Thursday, March 23, 2023

Southern Men's Championship should be close and exciting this season

Photo:  The referee, Mr Stratos Plomaritis, keeps a close eye on things. [PlessPix] 

Metro were unlucky to lose 2-1 to Hobart United in last Friday’s Southern Championship season opener at KGV Park.

In fact, neither side deserved to lose in what wasa fast, open and exciting match.

The new lights were being used for the first time, but I found some aspects disappointing.

The creek-side of the pitch seemed to be in shadow when looking from the grandstand, while other areas of the pitch were certainly well lit.

I found out later that the lights were only at half-power, which explains things.

Apparently, the light will only be at full power (500 Lux) for NPL games.

I would venture to say there could be an occupational health and safety issue involved here and Football Tasmania needs to have a look at this.

Photo:  Metro's Danny Cowen working hard to shake off an opponent. [PlessPix] 

Metro started strongly and Brady Penneyston had a chance after just 5 minutes but shot tamely.

That was a case of letting Hobart United off the hppk because 3 minutes later they took the lead.

An under-hit back-pass by a Metro defender allowed United’s John Buga to gain possession and he was down the left flank and into the penalty area in a flash before beating Metro keeper Jamie Cook with a curling shot inside the far right-hand post.

Buga again attacked dangerously 2 minutes later but slipped on the artificial turf and fell over and the chance went begging.

Metro struck back on the quarter-hour and after a short corner, defender Matthew Robb hit a rising shot against the Hobart United crossbar.

In the 31st minute, Penneyston was through on goal in a one-on-one with the United keeper, who saved superbly to concede a fruitless corner.

Hobart United had one more chance before the break but must have been content to go in with a 1-0 lead.

Photo:  Taroona's Ben Schaap in control against Hobart City Beachside. [PlessPix] 

The second half opened with Metro’s Andrew Robb heading over from a right-wing cross to let United off the hook.

Just short of the hour-mark, Andrew Robb forced United keeper Hammad Shabbir to a brilliant save.  He dived to his right to beat out the shot and concede a corner.

Metro drew level in the 76th minute when Danny Cowen punished the United defence for some slack defending at a corner.

United regained the lead, however, 4 minutes later through a penalty, awarded when Brice Rowlandson brought down Solomon Lagu in full flight on the right of the penalty area.  Buga completed his brace by converting the spot-kick to give United a 2-1 victory.  Rowland was sent off for his troubles.

Taroona made light work of Hobart City Beachside with a 4-0 win at home at Kelevdon Park.

Photo:  It's good to see referee Mr Craig Phillips still in action.  He was in charge of the Taroona versus Hobart City Beachside game. [PlessPix] 

Fergus Bridge gave them a 1-0 lead on the half-hour, while Noah Gardner (55th), Tom Roberts (60th) and Fabian Natoloi (75th) completed the convincing win.

Olympia Warriors suffered a set-back when they were held to a 2-2 draw away to South East United at Pembroke Park in Sorell.

Callum Brown’s opener for South East United in the 38th minute was cancelled out by Joel Sammut 2 minutes before the interval.

Brown struck again second before the half-time whistle to give the home side a 2-1 edge at the break.

Photo:  Taroona goalkeeper Isaac Scott beats Hobart City Beachside's Jackson Khasif to the ball. [PlessPix] 

It took a late goal by Tyson Barrett to salvage a point for the visitors.

University squeezed home 3-2 against South Hobart at Olinda Grove.

George Hallard’s own-goal in the opening minute gave South Hobart the lead, while Josiah Otto made it 2-0 midway through the first half.

Bailey Wells reduced the arrears for University in the 39th minute before Gus Rumney made it all square on the hour.

Declan Graham netted the winner for University 4 minutes before the end.

Photo:  The men in charge at Metro  -  senior coach Chris Chalker (right) and his assistant, Scott Horne.  Chalker announced the signing of Cody Snell this week.  [PlessPix]

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Lakoseljac Cup and State-wide Cup draws made today

Photo:  Launceston United have a Launceston derby against Launceston City. [PlessPix] 

The draw for the various State-wide cups was made today.

