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McDonald’s® NPL Tasmania: Round 17 Weekend Wash-Up

Welcome to the Weekend-Wash Up for Round 17 of the McDonald’s NPL Tasmania. It was a weekend of few surprises, with all the favourites winning their matches reasonably comfortably as we now head into the final month of the campaign.

South Hobart Rout United

The Round began with South Hobart heaping more misery on Launceston United, as they claimed a thumping 7-0 victory at Darcy Street. Three goals in the space of four minutes blew the contest open as South continued to keep up the pressure on Knights in second place.

Jaden Fidra got things started in the 12th minute as he surged in behind the defence and stroked home the opening goal.

A minute later and Van Doorne had joined him on the scoreboard as he absolutely blasted a shot top corner from the top of the box. When he drilled in another at the near post a minute after that, South had scored some three times in the space of less than four minutes and the game was already all but settled.

United were able to dig in and offer some more resistance after that and didn’t concede again in the half, but South clicked again just after the hour mark.

Morton’s corner found Lakoseljac who turned and fired a shot that Toby Herweynen was on hand to deflect home for the hosts fourth.

Morton then turned scorer, as he pounced on a loose goal kick before getting the better of his marker in the area to curl home the fifth as the domination continued.

Gus Higgins further extended the lead in the 80th minute when he turned home Herweynen’s cross from close range.

Lachie Semmler, who has enjoyed an excellent season at left back then rounded out the scoring in stoppage time when he was left with a simple tap-in after Van Doorne had headed it back to him in the middle of the six-yard box.

It was pretty comfortable stuff for South as they continued their strong second half of the season. Their wide men in Van Doorne and Fidra have been particularly damaging of late and their pace caused United all manner of problems in this one. They face an enormous match next weekend against the Glenorchy Knights that looms as likely to settle the race for second place.

Jaden Fidra has been on fire in the back half of the year- Solstice Digital

Knights Bounce Back Against Roos

The Glenorchy Knights bounced back from defeat the week prior to claim a 3-0 win over Riverside Olympic at KGV.

The Knights took an early lead from the penalty spot after a surging run from Mathew Brkic saw him storming into the area before being clipped by Adrian Anthony. Up stepped the skipper Eli Luttmer, who dispatched the spot kick and handed his side the lead.

Brkic caused constant problems with his overlapping runs- Solstice Digital

The Knights continued to put the Roos defence on the backfoot which led to a second goal in the 28th minute as Jaxon Richardson got his head to a ball at the back post that Naden had headed back across goal.

The Knights did a good job largely restricting the Roos to shots from range for most of the match, but just past the hour mark Andre Chamusca drew a sharp leg save from Jackson Gardner at his near post. Had they scored that it perhaps might’ve offered them a way back, but Gardner kept it out and Knights didn’t look back.

The result was put beyond doubt by Moses Khasif who came off the bench and had an immediate impact, finishing off a well-weighted ball from Lucas Dzalakowski to see it end 3-0 to the home side.  

Riverside will be disappointed to have not challenged for points here, but the improvement in performance remains noticeable and they will fancy themselves to claim more of them in the final month. Knights meanwhile face an enormous match against a South Hobart side who has caused their normally watertight defence a host of problems so far in 2023.

Richardson scored with a header in the first half- Solstice Digital

Devonport Closes In On the Title

The Devonport Strikers took another step towards securing the league title, as they downed Launceston City 1-0 at Buckby Motors Park.

A lone penalty from Roberto Fernandez Garrido was enough for the Strikers, as they took 3 points from a game that loomed as one of their toughest remaining tests, with the match taking place just 3 days after their midweek Australia Cup tie against Gold Coast Knights. Despite the fatigue factor they once again got the job done and appear set to seal the title in the next fortnight.

The first chance of the match came after a quarter of an hour when Garrido almost picked out the bottom corner with a glancing header, but it slid just wide. Dom Smith came even closer two minutes later but found his header turned aside by a sharp reaction stop from an alert Lachie Clark.

Fernandez Garrido almost had the Strikers ahead just after the restart when he snuck in ahead of Clark at the near post with a darting run, but he couldn’t quite keep his effort down.

The Strikers were getting closer and closer and came within a whisker as Dairai Mahachi had his header cleared off the line by a well-positioned Mason Smith.

It felt like a goal was inevitable though and the Strikers eventually got their breakthrough from the penalty spot after Lanau-Atkinson who went down in the box and drew the spot kick. Up stepped the ice-cold Spaniard, Fernandez Garrido who made no mistake.

City tried to find a leveller in the final half an hour, but never seriously threatened Keegan Smith’s goal, as the Strikers saw the game out and took another stride towards defending their league title. They were the better side throughout the game and created the bulk of chances. It was a good performance given they entered this one on a short rest.

Another week, another Fernandez Garrido goal- Solstice Digital

Lions Maul Zebras To Move Back Into Top Four

In Sunday action, the Kingborough Lions moved back into the competition’s top four as they downed the Clarence Zebras 5-2 at Wentworth Park. Ahmad Othman was the star of the show, scoring a hat-trick including the latest ever recorded goal in an NPL TAS match, arriving in the 10th minute of additional time.

The Lions wasted no time in taking the lead in this one, as Noah Mies had his side ahead in just the second minute of the match, firing back past Jones after the keeper had pushed out Hess’s cross into the big striker’s path.

Ryley Wishart almost launched a quick response as he broke through the defence at the other end, but couldn’t beat Azizi who saved well down to his right. He had another effort in a similar vein soon after that, but again couldn’t beat the keeper.

Josh Jones did well to keep out Declan Taylor’s fierce drive with a fine leg save, but could only watch as Othamn stroked home the Lion’s second when a sloppy turnover playing out from the back was seized on by the Lions attacker.

The Zebras started the second half sharply, but Cappellino and Wishart both squandered chances by firing wide before Tooze pulled one back just past the hour mark by firing home from the rebound after Azizi had initially denied Wishart.

Back within one and suddenly doing all the attacking the Zebras seemed right back in the hunt, but the Lions quickly got back on top. Another sloppy turnover in defence presented another chance for Othman who promptly buried his second of the contest.

The Zebras responded once more though and Riley Dillon bundled one from close range to cut the lead to 3-2 with just 12 minutes left to play. They had come close a couple of minutes earlier only for Azizi to make a truly stunning diving save to deny a deflected Wishart free kick that seemed certain to score.

But the Lions were not going to let the chance to move back into the top four slip and Declan Taylor tapped home from close range in the 83rd minute to make it 4-2, before Othamn scored the latest-ever recorded goal in an NPL TAS match to end it at 5-2 with his goal arriving in the 100th minute of the match.

Eisa Azizi made some big saves- Solstice Digital

McDonald’s NPL Tasmania

Round 17

South Hobart 7 (J.Fidra 12” I.Van Doorne 13” 15” T.Herweynen 63”  N.Morton 67” G.Higgins 80” L.Semmler 90”)

Launceston United 0

Highlights
Glenorchy Knights 3 
(E.Luttmer 9” J.Richardson 29” M,Khasif 72″)

Riverside Olympic 0

Highlights

Launceston City 0

Devonport 1 (R.Garrido 57”)

Highlights

Clarence Zebras 2 (S.Tooze 66” R.Dillon 78”)

Kingborough Lions 5 (N.Mies 2” A.Othman 39” 67” 90+10” D.Taylor 84”)

Highlights

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