Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Zebras squander chances and have to settle for draw against South Hobart

Photo:  Zebras' Nicky Edwards (left) has his tame shot saved by keeper Kieran Brown  [PlessPix]

(NPL Tasmania, South Hobart Oval, Monday, 11 March 2019)

South Hobart 1 (G Desouza 85)
Hobart Zebras 1 (J Hey 10)

HT:  0-1   Att:  295   Ref:  B Kopra

South Hobart:  K Brown  -  Gorrie, Philipsen (Berezansky 65), Ludford, Thomas, Bowman  -  Desouza, N Morton, Walter  -  Turner, Leszczynski (Herweynen 71)  (Subs not used:  Lakoseljac, R Morton, Wright)

Hobart Zebras:  Whatman  -  Yonezawa, Charuza, Little, Dillon  -  Hey, Muller (Burt 65), Huigsloot (Ackerley 71)  -  Edwards, Sanders, Pace (McKeown 88)  (Subs not used:  Lapolla, Reid)

Photo:  South Hobart keeper Kieran Brown foils Zebras striker Mathew Sanders [PlessPix]

Hobart Zebras suffered an initial shock when South Hobart’s Alex Walter headed against the crossbar, but they quickly hit their stride and took the lead in the 10th minute through Jayden Hey, who was released down the right after some cross-field passes that began on the left with Riley Dillon.

Nicky Edwards should have made it 2-0 when Mathew Sanders released him on the left, but the youngster sent in a tame shot that keeper Kieran Brown easily held.

Hey was then again sent down the right, but he delayed his shot and tried to get closer to goal.  He succeeded only in making a bad angle for himself, but he did get in a powerful shot which was diverted to safety by Brown.

Photo:  South Hobart's Adam Gorrie (left) tries to sprint past Zebras' Riley Dillon [PlessPix]

Zebras were pressing well and were fast in attack, but their final pass was often astray.

South Hobart, with midfielder Loic Feral absent, were often on the back foot.  They seemed to be playing with five at the back, although left-back Jack Bowman tended to be pushing forward into midfield quite often.

South Hobart gradually worked their way back into the game in the second half and, with Hugh Ludford keeping a tight rein on Sanders, it seemed just a matter of time before they would equalise.

Zebras’ best chance of the second half came when Sanders broke through on the left, but he seemed to lose control of the ball when left in acres of space and facing a clear run at goal.

Photo:  Zebras' Thomas Little (left) and South Hobart's Alex Walter compete for a header as Zebras' Jan Charuza watches [PlessPix]

The departure through injury and cramp of Jordan Muller and Luke Huigsloot midway through the second half appeared to hand the initiative to the home side.

Adam Gorrie and Walter might both have scored as Zebras teetered on the edge and clung to their lead.  Zebras appeared tired and the standard of their passing deteriorated.  Their counter-attacks were often short-lived because their passes were easily picked off by South Hobart.

With 5 minutes remaining, Zebras failed to clear a corner and Gilly Desouza drove the ball through a crowded goalmouth to make it 1-1.

Photo:  Zebras' Jan Charuza beats Alex Leszczynski to the ball [PlessPix]

Any hope Zebras may have had of snatching a win went when central defender Thomas Little was shown a straight red card for a foul on Nick Morton on the edge of the penalty area.

Sam Whatman brilliantly saved Desouza’s resultant free-kick and the sides had to settle for a 1-1 draw, which put them equal top of the standings on points but Zebras on top because of a superior goal-difference.

Photo:  Zebras' Jayden Hey and South's Nick Morton hold hands in midfield [PlessPix]

South Hobart’s assistant coach, Daniel Brown, said:

“We were good in patches and not so good in other patches.  I think we’ve had moments where we played well and moments where we’ve switched off and let them in.

“I’m really proud of the fight-back in the second half.  I think on the balance of chances we were good enough for the win, but credit to Zebras.  They put us under pressure early and played a few good switch-balls which opened the game up.

“It was a tight tussle.  We would obviously have preferred three points but overall we have to be satisfied.  I'm not happy, but satisfied.”

Photo:  South's Jack Bowman flies through the air in front of Zebras' James Ackerley [PlessPix]

Hobart Zebras coach, David Smith, said:

“I thought Tommy [Little] and Jan [Charuza] were by far our best players.

“It was a silly goal to concede.  We didn’t shut down quick enough.  Realistically, they didn’t get any real chances.  They took a lot of possession there but they didn’t hurt us much as our back-four were great.

“To be honest, I think a draw was probably a fair result.  We created enough chances to win it and if you don’t take chances you don’t win it.  To be fair to them, they never gave up.  WE did all the hard work but conceded a silly goal.”

Photo:  South Hobart keeper Kieran Brown clears ahead of Zebras' Mathew Sanders [PlessPix] 

Photo:  Sam Whatman's gloves deflect Gilly Desouza's free-kick in the final seconds of the game [PlessPix]


Anonymous said...

Close game. But your analysis ignores the fact that South had 13 shots to Zebras 7 + 4 corners to Zebs 0. Millimeters away from a penalty at the end. Both teams squandered chances. Not sure Zebs were the ones that “deserved” the points in the end.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7.26. Comments spot on. Tomorrow night’s game interesting. Would not surprise if Clarence beat Kingborough.