Slice of Cheese

Zebras Snatch Late Point From Warriors

Solstice Photography

An 89th minute volley from Adam Mckeown salvaged a point for the Hobart Zebras, forcing a 2-2 draw with the Olympia Warriors in their Sunday afternoon clash. There was more than element of controversy in the goal, with an elbow on Lucas Hill missed in the build up, before Mckeown lashed home his stunning strike from the top of the box. Earlier the Zebras had drawn level from the penalty spot, with Mathew Sanders cancelling out Jack Ryan’s opening goal. Jordan Scott appeared to have won the game for the Warriors when he poked home on 80 minutes, but the late drama denied the Warriors, who will feel unfortunate not to have taken anything from the game.

Olympia coach Rob Clarke demanded that his team started faster out of the blocks after slow starts in their last two games and although they didn’t exactly set the pitch alight, he would’ve been happy to see Jack Ryan open the scoring for the Warriors. It was the two English compatriots that linked up for Olympia’s first with Jordan Scott delivering a in-swinging corner that was met by the head of Ryan who buried it from six yards out. Little chances were created by either team as the rivals seemed happy to sit back and let each other play the ball around the back.

Jack Ryan nodded home the opener-Solstice Photography

The second half started similar to the first, a lot of completed passes from both sides but rather unmenacing. It seemed the game was heading for a full 90 minutes of this until the Zebras were awarded a penalty after referee Stratos Plomaritis adjudged that Ryan had fouled Jordan Muller on the line following a corner. Mathew Sanders made no mistake from the spot, sending Olympia’s keeper McDonald the wrong way as the ball rocketed into the top left of the goal to equalise for the Zebras.

The game started to liven up after the goal with the introduction of both team’s substitutions, and it was Olympia’s substitute Jake Thompson who provided the assist to regain the Warriors lead. Ryan released Thompson down the left who drilled a low cross along the six-yard box which Whatman could only parry and it was Scott who pounced to make it 2-1 in the 80th minute.

Jordan Scott fired home to give the Warriors the lead- Solstice Photography

In the last 10 minutes the game continued to open up as both sets of players were tiring and covering the spaces on the large pitch at North Hobart Oval became challenging. Olympia looked the more likely to get another with young-gun Joffrey Nkoso making some mazy runs constantly evading defenders. But it was to be Zebras who found the equalizer in the 89th minute in controversial circumstances.

Zebra’s substitute Adam Mckeown challenged Warriors centre-back Lucas Hill for the header at the edge of the box. It appeared that there may have been an arm to the face from Mckeown on Hill, but the referee was having none of it. While Hill lay on the deck the striker showed great composure and skill to flick the ball over his own head and volley home from just inside the penalty area.

Mckeown salvaged a point- Solstice Photography

With five minutes injury-time added there was going to be chances for either team to take all the points and in the 94th minute that chance fell to Olympia’s Jack Ryan. Jono Ladic teed Ryan up inside the Zebra’s penalty area, and with time to take a touch Ryan blazed his shot well over the bar.

The match would finish 2-2 with Olympia perhaps feeling hard-done by. The rare draw in NPL TAS leaves Zebras in fourth with Olympia in second, two points behind league leaders Devonport who also have a game in hand.