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McDonald’s® NPL Tasmania: Round 16 Weekend Wash-Up

Welcome to the Weekend Wash-up for Round 16 of the McDonald’s NPL Tasmania season. Saturday saw South Hobart thumping the Zebras, the Lions rallying from two goals down to score a dramatic win over Riverside, whilst Launceston City won yet another tight battle that went down to the wire against Glenorchy Knights.

That means the big winners from the weekend are probably the Devonport Strikers, despite not even playing. The washout of their game against Launceston United will ensure they are fresh for Wednesday night’s Australia Cup clash with the Gold Coast Knights, and they are now 7 points clear on top with a game in hand, needing just 3 wins from their final 6 matches to guarantee the title.

South Hobart Hammer Zebras

South Hobart avenged their defeat at the hands of the Clarence Zebras earlier this season in comprehensive fashion, dismantling the Zebras 6-1 at Wentworth Park to move back within a point of second place.

Despite the final result, it was the Zebras who almost opened the scoring when Xuan Cappellino’s wickedly bending free-kick struck the upright and bounced agonisingly wide.

South took the lead in the 21st minute via Jaden Fidra who tapped home a rebound from a desperately unlucky Joshua Jones who had seemingly done well to make a massive leg save to deny Morton, only for the ball to cruelly deflect into the path of the South Hobart attacker.

South doubled their lead five minutes later when Jacob Lancaster fired home a loose ball from a set piece that had been crossed into the box.

Isky Van Doorne on the ball- Solstice Digital

Any hopes of a second-half rally from the Zebras were quickly laid to rest just after the restart as South extended their lead almost immediately, Nick Morton bundling one home from close range after being picked out by a storming Toby Herweynen.

The moment of the match was undoubtedly Jaden Fidra’s solo goal on 67 minutes. Taking the ball inside his own half, he streamed past the Zebra’s defence on a lightning-fast run, taking it into the box, before cutting inside past his marker and firing home a superb goal.

It got even better for South when Nick Morton found Bradley Lakoseljac at the back post who nodded home a towering header to make it 5-0, before Morton himself fired home his second and the sixth of the match five minutes from time.

The Zebras did pull back a consolation goal, as Cappellino headed home a free kick that left O’Connell fuming in South’s goal, with his gloves seemingly contacted and not the ball.

It mattered little though, as South still walked away big winners, atoning somewhat for the 5-4 defeat they suffered at this venue earlier this season and now back within a point of the Knights in second place.

Lions Roar Back To Life Against Roos

The Kingborough Lions rallied back from 3-1 down to defeat Riverside Olympic 5-3 in a penalty-laden game at Lightwood Park. In a match that saw three spot kicks awarded, the Lions stormed home to secure an important win to stay in touch with the competition’s top four.

Picking up where they have left off in recent weeks, it was Riverside who got the jump on the Lions and took the lead in the 10th minute when Andre Chamusca rose to head from a corner.

Two minutes later and the Roos had doubled their lead, taking advantage of the wind at their backs to make it 2-0 as Chamusca struck again, this time from the penalty spot after Kidmas was brought down in the box.

The Lions began to work their way back into the contest and pulled one back when they won a penalty of their own as Brown was clipped by Henry Cook. Noah Mies made no mistake, picking out the bottom corner with a perfectly struck spot kick to make it 2-1.

Riverside restored their two-goal buffer early in the second half when Austin Marshall was on the doorstep to poke home a rebound after a shot from Chamusca drew a save from the keeper.

Marshall celebrates as he puts Riverside 3-1 ahead- Solstice Digital

The Lions were given a lifeline back into the game on 64 minutes when they were given a penalty after Noah Mies went down in the box, with a disbelieving Gedi Krusa punished for what the referee deemed as contact. The Lions were back within one as Mies converted from the spot, despite a desperately unlucky Nash getting a hand to this one, with the spin on the ball taking it back over the line.

The goal sparked the Lions and they then restored parity as Alex Brown combined brilliantly with Declan Taylor and Matt Hess to unlock the defence and stroke home the leveller.

Brown squared the game at 3-3- Solstice Digital

Continuing his strong run of form, player/coach Freddy Hess would then fire his side his side into the lead, coolly rounding the keeper and passing home the go-ahead goal in the 78th minute to complete the comeback.

They added another in stoppage time, with Nash going up for a late Riverside set piece, Hess was able to bag his second, striking home into the empty net to see the game end 5-3. A fine fighting victory for the Lions, but the Roos will consider themselves unfortunate.

The Lions celebrate post-game- Solstice Digital

City Snatch Another Thriller Over Knights

For the third time this season, Launceston City and the Glenorchy Knights were level late into the match, and for the third time, there was a late winner, albeit not quite as late as the prior two meetings, as James Hawes fired home an 83rd minute winner to secure a 2-1 win for City.

The match began much in the manner the prior meetings have, with chances at a premium and the shots not flowing. Tantari drew a regulation save from Gardner early on, but the first real chance came in the 24th minute and brought with it, the opening goal.

Joel Stone played a perfectly crafted ball over the top and Toby Simeoni ran onto it before firing home a clinical finish.

The Knights responded before the halftime break though, as Rowan Pitt did brilliantly to bring down a well-crafted ball from Dzalakowski with a silky touch and get a shot away with his second touch to beat the keeper and level it up.

It was almost 2-1 to Knights before the break but Clark got down well at his near post to keep out a shot from a storming Marco Favaro.

Neither side look like scoring for much of the second half, with a few shots fizzed wildly over the bar from range, but neither keeper was being tested before a flurry of chances fell the way of the Knights.

Hugh Undy came closest when he fizzed a shot inches wide of the post, Nick Naden narrowly lifted a shot over the top and then Jack Turner couldn’t quite turn one in from close range, as the chances went begging and the door was left ajar for City.

City made them pay as Joel Stone crafted another fine ball, this time for Stefan Tantari who cut it back across the face to James Hawes who came crashing in at the back post to score what would prove the match-winning goal.

Eli Luttmer had a late chance to snare a point but his headed effort flew over the top in the 93rd minute and that was their last opportunity.

Knights’ frustrations were then exacerbated as Jack Turner was given his marching orders for a late incident with Juan Hampson.

The win was a huge boon for City’s top four chances whilst surely extinguishing any slim hopes the Knights had of catching the Strikers down the stretch.  

McDonald’s NPL Tasmania

Round 16

South Hobart 6 (J.Fidra 21” 68” J.Lancaster 26” N.Morton 49” 85” B.Lakoseljac 74”)

Clarence Zebras 1 (X.Cappellino 90”)

Goal Highlights

Glenorchy Knights 1 (R.Pitt 38”)

Launceston City 2 (T.Simeoni 24” J.Hawes 83”)

Goal Highlights

Kingborough Lions 5 (N.Mies 30” 65” A.Brown 69” F.Hess 79″ 90+3″)

Riverside Olympic 3 (A.Chamusca 9” 13” A.Marshall 51”)

Goal Highlights

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