- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 25 February 2014
Photo: Beachside's James Symmons tries to Clarence's Will Malovnek [PlessPix]
Kingborough Lions United and Beachside qualified for the semi-finals of the Division A section of the Summer Cup with wins in their final group matches on Sunday at KGV Park.
The Lions downed New Town Eagles 3-2 in Group B, while Beachside drew 1-1 with Clarence United in Group A and then went on to triumph 4-2 in the penalty shoot-out.
Photo: Eagles' Luke Ottavi (right) is first to the ball against a Lions opponent [PlessPix]
The performance of both winners was less than impressive and, unless they show dramatic improvement, they will be cannon fodder in the semi-finals, where the Lions face Tilford Zebras and Beachside take on Olympia Warriors.
Kingborough were awarded three penalties in the game against New Town Eagles.
Trent Pearce netted the first after 4 minutes when Martin Farquhar was fouled, but when Farquhar earned a second penalty on the 13th minute, Eagles keeper Grant Nutting saved Pearce’s spot-kick.
In between the two penalties, Farquhar missed a golden scoring opportunity, heading Pearce’s corner from the left wide of the far right-hand post.
On the quarter-hour, Fionn Collins was guilty of a horrendous miss for the Lions when he failed to find the net from just 2 metres out.
Having let Eagles off the hook, the Lions were stunned when Adam Shackcloth equalised in the 18th minute as the New Town outfit steadied and worked their way back into the match.
Photo: Beachside goalkeeper Ollie Burdon clears just ahead of Clarence's Laurent Asciak [PlessPix]
When Damian O’Brian lobbed the ball over Lions keeper David Leamey from long range in the 21st minute to give Eagles the lead, one could say the cat had been set among the pigeons.
But, to the relief of the Kingborough supporters, Pearce levelled for the Lions in the 23rd minute, turning home Francis Kenyi’s left-wing cross from close range to make it 2-2.
Eleven minutes after the resumption, an acrobatic save by Nutting denied Farquhar, while a minute later, Eagles were the unlucky party when Shackcloth’s low, slow drive from the left hit the base of the far right-hand post. The Lions defenders could only watch the outcome as if in slow motion.
Jamie Vernon’s low shot for Eagles on the hour was turned wide for a corner by Leamey as the Lions hung on for dear life against the second-tier team.
The Lions’ salvation came in the form of yet another penalty 8 minutes from time after a push inside the box following a corner by Pearce from the right.
The Lions did not dare allow Pearce to take it and Farquhar was assigned the task. He beat Nutting to give the Lions a somewhat fortunate 3-2 win.
On this form, the Lions are in for a hiding from the Zebras.
Declan Brown gave Clarence the lead against Beachside in the 25th minute, rolling home a square pass from Sam Karas on the left.
Knowing they had already qualified for the semi-final before a ball was kicked, Beachside seemed somewhat lethargic and found the going difficult against the Eastern Shore outfit.
Paul Bremner almost added a second for Clarence a minute before the interval, but his shot from the right went just wide of the far left-hand post.
Photo: Beachside defend a Clarence corner [PlessPix]
Beachside replaced Cameron Sweeney in goal by Ollie Burdon at the break and Sweeney moved to centre-forward.
Twelve minutes from the end, the ever reliable Josh Thorpe found an equaliser for Beachside with a long-range lob from the left.
In the penalty shoot-out, Thorpe and Paske netted for Beachside before Brett Pullen rattled the crossbar with his spot-kick.
Ben Whitehall and Sweeney converted their penalties to give Beachside a 4-2 win as only Oliver Johnstone and Aaron Browning converted for Clarence United.
Jordan Hampton missed his penalty and Lachlan Hardwick struck the post with his.
Once again, on this performance, Beachside will receive a flogging from the Warriors in the semi-finals.
Clarence had a new Frenchman on view in Laurent Asciak.
Photo: Beachside's James Symmons gets in a tackle on Clarence's Will Malovnek [PlessPix]
Photo: Beachside's Brett Pullen hits the bar with his penalty kick [PlessPix]