can adapt to changing situations which occurs during games. Too many do their own thing at different times which throws out balance and structure of the team consistently. Too many who don’t and cannot defend. You can’t make statements like we want to win things or are judged on win- loss ratio. The performances to date will give you one ratio and one only sndctgat is one leaning heavily to losses.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Classy players do exactly what you said...