Sunday, March 3, 2019

Knights demolish a brave Clarence outfit that faced an enormous challenge

Photo:  Knights' Daniel Goodluck hits the woodwork with his shot [PlessPix]

(Challenge League, KGV Park, Sunday, 3 March 2019)

Glenorchy Knights 8 (M Nowicki 20, 55, J Clay 25, G Mangar 35, 64, og 37, R Giri 76, T Bellini 77)
Clarence United 3 (C Smith 26, H Lange 39, K Hatcher 72)

HT:  4-2   Ref:  S Muir

Glenorchy Knights:  Woodham;  T Bellini, Chusri, Clay, Goodluck, Marney, Nowicki, Page, Rees, Waters, Mangar  (Subs:  Balaban, Giri, Neupane, L Sterpin)

Clarence United:  N Downham;  Amani, B Downham, Hatcher, Herbert, Kunwar, Lange, Moynihan, Robertson, Semelbauer, Smith, Wilcock  (Subs:  Houston, Ramirez, Snell)

Photo:  Clarence's Harrison Lange about to score [PlessPix]

Football Tasmania will need to carry out an inspection of the goal frames after this game.  The Knights must have struck the woodwork eight times and the frames must surely be loose.

Seriously, Knights could have doubled their tally but were denied by the woodwork and by some fine saves by Clarence keeper Nick Downham, who had a busy afternoon.

Clarence were better than the scoreline indicates, but they were no match for the rampant Knights, who hit the front after 20 minutes through Mathew Nowicki.

Jade Clay made it 2-0 in the 25th minute when he netted from an impossible angle, the ball striking the base of the far post and ricocheting into the net.  It was as if he had pocketed a billiard shot.

Photo:  Clarence's Dipendra Kumar has a shot at goal [PlessPix]

Cade Smith pulled a goal back a minute later when he outpaced the Knights defence and lobbed keeper Alex Woodham, who was stranded in No-Man’s Land.

Gangar Mangar, one of three handy Nepalese players the Knights have discovered, restored their two-goal buffer 10 minutes before the interval.

An own-goal by Clarence gave their opponents a 4-1 advantage in the 37th minute, but Harrison Lange kept Clarence in contention when he made it 4-2 in the 39th minute, his powerful low drive from 20 metres somehow squirming out of keeper Alex Woodham’s hands and into the corner of the net.

Ten minutes after the resumption, a cross from the left by Roshan Giri, another of Knights’ Nepalese contingent, saw Nowicki nip in ahead of Clarence keeper Nick Downham and touch the ball into the net to make it 5-2.

Photo:  Roshan Giri scores for Knights [PlessPix]

In the 64th minute, Mangar cut in the from the right and scored the Knights’ sixth with a low drive.

Clarence refused to throw in the towel and Kane Hatcher pulled another goal back in the 72nd minute to make it 6-3.

The Knights should have had a seventh goal two minutes later, but Daniel Goodluck’s shot came back off the crossbar and fell perfectly to the feet of Nowicki.  But incredibly, he struck the post when faced with an open goal.

In the 76th minute, Nick Downham only managed to get a touch to the ball during a Knights attack and Giri slammed home the loose ball for Knights’ seventh goal.

Tom Bellini made it 8-3 in the 77th minute after he took on the entire Clarence defence and dribbled this way and that before netting.

Photo:  Knights' Daniel Goodluck about to fire against a post [PlessPix]

In the dying minutes, Aaron Marney, Goodluck and Bellini all struck the woodwork as the ball refused to go in, much to the relief of the plucky and brave Clarence outfit.

An hour before this game, Hobart Zebras caused an upset by beating South Hobart 2-1 at South Hobart Oval in another Challenge League match.

Zebras goalkeeper Nathan Reid saved a penalty, while Adam McKeown grabbed both Zebras goals.

Photo:  Knights' Thomas Bellini weaves between Clarence's Joshua Semelbauer and Kane Hatcher [PlessPix]

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