- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 30 May 2011
Photo: Clarence shhot wide of the Zebras goal [PlessPix]
Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League (Wentworth Park, Saturday, 28 May 2011)
Clarence United 1 (B Hamlett 58)
Tilford Zebras 1 (A Telega 77)
HT: 0-0 Att: 80 Ref: K Barker
Clarence United: Cornish - Toghill, Nicholson, Lewis, Price - Rees, Parker, Kim, C Tsakiris (Stevens 85) - Hamlett (Kunwar 85), Lee (Subs not used: E Tsakiris, Moschogianis)
Tilford Zebras: Kaden - K Engels, Smith, Andrews, Hall - Self, Telega, McIntyre, Welch - Cripps, Walsh (Subs not used: L Engels, A McIntyre, Minty, Jarvie)
In the end, this 1-1 draw helped only one team - South Hobart. The reigning champions are now 8 points ahead of second-placed New Town Eagles and third-placed Clarence United and a massive 13 points ahead of fourth-ranked Tilford Zebras.
Tilford Zebras missed defender Henry Fagg, who was unavailable this weekend.
Photo: Clarence's Toghill clears ahead of Zebras' Welch [PlessPix]
Clarence United were under-strength in the absence of striker Seung Woo Park, but they did give Ben Hamlet, recently returned from college football in the United States, a start. He scored their goal and looked very sharp.
Clarence dominated the first half without being able to score. Zebras rarely got into their attacking third and Trent Cornish was never tested.
The visitors got back into the match in the second half and, after 10 minutes, Dwayne Walsh took advantage of an error in the Clarence defence to gain possession, but he fired straight at Cornish.
Photo: Cripps (left) tries to stop Lee from crossing [PlessPix]
A minute later, Clarence’s Kyu-Jun Kim blazed just over the bar with a powerful volley.
Within two minutes of this miss, Clarence did take the lead. Kim put Hamlett through on the left and he finished lethally.
Hamlett should have added a second on the hour following a splendid cross from the left by the tricky Jae-Ho Lee, but he was unable to finish.
Photo: Cripps (left) in pursuit of Toghill [PlessPix]
With 15 minutes remaining, Nathan Rees squandered a good opening for the home side with a poor finish that flew just wide.
Sam McIntyre then almost punished his former club in the 76th minute, but Cornish pulled off a fine save.
A minute later, however, it was 1-1 as Zebras captain Andrew Telega headed home Ricky Self’s corner.
Two minutes into stoppage time, former Clarence player Luke Cripps almost snatched victory for the visitors, but his shot crashed against the crossbar.
Photo: Kim tries to win ball from Smith [PlessPix]
Clarence United coach, Andrew Brown, said:
“In the end, the game should have been won in the first half, and in the second half, it was very difficult to play out. We got bogged down in the middle of the park.
“In the last 15 or 20 minutes it opened up, so both sides could have won it in the end.
“But, the game should have been all over at half-time.
Photo: Clarence's Kyu-Jun Kim in pursuit of the Zebras' Ryan Smith [PlessPix]
“The goal was good. I’ve got no problem with the goal. It’s something we do at training all the time, but we’re not doing it at the weekend. The problem was that there weren’t more of them, which would have been better.
“But, yeah, it was good quality.”
Tilford Zebras coach, Romeo Frediani, said:
“It was a tough game and it was always going to be.
“I think the first half, as I said to the boys at half-time, we weathered the storm with them coming at us going downhill. I thought the boys did a great job in the first half.
“They just wanted to play long balls into the hole over the top, but they didn’t really achieve anything, so that was fine for us.
Photo: The Zebras' Ricky Self shoots as Clarence's Jeremy Price tries to intervene [PlessPix]
“Second half, we came out and it was a little better coming downhill.
“It was a nice goal by ‘Tex’ [Andrew Telega]. The boys worked hard. I thought we could have easily pinched it right at the end there. We had a couple of good shots and Cripps hit the crossbar and I think Walsh’s was probably going in, except it hit somebody.
“I’m happy. One-all. A win would have been nice, but it wasn’t to be.
“The boys played with a good spirit and it was a hard, physical game.”