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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Second-placed Glenorchy Knights moved to within 5 points of Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League leaders Tilford Zebras after winning their top-of-the-table clash 5-3 at KGV Park on Friday night.

And, the Knights have a game in hand, which means the title race is again wide open.

Bottom-side University earned a precious three points with a 2-1 home win over third-last New Town Eagles at Olinda Grove today.

Second-last Hobart Olympic halted their recent dismal run by drawing 2-2 away to fourth-placed Kingborough Lions United at Lightwood Park this afternoon, but they are now just three points ahead of University.

Ben Crosswell gave Zebras the lead against the Knights in the 13th minute, but Knights led 2-1 at the interval after goals by Josh Fielding, from a free-kick in the 25th minute, and a thunderbolt from 30 metres by Tom Sherman in the 41st minute.

Knights increased their lead in the 59th minute when the excellent Jade Clay smashed a stunning strike against a Zebras post and Corey Smith hammered home the rebound.

Brayden Pace pulled a goal back for Zebras in the 65th minute, while the Knights then seemed in a precarious position when they had Smith sent off two minutes later.

But, the side rallied and restored its two-goal buffer seven minutes from the end when Fielding’s pass put Amadu Koroma through to score.

Splendid work on the right by Clay in the 85th minute enabled Koroma to utilise his speed and courage to hit the Knights’ fifth goal, while Pace’s late goal was a mere consolation effort against a courageous counter-attacking Knights outfit that deserved the three points.

University hit the front against Eagles in the 7th minute when goalkeeper-turned striker Rory McCallum headed home former Eagles player Richard Delara’s free-kick from the left.

Adam McKeown equalised in the 51st minute with a side-foot volley from Ben Whitehall’s corner.

A brilliant save by University keeper Hamish Peacock denied Alex Gordon midway through the second half, while minutes later, Peacock got down well to anotehr Gordon effort and turned it wide.

Aaron Hindmarsh should have scored for University when he gained possession on the right only metres from goal, but his shot lacked power and a defender cleared off the line.

Eagles had a penalty appeal turned down near the end when a University defender appeared to handle the ball.

McCallum’s winner 12 minutes from the end was tinged with controversy as the assistant referee’s flag was raised for off-side.

But, the assistant was over-ruled by the referee, much to the consternation of the Eagles players and bench.

Hobart Olympic trailed Kingborough 1-0 at the break and 2-0, both goals coming from Tom McDonald, before goals by Chris Tsimiklis and Youssef Mohamad earned the visitors a point.

Metro increased their lead at the top of the Division One ladder to 4 points after they beat Northern Suburbs DOSA 2-0 away at Queen’s walk today.

After a goalless opening half, one of Metro’s four Scottish imports, midfielder Colin Sweeney, struck twice to earn the three points.

Latest Scottish signing, Steve McClung, who scored four goals against Taroona in a midweek match, was well held by Richard Korn.

DOSA goalkeeper Justin Farrugia had an outstanding match and saved his side on numerous occasions.

Metro beat DOSA 8-0 in the reserves and 5-0 in the under-19s.

In Premier League reserves, New Town Eagles downed University 2-0, both goals coming from Josh Hadfield, while Hobart Olympic also accounted for Kingborough Lions United by the same margin.

In the under-19s, University trounced Eagles 11-0, after leading 5-0 at the interval.

Brady Cronk hit four goals and Hugh Foley grabbed a hat-trick, while Will Abbott, Eli Luttmer, with a penalty, Jamie De Smith and an own-goal completed the tally.

And, in a goal feast at Lightwood Park, visitors Hobart Olympic, who led 4-1 at the break, scraped home 6-5 against Kingborough Lions United.

Simeon Thomas-Wilson, with two goals, Innocent Lotet, Ross Took and Tim Brewer were Kingborough's marksmen.

In the Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League, Burnie United upset Somerset 3-2 away at Cardigan Street through goals by Sam Phillip-Croule, Will Nichols and Andy Gibson.

Burnie led 3-0 with 15 minutes remaining, but the Sharks bit back with two late goals.

A first-half hat-trick by Chris McKenna set Devonport City on its way to a 4-2 away win over Riverside Olympic.

Sam Hughes pulled a goal back for Riverside before Kieran Mulraney made it 4-1, while Aaron Campbell’s late strike was only a consolation goal for the home side.

