Slice of Cheese

Zebras Hit Rangers For Six

Solstice Photography

The Hobart Zebras issued the perfect response to a week of scrutiny, firing to a resounding 6-0 victory over Northern Rangers at KGV. Using the full expanses of the pitch to devastating effect, the Zebras unleashed an offensive assault the Northerner’s simply couldn’t deal with, striking twice early and dominating from start to finish.

The writing was on the wall early in this one, as they struck twice within 60 seconds to lead 2-0 after just 9 minutes.

They opened their account in the manner the first half would be played out, with some clever interplay around the box and clever touches unlocking the Rangers defence. Whether he meant it or not, Sanders back heeled flick to tee up Sklenar was sublime, with the Czech’s shot wonderfully saved by Whatman, only for Van Doorne to bury the follow up.

One became two within 60 seconds as Ackerley crossed for Sanders who made no mistake with his well placed header. He could have had a second minutes later after another surging run from the lively Van Doorne, only for Whatman to come up big in the Rangers net.

Sanders scored a hat-trick- Solstice Photography

The interplay of the Zebras was a joy to watch, they looked intent on taking out their frustrations on a Rangers side who simply couldn’t get a hold of the ball and have any meaningful spells of possession till later in the half. Every time they did launch forward it seemed Jordan Muller was on hand to win it back, the midfield general feasting on interceptions.

The Zebras found a third goal from the penalty spot after Whatman had brought down the trailing leg of Sklenar. Up stepped Sanders who belted a perfect penalty past the keeper.

Then it was Sklenar’s turn to get in on the goal scoring act, applying the finishing touch to a tremendous team goal to send them into half time 4-0 ahead.

The second half saw the tempo and sting largely removed from the game. Till things broke open in the last 10 minutes, there were few scoring chances and it featured frequent passages of the Zebras passing the ball around the back under no pressure.

Muller was immense in midfield- Solstice Photography

Olaf Conforti conjured a moment to bring the game back to life in the 58th minute as he curled in a sumptuos free kick up over the wall and into the top corner, leaving Whatman no chance.

Sanders then completed the scoring for the day as he bagged a hat-trick, nodding home from close range after Jayden Hey swung in a pinpoint cross. It wasn’t just the goals with Sanders however, it was the link up play, holding the ball up and playing others in that most stood out in his game, he was a creative force for the Zebras and a dominant player in the game.

The game ended 6-0 in favour of the Zebras as they moved back into the competitions top four and within a point of South Hobart. They remain 7 points back from the leaders Launceston City, who will take on a Rangers side looking rebound when the NPL resumes in 2 weeks time.

FFT Media and Communications Coordinator, Everton tragic, long form journalism devotee, Andrea Pirlo enthusiast and admirer of the parked bus.