Wolves v Olympic

Round 8 report by Stephen Webb
Wollonogng Wolves v Sydney Olympic

David Cervinski was asked to take over the coach's job at Wollongong Wolves. By a Wolves fan. After Wollongong lost to Olympic tonight.

The fan wasn't alone in coming to the game expecting it to be the last for John Turner.

The loss and Wolves' poor form cannot be laid at the feet of Turner, however. Most of his mostly new squad are very young or inexperienced in the NSL. They still are learning. They may yet get better.

And Turner, to his credit, defended his players at the post match media conference and at the team presentation later that night. All players tried their best, he said, and no more could be asked of them.

Wolves had a few chances against Olympic, the best by Michael Hawrysiuk. The first of his came in the seventh minute, set up by Stuart Young coming down the middle of the park. Hawrysiuk came at goal from the right but Brett Hughes met him with a typically fine reflex save.

Hawrysiuk had another shot over the crossbar, but Wolves weren't really in the hunt again until the end of the second half.

Zenon Caravella, who created a lot of mischief down the right, beat Shane Lyons, cut in and shot with his left foot just wide of the right post.

Borislav Dragas stopped a Hiroyuki move on goal.

In the 11th minute Hawrysiuk got a lucky ball in the right side of the box. Elias Augerinos did enough to stop the shot.

Olympic laid back a ball for Ante Juric in space outside the Wolves penalty area. Juric struck well and called a good save from Andrew Crews.

Both sides were delivering some reasonably entertaining football.

The flamboyant Caravella was brought down 18 metres from goal. Joseph Schirripa swung in an easy ball for Crews.

Caravella looked to have beaten Lyons again, but Lyons chased back, tackled and gave away a corner, from which Olympic shot just over the goal.

Lyons then got some of his own back, cleanly beating Caravella and pumping the ball upfield.

Jacob Timpano did some good stuff through midfield but the ball ended up with Ben Blake who messed up. This seemed to be Wolves' main problem: giving away possession and giving away free kicks.

Olympic sent another ball just wide of goal giving their travelling fans cause to cheer loudly - proving they were in much better voice than the local supporters.

Young rounded George Souris and got in a left-footed shot - easy for Hughes.

Blake crossed from the left and Young headed wide.

Dragas missed an easy clearance, the ball skimming off his foot to Pablo Cardozo in front of goal. Dragas recovered enough to stop the surprised Cardozo from shooting.

The game was still pretty even; only Olympic were making fewer mistakes.

Young and Nahuel Arrarte did well with a one-two down the left but Arrarte couldn't beat his marker and cross.

Young gave Blake a good ball into the left side of the Olympic penalty area but Blake couldn't deal with it. Apparently Blake did well in midfield the week before. He wasn't repeating the effort against Olympic. Soon he was hitting a long ball - too long for John Majurovski.

Schirripa was good robbing Hawrysiuk after a nice sequence of Wollongong passes. Wolves nevertheless won a corner. Blake hit a poor ball into the box after the corner, Olympic cleared to Iain Fyfe and Lyons made a good sliding tackle to stop Schirripa.

Fyfe made a good tackle on Daniel Cummins, and Lyons was neat beating Caravella and getting in two crosses, the second of which was importantly cut out by Juric.

Cardozo set Paul Kohler on a run, but Dragas stopped him.

Adam Hughes (who seemed to have some composure in defence), combined with Hawrysiuk and Majurovski to set up a cross for Arrarte. Then Hawrysiuk got in a cross but Blake got in the way of Arrarte.

Young, who the Wolves fans suspected was not yet fully fit, gave the ball away; Blake got in position to beat Caravella and fell over.

Ishida got a good ball in the Wolves box, took the ball to the line and crossed. Four Wolves defenders just watched it, perhaps imagining the tooth fairy was going to clear it for them. They woke up in time.

Caravella had a soft shot wide.

A great early cross by Timpano grazed Majurovski's head. Majurovski and Young applauded Timpano's effort.

