Slice of Cheese

Syson Strikes Again To Sink City

Jamie Richardson

The Devonport Strikers maintained their 100% start to the 2019 season, fighting back from a goal down to claim a 2-1 win over Launceston City on Wednesday night.

Nearly two weeks after it was expected, Launceston City were finally able to get their 2019 NPL Tasmania season underway. On a cold night at Buckby Land Rover Park, City played host to last season’s premiers, the Devonport Strikers. Having the extra couple of weeks may have favoured the Launceston outfit, as it would have provided them with more time to adjust after changing coach just one week before the season was set to start.

City made a booming start to the match, picking up a goal through Noah Mies. City pressed high and won the ball from the Striker’s defence, with the former Rising Star winner opening his tally within 30 seconds.

The home side held the lead for just 15 minutes before Max Fitzgerald levelled for the Strikers. Todd Hingston danced around City’s midfield before cutting City’s defence open with a perfectly placed through ball. Fitzgerald was one-on-one with Clark and looked like he would slot it home. However, he preferred to show off his impressive footwork and took it past the keeper to finish into the empty net.

The downward spiral continued for City when they conceded a penalty just two minutes later. Daniel Syson stepped up to take it for the visitors. Syson spent the 2018 season with Launceston City, captaining the side and winning the club’s best and fairest award. However, he could not manage to send the Strikers 2-1 up. Not placing his penalty well enough, Clark went the right way saving both the penalty and the follow-up shot

Syson would go on to make up for his penalty miss with an incredible strike in the second half however when Bidwell centred the ball to him at the top of the box. Syson rocketed the ball into the top right corner to give his side in the lead, and it would be the only goal of the second half.

City tactically played with 5 at the back in an attempt to keep the Strikers at bay. This plan played out well in the first half, with the Strikers finding it difficult to break through City’s defensive line. Devonport coach Rick Coghlan urged his side to be patient and to stick to their gameplan. This patience was rewarded when Syson’s strike hit the back of the net after nearly an hour of trying to break City down.

It was not a happy debut for Launceston City’s import, Greg Roller. The American saw a yellow card in both halves, with the second being followed by a red for a desperate challenge on Lazcano. The Devonport defender made the most of it and subsequently, Roller was sent off. This means the City attacker will miss their clash on Saturday against South Hobart. Meanwhile, Devonport will host league newcomers, Glenorchy Knights.