- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 27 May 2014
Photo: Kingborough's Danny Cowen tackles Olympia's Gus Rumney as he attempts to clear [PlessPix]
(Victory League, Lightwood Park, Saturday, 24 May 2014)
Kingborough Lions United 2 (D Cowen 66, T Young 93)
Olympia Warriors 4 (L Nichols 39, W Wadawu 60, E Tsakiris 77, A Ralph 85)
HT: 0-1 Att: 350 Ref: B Kopra
Kingborough Lions United: Gillam - Gasparinatos - W Davis (J Davis 82), Cuthbertson, Young, D Watkins - Collins (T Pearce 63), Turner, Verdouw - Schuth (B Watkins 73), Cowen (Subs not used: Coleman, Farquhar)
Olympia Warriors: Nester - Rumney, Vandermey, Phillips, Griffiths (Booth 88) - Mearns, Nichols (Kumpulainen 85), Meredith - Wadawau, Tsakiris, Ralph (Bellini 85) (Sub not used: Paradisis)
Photo: Kingborough's Will Davis (No.19) wants to swap shirts with Olympia's Alex Ralph before the game is even over [PlessPix]
Olympia Warriors played some beautiful possession football in the opening half, assisted at times by Kingborough sometimes utilising a sweeper and a back-four in front of him.
The Warriors should have scored when Emmanuel Tsakiris was presented with a wonderful chance, but he somehow shot wide.
Kingborough keeper Roan Gillam also did well to catch a somewhat tame header from Warren Wadawu but which might have been a goal.
Alex Ralph was finding a lot of the ball down both flanks, but the visitors were unable to capitalise on this possession.
The home side had a flurry of chances during a 5-minute period late in the half, Jack Turner being thwarted by Dmitri Nester and Nick Cuthbertson sending a header over the bar, both from good deliveries by Billy Gasparinatos.
Photo: Kingborough's Bill Gasparinatos comes away with the ball and leaves Olympia's Alex Ralph in his wake [PlessPix]
The opening goal came about through a defensive error by the Lions. Sweeper Gasparinatos carelessly gave the ball straight to Lachlan Nichols who, with a grin on his face, hit a low first-time shot beyond Gillam and inside the far right-hand post in the 40th minute to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead at the interval.
It was 2-0 on the hour as Jonathon Griffiths crossed low from the left and Nick Meredith’s short pass found Wadawu, who easily beat Gillam.
Kingborough’s spirits were lifted in the 66th minute when Turner crossed from deep on the left and Danny Cowen leaped high at the far post to head the ball past Nester and pull a goal back for the hosts.
Tsakiris restored Olympia’s two-goal buffer in the 77th minute when Gillam punched Ralph’s corner straight to him and he gleefully hammered the ball home from inside the box.
After Wadawu had landed an effort against the Kingborough crossbar, Ralph added Olympia’s fourth, slotting home Meredith’s pass from the left.
Photo: Kingborough's Danny Cowen wins a header against Olympia's Jonathan Griffiths [PlessPix]
Kingborough drew last blood when Tom Young headed home Turner’s corner from the right, but the Lions were well beaten by a polished Olympia outfit who will be strengthened next week with the arrival of Mexican Eduardo Cabello.
His presence will make up somewhat for the absence of Alex Holmes and Will Roberts, who had gone to Brazil to watch the World Cup.
Photo: Olympia's Alex Bellini and Kingborough's Joe Davis look for the ball [PlessPix]
Kingborough Lions United coach, Stephen Pitchford, said:
“I think, probably, the first 20 or 25 minutes they had much more of the game than us, but I thought we actually got into the game and were starting to press them a bit when we gave them the goal that let them come in one-nil up.
“I think both had chances. We had two really good heading chances. I think Jack [Turner] had a one-on-one with the keeper, so it could have been any score at half-time, but it was fairly even, so one-nil, we were reasonably happy that we were still in the game.
“Second half, we looked to tighten up a little bit in a couple of areas. We did that and it was probably more of a 50/50 game, but, when you give them goals, it hurts. And, again, at 2-0, I think we had a chance on the 6-yard box, didn’t take it, comes up at the other end and you’re down a goal. Obviously, at 2-0 we were always going to chase the game. I thought we did that reasonably well.
“We created some chances, but they could possibly have had one or two as well, but it’s a huge improvement on our performance in round one and I’m confident we can build on what we’ve done today.”
Photo: Kingborough's Will Davis launches a tackle on Olympia's Alex Ralph [PlessPix]
Olympia Warriors coach, Glen McNeill, said:
“I think in the first half we were dominant in possession, particularly in that first half hour, but we still had problems converting.
“It was quite the opposite in the second half. It was a bit tighter but our finishing was much better.
“Look, I thought that we were in control of the match for the best part of it. Certainly they’re [Kingborough] very good, particularly at set-pieces. We were aware of that, but fantastic headers both of them.
“I thought we were in control for the best part of the match. We just have to be patient. A win’s a win and now we look forward to next week against Devonport.
“For us, [Cabello] last year was a different class. He’s been training and playing very well over in Mexico, so we’ll see how he is and how jet-lagged he is over the course of the week, but I’m sure he’ll be involved next week.”
Photo: Rival coaches Glen McNeill (left) and Stephen Pitchford shake hands after the match [PlessPix]