The Lakoseljac Cup draw is (home team first):

Kingborough Lions United v Northern Rangers

South Hobart v New Town White Eagles

Riverside Olympic v Barnstoneworth United

Launceston United v Launceston City

Clarence Zebras v Taroona

Devonport Strikers v Olympia Warriors

Glenorchy Knights v Hobart City Beachside

Ulverstone v Hobart United

There certainly are possibilities for some giant-killing acts in this draw.

The games will be played over the Easter break.

Photo:  Glenorchy Knights must be wary of treading on a banana skin when they face Hobart City Beachside. [PlessPix] 

The draw for the Women’s State-wide Cup is:

Riverside Olympic v Devonport Strikers

Launceston City v Clarence Zebras

Kingborough Lions United v University

Burnie United v Launceston United

New Town White Eagles, South Hobart, Taroona and Ulverstone have the bye in the first round.

The two ties in the Under-21 State-wide Cup are:

Devonport Strikers v South Hobart

Clarence Zebras v Launceston United

Kingborough Lions United, Launceston City, South East United and Burnie United, Glenorchy Knights and Riverside Olympic have the bye.


Monday, March 20, 2023

It's going to be a long season for Launceston United

Photo:  Knights' new signing from the U.S., Daniel Sagno, made his debut against Launceston United, comingon a second-half substitute.  He was fast and lively and possesses a powerful shot. [PlessPix] 

The 2023 NPL Tasmania season kicked off in Launceston on Friday night with  Launceston Cit accounting for Riverside Olympic 2-0 in the local derby at Prospect.

Fine goals by Toby Simeoni in the 20th minute and Stefan Tantari 17 minutes from the end gave the home side the win.

Riverside goalkeeper Daniel Nash saved a penalty to deny City a third goal.

On Saturday, reigning champions Devonport City suffered a slight setback when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home at Valley Road by Clarence Zebras.

Photo:  Knights' Rowan Pitt is tackled by United's Will Spicer. [PlessPix] 

Devonport took the lead in the 10th minute when Roberto Garrido turned an Ali Dulleh cross from the left into the net.

Xuan Cappellino took advantage of a poor attempt by Devonport to play out from the back at a goal-kick to scored from an acute angle and make it 1-1.

Given the two team’ form last season, I’d say this was clearly a case of Devonport dropping 2 points and Clarence Zebras gaining a point.

South Hobart scraped home 2-1 against Kingborough Lions United at South Hobart Oval.

Noah Mies gave the Lions a 1-0 half-time lead when he netted in the 7th minute.

South Hobart fought back and two goals in 5 minutes midway through the second half did the trick.

Photo:  Bradley Lakoseljac heads the equaliser for South Hobart against the Lions. [PlessPix] 

In the 66th-minute, a left-wing cross by Lachlan Semmler was headed home at the far post by Bradley Lakoseljac.

In the 71st minute, a long ball forward by Nick Morton led to an error by Kingborough keeper Roan Gillam on the edge of the box.

Gillam tried to clear with his feet but lost control of the ball and a clever back-heel by South Hobart’s Jaden Fidra set up Iskander Van Doorne for a simple finish to make it 2-1 for the home side.

Photo:  Knights' Jack Turner is impeded by Launceston United's Christian Byard. [PlessPix] 

Glenorchy Knights made hard work of beating Launceston United 2-0 at KGV Park.

Knights had 34 shots at goal, 16 of which were on target, while newcomers to the NPL, Launceston United, had one effort at goal, which was off target.

That came from a back-header by Walter Da Silva Filho, who was injured and replaced at the interval.

Youngster Lucas Dzelakowsi scored both goals for Knights with powerful left-footed drives in the 33rd and 51st-minutes.

I think it’s going to be a long season for United.

Photo:  Launceston United keeper Aidan Piper goes for a cross. [PlessPix]

Photo:  South Hobart's Sam Berezansky gets in a cross despite the efforts of Kingborough's Matt Hess to block. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Noah Mies (out of picture) opens the scoring for Kingborough. [PlessPix]