Ulverstone scraped home 2-1 at home at the Showgrounds against Launceston City through goals by Callum Foote, in the 35th minute, and Kyle Baldock on the hour after the teams were level at 1-1 at half-time.

In the evening match at the NTCA Ground, league-leaders Northern Rangers downed Prospect Knights 3-0 after leading 1-0 at the breakthrough a Todd Hingston penalty.

Paul Bremner added the second and Rangers grabbed a third near the end.
Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League

University 2-1 New Town Eagles
Kingborough Lions United 2-2 Hobart Olympic

Reserves

University 0-2 New Town Eagles
Kingborough Lions United 0-2 Hobart Olympic

Under-19s

University 11-0 New Town Eagles

Division One

Northern Suburbs DOSA 0-2 Metro

Reserves

Northern Suburbs DOSA 0-8 Metro

Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League

Riverside Olympic 2-4 Devonport City
Somerset 2-3 Burnie United
Ulverstone 2-1 Launceston City
Northern Rangers 3-0 Prospect Knights
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GLENORCHY KNIGHTS 5-3 TILFORD ZEBRAS
_________________________________________

Second-placed Glenorchy Knights kept the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League title wide open with this exciting 5-3 win over league-leaders Tilford Zebras, who had been threatening to run away with the championship.

Knights are now just 5 points adrift of Zebras and with a game in hand.

Zebras had more than enough chances to make a game of this, but their finishing was poor.

By squandering their openings, they played right into the hands of the Knights, who made the most of their chances and even scored twice near the end when down to ten men, Corey Smith having sent off midway through the second half.

Smith received a yellow card near half-time for persistent infringement and then a second yellow after bundling goalkeeper Troy Kaden over the line after he had caught a dangerous high cross.

The Knights did not need to be asked to take advantage of the Zebras’ profligacy. They played their socks off in a marvellous team effort and took their chances clinically.

Jade Clay was magnificent and his speed, vision and passing were exemplary, while Amadu Koroma’s speed and bravery were a lesson to all young players.

The Knights’ fifth and final goal summed up these two players’ contributions to the victory.

Clay dispossessed Jayden Welch deep in the Knights’ defensive third, near the corner flag on their right flank. He then sprinted forward with the ball and delivered a superb through ball down the inside-right channel for Koroma to chase.

Koroma showed a clean pair of heels to Ryan Smith and Andrew Telega and his speed and bravery enabled him to nip in and just beat the advancing Kaden to the ball and score.

Zebras began strongly but it was soon evident that they were not their usual sharp selves when Ricky Self shot over the bar from Ben Crosswell’s pass after just 8 minutes.

It seemed business as usual for the league-leaders when they hit the front in the 13th minute following a free-kick on the edge of the box, awarded against Josh Fielding for handball.

Self ran over the ball and touched it for Crosswell to run in and score with a low drive around the wall and inside the unsighted Alex Tatnell’s left-hand post.

In the 20th minute, the alarm bells rang again in the Knights’ defence as Kurt Engels sprinted after a through-ball, but a timely intervention by the mature Brodie Green saved the day for the home side.

The Knights’ best chance then fell to Koroma, who broke through the Zebras rearguard on the right but delayed his shot and eventually had his effort deflected into the side-netting for a corner.

Dwayne Walsh should have added a second for Zebras in the 20th minute, but he smacked his shot from the left against Tatnell’s right-hand post.

A minute later, it was 1-1 as Fielding took advantage of Telega’s foul on Corey Smith to take a quick free-kick and curl it past the slowly forming wall and inside Kaden’s left-hand post.

In the 28th minute, Henry Fagg’s low cross from the right was not cut out by Alex Holmes, who granted possession to Crosswell, but he shot centimetres wide of the far left-hand post.

One of the candidates for ‘goal of the season’ came in the 41st minute and gave Knights a 2-1 lead.

A rare stray pass from Brett Pullen in midfield enabled Fielding to play the ball to Smith on the right touch-line by the half-way line. He knocked the ball inside to Koroma, who started a diagonal run to the left before playing the ball into the path of Tom Sherman on the left wing.

Sherman unleashed a thunderbolt from 30 metres that gave Kaden no chance as it rocketed into the far top corner of the net.

A minute before the break, Walsh beat the Knights’ off-side trap - Mr Barker correctly allowed the move to continue despite the raised flag of his assistant because Walsh had come from a deep position and was not off-side, although a couple of his team-mates may have been - and with an empty goal looming, volleyed over the bar.

