Friday, April 26, 2019

South Hobart come out on top in seesawing contest with Zebras

Photo:  Zebras' Riley Dillon (left) and former team-mate Iskander Van Doorne, now of South Hobart.  Both players scored in this game. [Plesspix]

(NPL Tasmania, North Hobart, Thursday, 25 April 2019)

Hobart Zebras 4 (M Sanders 17, 58, N Edwards 49, R Dillon 52)
South Hobart 5 (A Walter 31, B Hamlett 36, 82, I Van Doorne 46, L Feral 67)

HT:  1-3   Att:  1086   Ref:  N Coad

Hobart Zebras:  Whatman  -  Yonezawa, Little, Fagg, Dillon  -  Walsh (Charuza 46), Hey, Muller (Robinson 46), Pace  -  Edwards, Sanders (McKeown 80)  (Subs not used:  Ackerley, Reid)

South Hobart:  K Brown  -  Gorrie, Ludford, Thomas, Herweynen  -  Desouza (Lakoseljac 46), Feral, Morton  -  Walter (Hallam 72), Hamlett, Ven Doorne  (Subs not used:  Berezansky, Bowman, Wright)

Photo:  South Hobart's Gilly Desouza and Zebras' Riley Dillon try to gain possession [PlessPix]

Hobart Zebras ‘lost’ this game, and then ‘won’ it, and then ‘lost’ it again in an amazing encounter before a record NPL Tasmania attendance.

Zebras trailed 3-1 at half-time and looked gone.

Coach David Smith made two changes at the interval, bringing on Jan Charuza and Ben Robinson for Jordan Muller and Dwayne Walsh, and the side clicked into gear.

Zebras scored three times in 9 minutes early in the second half to lead 4-3 and the game seemed won.

But, South Hobart were not done and made changes of their own.  They’d replaced Gilly Desouza at the interval with Bradley Lakoseljac and then, with 18 minutes remaining, brought on the talented young Kasper Hallam, who often ghosted past defenders with ease to create chances.  He’s going to be a top player.

Photo:  Zebras' Jordan Muller tackles South Hobart's Nick Morton [PlessPix]

I sat near the media box, high up in the stands near the bowling club end, for the second half and the view was superb.  The goal was directly beneath me and I could see the South Hobart build-ups as they developed and the counter-measures by the Zebras defence.  I could see how South Hobart used the full width of the pitch and the problems this caused Zebras and how they got back into the game and ultimately won.

Conversely, it provided a perfect view of Zebras’ defensive play, and also of their attacking play at the far end of the pitch.  I can hardly wait to occupy the same aerie again when there is a game at North Hobart.

It’s why great coaches such as Terry Venables, when in charge of Barcelona, would sit in the stands for the first half in order to see how things were going before taking his place on the bench for the second half.  Such a lofty vantage point is infinitely superior to the view at ground level.  Incidentally, Venables was at North Hobart in 1965 when Chelsea played Tasmania, but he was rested that day and didn’t take the field.  Perhaps his high view from the old stand at the Argyle Street end shaped his behaviour later?

Photo:  Zebras' Jordan Muller heading the ball as South Hobart's Nick Morton moves in [PlessPix]

Mathew Sanders, the Zebras Number 17, headed his side in front in the 17th minute following a corner by Nicky Edwards from the left.

Alex Walter equalised for South in the 31st minute when he swept home Nick Morton’s low cross the right.

A bit of magic from Ben Hamlett, who zigged and zagged past a couple of Zebras defenders on the byline on the right five minutes later before finishing with a shot into the far corner of the net gave South Hobart a 2-1 lead.

Iskander Van Doorne rifled home a third in stoppage time from an acute angle on the left  -  the ball flew in off the woodwork  -  to give South Hobart a 3-1 lead at the break.

One had to question not only the Zebras defence, but Sam Whatman in goal, as his decision making was a little hesitant.

Photo:  Zebras' Mathew Sanders watches three South Hobart opponents launch an attack [PlessPix]

After the resumption, it was the South Hobart defence that appeared all at sea as Zebras applied the pressure.

Edwards pulled a goal back 4 minutes into the second half to make it a goal the difference, while Riley Dillon tapped home an easy third in the 52nd minute to make it 3-3.

Sanders’s delightfully executed lob over the stranded keeper, Kieran Brown, in the 58th minute gave Zebras an unbelievable 4-3 lead.  For a side that had appeared out for the count at half-time, Zebras now had a new-found belief in themselves and the scent of victory in their nostrils.

Sanders should have had a third goal, but he was mysteriously denied by the off-side flag, a wrong decision which arguably cost Zebras victory.

Photo:  South Hobart's Oscar Thomas clears ahead of Zebras' Nicky Edwards [PlessPix]

One can never discount South Hobart’s resilience, however, and they fought back strongly and used the width of the pitch effectively to tear the Zebras defence apart.  Poor marking by the Zebras also helped their opponents.

Loic Feral was unmarked in the 67th minute as he headed home a corner to make it 4-4.

Hamlett grabbed the winner for South Hobart in the 82nd minute when Adam Gorrie made a great run down the right and cut back a firm, low ball into the penalty area.

The Zebras defence expected the nearest attacker, Nick Morton, to hit the ball, but he sold a perfect dummy to the defenders and the ball ran to the unmarked Hamlett, who appeared out of nowhere, and fired into the net.

It was a seesawing contest and the first defeat for Zebras in the league this season.

South Hobart stayed third and Zebras fourth on the standings.

Photo:  The battle continues between former team-mates Riley Dillon (left) of Zebras and Iskander Van Doorne, now of South Hobart [PlessPix] 

Photo:  Zebras coach David Smith rang the changes at half-time [PlessPix]

Photo:  South Hobart's Adam Gorrie about to clear upfield [PlessPix]

Photo:  South Hobart goalkeeper Kieran Brown throws the ball to team-mate Adam Gorrie as Zebras' Matthew Pace slips over [PlessPix]


Jaap stam said...

Walsh charz litte Yone
Hey hugi
Nick sanders Dillon
Surely stop devonport

Anonymous said...

Officals were poor all round in this game. Shouldnt the best be appointed for games like this????

Anonymous said...

Excellent article Walter