Slice of Cheese

Zebras Storm Back To The Top

Solstice Photography

A Jakub Sklenar brace and a superb Mathew Sanders volley saw Hobart Zebras fight back from a half time deficit to defeat Olympia 3-1 and move back to the top of the NPL Tasmania table.

The value of a top class striker was on full display in this match as the much vaunted SAS combination up top, of Sanders and Sklenar showed their quality and delivered their side the victory.

It didn’t always seem like that would be the way the game would go, with a lack of a clinical edge hurting the Zebras in the first half. Sklenar certainly should have scored in the first half, hitting the post from a tight angle before missing an empty net after rounding the keeper on 20 minutes.

It looked though the misses may prove costly as the Zebras failed to take advantage of their dominant opening 20 minutes and found themselves behind when Lucas Hill won a penalty just past the half hour mark. It was certainly on the softer side as Muller was punished for a push on Hill contesting a ball crossed into the area. Jake Vandermey made no mistake from the spot and his side went into the break a goal to the good.

The Warriors came flying out of the half time blocks and had two dangerous attacks that came to nothing before the Zebras seized control of the game.

Sklenar scored a goal of considerable quality, taking the ball down with his first touch, using his second to lob the ball past his marker before unleashing an unstoppable rocket into the roof of the net. The combination of close control coupled with the finish was the mark of a quality striker, this right there was the reason the Zebras were so happy to prize him from the Warriors after last season.

When he added a second just two minutes later, pouncing on Paul Steven suicidal back pass and showing great composure to get around the keeper the Zebras were in front and Olympia were left ruing the fact he is lining up at Zebras this season. Gordon Gurson showed some nice touches and flair, but they have still not found the solution to replacing Sklenar up top, his absence has left a major hole an.

Olympia had a few half chances as the half wore on but it was largely one way traffic and if not for a superb piece of defending from Jake Vandermey sliding in to block a Van Doorne cross it would have been over sooner.

There was no stopping his cross in the 88th minute though as it picked out Sanders in the box who made no mistake with a sumptuous volley to seal the 3-1 victory for his side.

The win sent the Zebras back to the top of the table and left Olympia 5 points back in 4th place after 5 rounds. Both teams now face a quick turn around to their Lakoseljac Cup games on Sunday. Olympia head up to Valley Road to take on Devonport whilst Hobart Zebras will meet South Hobart at Darcy Street.

FFT Media and Communications Coordinator, Everton tragic, long form journalism devotee, Andrea Pirlo enthusiast and admirer of the parked bus.