Slice of

McDonald’s® NPL Tasmania: Round 20 Weekend Wash-Up

Welcome to the weekend Wash-up for Round 20 of the McDonald’s NPL Tasmania season. In the penultimate weekend of action, the Lions won a thriller over the Strikers, United struck late to snare another draw against neighbours Launceston City, whilst South Hobart and Glenorchy Knights ensured their battle for second would go down to the final day as they chalked up big wins over Riverside and Clarence Zebras.

Lions Roar Back To Down Devonport

We’ll start with the game of the round and did it ever deliver! The Kingborough Lions fought back from 3-1 down to defeat the Devonport Strikers 4-3 in an instant classic at Lightwood Park, with Declan Taylor bundling home a 94th minute winner to cap his hat-trick and extend the Lion’s winning streak to seven matches.

The Lions started brightly and almost had the lead inside the opening three minutes but Keegan Smith got across and reacted superbly to deny Kobe Kemp’s header from a corner.

Brody Denehey twice came close to opening the scoring for the Strikers as he flashed a volley wide from the top of the box before minutes later coming even closer with a glancing header that found the side netting.

The Lions would get the first goal in the 18th minute when Alfred Hess skipped past multiple defender, progressing the ball from the centre circle to the right-hand side of the box where he cut it back for Declan Taylor. Taylor managed to get some space to get his shot away and promptly buried the opener.

Luke Bennet looked for the immediate response but his powerful drive was well saved by the in form Eisa Azizi.

The Strikers got back on terms before halftime through another brilliant strike from Nick Lanau-Atkinson, as he bent a ball into the top corner from outside the box to perfection, after some strong work from the impressive Charles Bidwell to create the opening for him. It was a fine way to cap game #150 at NPL level, and in a great many of those games, he has produced similar breathtaking moments of magic.

Lanau-Atkinson added another stunner to his highlights reel- Solstice Digital

Shortly after the restart the Strikers took the lead after Fernandez Garrido was felled in the box. He stepped up to convert from the spot and buried it into the bottom corner.

The Strikers then seemed to have put the game to bed when Toby Barton rose to nod home from a Lanau-Atkinson corner in the 70th minute extending the lead to 3-1.

But this Lions side is just filled with belief at present, and they pulled one back via Declan Taylor, who finished off a nice passing move to fire home his second of the day in the 77th minute.

Then in the 85th minute they drew level, as Ahmad Othman continued his brilliant form by scoring a wonderful solo goal, driving through the heart of the Striker’s defence before buying some room to get his shot away and picking out the bottom corner.

That spurred a furious final few minutes of play as both sides pushed for the match-winning goal. Ali Dulleh came close for Devonport, but Azizi got up and denied him.

In the 94th minute, the Lions launched an attack down the right-hand side, Othman sent a ball into the six-yard box which took a slight deflection into the path of the lurking Declan Taylor who managed to get something on it and bundle home for what would prove a dramatic match winner.  

Though it very nearly wasn’t the winner as there was still more drama left, as the Strikers came within a whisker of taking it from the kickoff and knotting it up at 4-4 when Garrido fired on goal, but Azizi came up with the big save to preserve the victory and extend the Lions streak to 7 matches.

Taylor struck a hat-trick including a last gasp winner- Solstice Digital

Reading Strikes Late To Deny City

Launceston United struck late from a free kick for the second consecutive week, as they fought back from 2-0 down and snatched a 2-2 draw with Launceston City in the final Derby of the season.

With a top four finish now out of reach, Launceston City coach Daniel Syson gave some youth players their first starts and opted to rest probably their two best players in Tantari and Clark. It didn’t stop them from starting the brighter of the two sides though, as City had the better of the early exchanges, with Captain Joel Stone denied by Piper on the angle from the best scoring chance of the half.

City took the lead into the halftime break when William Humphrey stepped up and buried a free kick from just outside the box in the 43rd minute.

They almost doubled the lead in the final minute of the half from another set piece, when Mason Smith’s wickedly bending free kick curled into the crossbar.

Toby Simeoni did double that advantage, shortly after the restart when he was played in down the right, outpaced his marker and drilled a shot into the bottom corner.

City injected Tantari into the action for the second half and he nearly had an instant impact, bending one just past the post.

