Slice of Cheese

Hobart Zebras v Clarence (NPL)

Live Blog Coverage From Andrew Cooling, from 2:00pm Sunday

 Zebras
 Vs
 Clarence
 3
 Goals
 0
 11
 Shots On
 4
 6
 Shots Off
 3
 10
 Fouls
 10
 1
 Cheese
 2
 0
 Red
 0
 1
 Offsides
 0
 8
 Corners
 3

Full Time: Hobart Zebras 3 (Sanders 41′ Huigsloot 53′, Pace 59′) Clarence 0

A comfortable win in the end for the Zebras, after a bright start Clarence rather fizzed out and it was all one way traffic after they took the lead.

90′ Shot on! A Malcolm free kick from the right is nodded towards goal by Stuart but Mercuri scrambles across to keep it out.

86′ Price cuts down Gates in a crunching challenge, probably lucky to avoid a booking. Free kick in a good spot on the left for Zebras.

81′ Shot on! Malcolm with a free kick from 25 yards that is on target, but comfortable enough for Mercuri to hold onto.

78′ Slice of Cheese! Stuart makes contact with the keeper long after the ball is gone, seemed innocuous, albeit unnecessary. Was behind the play, so the ref consults with the referee and eventually decides to book him.

76′ Mckeown might have been rushed back too soon, he has pulled up sore and been taken off the pitch. Zebras happy to play with 10 for the rest of the game rather than force him to play on and make things worse.

75′ Shot off! That was less magic from Sanders, this time trying a shot from range that cannons into the top window of KGV football house.

Ackerly has come on now for Muller.

73′ Sanders weaves some magic, splitting the two defenders to play in Mckeown who can’t quite get the ball to sit for him, eventually he fashions an effort that deflects past the post for a corner.

72′ Sub- Lange comes on for his debut, replacing Hedge, who is being wrapped in cotton wool with the game now out of reach. Muller is being helped off by the trainers for Zebras after being clattered in the box, no replacement yet.

69′ Save! Sanders again with space in the box, he smashes one that is probably going wide but Randall gets a hand to it , behind for a corner.

68′ Sub- Brooks replaced by McKeown who makes his return after an injury lay off.

67′ The corner is met by the head of Huigsloot who nods over the top.

66′ Shot on! And again Randall does well, this was a near mirror image of the move that got Pace his goal, trying to turn one in at the near post but this time Randall denies him.

66′ Shot on! Sanders gets on the end of a cross and in space in the box he smashes a powerful drive that Randall parries away.

65′ Groenewold jokingly claims a throw in, and somehow it works! Zebras get a throw that was blatantly Clarence’s, the big Chicago kid can’t quite believe that worked.

SUB- Action on both benches. Burgess off for Randall for Clarence. Gates comes on for Backhouse for Zebras.

62′ A floating corner from Price is won in the air by Malcolm it falls to the feet of Burgess but numbers win out and Zebras clear.

59′ GOAL! 3-0! Zebras! Pace with a very tidy finish. Brooks smashed in a low cross with power to the near post where Pace was on hand to turn it in with a classy first time finish. Slick stuff from Zebras and that’s surely the ball game!

57′ Strong defending from Imran Lewis to shut down what looked a promising run from Stuart into the box.

53′ GOAL! 2-0! Huigsloot! Volleys home from the back post, a corner was swung in, it bounced off multiple heads, with Groenewold sending it to the back post where Huigsloot volleyed it home through a defender on the line.

53′ Slice of Cheese! Flynn a little crude on Warrener bringing him down on the wing.

52′ Shot on! Hey looks to blast one from range, has the power but it’s straight at Randall who shows strong mits to hold on.

51′ Shot off! So close to 1-1! An inch perfect chipped through ball from Flynn was met by a diving Hedge who smashed his header just wide.

48′ A cross to the back post for Huigsloot is reached by his rangy legs and he volleys back through the middle of the box where a pack of 8 despairingly stare at it, but nobody was waiting on the penalty spot to turn it home.

46′ Action has resumed here at KGV, final 45 minutes of the NPL Round, has been a very low scoring week, will that continue or will the flood gates open?

HALF TIME: ZEBRAS 1-0 CLARENCE

Well it really should be 2-0 at the break after that miss, Clarence let off the hook. They need to regroup, they started the game really well and took it right up to Zebras but as the game wore on, the home side started to take over and had them under increasing pressure which finally led to them taking the lead.

45′ Sitter! Absolute sitter, oh boy, Pace won’t want to watch that again, he has blazed a header over from all of 5 yards out in the middle of the box, under no pressure. Sanders had put it on a platter with a cross in that took the keeper out of the equation and it looked a certain goal but somehow he has elevated the header over the bar.

43′ SAVE! Randall does well to deny a thumping hit from Huigsloot, on the top left corner of the box he smashed on that was going top corner if not for Randall’s intervention.

41′ GOAL! 1-0 Zebras! A cross from Hey on the right is not cleared by Lewis who has a fresh airy at the most inopportune moment, it leaves Randall hapless as Sanders doesn’t look the gift horse in the mouth and strokes home. Bit of a gift that.

