Who Is 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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Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League (KGV Park, Friday, 7 May 2010)


Tilford Zebras 3 (B Crosswell 62, 66 pen, 84)

Taroona 4 (G Hamilton 3, H Luttmer 13, T Dove 22, D Abbott 91)

HT: 0-3 Att: 100 Ref: S Collins

Tilford Zebras: Kaden - Muller, Telega, Fagg, K Engels - L Engels (Young 62), Hall (Cairns 56), Ladic, Welch - Walsh, Crosswell [Substitutes not used: Macgregor, Voss] [Coach: Romeo Frediani]

Taroona: Nettlefold - Tubb, Johnson, C Carey (Wright 70), Elliott - Dove (Douglas 89), Atkinson (H Macgregor 62), Luttmer, Wyatt, Abbott - Hamilton [Substitute not used: Burridge] [Coach: Ben Horgan]


A superb performance by Taroona saw them lead 3-0 after just 22 minutes. Their defending was excellent and they were quick in attack and sharp up front.

Tilford Zebras appeared to have no answer to the onslaught. They were 3-0 down at the break and appeared dead and buried.

Zebras were a different team in the second half, however, and a splendid hat-trick by Ben Crosswell saw them get back to 3-3 before losing to a stoppage-time penalty conceded by captain Andrew Telega and converted by David Abbott.

Crosswell might have had another penalty, or even two, but Taroona deserved the win for their sheer audacity in taking the game to the favourites.

Taroona goalkeeper Richard Nettlefold was superb and saved twice from stinging shots by Dwayne Walsh, while the Zebras’ Jonathon Ladic, playing his first game since joining from South Hobart, was unlucky when his dipping shot 14 minutes from the end whistled over Nettlefold and struck the top of the bar.

To add to the Zebras’ misery, goalkeeper Troy Kaden was sent off after the final whistle when he was shown a second yellow card for dissent.

Abbott, playing only his second game for Taroona after signing from South Hobart, was dangerous in the first half wide on the left and he again made a goal for Toby Dove, something which he had done twice in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Olympia Warriors.

He also kept his cool to score from the last-gasp penalty and his value to his new team is unquestioned and has given them a new dimension in attack.

The forced substitution of Marcus Atkinson after an hour - he had to go to work - almost undid Taroona, but it was to their credit that they never gave up and won it at the end when Telega brought down Garry Hamilton to concede the penalty.

Defender Cian Carey, who had played his first game only last week, ran out of legs and was substituted with 20 minutes left. This did not help the cause, either, and Taroona conceded another goal after his departure.

Taroona took the lead in the 3rd minute when a marvellous through-ball by Jack Elliott put Hamilton into the box on the left. He waltzed his way past Jordan Muller and Telega before beating Kaden with a low shot.

In the 13th minute, Hugo Luttmer made it 2-0 when he easily got past Henry Fagg before firing past Kaden.

The Zebras’ defending was of schoolboy standard and in the 22nd minute they fell further behind when Abbott beat Fagg down the left with a sudden change of pace and his low cross was allowed to pass across the goalmouth to the unmarked Dove, who was untroubled in netting.

Zebras came close to pulling a goal back on the half-hour. Walsh had two feeble headers cleared and, when the ball went to Crosswell, he struck a shot against the crossbar.

Two minutes later, Ladic picked out Crosswell with a pass but the striker shot high when he should have at least worked the goalkeeper.

The half ended with Hamilton shooting wide for Taroona and they were clearly good value for their 3-0 lead.

Zebras were a team transformed in the second half and Walsh had a tremendous shot well saved at the near post by Nettlefold after just five minutes.

Paul Cairns came on for Matt Hall in the 56th minute and, by the time Atkinson departed the scene in the 62nd minute, Zebras were well on top.

Luttmer had a half-chance for Taroona in the 57th minute after Hamilton appeared to be fouled, but Zebras finally grabbed a goal in the 62nd minute to give themselves a glimmer of hope. Muller made a run through midfield and played the ball wide to the left to Welch, whose low cross was hammered home by Crosswell.

Substitute Adam Young shaved the outside of the far left-hand post in the 63rd minute, only seconds after coming on, and the Zebras revival was in full swing.

In the 64th minute, Ladic’s free-kick found Crosswell, but his full-blooded header was straight at Nettlefold.

A minute later, Zebras were awarded a penalty when Carey fouled Crosswell. The Zebras striker took barely two steps in striking his spot-kick and Nettlefold was desperately unlucky as the ball squeezed under his body, but Taroona’s lead had been cut to just one goal.

In the 68th minute, a Ladic shot took a deflection and the ball flew into a grateful Nettlefold’s arms.

Crosswell came close to equalising in the 72nd minute when he showed great skill in ghosting past two defenders on the right of the box, but the ball just got away from him at the crucial second and he was only able to toe it tamely straight to Nettlefold.

Ladic clipped the top of the bar in the 76th minute, while two minutes later, Nettlefold again blocked a stinging shot from Walsh at the near post.

In the 79th minute, Cairns found Crosswell inside the box with an accurate pass, but the striker slipped at the vital moment and lost possession.

Having failed on a couple of occasions to wend his way through the packed Taroona defence, Crosswell tried a more direct approach in the 84th minute. Receiving a pass to feet from Fagg, he turned instantly and unleashed a shot into the roof of the net from 20 metres to make it 3-3.

The come-back was complete, but Zebras were convinced they could win and maintained the intense pressure on the visitors.

But, they conceded another goal quite unnecessarily in the first minute of stoppage time. Taroona played a long ball forward down the right and Telega should have cleared. He hesitated, however, and Hamilton gained possession and cut in towards goal.

The angle was difficult for a shot, but Telega brought the striker down anyway and Abbott did the rest from the penalty spot.


· Tilford Zebras coach, Romeo Frediani, said:

“In the second half, I think we should have won that game.

“I’m not going to say anything about the last couple of minutes.

“The first half was pretty disappointing, but they came out and showed that they can really play with three goals.

“But again, that last bit was pretty shattering, really, to end like that. I can’t say anything else.”

· Tilford Zebras striker, Ben Crosswell, said:

“Full marks to Taroona. They came out and played really well in the first half and we didn’t use the ball. We rushed it going forward and we paid the price.

“I thought we were going to win in the second half 4-3. I thought we ran over the top of them and played the ball to feet, which is what we should be doing all the time, but we still don’t do it enough.

“I thought we should have had another penalty. It was a bad tackle and it was more of a penalty than the first one.”

· Taroona coach, Ben Horgan, said:

“We make it hard for ourselves, don’t we?

“Yeah, a great effort. You can’t complain about that. We knew in the second half they’d come out hard, but we did make it very difficult for ourselves with really poor passes and we turned the ball over when we were in attack and straight away turned around and handed the ball over to guys like Ben Crosswell and Dwayne Walsh to run at us with pace.

“We needed a bit more composure, but having said that, we unsettled the team a bit because I had to make a couple of substitutions that I didn’t really want to make, with Marcus [Atkinson] going off when he was playing really well in midfield.

“In the end, I thought we were slightly fortunate, but having said that, we scored three goals in the first half against Zebras.”

· Taroona midfielder, Hugh Luttmer, said:

“In the first half, we kept our shape better than we have all year, but I don’t know what happened in the second half.

“In the second half, we were terrible. I don’t know how we came back so late in the game to get a win, but it was a brilliant way to win a game.”