Tigers score seven in North Shore hitout

By Paul Green

Men’s NPL2 Pre-season and District Association annual friendly match
Charles Bean Oval, Lindfield – 7:40pm Thursday 7th February, 2019

Northern Tigers FC 7 (Ally Brown 7, 70, Josh Swadling 14, 18 and 64, Ollie Wiggins 61, Shervin Adeli 66)

Northern Suburbs Football Association Select 0


On a pleasant Thursday evening at Charles Bean Oval, in Lindfield, the Northern Tigers played their annual pre-season match against the cream of the Northern Suburbs FA, who were preparing for their own big meeting next Wednesday against Manly Warringah Association’s Select side at Cromer Park.

The Tigers, who have been in training since November, had already begun their pre-season programme for the coming NPL2 season with a 3-1 win over Stanmore Hawks at Arlington Oval the previous weekend.

Here they wasted little time getting their noses in front and had posted a 3-0 lead by the 18th minute.

They were given plenty to do by the local competition’s best players, especially in the second-half when number one Tigers’ keeper, Tonu Liiband took over from Ben Taylor, who’d been untroubled in keeping a clean sheet before the break.

Liiband, by contrast, had to make several key saves, getting the better of his man in a tough one-on-one call and also blocking a few others, as the District team piled on the pressure which the well-structured Tigers’ defence was able to deal with well.

By the finish, and after both teams had made several changes, the Tigers prevailed 7-0, which was excellent preparation for the match on Saturday night at North Turramurra against Western Sydney Wanderers’ NPL2 side.

The Tigers’ scorers were Ally Brown in the 7th and 70th, Josh Swadling in the 14th, 18th and 64th, thus ‘collecting the match ball’ as his new 2019 coach, Adam Hett, proclaimed, after the teams had shaken hands on a fine contest, Ollie Wiggins in the 61st and Shervin Adeli in the 66th.

Both Of Ally Brown’s goals were quality, the second of them coming after a sustained run from deep on the right and a perfect, angled finish.

The first 15 minutes saw the Tigers pressing relentlessly and after 21 year old Ally Brown had steered home the opener at close-range just seven minutes in, Josh Swadling began his goal-grabbing endeavours to notch the second in similar poachers’ style seven minutes later.

Swadling added his second and the Northern Tigers’ third in the 18th with a towering header and there was little the local district heroes could do to stem the tide other than play with an added degree of caution.

Their few forays forward were dealt with expertly by a defence well marshalled by Will Forristal and with Ben Taylor between the sticks maintaining a constant vigil.

No more goals before the break, but the Tigers were far from finished and while just seven minutes after the re-start second-half keeper Tonu Liiband had to make a splendid save to thwart his opponent on the counter who had gone one-on-one and looked certain to score, it was not long before Ollie Wiggins insisted on joining in the host team’s scoring duties with another firm finish after some hard pressing by the determined Tigers around the hour mark.

Swadling added his third in the 64th, not sure which match-ball he’d be taking home, as a few of them went into neighbours back gardens and might have been in short supply, but he celebrated nonetheless.

A bit of a melee in the 66th saw the returning Shervin Adeli scramble the ball home for the sixth of the evening.

It was then left to Ally Brown to cap a fine performance with a massive run through the heart of the NSFA defence and slam the ball into the bottom left corner from an acute angle, eight minutes from the end.

There will be further trials for the Tigers after the Wanderers’ match this weekend, with a date with APIA at Lambert Park on Wednesday next and a later clash with Hills United the following weekend back at North Turramurra.

Match details:

Attendance: N/A

Northern Tigers squad: (numbers where known, as team sheet had none showing)
GK Ben Taylor (RGK 1 Tonu Liiband 46), Matt Warner, Zach Morris, Nick Kalogerou, 4 Will Forristal, Cas Wolff, Jordan Ferrier, Jamie Craig, Lachlan Lloyd, Joel Hardwick, Luke Dawson, Karim Morris, 19 Josh Swadling, 8 Ally Brown, John Bachelard, 13 Ollie Wiggins, Aiden Hancock, 10 Shervin Adeli
Coach: Adam Hett

Northern Suburbs FA Select Squad: (No numbers shown) Robert Tall, David Guthrie, Alex Drake, Michael Cole, Jason Conroy, Gohto Saikawa, Chris Allen, Andrew Zoratto, Curtis Schumann, 17 Chad Cowley, Marcus Flottman, Matt Ventura, Alex Moth, Joel Carter, Tom Radcliff, Todd Nelson
Coach: Paul Orgad

Referee: Khodr Yaghi 7/10

Weather: Dry and 22C
Pitch: Synthetic 10/10
Game: 7/10