Slice of

NPL Weekend Wash-Up

Divin Rescues a Point For South

At Darcy Street, Josh Divin produced one of the best individual displays you’re likely to see all year, scoring four times as South Hobart struck back from a 4-2 deficit to claim a 4-4 draw with the Kingborough Lions in the game of the season to date. In an open encounter where the scoring chances flowed from start to finish, Divin produced a simply magical performance to ensure his side claimed a share of the spoils after Noah Mies had earlier threatened to fire the Lions to an upset victory.

Mies struck in just the third minute of the game, with some intelligent movement in the box seeing him finding space and firing home truly. 

It didn’t take long for the hosts to respond, as a good cross in from Sam Berezansky found Divin who got good purchase on his header from an awkward height, and it bounced in off the upright.

After being jumped initially, South had the better of the first half and only some fine keeping from Roan Gillam kept the Lions level as the shots came thick and fast at him.

The chances eventually told and Divin’s second of the day, again set up by Berezansky had the hosts heading into the halftime break with a deserved 2-1 lead.

The teams traded scoring chances in the opening minutes of the half, as Divin bent one that curled onto the crossbar and somehow stayed out after a near miss for the Lions at the other end, but after that near miss, it was the Lions who started to get the better of the contest. 

They then stormed ahead with a blistering burst that saw them scoring 3 times in just 7 minutes to turn the game on its head and seemingly en route to victory.

On the hour mark, Keenan Douce threaded a wonderful ball through to Kobe Kemp who timed his run to perfection and finished truly to level it at 2-2. Five minutes later the Lions were ahead when Mies started and finished a fine attacking move before once again the Lions got in behind South’s high defensive line and Adam McKeown took full advantage to make it 4-2. 

There was still plenty of time for South however and Divin still loomed large, coming close to completing his hat-trick when he poked an effort just wide on 69 minutes. 

He would eventually get his hat-trick 10 minutes from full time and in quite spectacular fashion. Receiving the ball just outside the penalty box, the Lions defence seemed to have him covered, but he managed to get his shot away and bent a stunning strike into the top corner of the net.

The fourth was a second goal brought about by the Lions carelessness in possession at the back, as Isky Van Doorne stole back the ball and fired a shot from range that Gillam parried back centrally. 

The ball looped up in the air and Diving outleapt his defender and somehow lobbed the keeper with a perfectly placed header to square things up at 4-4.

The Lions twice came close to snatching back the lead in the dying minutes but couldn’t find a fifth and it ended 4-4. The Lions will certainly rue the end result given the lead they held late, but on the balance of play it seemed a fair result and one that demonstrates that the Lions are indeed capable of mixing it with the top sides in 2022. 

Yost’s Brilliance Keeps Knights Top

A moment of inspiration from Austin Yost helped secure a 2-1 win for the Glenorchy Knights over the Clarence Zebras and ensured they remained on top of the table after 4 rounds of the season.

The Knights young star is quickly developing a reputation for scoring spectacular goals and his thumping strike helped the Knights claim a win they were made to work hard for by a plucky Clarence Zebras outfit. 

The first half largely belonged to the Knights in a fairly dour contest that was plagued by constant stoppages. Nicholas Naden came close to opening the scoring when he skied a stretched effort over the top seven minutes in, before Jack Bowman cleared a Matthew Pace header off the line at the other end of the park just minutes later.

Having already hit the post with an audacious curling free-kick from the angle that had the keeper well beaten, it was from an Austin Yost set-piece that Knights would take the lead. Yost’s deep set piece was headed back across the face of goal where 3 Knights players were lining up at the back post to put it across the line, which Jordan Muller duly did, applying the final touch.

Adam Gorrie drew a good save from Randall with his fizzing strike from range but otherwise, chances were relatively rare through the rest of the first half and it remained 1-0 at halftime.

It was a much-improved Zebras side after the break and substitute Daniel Buamgartner got them back on terms on the hour mark when he timed his run perfectly to sneak in behind the defence and finish off Samuel Hills delightfully crafted through ball.

Riley Dillon almost had the Zebras ahead when he fizzed one just past the post and that seemed to snap the Knights back to life who were suddenly looking in danger of dropping a game they had earlier seemed in complete control of.

Enter Austin Yost, who settled the contest with a sweet strike on 71 minutes, rocketing in a half volley from long range that would put Knights back ahead and secure the three points for his side. 

The Knights haven’t been at their sharpest so far in 2022, but they just keep on grinding out results, which is the hallmark of top sides and that’s just where they sit after 4 rounds. 

The Zebras will be encouraged by this display, their wait to take points from the top sides continues, but they came close here and on this showing they should prove a tricky opponent for anyone they meet moving forwards. 

Warriors Break Through With Thumping Win

The Olympia Warriors cast off the shackles of the opening three weeks and secured a breakthrough victory with a thumping 5-0 win over Riverside Olympic at Windsor Park.

Having been shut out in the first three weeks of the season, the Warriors took out their frustrations on a struggling Riverside outfit and had taken the lead within 37 seconds of the game kicking off.

The Roos were caught napping as Alex Holmes crossed from the left and picked out an unmarked Vincent Turner who made no mistake from close range.

Seven minutes in and the lead was doubled as William Simaan grabbed his first goal at NPL level, pouncing on a loose ball in the box from a corner to make it 2-0. 

Some strong work from Alex Holmes once again led to the third of the afternoon, as he created a chance for Vivarelli that was well saved by Nash, but awaiting the rebound was Turner who stroked home his second of the afternoon.

Olympia continued to dominate the contest but had to wait till the 79th minute till their next goal came when Samuel Cummins found Anthony Mamic all alone at the back post to make it 4-0.

Riverside’s tough day at the office was then summed up by a comical own goal to make it a 5-0. A hashed clearance was blasted straight into goalkeeper Daniel Nash and deflected into the net to round out the scoring for the afternoon and see Olympia claim their first points of the year.

The result means the Roos are now 0-4, without a goal scored and 18 against them. With the competition’s top 3 sides looming in Rounds 6-8, next week’s trip to Clarence Zebras suddenly becomes all the more important.

Strikers Comfortably Account For City

The Devonport Strikers proved far too strong for Launceston City, claiming a 4-0 win to continue their dominance over their Northern Rivals. Joel Stone scored a brace and Henry Andrews and Yasin Mohammadi also chimed in as they raced to a 3-0 lead before half time as the result never looked in doubt. 

Unfortunately due to a combination of technical issues that led to the game not streaming properly, I can’t really write much about this game as I haven’t seen any of it, nor any of the goals. I’m informed this was largely equipment-based issues, but there is no doubt the move to NPL.TV hasn’t quite been as smooth as hoped and this certainly hasn’t been the only game impacted this year which you can’t all blame on the equipment. Teething problems were probably to be expected with the move to a new platform but a month into the season you would hope they would’ve been ironed out by the folks at Cluch TV by now. The idea behind the move to a new OTT platform was a sound one, but if viewers can’t actually access the games, then they don’t really count for much. I am informed every effort is being made to fix things so hopefully moving forwards its smoother sailing because this is fast becoming a major problem.