State League Cup Upset as Hamersley Beat Ashfield
26 April 2012
Hamersley made it State League scalp number two after accounting for Ashfield at Carine Open Space in round 1 of the State Cup. Rovers started well with the midfield getting to grips with their opponents early and wide men Logan Crawford and Stu Simmons putting in some dangerous crosses. Ashfield, marshalled well by former Hamersley star Martin Sherwin, began to take a hold of the game and almost went ahead, Nathan Tossum hitting the post after 20 minutes.
Dan Scudder went close for Hamersley with a rasping drive from outside the box but Ashfield were creating chance after chance and only some excellent goalkeeping from Haig Kingston was preventing them taking the lead. Ashfield again hit the woodwork through Karl O'Reilly after a goalmouth scramble, while Mladen Kovacevic and Natta Narongphunt were causing problems out wide for the Hamersley defence.
Rovers last chance of the half came when Jimmy Young put an inviting ball through to Mickey Garcia but his shot didn't have enough power to trouble the Ashfield keeper. Ashfield went in at the break rueing missed chances and the decision not to play top scorer Ryan Frisina.
Ashfield started the second half as they did the first putting Hamersley under plenty of pressure but the defensive partnership of Ben Ashton and Martin Ireland kept them at bay. Ashfield looked to have scored when they had the ball in the net after 60 minutes from a corner but the ref blew for a foul on Matt Emery. They went close again but a double save from Kingston further denied them.
Rovers were starting to create some space on the flanks from the counter attack with Crawford in particular causing problems. On 72 minutes some good build up play from Emery and Crawford found Sam Long in the box . The referee decided he had been pulled back and gave a penalty much to the annoyance of the Ashfield players, who to be fair did seem to have a case to argue. Jimmy Young stepped up and confidently put away the spot kick.
Ashfield continued to push forward and put the Hamersley goal under more pressure but with growing confidence the Rovers team soaked up it up well, Ricky Andrews and Ryan Sochanik in particular scrapping for every ball. With just minutes to go another counter attack found Long on the break and after a one two with Shaun Gibbons he smashed the ball into the roof of the net.
The ref blew for full time and Hamersley had made it through to the second round of the State Cup for the first time since making the semi-finals in 2008. Despite riding their luck and being on the back foot much of the game, Rovers took the chances presented to them. Haig Kingston was declared man of the match for his outstanding game in goal. Coach Craig Doble was impressed with his teams fighting spirit and ability to dig in and work hard for each other when it counted.
Team: Kingston, Emery, Ashton, Ireland, Andrews, Young, Sochanik, Scudder, Crawford, Simmons, Garcia. Subs: Long, Gibbons, Fullard, Pountney, Norgrove.
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