Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Devonport down the Warriors to open up 5-point lead at the top

Photo:  Olympia's Ryan Cook eludes Devonport's Daniel Syson and Joel Stone [PlessPix]

(NPL Tasmania, Warrior Park, Saturday, 18 May 2019)

Olympia Warriors 1 (N’Koso 82)
Devonport City 2 (Stone 4, Fitzgerald 53)

HT:  0-1   Att:  100   Ref:  B Kopra

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

Devonport City:  Pitchford  -  Parke, Reynolds, Mulraney, Smith  -  Dance, Giampaoli, Stone  -  Fitzgerald, Barnard, Syson  (Subs:  Barton, E Bidwell, West)

Photo:  Max Fitzgerald and Joel Stone celebrate Stone's goal [PlessPix]

Devonport City scored an important 2-1 away win over nearest challengers Olympia Warriors on Saturday to take them 5 points clear at the top of the NPL Tasmania standings.

The visitors got off to the perfect start when they hit the front in the 4th minute.  Jonathon Ladic gave the ball away in midfield and Lucas Hill fouled Ignacio Giampaoli on the edge of the box in a desperate attempt to retrieve the situation.

Joel Stone hammered the free-kick into the far top right-hand corner of the net to punish Olympia for their slackness.

Olympia upped the tempo then, with Joffrey N’Koso prominent in attack, but they were not really testing Nathan Pitchford in the Devonport goal.

Photo:  Devonport's Miles Barnard and Olympia's Bay Kurtz in an aerial contest [PlessPix]

The home side’s passing tended to be inaccurate and their crossing was woeful.  Their supply to centre-forward Jack Ryan had the powerful striker frustrated.

Devonport showed they were a danger as Miles Barnard, making a rare start rather than coming on as a late impact substitute, headed just over the bar.

Thirteen minutes after the resumption, Devonport made it 2-0.  Barnard played a perfect pass wide to the left for the advancing Max Fitzgerald to hammer home from the edge of the box, the ball beating Olympia keeper Kyle McDonald at his near post.

Ryan was cautioned just before the hour mark and this may rule him out of Olympia’s next game, so it will be a costly yellow card.

Minutes later, he was finally given some decent service and was unlucky when his header came back of the crossbar.

Photo:  Olympia goalkeeper Kyle McDonald and Devonport striker Miles Barnard lie injured as referee Brenton Kopra and players from both teams gather around [PlessPix]

In the 78th minute, there was one of those sickening incidents where a striker (Barnard) and a goalkeeper (McDonald), both with eyes only for the ball, collide in midair while going aggressively for a cross.

The game was delayed for several minutes as both players received attention.  Fortunately, both were able to resume.  The incident illustrated the determination of both side to come out winners.

Eight minutes from the end, Olympia pulled a goal back as Mearns passed to N’Koso, who swept the ball home to set the scene for a thrilling climax.

Photo:  Devonport's new signing Toby Barton, from Palm Beach in Queensland [PlessPix]

Devonport now introduced their new signing from Palm Beach in Queensland, Toby Barton, in place of Giampaoli.

With Devonport playing it safe and Olympia unable to muster any meaningful openings, the game ended with Devonport collecting the precious three points which opened up a 5-point gap at the top in their favour.

That’s a handy lead as the season approaches the half-way mark and the North-West Coast outfit are looking good to retain their title.

The Warriors were disappointing and will need to improve their act if they are to remain title hopefuls.

Photo:  Devonport's coach, Rick Coghlan, issues instructions while Olympia's assistant coach, Andrew Tye (right rear) looks dejected [PlessPix]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The cream rises.