Slice of Cheese

Zebras Too Strong For Clarence

Hobart Zebras snapped their losing streak with a comfortable 3-0 win over Clarence at KGV on Sunday afternoon in the final game of Round 12. Clarence were in the contest early, but a gift of a goal just before half time seemed to sap their energy as the Zebras completely dominated the second 45.

The first 20 minutes was dominated by Clarence, they were doing the bulk of the attacking and putting pressure on the Zebras defence without forging too many prime scoring chances. The excellent Groenewold/Lewis pairing was doing a good job forcing them to try shots from range and the shot blocking was exemplary.

Zebras should have taken the lead on 27 minutes when they failed to capitalise on a turn over the back that led to Sanders with a glorious scoring chance all alone in the middle of the area that he fired straight at Randall who did well to deny him.

Zebras started to get on top as the half wore on and win the midfield battle but they weren’t  creating high quality chances either and had the scores been level at the break it would have been a fair reflection of the game.

That wasn’t to be however as Lewis failed to clear his line, wafting on a Hey cross which then fell to Sanders who was not going to turn down this chance and buried it to give his side the lead heading into the break.

It should have been 2-0 moments later when Pace inexplicably directed a header over the bar from all of 5 yards out under no pressure. Sanders had crossed to him in the middle but the youngster missed his chance and it was 1-0 at half time.

Adam Hedge almost gave Clarence the perfect start to the second half but his diving header, getting on the end of a perfect chipped pass from Flynn was straight at Marcelo Mercuri.

Those were the last few moments that Clarence ever really looked a chance of taking something from the game, as from the moment Huigsloot made it 2-0 on 53 minutes, it was all one way traffic.

Huigsloot’s goal was from a corner, where despite the departure of Downes they still pack a punch. Groenewold headed back across the face of goal to the back post where Huigsloot was on hand to volley home.

Five minutes later it was 3-0 and game over. 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.

That was the end of the goal scoring in the game, though not from a lack of chances as Zebras fashioned a number of good scoring looks that they failed to convert.

Clarence didn’t come close to getting one back as the game became rather physical and threatened to boil over as it drew to it’s conclusion. The frustration from Clarence’s current position and the Zebras inability to convert chances late in the game perhaps playing a role.

For Zebras it was a badly needed win to get their season back on track. It was spearheaded by their stars with Lewis and Groenewold dominant at the back and Jayden Hey was tireless, covering every inch of grass. They face a massive clash against the Olympia Warriors next Friday night.

Clarence meanwhile face a daunting road trip to Valley Road where they will meet the competition leaders and defending champion Devonport Strikers.