Zebras coach Nick Lapolla made a change five minutes after the resumption, bringing on Aaron Brazendale in place of Engels.

Zebras immediately exerted pressure and, following a corner from the right, only a clearance off the line by Clay saved the Knights.

In the 53rd minute, Walsh collided with Tatnell as he went for a through-ball and both players required treatment but were able to continue.

The Knights grabbed a match-winning lead in the 59th minute with a counter-attack that richly deserved a goal.

Corey Smith released Clay down the right and, in full flight, he thumped a tremendous shot against Kaden’s left-hand post, the ball rebounding to Smith, who finished off with aplomb to make it 3-1 for the Knights.

Two minutes later, Pullen’s glancing header went just wide of the far post as the Knights received a reminder that they were playing the league-leaders.

A minute later, Pullen squandered an excellent chance. Brazendale had played the ball back to Crosswell from inside the box on the right and he laid it off for Pullen, who dragged his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

The pressure was telling, however, and Brayden Pace made it a goal the difference with a fine finish from 12 metres after the tightly marked Brazendale had cleverly given the ball to Walsh on the right and he cut it back from the byline.

Smith’s dismissal in the 67th minute could have spelled disaster for the Knights, but they redoubled their efforts and took the game right up to their opponents, who were leaving themselves vulnerable at the back as they searched for goals.

Crosswell almost embarrassed Tatnell in the 76th minute with a low shot from range, but although the ball wriggled out of the keeper’s hands, it went just wide of the post and slithered out for a corner.

In the 80th minute, Walsh sent in a great shot, but Tatnell managed to turn it high and wide for a corner.

Three minutes later, Fielding beat Self on the touchline near the half-way line and played the ball into the middle for Koroma, who appeared off-side. There was no whistle and the Knights striker headed for goal and beat Kaden to make it 4-2 for the home-side.

There was still plenty of life in this game, however, and even when Koroma grabbed his marvellous second to make it 5-2 four minutes from the end, the action was far from over.

Three minutes into stoppage time, Pace made it 5-3, the ball having crossed the line and come back out before being fired back at goal by Walsh, whereupon Adrian Lawler handled it to stop it going into the net.

Assistant referee Mr Collins had already flagged for the goal, however, and no red card was shown to Lawler.

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  • Glenorchy Knights coach, Eamonn Kelly, said:

“I thought it was a very good game of football.

“We were very positive coming in to the game. We’ve been asking for consistency.

“It’s not much point in getting consistency against the weaker teams, but tonight we stood up and I think we beat them at football and I think that’s where we won the game.

“ Young Amadu [Koroma] up front played the lone soldier. Brilliant game. Absolute brilliant game.

“Smithers a stupid send-off again. The first yellow card, I don’t think he deserved. The second one, yeah, he did deserve, so two yellows means a red. It’s as simple as that.

“He’ll be disciplined for that. He’s really let the side down.

“But, with ten men, I think we battled well. A credit to all of them.”

  • Tilford Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla, said:

“In the end, I thought it was disastrous. We completely fell apart.

“I mean, the game should have been won in the first half. We couldn’t buy a goal. It’s as simple as that.

“How many opportunities did we have? We just could not buy a goal tonight.

“We should have had five or six in the first half.

“But, credit to Knights. They’ve taken their chances and they’ve outplayed us tonight.

“It’s a good wake-up call to the boys. The premiership is wide open.”

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Glenorchy Knights: Tatnell - Wiggins (Hope 66), Green (Roberts 85), Holmes, Lawler - Clay, Fielding, Marsh, Sherman (Kamba 90) - C Smith, Koroma (Substitute not used: Peter)

Booked: Smith 48, Fielding 75

Sent off: Smith 67

Goals: Fielding 25, Sherman 41, Smith 59, Koroma 83, 86

Tilford Zebras: Kaden - Telega, R Smith, Pace - K Engels (Brazendale 50), Fagg, Self, Pullen, Welch - Walsh, Crosswell (Substitutes not used: Hall, Connolly, Mainella)

Booked: Telega 80

Goals: Crosswell 13, Pace 65, 90+3

Att: 180

Ref: K Barker
Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League

Glenorchy Knights 5 (Fielding 25, Sherman 41, Smith 59, Koroma 83, 86) b Tilford Zebras 3 (Crosswell 13, Pace 65, 90 + 3)

Reserves

Glenorchy Knights 1-1 Tilford Zebras