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Warriors stun South to shake up title race

Photo: Solstice Digital

Report by Dan Thurley

The Olympia Warriors produced a shock result at Darcy Street to claim a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over South Hobart, essentially ending the title hopes of the home side in dramatic fashion.

The Warriors team sheet had some notable absences, including captain Ben Tilley who suffered a season-ending hamstring injury in the final minutes at Devonport the week before. Ben Curtis has also played his last game for the Warriors after moving interstate, and the final name missing was that of coach Rob Clarke, leaving assistant coach Alex Holmes in charge. Jake Vandermey was a key inclusion, spotted in a Warriors shirt for the first time since pre-season, and he played an important role in the middle of three Warriors central defenders.

South Hobart struggled to match the speed of the Warriors in the early minutes, and they were on the back foot early. Olympia capitalised on their dominance when Ashton Pacey-Mayne put the ball in the back of the net after 12 minutes, but Vandermey’s motion toward the ball from an offside position was enough for the goal to be disallowed. The Warriors continued to press however, and Anthony Mamic was through on goal just three minutes later only for the offside flag to once again thwart them just as Mamic got his goal-bound shot away.

South Hobart’s first real effort on goal did not arrive until Kasper Hallam got the better of Koby Moschogianis and fired into the arms of Jake Hayers. After 30 minutes, South found their way back into the contest and gradually took control. In the 39th minute, Samuel Berezansky was found waiting in the 18-yard box, but by the time the ball arrived he was forced to rush his shot which continued beyond the far post.

Half-Time: South Hobart 0 Olympia Warriors 0

The second half began the same way as the first, with the Warriors controlling a fast-paced affair. However as the hour mark approached, the game was turned on its head by a flurry of action over a ten-minute period. In the 58th minute, Anthony Mamic latched onto a misplaced South Hobart back pass and outran Patrick Kibler on his way to getting a shot away, but the effort flashed wide. Seconds later, and somewhat against the run of play, a hard challenge from Luke Bighin won the ball from Kyle Vincent and a quick release pass over the top had Kasper Hallam in a tussle with Brayton Allan. After shrugging off the Warriors defender, Hallam scored the opener from close range to give South Hobart a 1-0 lead.

South Hobart doubled down on their attacking pressure and Nick Morton went close to finding a second goal for the home side. Bradley Lakoseljac’s header fell to the feet of Morton who was denied from very close range by Hayers. Minutes later, the same situation unfolded yet again when Lakoseljac’s headed effort fell to the feet of Morton who this time had the ball in the net only for the assistant referee to raise his flag for off-side.

The Warriors were undeterred by South Hobart’s growing intensity and continued to take the game to the home side. Matthew Bomford – captain on the day in the absence of Tilley and Curtis – put in an admirable performance up and down the left flank and was rewarded with the equaliser in the 67th minute. Bomford undercut Herweynan to arrive first at Vincent’s early cross and with a well taken touch, set himself up to score his first of the year.

Mamic – having come close twice previously – then had the ball in the net to give the Warriors the lead just three minutes later. Vincent was involved again as he played Mamic through on goal and the striker kept his cool to take a touch beyond Loic Feral and fire home to give his side a 2-1 lead.

In the dying minutes, Vincent capped off a brilliant performance by scoring his 10th of the year to go alongside his two assists. He won a free kick on the edge of the area and made no mistake in sending a delightful curled effort inside the post, leaving Nick O’Connell stranded.

Full-Time: South Hobart 1 (Hallam 59’) Olympia Warriors 3 (Bomford 67’, Mamic 70’, Vincent 88’)

The result leaves South Hobart in third place, nine points away from the Devonport Strikers in first. The Olympia Warriors remain in seventh place.

NPL Tasmania Round 16 Results:

South Hobart 1 – 3 Olympia Warriors

Launceston City 0 – 1 Glenorchy Knights

Riverside Olympic 2 – Clarence Zebras