August 7, 2012
By Martin Stern
Football South Burnett
Nanango travelled to Kingaroy on Saturday to take on an injury-riddled Wests side in First Division of the Evolution Solar Football League competition.
Most of the Wests side had played in the Second Division match and had to double up.
The Minor Premiers wasted no time with Kieran Mangan carving through the Wests’ defence to make it 1-0 after one minute.
Five minutes later Matt Halliday struck with an awesome shot at the edge of the penalty box. Then two minutes later Kieran Mangan struck again, beating the Wests’ keeper with a well-placed header.
It appeared that Nanango were going to run away with the match, being 3-0 up after just seven minutes.
In the 17th minute, Wests’ Jack Fleming scored after a brilliant solo effort beating four Nanango defenders.
Wests continued to put pressure on the Nanango defence and defended very well themselves and Nanango had no answer.
In the 39th minute, Brandon Smith slammed home Wests’ second after latching on to a fine cross from just outside the penalty box.
Wests ended the first half in the ascendancy.
Wests started off in the second half as they had finished. One minute in, Joel Cooper levelled the score to make it 3-3.
Twenty-five minutes into the half, the lights went out and the game was delayed for a short period so they could be cooled down and restarted.
This pause seemed to work in Nanango’s favour and in the 75th minute an unmarked Kieran Mangan got his third, scoring from close range at the far post.
To their credit Wests kept rallying and had a few players going down with cramp.
Both sides had a few chances but the score remained 4-3 in a very entertaining match.
Best for Nanango were, Kieran Mangan, Jeff Froloff and Paul Stronge and for Wests, Harry Sterling, Joel Cooper and Jack Fleming.
In Second Division it was a 1-1 draw. Wests scored through Joel Cooper in the 32nd minute and it had looked though they had secured all three points before Nanango’s Karl Pichlis scored an equaliser one minute before full-time.
The Women’s game was a preview of the Semi-Final. There were not too many goal scoring opportunities in the game and it was very evenly poised, with Wests playing marginally better football.
Midway through the second half Wests appeared to have scored but the goal was correctly deemed to be offside. Fifteen minutes later Courtney Thompson gave Nanango a 1-0 lead which they maintained for the rest of the match. There was not much between these two sides.
Nanango have improved dramatically since coach Alan Downey has taken the helm and the Semi-Final should be a fantastic match.
* * *
Soccer was played in Murgon on a Sunday afternoon for the first time this season.
Gunners once again travelled to Murgon to try to redeem themselves in First Division after losing 3-0 to Barambah (their first win of the season) midweek.
Most of the Barambah players had already played in Second Division while Gunners had a reasonably fresh squad and a full bench of subs.
Gunners needed to win this game to help them to secure second place on the ladder, with two more hard games against Wests to come.
Both teams started the match off well but in the eighth minute Gunners went 1-0 ahead from a fantastic shot from Sam Murray.
Both teams had their chances and there was very little separating the two sides.
Gunners held on to win and kept their hopes for retaining second position on the competition ladder.
Best for Gunners were Aaron Costanzo, Sam Murray and Mitch Potter while for Barambah Chris O’Laughlin, Damien Sippel and Dan Kelly were the pick from Barambah.
In Second Division it was a 0-0 draw and Gunners’ picked up their first point of the season.
The Women’s game was a midfield battle between the two sides and there were very few chances on goal from either side.
Midway through the second half Megan Atto scored her first goal of the season from close range to give Barambah a 1-0 lead. This seemed to stir Gunnettes into action and five minutes later Bec Clegg smashed home an equaliser from a nicely placed cross.
Both teams jostled hard for the remainder of the match but the points were shared.
The two sides will meet again on Tuesday night in Kingaroy for a make-up game and will meet in the Elimination Semi Final.
* * *
In Kingaroy (Saturday):
1st Div: Nanango 4 (K. Mangan 3, M. Halliday), Wests 3 (J. Flemming, B. Smith, J. Cooper)
2nd Div: Wests 1 (J. Cooper), Nanango 1 (K.Pichles)
Women’s: Nanango 1 (C. Thompson), Wests 0
In Murgon (Sunday):
1st Div: Gunners 1 (Sam Murray), Barambah 0
2nd Div: Barambah 0, Gunners 0
Women’s: Barambah 1 (Megan Atto), Gunnettes 1 (Bec Clegg)
* * *
Tuesday, August 7, in Kingaroy (Make Up Games)
Women’s: Gunnettes v Barambah 6:30pm
2nd Div: Gunners v Barambah 7:45pm
Saturday, August 11, in Kingaroy
Wests v Gunners
1st Div: 5:00pm
2nd Div: 2:00pm
Sunday, August 12, in Murgon
Barambah v Nanango
1st Div: 3:00pm
2nd Div: 11:00am
* * *
The Semi-Finals of the Evolution Solar Football League competition will be played in Murgon on Sunday, August 19:
9:00am: 2nd Div Elimination – Wests v Gunners
11:00am: 2nd Div Major – Nanango v Barambah
1:00pm: Women’s Elimination – Barambah v Gunnettes
3:00pm: Women’s Major – Wests v Nanango
5:00pm: 1st Div Elimination – Gunners or Wests v Barambah
7:00pm: 1st Div Major – Nanango v Gunners or Wests
The winners of the Elimination (minor) semi-final play the losers of the Major semi-final in Nanango the following weekend (Sunday August 26).
The winners of the Major semi-final go direct to the Grand Final which will be played in Kingaroy on Saturday, September 1.
* * *
UPDATE August 8, 2012 – Results of make-up games played in Kingaroy on August 7:
Women’s: Barambah 1 (Celeste Purcell), Gunnettes 0
2nd Div: Barambah 4 (Anthony Kelly 2, Chris O’Laughlin, Joel Sommerfeld), Gunners 0