Slice of Cheese

Strikers Down Rangers To Advance To Final

The Devonport Strikers booked their ticket to the Lakoseljac Cup final, as they claimed a 2-1 win over Northern Rangers at the NTCA in their Semi Final clash. Miles Barnard set the tone early when he headed home in the first minute of the game and when Brayden Mann added a second early in the second half the Strikers were well on their way. A late volley from Nick Lanau-Atkinson gave Rangers some hope, but they couldn’t find a second and the Strikers advanced to their second final in three years.

It was a lightning fast start to this game and from the very first attack it was the Strikers in the lead. Michael Holden tore down the left and put in an inch perfect cross for Miles Barnard to attack. The Fox in the Box made no mistake and powerfully headed home to hand his side the dream start.

Bidwell was lively down the right- Solstice Photography

It set the tone for the first half of play which was dominated by the Strikers. They were having plenty of joy in wide areas and sending in some dangerous crosses but finding themselves unable to apply the finish. Holden and Bidwell were causing major problems down the flanks but Sam Whatman was looking inspired in net for Rangers to give his side a chance. Thrice he pulled off sharp saves and with the wind at Devonport’s backs he was heavily involved as a sweeper.

The half time break came at a good time for the beleaguered Rangers but it Devonport who struck shortly after the restart through Brayden Mann who continued his incredible scoring record in the cup. Barnard worked it to him at the top of the box and a sharp touch bought some space from his marker, before he turned and fired home to double the lead.

Solstice Photography

From there the tie looked relatively settled despite Rangers getting more time on the ball in the second half. Nick Lanau-Atkinson provided some late hope when he lashed home an opportunistic volley from 30 yards out to catch the keeper out and pull the score back to 2-1.

With 10 minutes left, Rangers threw men forwards looking to find the goal to extend the tie, but none was forthcoming despite some near misses and some dangerous balls bouncing around the area. It was not to be however and the Strikers advanced through to the decider to take on South Hobart.

Speaking to Jaryd Mcguane of the Advocate post game, Mann said his side were happy with the win but needed to be more clinical.

“We were good today, but we could have been a lot better and we need to be better at killing off sides,

A lot of our goals are by design and we are noticing the opposition goals are coming from defection or lucky bounces.

We are obviously stoked and excited to be in a cup final, but we know it is going to be tough and we are ready for it.”

NTCA, Full Time

Northern Rangers 1 (Lanau-Atkinson 78′)

Devonport 2 (Barnard 1′ Mann 50′)