United were not going to wave the white flag though and halved the deficit in the 63rd minute when Jaeden Mercure bobbed up at the back post to finish off David Owusu’s cross.

City then had their chances to kill the game off with the score at 2-1, but failed to do so. Simeoni had a mazy run and shot well kept out by Piper, Tantari rattled the crossbar with a shot from outside the box and Mason Smith drove a shot over the top.

Ciy would be made to rue not finding the third goal to kill the game off as United won a free kick in the 89th minute. Up stepped Connor Reading who curled a brilliant effort around the wall and into the back of the net. It was a superb strike that was the latest in a round littered with world class goals. This week’s Goal of the Week is going to be quite the compilation!

United then almost snatched away all three points in the 95th minute but Will Spicer blazed his shot over the top with the final kick of the game as it ended locked at 2-2.

Reading’s free kick handed United a second Derby draw in as many weeks- Solstice Digital

Second Half South Surge Buries Riverside

A dominant second half propelled South Hobart to a 6-1 win over Riverside Olympic, as they flipped a 1-1 halftime scoreline into a thumping victory.

Windsor Park has been a fertile hunting ground for South in recent years and they wasted no time taking the lead, as Bradley Lakoseljac poked home from close range to finish off Semmler’s cross.

Riverside managed to get back on terms in remarkable fashion in the 17th minute, with Gedi Krusa spying O’Connell off his line and launching a long-range shot from the edge of the centre circle. A backtracking O’Connell got a hand to it, but couldn’t keep it out and the Roos were level.

O’Connell redeemed himself a minute later when he was sharp to get down and keep out William Coert’s effort as Riverside took it up to the visitors.

At 1-1 at halftime it seemed all to play for, but the second half was a much different story, as South ran away with the match, scoring in the first minute of the half and not looking back.

Just 14 seconds after the restart, South were ahead, as Nash parried a Morton shot back into the path of a lurking Harrison Oates who deposited his first of what would be a second-half hat-trick.

His second arrived in the 59th minute and was a thumping strike, blasting it first time from outside the box to extend the lead to 3-1. He then completed the treble in the 72nd minute by turning sharply in the box after being found by Fidra, and quickly firing off a shot that beat Nash.

South weren’t done there though, with some Nick Morton magic making it 5-1 with a stunning free-kick into the top corner.

Jackson Dent then came off the bench and was left with a close-range tap-in to extend the final score to 6-1 in stoppage time. It capped a dominant second half from South as they head into the final day still right on the shoulder of the Knights and hoping they slip up to cede home ground advantage in week 1 of the finals.

Knights Cruise Past Zebras

On the Friday night, the Glenorchy Knights downed the Clarence Zebras 4-0 in a dominant performance, doing the bulk of the damage early on.

The Knights took the lead in just the sixth minute when Jaxon Richardson placed a superb free-kick into the box which Nick Naden guided home.

Naden had his second in the 36th minute when he finished off a sharp passing move involving Dzalakowki and Favaro, as they cut through the Zebras defence with ease.

Adam Gorrie extended the lead to 3-0 in the 38th minute when he found some space on the right-hand side of the box and absolutely blasted one past the keeper from the angle with pure power.

Hugh Undy would round out the scoring for the evening early in the second half when he buried a classy diving header to finish off a brilliant ball from the dominant man on the park in Nick Naden.

From there the scoring would stop, as the Knights cruised to the finish line and maintained their hold on second place heading into the final day. They still hold sway by a point from South Hobart, but have the tougher final-day fixture, as they take on Devonport at KGV, whilst South Hobart will entertain Launceston City.

Round 20

Glenorchy Knights 4 (N.Naden 6” 36” A.Gorrie 38” H.Undy 47”)

Clarence Zebras 0

Goal Highlights

Kingborough Lions 4 (D.Taylor 18” 77” 90+4” A.Othman 85”)

Devonport Strikers 3 (N.Lanau-Atkinson 37” R.Garrido 53” T.Barton 71”)

Goal Highlights

Riverside Olympic 1 (G.Krusa 17”)

South Hobart 6 (B.Lakoseljac 6” H.Oates 46”59” 72” N.Morton 76” J.Dent 90+2”)

Goal Highlights

Launceston United 2 (J.Mercure 63″ C.Reading 89″)

Launceston City 2 (W.Humphrey 43″ T.Simeoni 49″)