Who Is Walter Pless?

Walter_Pless

A teacher by profession, but is now in his 38th 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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This defeat virtually condemns University to relegation. They are now 7 points adrift of Clarence United and New Town Eagles and have just four games remaining.

The win lifted South Hobart level on points with Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League leaders Tilford Zebras, but South have a game in hand.

South could have moved into first place if they had won by four clear goals, but they managed just two.

They seemed on course when they earned a penalty after just 6 minutes when Iain Fletcher fouled Kosta Kanakaris, but Hugh Ludford’s spot-kick was saved by Hamish Peacock.

University’s best chance came in the 27th minute when Alexis Bull was presented with a one-on-one with South keeper Mark Moncur, but he shot straight at the custodian.

University had obviously planned to thwart one of South’s major tactics, Liam Scott’s overlapping of Shae Hickey down the left, and it worked.

But, they forgot about another ploy. In the 38th minute, Kanakaris floated a corner from the left towards the near post, where Josh Heerey glanced it on towards the far post, and there was Gary Upton to head home.

Upton almost added a second three minutes after the resumption, but he shot centimetres wide of the far post after a left-wing cross.

In the 57th minute, Ricki Eaves went mighty close from Heerey’s right-wing cross.

University were again let off the hook in the 72nd minute as Upton blazed straight at Peacock.

Two minutes later, Bart Beecroft fired home from just outside the box after Johnathon Merry’s clearance following a cross from the left had been directed straight to his feet.

It was classy finish and showed what South had been missing for most of the season after Beecroft had been injured in the opening league match, ironically, against University.

South central-defender David Cooper ventured forward twice in the closing stages and was unlucky not to add to his side’s tally.

University clearly missed key player Nigel Blundell, and they brought on Taka Manaka just after the break. Manaka was one of their best defenders last season but has only recently returned to playing.

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• University coach, Scott Gallacher, said:

“I was happy with our effort. I really was.

“They were obviously counter-attacking, but I thought we played some good football in patches.

“We gave the ball away too much, but in the circumstances, I thought it was okay.”

• South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said:

“We didn’t play well tonight.

“We had lots and lots of possession, but too many bad decisions, too many balls played into wrong areas.

“But, we’ve got a win and that’s the most important thing at this stage.

“But, we didn’t play really well tonight.”
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University: Peacock - Andrews (Manaka 50), Fletcher, Merry, Besley - King, Delara, Hindmarsh (Bones 74), Griffiths (Wilkinson 85) - Bull, McCallum (Substitute not used: Hewson)

South Hobart: Moncur - Upton, Ludford, Cooper, Scott - Eaves (Abbott 76), Heerey, Brown, Beecroft, Hickey (Ross 74) - Kanakaris (Substitutes not used: O’Brien, Pennicott)

Goals: Upton 38, Beecroft 72

Att: 80

Ref: S Collins
Second-placed Taroona has a final chance to throw open up the Division One title chase when they entertain leaders Metro at Kelvedon Park on Saturday.

Metro lead Taroona by three points and have a vastly superior goal-difference.

But, a Taroona win would put the sides level on points and this would increase the importance of the remaining fixtures.

“Obviously, it is an important game for us and we have to win to keep alive any realistic chance of winning the title,” said Taroona coach, Ben Horgan.

“I’m not planning to make too many changes to the side which beat DOSA 7-0 last week.
“Chris Cox missed that game to help him recover from some muscle soreness, but, hopefully, he’ll be right to go this week.

“One or two other guys have been struggling with the flu but are recovering now and really we should be in pretty good shape.”

Metro should be at full strength and this will be an intriguing clash because Metro have loads of other talent and goalscorers apart from their three Scottish imports.

Bottom-side Hobart United meet third-placed Beachside at the Showground on Saturday but United may be missing up to five players through illness, which has caused them to miss training this week.

One of United’s key defenders, Alex Bellini, is suspended after being sent off against Nelson Eastern Suburbs and his appeal is not due to be heard until Wednesday, 4 August.

Jacki Kuel will return to the United line-up and this is a positive factor for them.
Beachside will retain the side that lost to Metro last weekend and should be good enough to earn the three points.

Beachside will be in action again on Monday night at home at Sandown Park, when they host second-last Christian United.

Beachside coach, Nathan Robinson, said he was at a loss to explain why his team had its game today switched to the neutral venue of the Showground and yet will play at home at Sandown Park on Monday.

The remaining match of the round is also at the Showground on Saturday, where Northern Suburbs DOSA face Christian United.

Fifth-placed DOSA and sixth-ranked Christian are level on 5 points apiece and this should be a very close game.

"We almost have a full squad except for our young scoring sensation Micheal Townsend who is not 100% and is not available for the semi.

"He has been scoring goals for us and takes the responsibility from the senior goalscorers like Mark Ambrose, Paul Bremna and Luke Connors.

"His absent will be felt. I expect nothing less than a win and a spot in the final ,which will be history making for a young club like Northern Rangers."

The North made light work of the South in last year’s intrastate series and Eamonn Kelly’s selections for the South this time around have caused a lot of discussion amongst coaches and fans.

The side may lack firepower in attack with Crosswell absent and the North are well aware of striker Dwayne Walsh’s speed and will have made plans to counter this.

Luke Cripps has scored four hat-tricks this season, but whether he will be able to cope with the robust North defence is another matter.

The defence is a combination of South Hobart and Zebras players and, on paper, this looks solid.

But, the North are always fired up for these clashes and, with Bobby Eaves leading the attack, will give the visitors a thorough workout.

“The team are represented by all the clubs in the NPL and I would like to thank all the clubs for their support,” said North coach Roslan Saad.

“This applies especially to Devenport and Launceston United for allowing us to use their ground for training.

“Twenty-five players were shortlisted based on their club performance and were invited to train.

“The final 16 were selected based on availability and commitment.

“Kim Rigby, my assistant, and I felt that we lack a real scoring forwards but believe that we have enough players that can score from midfield.

“We are looking forward to the game on Sunday with strong support.

“I believe every club should be supporting the team since every club in the North has a representative.”

A feature of the women’s intrastate match is the presence on opposing sides of sisters Harkana and Marlugu Dixon.

They played together in the South in past years, but will now face each other and the sibling rivalry should be keen.

The North should also start as favourites in this match, which kicks off at 3.15pm, shortly after the game between A-League clubs Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United.

There are only two Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League matches scheduled for Saturday.

Second-last Launceston City host third-last Burnie United and a draw may wellbe the outcome.

And, Prospect Knights are at home to Riverside Olympic and there is not much separating these sides and the outcome may well again be a Pools follower's delight.