Monday, March 25, 2019

Zebras ride high, but Lions hover on the brink of mediocrity

Photo:  Kingborough's Noah Smithies-Sharples under pressure from Zebras' Mathew Sanders [PlessPix]

(NPL Tasmania, Lightwood Park, Saturday, 23 March 2019)

Kingborough Lions United 0
Hobart Zebras 3 (M Pace 44, 63, M Sanders 92)

HT:  0-1   Att:  120   Ref:  N Coad

Kingborough Lions United:  Stalker  -  Douce, Smithies-Sharples, Cuthbertson, Zammit  -  Easton, Gutierrez Jr, Downes  -  Cowen, Brennan, Kantzos  (Subs:  Di Martino, Biggar, Hall, McDonald, Schuth)

Hobart Zebras:  Whatman  -  Walsh, Charuza, Little, Dillon  -  Edwards, Huigsloot, Yonezawa, Hey  -  Pace, Sanders  (Subs:  Burt, Fagg, McKeown, Reid)

Photo:  Zebras defend in a mass of pink shirts [PlessPix]

A superb goal by Hobart Zebras’ Matthew Pace  -  from Riley Dillon’s pin-point cross from the left  -   a minute before half-time separated these two sides at the interval.

Pace got the last touch to the ball in the goalmouth in the 63rd minute to make it 2-0 for the visitors.

Kingborough were unable to reduce the deficit and Mathew Sanders’s goal in stoppage time to make it 3-0 was a mere formality.

Zebras were without the injured midfielder Jordan Muller, but the team coped without his presence in the engine room.

Photo:  Zebras' Luke Huigsloot (left) heads at goal [PlessPix]

Joel Schuth was again on the bench for Kingborough, as was Tom McDonald.  The experience of this duo may have been valuable.

Kingborough have not received an international clearance yet for their American midfielder, Cameron Steele, so he had to settle for the role of match manager, complete with coloured bib.

The win put Zebras into the much more realistic position of third on the standings, while Kingborough are sixth, with a record of two wins and two losses from their four outings.

Zebras are certainly one of the title contenders, but the Lions will need to work hard to avoid an average season.

Photo:  Zebras' Jan Charuza heads at goal [PlessPix] 

Photo:  Kingborough's Danny Cowen is tightly marked by Zebras' Jan Charuza [PlessPix]

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