Sunday, July 28, 2019

Zebras down Clarence but brilliant goalkeeping by Downham keeps scoreline respectable

Photo:  Zebras' Adam McKeown controls the ball while under pressure from Clarence's Lachlan Burt [PlessPix]

(NPL Tasmania, Wentworth Park, Saturday, 27 July 2019)

Clarence United 0
Hobart Zebras 4 (M Sanders 30 pen, 50, N Edwards 38, 75)

HT:  0-2   Att:  100   Ref: J McInerney

Clarence United:  Downham  -  Lange, Hedge, Ebini, Amani  -  Cannamela, Burt, Randall  -  Hatcher, Bremner, Moynihan  (Subs:  Houston, Kannegiesser, Price, Reyenga, Voss)

Hobart Zebras:  Whatman  -  Plunkett-Smith, Little, Fagg, Walsh  -  Hey, Smith, Pace  -  Edwards, Sanders, McKeown  (Subs:  Ackerley, Clark, S Jones, Reid, Wilson)

Photo:  Zebras' Jayden Hey on a run with Clarence's Sam Cannamela in pursuit [PlessPix]

Hobart Zebras gave five youngsters their chance in this game in the absence of five regulars, who were either suspended, injured or unavailable.

The visitors should have at least doubled their tally, but some incredible misses, combined with brilliant goalkeeping by Nickolas Downham and some resolute defending by his team-mates, kept the score-line to just 4-0.

In the first half, Downham was Clarence’s hero as he denied Zebras twice in the early stages and then made three superb saves in as many seconds from close range as Zebras went in search of an opening goal.

That came from the penalty spot on the half-hour from Mathew Sanders after a handball.

Photo:  Zebras' Dwayne Walsh shoots as Clarence's Romolo Moynihan tries to block [PlessPix]

Nicky Edwards made it 2-0 in the 34th minute and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Five minutes after the resumption, Sanders attacked down the left and scored his second and Zebras’ third with a powerful, low, left-footed drive inside the far right-hand post.

Sanders should have scored twice more but, instead, he came up with two incredible misses.  First, he smacked a shot against the crossbar from the edge of the 6-yard box, and then he mis-timed a shot and the ball bobbled up onto his chest and back over his head.

Photo:  Zebras' Thomas Little gets away from Clarence's Paul Bremner [PlessPix]

Clarence had an excellent chance near the end, but Zebras keeper San Whatman produced an outstanding save to deny substitute Joshua Houston.

The attendance was probably the largest at Wentworth Park for the season and may have resulted from the fact that three Clarence teams (Challenge League, Women’s Super League and NPL side) were all in action at the venue.

There was a minute’s silence before kick-off in memory of Luke Cripps, who had played for both clubs and who was tragically killed in a motor vehicle mishap in 2012.

Hobart Zebras collected the annual Luke Cripps Memorial Shield as a result of their win.

Photo:  Clarence's Ryan Amani upends Zebras' Nicky Edwards [PlessPix]

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