- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 26 February 2013
Photo: The Zebras' Kurt Engels on the ball in the Taroona penalty area [PlessPix]
(Summer Cup, Men’s Section A, Pool D, Warrior Park, Saturday, 23 February 2013)
Tilford Zebras 1 (R Self 66)
Taroona 2 (S James 18, T Dove 60)
HT: 0-1 Att: 120 Ref: C White
Tilford Zebras: Kay - Fagg, Malcolm, Clark, Smith - Page, Palmer, S McIntyre, Welch - McKeown, MacDonald (Interchange: Ladic, Self, Toghill, K Engels, Dand)
Taroona: Burridge - Cherry, Tubb, Stevens, D Carey - Haslewood, Schaap - Dove, Abbott - James, F Kang (Interchange: Atkinson, Maxwell, Barlow, O’Donavan)
Photo: Taroona's Felix Kang (left) and Tilford Zebras' Kurt Engels contest the ball [PlessPix]
Southern Premier League side Taroona are very close to qualifying for the semi-finals of the Summer Cup after beating Victory League outfit Tilford Zebras 2-1.
Sam James gave Taroona the lead after 18 minutes with a perfectly directed free-kick from just outside the penalty area.
Taroona were impudent and brave against their more highly fancied opponents and cut swathes through the Zebras ranks with fast, flowing football and one-touch play. The boys from Kelevedon Park were far from over-awed and, although they rode their luck near the end, they ran out winners.
Kurt Engels battled hard for Zebras when he came on, but the introduction of Jonathan Ladic and Ricky Self came much too late for the Zebras.
Photo: Taroona's Dave Abbott (left) and Tilford Zebras' Henry Fagg fight for the ball [PlessPix]
By that time, Toby Dove had put Taroona 2-0 in front with a superb diving header from David Abbott’s deep left-wing cross on the hour.
Zebras began to buzz once Ladic and Self were in action, but apart from Self’s goal in the 66th minute, after a good build-up involving Ladic and Adam McKeown, they could not get that elusive equaliser.
In the last 15 minutes, they went awfully close several times as they dominated play, but Taroona held out.
The semi-finalist from this group will now be determined next weekend, when Zebras must beat Northern Rangers. But, it will all be for nothing if Taroona get even a point against Kingborough Lions United, their rivals from the same municipality.
Photo: Tilford Zebras' Mark Page (right) pursuded by Taroona's Marcus Atkinson [PlessPix]
Tilford Zebras coach, Stephen Pitchford, said:
“It’s a disappointing result. We allowed them to score a couple of goals. To be honest, it could have been about 5-all in the end.
“The most disappointing factor again this week was our inability to convert the chances that we created. In terms of creating chances, almost double figures, but if you don’t put them in the net they don’t count.
“That’s still something for us to work on and improve. Obviously, today we moved a few players around and they were playing in different positions again, but I think we’re now getting a lot close to knowing what our starting combination will be once the V League starts.”
Photo: Zebras' coach Stephen Pitchford (left), his assistant, Tommy Fotak, and their suspended striker, Alex Leszczynski. How they could have used Leszczynski [PlessPix]
Taroona coach, Andy Tye, said:
“We’re surprised, I think, as are a few other people. But, very happy with the win.
“We tried a different formation where, I’ve been watching a bit of Melbourne Victory and we played a 4-2-2-2 and it’s helped to clog up the midfield, so there you go. Very happy.”
Photo: Taroona coach Andy Tye was very pleased with the win over Zebras [PlessPix]
Photo: Zebras' Andy Clark (left) challenged for a header by Taroona's Toby Dove [PlessPix]
Photo: Taroona's Toby Dove (left) dispossesses Tilford Zebras' Jonathan Ladic, who has just rejoined the Zebras after a season in Queensland [PlessPix]
Photo: Taroona's Toby Dove controls the ball ahead of Zebras' Mark Page [PlessPix]
Photo: Zebras' Adam McKeown (right) prods the ball away past Taroona's Alex Schaap [PlessPix]
Photo: Tilford Zebras' Sam McIntyre (left) shields the ball from a Taroona opponent, under the watchful eye of referee Charles White [PlessPix]