40′ Shot on! Tame this time from Sanders, had the two centre backs in front of him but he fashuins a shot thay

39′ Sanders corner to the back post is volleyed back across the face by Groenewold but Clarence have the bodies back to clear it.

38′ Shot off! Warrener’s cross is blocked into the path of Hey who drives from the top of the box and it deflects wide of the post for a corner.

37′ A long range Sanders shot deflects and pops up in the air dangerously, Randall and Huigsloot both fly at the ball but it eludes both and rolls behind, inches away from sitting perfectly for Huigsloot that.

36′ Shot on! No threat to Mercuri this, lacked any real power after a powerful run from Stuart down the wing, cutting inside onto his left and firing from range.

34′ Hey is charging through the middle but is dispossed by Bremner, Hey then pulls up very proppy and limps back to the middle of the park, hopefully just a stinger, because he has been looking in fine form so far today.

32′ A hammered Price cross from the right hand side of the box is well blocked by the leg of Mercuri before Lewis scrambles it away. Clarence starting to lift again.

32′ Pace does well to charge down the shot of Malcolm after the free kick was squared to him at the top of the box.

31′ Slice of Cheese! Groenewold into the book for a late lunging challenge that brought down Hedge. Promising position for a free kick, middle of the box, left wing.

30′ A perfect corner from Hey is met by the head of Huigsloot who can’t quite get the direction and it spills wide of the post.

28′ Shot off! A Groenewold free kick has plenty of curl, but not quite enough to bend it inside of the post after curling it round the wall.

After Clarence dominated the opening 15 minutes or so, Zebras have gotten right back on top now and are enjoying a good spell of pressure. Hey and Muller have taken over the midfield and are helping them control things.

27′ Some great work from Bremner in the box, blocking a shot from Pace and a repelling a cross in the space of 10 seconds.

24′ Shot on! A Sanders free kick curls over the wall but is a pretty easy save for Randall who does well to collect it cleanly and not leave anything on the door step after it bounced just before him.

23′ Shot on! A brutal turn over at the back leaves Clarence utterly exposed 2 on 1. Pace works it to Sanders and 1 v 1 with Randall in the middle of the box he fires it straight at the keeper, who did well to make himself big and make the save, but you’d expect the Colonel to bury that 99 times out of 100, big let off!

18′ A brilliant curling free kick from wide on the right from Price is put right in the corridor of uncertainty for Mercuri, he comes to punch but doesn’t get there and Burgess rises to meet it, but can’t get the direction right.

Hedge leading the line up top for Clarence with Malcolm in the centre of defence today, Jayden Hey again playing central midfield for Zebras.

14′ Sanders crosses from the right and it just eludes the head of Huigsloot, just a fraction too high. Bremner is back to clear it away.

13′ Pace makes inroads down the right, gets to the by-line and floats a cross to an unmarked Backhouse who blazes his effort well over the bar.

12′ Naden robs Brooks of it and charges towards the box but he can’t get around Groenewold who sticks to him diligently and clears it away.

9′ A Sanders corner is curled through the six yard box and somehow nobody gets a touch on it to turn it home. Huigsloot had a chance at the back post but didn’t anticipate it coming through the sea of legs.

8′ Shot on! Reibel given plenty of time and space on the left hand corner of the box, he shapes to shoot on the non preferred right and it shows, tepid effort that rolls to the keeper.

7′ Backhouse makes a good shot block on Malcolm after again the Clarence was cleared to the top of the box.

6′ A corner is cleared to the top of the box where it falls to Bremner, his shot is blocked behind for another corner. Bright start Clarence, doing all the attacking early.

5′ Another long throw comes close to unlocking Zebras, Naden got on the end of it, chipped it into his path but before he could volley, Warrener arrived on the scene to make the most vital of interceptions.

4′ A long throw into the box from Burgess is headed back towards his own goal by Lewis and it requires some saving from Mercuri.

1′ Kick off, five minute delay to kick off but we are underway.

Welcome to KGV for the final game of Round 12 between Clarence and Hobart Zebras. These two sides have met twice at this venue in 2017 and both games were rather one sided with Zebras winning both contests 5-0 and 6-0 at a canter, scoring early goals to have the games tucked away quickly. To say both sides need the win here is an understatement, the Zebras title hopes have slipped away as they have won just 1 of their past 6 league games and fallen some 10 points off the pace. Clarence are just as badly in need of a result, having lost their past five matches and not tasting victory since all the way back in Round 3.

McKeown back from injury on the bench today with a couple of changes for Zebras, Backhouse gets a start with Gates dropped to the bench. Clarence have given Flynn a start and stuck with Randall in net, there was some speculation Voss was in line for a start.

Squads

Zebras-Backhouse, Brooks, Groenewold, Hey, Huigsloot, Lewis, Mercuri, Muller, Pace, Sanders, Warrener- SUBS-Ackerly, Gates, McKeown, Reid

Clarence- Bremner, Burgess, Flynn, Hedge, Lewis, Malcolm, Naden, Price, Randall, Reibel, Stuart, SUBS- Lange, Randall, Voss, Wild