Slice of

NPL R6 Weekend Wash-Up

Round 6 was a weekend of pretty one-sided results in the McDonalds NPL Tasmania, as the title contenders flexed their muscles and all handily won in games they were expected to do so. Whilst last week’s Knights v City result showed that upsets can certainly happen in this competition, and that gap isn’t fully reflected on the ladder just yet, there is still what seems a pretty meaningful divide between the top sides and the rest of the league that exists, and it was on full display this weekend. 

Berezansky Shines As South Down Zebras

South Hobart broke their winless streak in the league and got their season back on track with a comfortable 4-0 win over the Clarence Zebras at Darcy Street. South were seldom troubled by the Zebras and the end result never looked in doubt.

Sam Berezansky was the star of the first half, scoring two goals in a lively performance. His first saw him smashing one home from an angle, beating the keeper with pure power after he had been fed on the right-hand side of the box by Isky Van Doorne.

His second was a result of his pace as he burned off his marker and produced another clinical finish that picked out the far corner to make it 2-0 at the half time break.

South were then made to wait for goal number 3, but it eventually came in pretty spectacular style from the boot of Bradley Lakoseljac. With Matt Dyson having denied Nick Morton with a great save to deflect his effort onto the post, the ball rolled out to the top of the box. Arriving at speed and absolutely blasting home the shot from just outside the area was Lakoseljac who picked out the top corner to perfection.

Morton would then get a goal of his own from the penalty spot on 82 minutes to make the end score more reflective of the game, South Hobart 4-0 winners and back on track as they look to make up some early lost ground in the title race. 

See the Instagram gallery – South Hobart v Clarence Zebras>

Strikers Hit Roos For Six

The Devonport Strikers maintained their grip on top spot with a thumping 6-0 victory over Riverside at Windsor Park. Again the Spainard Roberto Fernandez Garrido was instrumental in the result, netting another hat-trick as Riverside crashed back to earth after what had been a better couple of weeks for the struggling Roos.

Riverside did all they could to hang in there and make life tough for the visitors, holding out till the 35th minute before a spot-kick gave Fernandez Garrido the chance to open the scoring. But that was all they managed in the first half, and a 1-0 score line was a reasonable effort to half time.  

But as the game wore on, the Roos simply couldn’t hold out against the onslaught and Devonport overran them in the second half adding another five goals as they routed their way to victory.

The pick of them was the fifth, as Fernandez Garrido smashed a first time effort from the edge of the area that flew top corner and secured his hat-trick. 

That hat-trick is impressively already the Spaniards third of the season, with all 3 coming in his past 5 starts, two in the NPL and another in the Lakoseljac Cup against Zebras. He now has 12 goals in 7 games and is looming as one of the real keys to success for this Strikers outfit. As his understanding with his teammates continues to develop, he is only going to get more dangerous as the season wares on and it looks like being a great potential duel between he and Noah Mies for the Golden Boot this year. 

Kingborough Recover to Account For City

The Kingborough Lions shrugged off conceding an early goal to record a 4-1 win over Launceston City and leap past them into third place on the NPL TAS table after six rounds.

The Lions were shocked when they fell behind in the opening moments of the game, but they launched a furious response and by the 20-minute they mark found themselves with a 2 goal lead and the game well in hand as the goals flowed from the outset at Clennet’s Lightwood Park. 

City picked up where they had left off last week against Knights and took a surprise lead in this one just two minutes into the game. A long-range free kick into the penalty area landed at the feet of Aaron Campbell who clipped a clever first time volleyed finish over multiple defenders and the keeper to make it 1-0 City from the first chance of the match. 

The Lions wasted little time in responding and were back on terms before the 10-minute mark when Adam McKeown positioned himself well for the volley and finished off Keenan Douce’s cross from the right.

In the blink of an eye the deficit had become a lead as Noah Mies headed the Lions ahead just another 2 minutes after the McKeown goal. A ball was headed forward for Mies to run onto and he got his head to the ball before the on-rushing Clark could reach it and from outside the box he nodded home his first of the afternoon. 

Freddy Hess then bagged his first goal of the season when his shot from outside the box took a wicked deflection that left Clark wrong footed and City suddenly staring at a 3-1 hole in a game they had led in, less than 20 minutes earlier.

They came close to an immediate response of their own when Roan Gillam saved well from Krusa’s free kick but it was one of few clear cut chances they would produce as the Lions never really looked like coughing it up and had the better of the match.

The game remained 3-1 at the half time break thanks largely to a brilliant reflex save from Lachie Clark to deny Taylor who surely must have thought he had scored the Lions fourth. 

The Lions did get their fourth to all but wrap things up early in the second half when Noah Mies grabbed his second of the day at the second time of asking, after his initial shot was well saved by Clark. Clark produced another top drawer save to deny McKeown later in the half and he certainly can’t be faulted for his efforts in this one. If not for him it would’ve been a far more decisive final score, but even with his effort it was pretty easy going for the Lions who ended up 4-1 victors.

 Knights Bounce Back With Heavy Victory

The Glenorchy Knights ensured there wouldn’t be consecutive slip-ups as they got their title defence back on track with a 5-0 win over the Olympia Warriors. Cade Smith hit a hat-trick as the Knights dominated the match from start to finish and ensured they killed the match off early this time.

Profligacy in front of goal has been what has haunted the Knights so far this year and there is no doubt it would have been a major focus for them this week. Their misfiring attack had no issues scoring here and making sure they put the game away early on from the chances they created rather than leaving the door ajar as they did last week.

Nick Naden and Kyle Vincent both took chances inside the opening quarter of an hour to give their side a 2-0 lead that they simply never looked like relinquishing. This was an exercise in control, as they dominated possession and made the Warriors chase the ball for long periods. They had the contest settled from early and from then on it was about seeing the job through to completion. 

Olympia did create one notable chance in the second half as Kyle Vincent cut in from the right but Reef Murfett denied him with a fine kick save on what was otherwise a very quiet night for the Knights gloveman. 

Other than that it was the Cade Smith show, who responded to a disappointing outing last week in the best possible manner, by scoring a clinical hat-trick and showing he has the goal-scoring instincts his side needs in the final third. His sharp movement in and around the penalty area makes him a tough man to mark and he was too slippery for the Warriors in this one. He completed his treble with a deft little chip over the keeper in the 88th minute to finish the job and see Knights running out 5-0 winners. A needed bounce back for the Knights, but no doubt they have bigger fish to fry, starting with next weekend’s blockbuster Quarter Final against Devonport.