Saturday, March 2, 2019

Warriors dent South Hobart's morale with solid opening win

(NPL Tasmania, Warrior Park, Friday, 1 March 2019)

Olympia Warriors 2 (J Ladic 36’, J Ryan 58’)
South Hobart 1  (G De Souza 90+2’)

HT:  1-0   Att:  300   Ref:  J McInerney

Olympia Warriors:  McDonald  -  Ortmann, Hill, Stevens, Vandermey  -  Mearns, Ladic, Scott  -  N’Koso, Ryan, Kurtz  (Subs:  Sammut, Leaman, Allan, Randall, Thompson)

South Hobart:  K Brown  -  Bowman, Philipsen, Ludford, Herweynen  -  Gorrie, Turner, De Souza, Morton  -  Leszczynski, Walter  (Subs:  Feral, Degetto, Wright, Thomas, Tooze)

Olympia Warriors made a good start to the 2019 NPL Tasmania season with a 2-1 win over South Hobart at Warrior Park tonight.

Jonathon Ladic had an impressive debut for the Warriors after signing from Glenorchy Knights.  He hit a superb opener in the first half and provided the assist for Jack Ryan to score Olympia’s second just after the interval.

Jordan Scott was impressive in midfield for Olympia.  He was solid in the tackle, accurate with his distribution, and his set-pieces and corners were always dangerous.

Ryan again showed his physical presence and he took his goal well, turning and placing a left-footed shot under South Hobart keeper Kieran Brown from the left-hand side of the box.

Lucas Hill was the proverbial tower of strength at the heart of the Warriors defence, while Joffrey N’Koso was his usual tricky self in attack.

South Hobart were disappointing in the opening half and could have trailed 3-0 by half-time but for some outstanding instinctive saves from Brown.

They worked their way back into the game during the second half without really creating any scoring chances and it took them until the second minute of stoppage time to score their only goal.

This South Hobart team is two or three players short of a title-challenging outfit.  The return of Oscar Thomas and Ben Hamlett may make a difference, but there needs to be greater understanding and team-work in midfield and attack before this team will pose a threat to the other big guns of the competition.

Brown was called on to make a brilliant save from N’Koso after a corner by Scott in the opening minutes, while Brown again came to the rescue after a quarter of an hour when he somehow turned a Ryan header onto the bar after Alex Walter’s attempted clearance had dropped to the lurking centre-forward.

Ryan had another chance created for him by Scott in the 34th minute, but his shot flew straight at Brown.

In the 36th minute, Olympia’s dominance was rewarded when Nick Morton’s clearance over his shoulder fell to Ladic, who hit a tremendous left-footed volley into the top right-hand corner of the net to give Olympia the lead.

South Hobart’s only shots at goal came from Jack Turner, who blazed high and wide, and Adam Gorrie, whose shot drifted wide of the far left-hand post after Alex Leszczynski had picked him out.

Gorrie started the game as a right-midfielder to allow Jack Bowman to play at right-back.  Gorrie eventually drifted to the left but was not as effective as he usually is as a marauding right-fullback.

Ryan made it 2-0 in the 58th minute when Ladic slotted the ball through to him on the left of the box and he hit a left-footed shot that appeared to lack pace but still beat Brown.

Olympia’s play was not as fluid as in the first half and South began to dominate without really presenting too much danger up front.

Gorrie volleyed wide of the far left-hand post from the right with 9 minutes remaining and South began to look as if they could worry the Warriors.

It took until the second minute of the five minutes of stoppage time for South to score.  A throw-in on the left was played to Gilly De Souza, who ran towards goal and placed his shot past Olympia keeper Kyle McDonald from 20 metres.

De Souza had suffered a horrible tumble in the first half, which could have concussed him or damaged his neck as he landed on the artificial pitch.  He was able to see out the game, however, and his aim was obviously unimpaired.

Olympia easily saw out the remaining stoppage time for a well-earned 3 points.

It wasn’t a title-winning type of performance by Olympia, but it certainly showed they will be up there.

South Hobart will need to improve in all departments if they are to challenge for the title.  They need to shore up their defence, get their midfield to impose themselves on the game and create openings up front, and find someone to knock in the goals.

They lost Alex Walter for the second half after the speedy winger had fallen heavily and appeared concussed.  He was replaced at the interval by Loic Feral, who was solid in midfield.


Anonymous said...

Well looks like D smith and Morton RIGHT on the money declaring Olympia favourites.
They will only improve and will be the team to beat in 2019.

Anonymous said...

Rob Clarke super coach

Anonymous said...

Well done Rob.south hobart didn't like being pressed stopping them having time on the ball.great result