Walter Pless on Association Football
- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 16 April 2017
Photo: Kingborough coach Gabriel Markaj issues instructions during the game [PlessPix]
This was a game that the Lions could not afford to lose, especially after last weekend’s 10-0 loss to South Hobart.
They took the lead and held it until the interval, before Clarence equalised shortly after the resumption.
Photo: The two captains confront each other [PlessPix]
Kingborough then hit the front again and looked as if they would earn 3 points, especially when Clarence were reduce to 10 men with the dismissal of Jake Stuart, but a late penalty ensured the Eastern Shore visitors of a point.
Both sides looked like teams from the bottom half of the eight-team competition as the passing was erratic, chances were few, and the finishing was less than clinical when chances appeared.
Ben Kovadio was lively for the Lions in the opening stages and twice shot straight at Clarence keeper Darby Randall.
Kingborough settled their nerves when Kovadio gave them the lead midway through the first half. He got onto the end of a long up-field clearance and knocked the ball past the advancing Randall and stroked it into an empty net.
Before the end of the first half, Clarence missed at least three opportunities to equalise as Nick Naden and Stuart (twice) squandered good openings.
Photo: Clarence's Matt Lewis tackles Kingborough's Jack Gates [PlessPix]
The visitors equalised 4 minutes after the resumption when Stuart met a right-wing cross from Andrew Robb and flattened Phil McEldowney as he climbed above the full-back’s shoulders as if taking a mark in AFL and headed inside the near post. McEldowney needed treatment before the games restarted.
In the 56th minute, Jack Gates picked out Danny Cowen with a left-wing cross and the striker was left alone to control the ball and prod it past the advancing Randall to make it 2-1 for the Lions. Randall was unhappy at the goal, claiming Cowen has kicked him in the thigh while scoring. He continued to protest and Mr Cooke eventually showed him a yellow card.
Photo: Handball or not? You judge [PlessPix]
Paul Bremner missed a sitter when he went for a ball with keeper Kamara. The keeper missed and the ball fell for Bremner, who skied it over the bar from the 6-yard box.
Clarence were reduced to 10 men when one of their better performers, Stuart, was shown a second yellow card with 20 minutes remaining.
Kingborough were unable to take advantage, despite Kovadio hitting the base of a post, and Clarence earned a rather soft penalty 15 minutes from the end when Godfrey Okello was adjudged to have brought down Naden.
Grant Malcolm, the Clarence skipper, scored with the spot-kick to earn his side a point.
Photo: Kingborough skipper Danny Cowen (right) [PlessPix]
Kingborough Lions United captain, Danny Cowen, said:
“[I have] mixed emotions [about the result]. It’s a lot better than what the last couple of weeks have done. The effort the boys put in was a lot better and the commitment was a lot better. We were actually wanting the ball and there was a bit of hunger, which was better today. I was happy with that.
“It’s always hard not to get a result, but it’s a step in the right direction and it’s a start. At least we got something out of it in the end.
“I don’t think it was a penalty. I thought it was a brilliant challenge, but that’s a different view to the ref. That’s his decision.
“I just think we need to build as a team. We’ve got a lot of new players so we’re still getting to know each other and it takes a long time, longer than we thought, longer than we’d hoped. But we have to work as a team and ramp up that effort. As long as we’re progressing every week, it’s a start. This week’s a lot better than last week, and last week was hard, so it’s a good turnaround for the boys and we’ve just got to keep going and het a win, especially starting with the Laka Cup on Monday.”
Photo: Clarence coach Alan Jablonski (right) with assistant Gary Burgess leave the pitch at half-time [PlessPix]
Clarence United coach, Alan Jablonski, said:
“I’m extremely disappointed with that point.
“We were out of legs and with 10 men and still getting behind them, but sometimes you have days like that, I suppose. It was just a bad day.
“I think Bremner won’t even talk and he’ll be angry with himself [at the easy chance he missed]. You know what he’s like. He gets half-chances and scores and he had about four shots today and didn’t convert one. You can’t coach for that. You’ve got to be there to finish crosses and we’re struggling with that at the moment. It’s got to turn around eventually.
“I think the only thing worse than the way we played was the officials. I don’t know what I can and can’t say, but the amount of times we had guys having their shirt pulled back, guys in attacking positions being pulled down and only free-kicks. Nick Naden was through outside the 18-yard box and got rugby tackled to the ground and no yellow card. The ref’s come and talked to us. A guy says something and kicks the ball away and gets yellow cards. I just don’t see. We’re told about demonstrative behaviour to a ref before the game and you saw demonstrative behaviour towards the ref and nothing happens. We’re confused. We want to go out and play football and we know what’s a foul and what’s not a foul and we know the retribution that you get when you commit the wrong thing but I just feel that part is really frustrating. It’s hard to swallow when it’s just not consistent and, in the end, it takes a decision our way to get even a draw. We didn’t even deserve that, to be honest, so that’s hard, yeah.
Photo: Kingborough's Paulo Markaj pushes the ball past Clarence's George Hallard [PlessPix]
“Clarence boys will never drop their bundle or give up. When your only fault is technically in front of goal, that’s something you can work on. It’s really hard to work on mental state and recovery and fitness and things like that.
“I thought Palmer was excellent today. He’s still not nearly fit enough to play NPL. He told me to give him 60 minutes but he went 80 and I thought he held down the midfield well. There weren’t really bad players out there, but when you’ve got two centre-halves and the striker has time to chest the ball down and put it into the net, there’s problems there. It’s just frustrating.”
Photo: Kingborough coach Gabriel Markaj deep in thought as he leaves the field at half-time [PlessPix]
(PS4 NPL Tasmania, Lightwood Park, Saturday, 15 April 2017)
Kingborough Lions United 2 (B Kovadio 22’, D Cowen 56’)
Clarence United 2 (J Stewart 49’, G Malcolm 75’ pen)
HT: 1-0 Ref: A Cooke
Kingborough Lions United: Kamara - McEldowney, Okello, Robinson, Herweynen - Yuel, P Markaj, T Pearce, Gates - Cowen, Kovadio (Subs: Rickards, Nugent, Harms, Belstead)
Clarence United: D Randall - Heath, Lewis, Malcolm, Price - Palmer, Hallard, Naden, Robb - Stuart, Bremner (Subs: Hedge, Dand, S Randall, Heggie)
Photo: Jack Gates has performed well for Kingborough this season and set up a goal for Danny Cowen against Clarence [PlessPix]