Who Is Walter Pless?

Walter_Pless

A teacher by profession, but is now in his 37th year as a football writer. Has written for "Soccer Action" (Melbourne), "Australian Soccer Weekly" (Sydney) and "World Soccer" (London), as well as for several Tasmanian newspapers. Currently contributing to "Goal!Weekly" in Melbourne and the Australian magazine "Soccer International". Played for Croatia-Glenorchy, Caledonians, Metro, Rapid and University in Tasmania, as well as in the United States of America. Coached University, Metro and Croatia-Glenorchy.

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Photo:  Rangers' Todd Hingston gets a pass away against Devonport [Photo by Brendan Lichtendonk]

Third-placed Northern Rangers blew the Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League title race wide open after they beat leaders Devonport City 3-2 at home at the NTCA Ground on Saturday.

The win dropped Devonport City to third on 36 points, while Northern Rangers are now second and level on 37 points with new leaders Prospect Knights, who scored a comfortable 4-0 win over Launceston City at Prospect Park.

andrew_nicholson_in_front_of_nathan_granton

Photo:  Rangers' Andrew Nicholson (right) was brought down for a penalty [Photo by Brendan Lichtendonk]

Prospect Knights have a much better goal-difference than Rangers.

There is one round of matches remaining and so the destination of the title will be decided on the final day of the league season.  It cannot get more exciting than that.

Prospect Knights entertain Devonport City at Prospect Park on Saturday, 20 August, while reigning champions Northern Rangers have an easier task when they host fourth-placed Ulverstone at the NTCA Ground on the same day.

Rangers led Devonport 2-0 at the interval.  Todd Hingston stroked home the first after his header from Gabriel Tams’s cross initially came back off the woodwork, while Pat Lanau-Atkinson netted the second with an easy tap in at the far post from Scott Murray’s cross.

Chris McKenna pulled a goal back for Devonport with a header after the break, but Hingston restored Rangers’ two-goal buffer with a penalty after a foul on Andrew Nicholson.

Daniel McGinn hit a second for Devonport with 5 minutes remaining, but the visitors were unable to find an equaliser and slumped from first to third spot.  They must now beat Prospect Knights away next week and hope that Ulverstone can topple or draw with Rangers if they are to clinch the title.

Fourth-placed Ulverstone suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss at home against Riverside Olympic, while bottom-side Launceston United came awfully close to collecting their first point of the season when they lost narrowly to Burnie United 5-4 at home at Birch Avenue.

South_Hobart_presented_with_trophy

Photo:  FFT CEO John Boulous presenting the Premier League trophy to South Hobart after Saturday's 3-1 win over Beachside [PlessPix]

It’s all over in the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League, of course, with South Hobart having retained their title weeks ago.

They were presented with the trophy by Football Federation Tasmania CEO John Boulous after their 3-1 win over relegated Beachside at a swampy South Hobart ground on Saturday afternoon.

In the very heavy conditions, South Hobart took the lead in the 25th minute when Liam Scott put Jonathon Lo away on the right and his cross was hammered home off the underside of the bar by youngster Dylan Postma.

Doctors Tom Roach and Jonathon Lo then completed the operation in the second half for the league champions.

Roach headed the second 11 minutes after the interval, while Lo hit home an easy third when Beachside keeper Michael Soszynski could only parry Scott’s shot and the ball stuck in the mud to present Lo with an open goal.  He ripped off his shirt in celebration and collected a yellow card for his troubles.

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Photo:  The two teams line up before the match at South Hobart [PlessPix]

In the final minute, a through-ball by John Rogers slipped under the body of South Hobart goalkeeper Sam Kruijver, enabling substitute Ricki Eaves to gain possession.  His first shot stuck in the mud, but he was the first to react and scored at his second attempt to make it 3-1.

South missed several more chances, including one from close range when Brayden Mann hit Soszynski rather than the net.

On Friday night at KGV Park, sixth-placed Glenorchy Knights beat fourth-placed New Town Eagles 3-1.  It was Eagles’ first loss in seven games and their hold on fourth place and a berth in the finals is looking a little bit tenuous now.

