Honours even as TSS Rovers welcome Unity

It was home game number two for TSS Rovers as they welcomed Cloverdale-based Unity FC to Swangard Stadium this past Friday. 


Women

The women’s game would kick off the night, with TSS looking to record their second win of the season. Their performances have improved since losing 5-1 to Unity back on May 11. The visitors are early play-off contenders; they’re fresh off a 2-0 home win against Rivers FC last Sunday. 

Jenna Baxter and Jenieva Musico both went close in the opening 15 minutes for TSS, as the home side made the more dominant start. It was against the run of play that the first goal would come, though. Jenaya Robertson darted forward to the edge of the box before threading a perfectly timed pass into Charity Field, who slotted it past Kirstin Tynan for 1-0 Unity on 18 minutes. 

The half continued with a further flurry of TSS chances as Baxter had two good attempts saved by Joven Sandhu. Unity protecting their one goal advantage going into halftime. 

The chances did amount to something 20 minutes into the second half. Baxter, who had been the home side’s biggest threat of the night, picked up a loose ball and drove forward, laying off to Vanessa Tome, who struck past Joven Sandhu to level the game. 

When Amanda Scott came on for Maddy Mah with five minutes to go, it was her first involvement that should have sealed the deal for TSS. She won the ball back on the edge of the box before letting Baxter take control to give TSS a 2-1 lead. It was a short-lived one. Moments after the restart, Unity struck back through Ainsley Ewasiuk to tie the game and ruin TSS’ chances of a second home win in a row. 

It finished 2-2, and although TSS gave it up late, their performance was a stark improvement to the 5-1 loss at Unity weeks earlier. They have eradicated many of the needless mistakes and look more of a team. Confidence is growing. 


Men

The men’s encounter began with an unusually slow start by TSS, who found themselves behind in five minutes. Joel Badger struck powerfully from 20 yards, beating TSS keeper Justyn Sandhu and sending the ball into the bottom left corner. TSS falling behind for the first time this season. 

The constant drumming from the Swanguardians could not deter a second Unity goal, and what a goal it was. Victory Shumbusho, with his back to goal, controlled an incoming ball with his chest before performing a spectacular overhead kick, leaving the TSS defence rooted as the ball found the back of the net. 

The lead was halved when Ali Zohar headed the ball past Mihai Hodut and into the path of the ever-present Devin O’Hea. The TSS forward sent the ball through the legs of David Hicks giving TSS hope as the halftime whistle blew.

TSS head coach Brendan Teeling raced down the tunnel at the break, obviously dissatisfied with his team’s display. A double change at the restart saw TSS convert to a back-three; now they started to see more of the ball, and Unity were happy to sit back and hit the home side on the counter. 

Kian Proctor had a great chance to level for TSS after a tidy piece of skill and quick turn of pace allowed him space, sending a shot just wide. 

The leveller came on 71 minutes through Michael Hennessy. Matteo Polisi’s curling freekick was headed off the post by Nik White and fell kindly to Hennessy, who tapped in to make it 2-2. 

Unity began to probe again, looking dangerous, especially through Shumbusho. Nothing was converted, though, and the game finished all square. A fair result on the balance; it could’ve gone either way towards the end, with both sides searching for the winner. TSS remain top and unbeaten, while Unity remain fourth.