- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 30 June 2014
Photo: Zebras' Alex Leszczynski (left) in an aerial duel with Launceston City's Nathan Bartlett [PlessPixRetroLook]
Third-placed Victory League side Tilford Zebras thrashed their sister club and bottom-side Launceston City 12-0 at KGV Park on Saturday evening.
The visitors were never in the hunt once they went a goal down midway through the opening half.
Photo: Tilford Zebras' Henry Fagg (left) puts pressure on Launceston City midfielder Toby Omenihu [PlessPixRetroLook]
Date: 28 June 2014
Result: Tilford Zebras 12-0 Launceston City
E Engels 23, 89
A McKeown 28, 43, 58, 81
A Leszczynski 46 pen, 50
C Ferns 83
N MacDonald 85
H Fagg 87
R Courtney 92
Venue: KGV Park
Photo: Tilford Zebras' Russell Courtney (left) pressures Launceston City's Chirack Kadima [PlessPixRetroLook]
Match Overview: It took Tilford Zebras 23 minutes to crack the Launceston City defence and it was Ethan Engels who opened the scoring with a neat header from Alex Leszczynski’s right-wing cross. Five minutes later, Adam McKeown made it 2-0 with a low shot, the first of his four goals for the match. McKeown’s stooping header from Curran Ferns’s right-wing cross made it 3-0, while a penalty converted by Alex Leszczynski in stoppage time put City 4-0 down at the interval.
Leszczynski added his second and Zebras’ fifth within 5 minutes of the resumption and things were looking very bleak for the southerners’ sister club from Launceston. McKeown completed his hat-trick when he punished City for a poor goal-kick in the 58th minute. It was four goals for the game for McKeown and seven for Zebras when he netted with 9 minutes remaining.
That was the signal for a final burst of scoring by Zebras and they scored every two minutes after that as City fell apart completely. Ferns made it 8-0, substitute Nick MacDonald added the ninth when the keeper could only parry Leszczynski’s shot, and Henry Fagg nodded home Josh Fielding’s chip into the box three minutes from the end. Ethan Engels made it a personal brace when he raced through the defence on his own and beat Abougelis to make it 11-0.
With City heads whirling in disbelief, the final ignominy came in the second minute of stoppage time when Russell Courtney took a quick free-kick to make it a round dozen for the southerners.
Key Moment: McKeown’s fourth goal and Zebras’ seventh in the 81st minute. That completely dispirited City and ended their resistance. They conceded a goal every two minutes after that and lost 12-0.
Man-of-the-Match: Adam McKeown, who played in a midfield role rather than as a striker. By playing deeper, it took the pressure off him and he took the opportunity to find space and bagged four goals in what was a marvellous individual performance. His goals were quality and this performance should restore much of his confidence.
Matter of fact: This was Launceston City’s worst loss since the Victory League came into being last season, and it was the highest score ever in the competition.
Talking point: What can be done about Launceston City’s plight? They appear way out of their depth, despite winning their first ever match in the Victory League in the first round, ironically, against the same opponents, Tilford Zebras. It must be remembered, however, that in that win they had the services of marquee player Danny Allsopp, the former Australian international, and he scored a hat-trick. Coach Kurt Reynolds is undoubtedly doing the best he can, but the players need to improve their performances. They can still avoid the wooden spoon, but they will need to start to get some wins or draws soon.
Tilford Zebras 42
Launceston City 11
Tilford Zebras 27
Launceston City 7
Tilford Zebras 13
Launceston City 4
Tilford Zebras 5
Launceston City 5
Tilford Zebras 4
Launceston City 0
15 Whitehall (11 MacDonald 65)
12 E Engels
3 S Egan
Referee: Mr Kim Barker
Photo: Tilford Zebras' Ben Whitehall (left) controls despite pressure from Launceston City's Aaron Campbell [PlessPixRetroLook]
Photo: Launceston City's Yangjin Park (right) gets the ball away before Tilford Zebras' Ethan Engels can intercept [PlessPixRetroLook]