Sunday, March 8, 2020

Hobart United begin a sort of title defence, but all is not well in this new league

Photo:  Hobart United Arefu Gebresellasie (left) is pressured by metro's Jordan Buckney-Penneyston, who was sent off in the last minute of the match [PlessPix]

(Southern Championship. North Chigwell, Saturday, 7 March 2020)

Metro 1 (A Woodward 55)
Hobart United 5 (S Lagu 32, 47, J Wani 49, A Berhane 65, J Buga 70)

HT:  0-2   Ref:  E Rosenzweig

Metro:  Stalker;  Buckney-Penneyston, Cure, Harris, Hawkins, Kent, Maino, Newell, Penneyston  (Subs:  Vu, Liderth, McQueen)

Hobart United:  Cooper-Bagu;  Berhane, Buga, David, Kamba, Kangogo, Kon, Lagu, Letiko, Ngor-Apuol, Wani  (Subs:  Gebreselassie, Eldayar)

Photo:  John Buga (right) celebrates his goal with two team-mates [PlessPix]

Hobart United began their defence of the Southern Championship with a comfortable 5-1 away win over Metro at North Chigwell on Saturday.

But, are they defending their title?  This league has been expanded to include the five southern NPL Tasmania clubs, which would have made it a 13-team league with a bye each weekend, so it’s not the same league as the Southern Championship of last year.  Perhaps I’m playing with semantics, but I think it’s an interesting point.

Photo:  Metro keeper Mitch Stalker strikes a forlorn figure in the background as Hobart United celebrate another goal and Zhor Ngor-Apuol (right) makes his characteristic salute [PlessPix]

The whole league is something of a dog’s breakfast anyway.

On the eve of the opening round, Nelson withdrew and so we now have a 12-team league.  The good thing about this is that there now need not be a bye.  But, I have heard whispers that Football Tasmania may decide to go with two byes each weekend so that the roster does not have to be re-jigged.

This would be stupidity.  The roster should be amended so that there is no bye at all.  South Hobart were due for the bye in the opening round, while Kingborough were supposed to play Nelson.  It was too short a notice to have South Hobart play Kingborough on the Saturday, but surely this game could be rescheduled to, say, a midweek game later in the season.  There should now be no bye in this league.  It shouldn’t take an Einstein to redraw the roster to take account of Nelson’s withdrawal.

Photo:  Metro's Matthew Cure moves in on Hobart United's Mynonge Kamba, who did not see out the match after suffering a first-half injury [PlessPix]

Nelson are the second team to bite the dust before the 2020 season began.  Clarence United and Hobart Zebras disappeared in the close season and we have a new entity called Clarence Zebras.

For Football Tasmania to say that participation rates are higher than any other sport is a case of whistling in the wind.  We’ve just effectively lost two clubs and poor old South East United were hammered 14-1 by New Town White Eagles on Saturday.

There is something seriously wrong in the game in Tasmania.

Photo:  Metro's Shane Kent and Hobart United's Nyang Kon clash in the air.  Kon was injured and required treatment. [PlessPix]

Photo:  The referee calls Metro's Shane Kent over [PlessPix] 

Photo:  Mr Rosenzweig speaks to Kent, who protests his innocence [PlessPix]

Photo:  Hobart United's Kon has recovered but Mr Rosenzweig fills in his card [PlessPix]

Now, back to North Chigwell.

Two goals by Solomon Lagu in the first half put Hobart United in control by the interval.  Lagu scored his first with a fine finish from the right in the 32nd minute, and he repeated the act in stoppage time at the end of the first half when he was again released on the right and finished accurately.

John Wani made it 3-0 soon after the resumption, and it could have been 4-0 but for a brilliant save by Metro keeper Mitch Stalker, who acrobatically tipped a goal-bound shot over the bar.

Adam Woodward’s fine strike in the 55th minute pulled a goal back for Metro and have them some hope, but this was snuffed out in the 65th minute when Hobart United were awarded a penalty.

Photo:  Can I just grab your shorts for a minute? [PlessPix]

Stalker again showed what an accomplished keeper he is when he blocked Abel Berhane’s spot-kick.  Berhane was first to the rebound, however, and he thrashed the ball into an empty net to give Hobart United a 4-1 lead.

John Buga completed the scoring with Hobart United’s fifth 20 minutes from the end.

That score-line was, however, only the beginning of Metro’s problems.

Photo:  There's a famous movie titled "The Red Shoes", but it was on a different theme to this [PlessPix]

In the 81st minute, they had David McGuinness sent off, while a few minutes later, coach Mark Broadbent was also shown the red card after he had words with the referee.  And then, in the final minute, Jordan Buckney-Penneyston was shown a second yellow and then a red, meaning that Metro finished the game with 9 players and minus their coach.

At least there was no sign of the ill-tempered melees that have often characterised games between these two clubs in the past.

Photo:  Mr Rosenzweig outs away his red card as Metro coach Mark Broadbent (second from right) walks back to the clubrooms [PlessPix]


Anonymous said...

Another disgraceful officiated game of football. Card happy refs on power plays, refs who can't keep up with play and rely on their card kpi's to get their pay check from fft. There's no changing here in Tasmania who try to act like the premier league when they forget people pay money to play the game they love.

Anonymous said...

Wow Walter! a Dog's Breakfast. I don't know how Football Tasmania will deal with this very damaging assessment of our game from one very experienced football writer.
I do hope that you are not right Walter about the rosters.

Anonymous said...

Great coverage Walter
Wow metro start off showing their true colours 3 send offs including the new highly qualified coach
Any beers on the bench this week ?
Any FT people checking the game ?
So but Eugene shouldn’t be reffing that game with its history and I won’t start Re the linesman
Looks like another great year at Chigwell
Wonder what FTs fine and or sanctions will be this time -

Patrick said...

FFT seem to believe in trickle down economics as their way of football development. What I mean is FFT believe if the big 5 Southern clubs get their way then the benefits will trickle down. In reality this means that the southern championship (which contains the majority of players in Hobart) gets pushed to the side.

I find this odd as the southern championship and social leagues would generate a large amount of revenue for FFT. Would you not want to support these league to ensure keep people playing the game at all levels?

Anonymous said...

From NPL clubs' point of view, the original roster for Southern Champ aligned well with NPL games. This would be a good reason to leave it as is and have extra BYEs. If the new roster can achieve the same, then all good. If not, then FT will create yet another dog's brekkie.

Last time they had months to do rosters. This time, they only have a week or so to get it right.

Darren said...

Hi Walter, just a quick shout out to Solomon Lagu who is obviously back and playing good football with Hobart United, Solomon played with both my sons Luke and Ryan through High School and at club football and we were there the day his leg was badly broken a couple of years back in a sickening clash, no doubt a huge amount of mental strength and rehab needed to get back to where he is now, well done Solomon and all the best for the year from the Backhouse's