TAMWORTH Public blitzed King St Singleton in the first half of their State PSSA boys’ football knockout round of 16 clash at Gipps St yesterday to reach the final eight.
They will now play either Biddabah or Tuncurry Public in the quarter-finals after turning a 4-1 half-time lead into a 6-1 win.
Kosta Sakellariou and Jack Diebold both netted doubles in what was a dominant performance from the home side.
“We were playing into the wind in the first half, which is what we decided we wanted to do,” Tamworth Public coach Barry Everingham said.
The plan was to try to resist what Singleton threw at them in the first half and come home strongly in the second half with the wind behind them.
As it turned out, their first half was the best half of football they’ve produced.
“We controlled the ball beautifully and when we did cough up the ball we worked hard to get it back,” Everingham said.
That was something they needed to do.
They also used their right wing and the pace of Sakellariou well.
“And when we did have crosses in from the right we had numbers in the box,” Everingham said.
“It was a really good, solid team performance.”
When Singleton did attack, Dylan Clark was strong at the back and closed them down before they could really threaten.
Diebold opened the scoring in only the sixth minute after some good team build-up down the right.
Sakellariou then slotted two goals in the space of five minutes to put them 3-nil up.
“They were two well-taken strikes just inside the square,” Everingham said.
“We talked about not fiddling with it too much in the box.”
Zach Taylor then floated forward from the sweeper role and gave the home side its fourth goal to re-establish its three-goal buffer.
Tamworth continued on the attack in the second half.
“They (Singleton) kept going. They had to work hard in defence, and had to stack the box,” Everingham said.
“We had the wind and they were rarely out of their half.”
By 12 minutes in they’d popped in another two goals, with Diebold scoring his second off a good strike just inside the box after Callum McLeod had put away their fifth.
“The rest of the half was us pressuring them, them defending hard and us not being able to get it in the net,” Everingham said.
He admitted the 6-1 result was a bit of a surprise for the stage the competition is at but wasn’t taking anything away from his side’s performance.
The midfield, particularly, played brilliantly and fed the ball beautifully, he said.