Slice of Cheese

League Cup Quarter Final Wrap

Solstice Photography

In an entertaining day of League Cup football, all four quarter final games went down to the wire, with two games requiring extra time and the other two seeing match winning goals or match winning saves in stoppage time.

The first of those games was at Somerset where South Hobart were given a stern test by the Somerset Sharks. In a tight first half, it would end 0-0 as both sides traded chances and despite having the better of the possession, South were finding the Sharks a tough side to get through. That changed early in the second half when Nick Morton smashed one in from distance, in customary Morton style that gave his side a lead that looked like being enough to secure their progression through to the final four. Enter Astyn Johnson who struck a late equaliser much to the delight of the Cardigan Street faithful. It sent the game into an extra 30 minutes where South Hobart’s additional depth and fitness would prove the difference. Alex Leszczynski came off the bench and scored as did Alex Walter as South made it 3-1 to seemingly make safe the win after the first 15 minutes of extra time. There was to be a late twist though as Todd Hingston pulled one back after being set up by Beau Blizzard to provide some late hope for the Sharks. From a last minute corner everybody, including the keeper Steven Treloar came up, but there was to be no further twist as South Hobart held on for a 3-2 win.

At Valley Road, Northern Rangers star Harry Thannhauser gave his side an early 1-0 lead over the Strikers that they took into the half before the Strikers levelled things up shortly after the restart. Having only been on the pitch moments after being introduced as a half time substitute, Brayden Mann soon levelled things up as he got on the end of a Michael Holden ball. It wouldn’t last long though as American Michael Monticchio restored his sides lead in the 57th minute. Again Mann responded for the Strikers and again it was in combination with Michael Holden as the Strikers forced the game into extra time. Neither side would find a winner in the additional 30 minutes, sending the game into a penalty shoot out. Rangers goalkeeper Sam Whatman made himself the hero as he pulled off two saves in the shootout to guide the Rangers to a 5-3 win and seal their progression to the Semi Finals.

In the first of the twilight kick offs, once again the Olympia Warriors proved the bane of Hobart Zebras in 2017 as they once again knocked them out of a cup. Had the Zebras taken their chances it wouldn’t have been the case, as the Warriors rode their luck and took their chances to sneak a 2-1 win. After Pace and Walsh squandered prime scoring chances, it was Olympia who took the lead midway through the half when Nick Mearns pounced on an errant clearance and drove his side into the lead with a shot that found the bottom corner from distance. Mearns then turned provider midway through the second half, crossing for Jakub Sklenar to poke from close range to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead. From there it was all Zebras, as they furiously chased the game but continued to waste prime scoring chances. Eventually they pulled one back through an own goal, as Groenewold’s long range free kick was glanced into his own net by Joel Sammut. After Cole had twice denied good chances in the final 15 minutes he sealed the win for his side in the 94th minute with an incredible double save. First he got down to make a brilliant reflex save on Huigsloot before somehow sticking his hand up from the ground to deny Sanders follow up as the Zebras inexplicably missed the chance to force additional time.

There was even more late drama over at KGV in the other Lakoseljac Cup semi final rematch where the Glenorchy Knights eliminated Launceston City. Knights attacker and professional Olivier Giroud impersonator, Rowan Heggie was at the heart of it as they raced to an early lead. Heggie’s cross led to a Scot Mahony own goal to open the scoring, before he got on the end of a rebound that Smith had left on the door step and bundled it home to make it 2-0 inside the opening 20 minutes. That lead lasted until the final 15 minutes as City pushed men on in attack to try and salvage something from the game.  A foul on Noah Mies in the box provided Bartlett with the chance from the penalty spot and he duly obliged, cutting it back to 2-1 with 15 minute remaining. City had a sniff and it was Bartlett who stood up again to find the leveller in the 87th minute. A long range Dylan Williams free kick picked him out in the box and his looping header found the far corner of the net. There was to be no extra time here though, with a further twist in the tale to come. In stoppage time, with the extra 30 minutes beckoning, Callum Brown cut in from the right and took the keeper by surprise with his low drive that snuck in at the far post and secured a dramatic 3-2 win for his side. It sends Knights through to the final four, with the draw to held on Monday morning to determine who they will play next.