Fyfe played wide to Caravella who crossed to Ishida who shot into the body of Dragas. Olympic won a corner.

A couple of guys next to me who pinched my seat at half time while I was resenting paying $4 for a can of Tooheys New and who I at first thought were Olympic fans because they knew none of the names of the Wolves players, even Stuart Young's, admired Ishida's pace.

Crews made a fantastic save, and Olympic won another corner and fired a great shot at the crossbar.

Dragas stopped Augerinos lining up for another shot. Augerinos crumpled.

Young missed a right foot shot and the Wolves fans again said he wasn't fit.

Majurovski crossed past the goal to Blake who headed a tame ball to Hughes.

Cardozo had a swing at goal and almost missed the ball completely. Maybe he wasn't fit either.

Timpano crossed from the right and several Wolves players almost got their heads to it. The guy next to me muttered a consoling, "At least they try."

Hughes blocked an Ishida shot, and Cummins copped a yellow card for bringing Ishida down.

Cardozo dropped a good free kick into the box and Olympic won a corner.

Hawrysiuk threw a long ball (he is very good at long throws) to Young who flicked the ball back, almost but only almost right for Majurovski.

Cummins was good beating Ishida but soon Caravella was crossing for Ishida who hit the ball well but Augerinos was in the way.

In the 67th minute Crews made a fabulous save from Schirripa on a cross flicked on from the right.

Caravella beat Lyons and fed Fyfe. Fyfe was half tackled by Hughes but regained and crossed onto the top of the crossbar.

Brett Hughes then made a good save on a long ball but two Wolves players were offside anyway.

Wolves made a good break, Hawrysiuk playing wide to Majurovski whose cross was too long for Young.

In the 72nd minute the game was up for Wolves. Cummins fouled Ishida again, this time in the box. The Wolves fans thought Ishida had no chance to get the ball anyway. But what the matter: Cummins received a red card and Cardozo scored to more huge cheers. The guy next to me said there were more Olympic fans at WIN Stadium than Wolves fans.

Wolves' response was an early shot by Lyons, wide to the left.

The guy next to me made admiring comments about Arrarte, saying he just needed someone to play with.

Schirripa on a break crossed to Caravella. Lyons got a touch and Caravella shot high.

Timpano put in another good early cross from the right and Young hit a left-foot volley into the stands.

After a good exchange between Kohler and Fyfe sent Caravella on a scamper through midfield, Caravella hit a shot on target.

Olympic broke again, this time three on two, and Ishida shot wide but won a corner. Schirripa shot on target.

At the end of regular time Young got a shot on goal, then Hawrysiuk and Matthew Gordon did well to work a cross in from the right, but there was no-one with any sense ready to meet it.

And Wolves' last and possibly best chance came from Hawrysiuk who slammed a shot from outside the box - on target and unfortunately for Wolves straight to Hughes who saved extremely well.

After the game John Turner said he was very proud of his team's performance, even Cummins', and that that was as good as they had played. "They gave 100 per cent and that is all that I can ask them to do. Obviously were are lacking a bit up front If we put our chances away the game could have been closed a lot earlier Until the penalty I thought the game was in the balance. Both teams were having chances. I've had three games at home and lost two by penalties. It's a bit hard to swallow."

Peter Papanikitas said he had the same sort of problems as Turner. "I think in the last game we should have beaten Melbourne Knights quite easily I watched the video of John's game last week; I think Wolves should have beaten Northern Spirit. Today I thought their keeper had a great game. He saved two - the best strike I've seen hit by anybody this year and the keeper saved it. I thought it was in 100 per cent."

Turner said Brett Hughes did the same with Hawrysiuk's shot in the dying minutes.

Papanikitas said both teams needed confidence and still could lift.

He said Olympic had been creating. The week before they had hit the bar twice, and had hit it twice against Wolves. "It just isn't going for us."

Turner said Wolves were missing Balabanel's pace up front.