Brave_ball_boy

Photo:  The drenched ball boy, who stoically did his job throughout the match, watches the goalmouth action [PlessPix]

Fifth-placed Kingborough Lions United are just 3 points adrift of Eagles and have a game in hand.

Perennial scorer Adam McKeown fired Eagles into an 11th-minute lead, but Jacob Huigsloot equalised with a penalty in the 25th minute after a foul on Corey Smith by David Cox.

Andrew Robb put the Knights in front in the 31st minute following good work on the right by Smith and Brendan Garth, while Matthew Nowicki added a third for the Knights in the 57th minute.

Eagles had goalkeeper Nathan Pitchford sent off with 17 minutes remaining after he directed foul and abusive language at an opponent.  Central-defender Adam Bates took over in goal and made a couple of splendid saves as Knights sought to press home their advantage against ten men, but without success.

On Saturday night, Clarence United consolidated their third spot on the ladder with an amazing 3-2 win over second-last Olympia Warriors at Wentworth Park, three of the goals coming in the eight minutes of stoppage time.

Trench_warfare

Photo:  Trench warfare at South Hobart [PlessPix]

Melbourne fly-in Jake Van Der Mey gave Olympia a 1-0 lead at the interval before a penalty by Clarence’s Korean import Kyu Jub Kim made it 1-1 in the 62nd minute.

A desperately unlucky Van Der Mey then thumped a header against a post as Clarence reeled.

Omar Shabaneh hit a magnificent goal for Olympia in the 90th minute to give Olympia a 2-1 lead, but the visitors’ hopes were dashed as Clarence netted in the 96th minute through another Korean import, Jae Ho Lee, and in the 98th minute through substitute William Malovnek to make it 3-2 for the home side.

Olympia’s other Melbourne fly-in, Joshua Colosimo, was knocked out in the scramble for the winning goal after colliding with his own keeper.  He received treatment on the pitch before being stretchered off and an ambulance was called as the player appeared to have a rib injury and was having trouble breathing.

That was the final action of the match and Clarence are now level on 34 points with second-placed Tilford Zebras, who have a game in hand.

Soszynski_washing

Photo:  South Hobart president Victoria Woods gives Beachside keeper Michael Soszynski a bucket of water and a cloth so that he could wash off some mud [PlessPix]

SOUTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE (As at 6 August 2011)

TEAM

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

South Hobart

20

16

3

1

76

19

51:9

Tilford Zebras

19

9

7

3

58

36

34:23

Clarence United

20

9

7

4

39

42

34:26

New Town Eagles

20

7

8

5

39

37

29:31

Kingborough Lions United

19

8

2

9

35

43

26:31

Glenorchy Knights

20

5

5

10

30

46

20:40

Olympia Warriors

20

4

4

12

31

52

16:44

Beachside

20

1

4

15

20

53

7:51

Mann_on_the_run

Photo:  South Hobart's Brayden Mann tries to get past Beachside's Andrew Keygan [PlessPix]

 

NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE (As at 6 August 2011)

TEAM

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Prospect Knights

15

12

1

2

45

12

37:8

Northern Rangers

15

12

1

2

42

17

37:8

Devonport City

15

12

0

3

58

22

36:9

Ulverstone

15

7

1

7

29

26

22:23

Somerset

15

6

0

9

29

39

18:27

Riverside Olympic

15

5

2

8

22

36

17:28

Launceston City

16

4

4

8

26

33

16:32

Burnie United

15

5

1

9

30

40

16:29

Launceston United

15

0

0

15

23

78

0:45

Kruijver_punches

Photo:  South Hobart keeper Sam Kruijver punches the ball to safety as Beachside's Jack Turner tries to leapfrog an opponent [PlessPix]

Roach_fights_for_ball

Photo:  South Hobart's Tom Roach fights for possession [PlessPix]

Beachside_clear_their_lines

Photo:  Beachside try and clear the danger [PlessPix]