Slice of Cheese

Strikers stay strong to stifle Lions

Match report by Tanner Coad

Devonport are well and truly back in the championship mix after taking care of one of the contenders for the crown, the Kingborough Lions, 2-0 at The Portress, Valley Road.

The home side went in at full strength with ‘The Fox in the Box’ Miles Barnard leading the line and linking up with the duo of Charles and Eddie Bidwell down the flanks,

Team news saw some big outs for the travelling side with Ben Hamlett and Andrew Taylor, key players in attack and the midfield, both not available. Coach Jez Kenth was also unable to travel and assistant coach Cameron Ellis took charge for only his second NPL game.

It was a very scrappy affair in the first half with neither team having a real advantage. Devonport deserved commendation for their defensive structure with Raphael Reynolds leading the line– every time Lions tried to make space down the flanks they were met with two-on-one challenges, giving Keenan Douce and Kenneth Trac zero room to make any successful attacking play.

Kingborough did lead the set piece count at the end of the half, but efforts from Douce and Kobe Kemp were not on target which proved to be a big blow for their chances to snatch a result.

Right from kick-off for the second half, Eddie Bidwell launched a hopeful shot which landed over the head of Lions keeper Lee Mackie which sent the home fans in raptures. Kingborough were locked down with every attacking play they tried to muster, continuing to press hard but given no room for scoring.

Byungtae Ahn was given a straight red card for pulling down his opponent in the box as the last defender. Ahn was hesitant to go off but eventually left the pitch. Up stepped Brody Denehey whose penalty was saved away by Mackie, but Denehey had the last laugh, picking up the pieces and tapping home before Mackie could return to his feet in what was the killer blow.