Saturday, December 15, 2018

Olympia and Zebras draw, while South Hobart go for beach stroll

 Photo:  Olympia's young warrior, Bilal Aitmaamar, gets a close look at the ball [PlessPix]

Olympia Warriors drew 2-2 with traditional rivals Hobart Zebras in an NPL Tasmania pre-season friendly at Warrior Park today.

The Warriors took the lead in the opening minutes through Joffrey N’Koso.

Midway through the half, Jack Ryan made it 2-0 with a penalty.

Lachie Burt pulled a goal back for Zebras before the interval, while Matthew Pace almost levelled when his bullet-like shot struck the underside of the crossbar, bounced down and then back into play.

 Photo:  Matthew Pace shoots past Olympia keeper Darby Randall and hits the underside of the crossbar [PlessPix]

There were claims it had crossed the line, but the assistant referee did not flag and the referee waved play on.

Pace equalised in the second half and Zebras could have won the game in the closing minutes but the Olympia keeper saved in a one-on-one situation.

Zebras had two new players on view.  One was a Japanese defender from the Gold Coast and the other an attacker from Box Hill.

 Photo:  Olympia's Sam Hills (left) is pressured by Zebras Japanese triallist, whose passing was excellent [PlessPix]

Neither has finalised a move to Tasmania and their signing with Zebras is still up in the air.

“It was similar to last week,” said Olympia Warriors coach, Rob Clarke.  “We’re talking about minutes and a lot of changes.

“We changed the system today just to play something different and that was good for us.

“I think it’s like costs and benefits.  When we had the ball going forward, we had a spare man, but when we didn’t have the ball, they had a spare man.

Photo:  Olympia's Ewan Sloan (left) puts pressure on Zebras' scorer, Lachie Burt [PlessPix]

“I like the two strikers.  That’s what we’re going to try and work on a bit this year.  Whether we play three at the back or four at the back or whatever we’re going to do, we’ll try and work with two strikers.”

 Photo:  Olympia's Nick Mearns was back with a vengeance.  Here he tackles Zebras' Jordan Muller. [PlessPix]

Hobart Zebras coach, David Smith, said:  “I was quite happy in principle.  We conceded a couple of soft goals.

“The first half is really the only half we really cared about.  We go through the motions when we make changes.  The first half, I thought we opened them up a little bit.

“We were poor defensively, especially on the left-hand side.  We just gave the ball away too much.

“To be fair, I was more than happy with what we got.  We created some things in the front-third, which I was really happy about.

 Photo:  Zebras keeper Nathan Reid clears as Olympia's Joffrey N'Koso steams in [PlessPix]

“We need to be a little more careful when we force things, but that’ll come with practice.

“I’m reasonably happy at this stage of the season going forward.

“Defensively, we can play, but we dropped off too deep and we didn’t pick up the runner, or we didn’t close down the runner.

“In principle, a great little warm up for us at this stage of the year.”

 Photo:  South Hobart's Pajari Sculthorpe (left) controls the ball while under pressure from a Beachside opponent [PlessPix]

In another pre-season friendly at KGV Park, South Hobart’s NPL side beat Southern Championship outfit Beachside 5-0.

Kyle Vincent netted twice, while Bradley Lakoseljac, Connor Schmidt and Alex Walter each scored once.

Photo:  South Hobart's Alex Walter (left) scored one goal in today's game and went close on several other occasions [PlessPix]

In today’s Under-18s practice match at KGV Park, South Hobart downed Beachside 6-1.

Meanwhile, Southern FC have pulled out of the Southern Championship competition, which will now consist of eight teams.

 Photo:  Adam Gorrie (No.3) sends a free-kick just over the Beachside crossbar. Gorrie has returned to Tasmania after training with Altona in Victoria but he must make a decision about his future soon. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Zebras' Chase Clarke (right) wins a header against Olympia's Brayton Allen [PlessPix]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Rob Clarke.
About time that teams started to play with two strikers up top.
That is how football should be played.

I am a fan of either 3 or 4 at the back but always 2 up top.

At the end of the day, goals win you games and playing with two strikers gives you that extra option. Defences will win you titles but a good combination with players that know their roles and are consistent will see you win the majority of your games.

Kudos to you.