Round 6 has seen a change at the top of the PlayStation 4 Victory League with Olympia FC Warriors taking advantage of a shock Zebras loss, shooting them to first position on the ladder.
While Olympia have clinched top spot it was not the only change to the table, Devonport had the result of the round, producing an upset victory over the then ladder leaders, Hobart JEEP Zebras propelling the Strikers into the top four.
Despite an early departure, the Zebras road trip misery continued with the Strikers making it two home victories on the trot. Zebras lost English Centre-Back Nathan Cook last week and their defensive woes were compounded with young gun Tyler Harrison falling ill the night prior to the match.
Devonport’s opened the scoring just nine minutes in, Man of the Match Daniel Syson played a long ball over the Zebras defence to pick out Brody Denehey, who toed by Graham Wright before rolling the ball into an open net.
The Strikers second goal came in contentious fashion, with Kim Barker awarding the hosts a penalty following a Mattias Toghill challenge on Michael Holden. Beau Blizzard stepped and dispatched the spot kick, sinking the Zebras at Valley Road.
Unlike their traditional rivals, Olympia FC Warriors didn’t falter on the road, downing a plucky Launceston City 4-1 up at Mitsubishi Park.
The Warriors started well, striking two goals inside 20 minutes, the first was a well taken chance from Nick Meredith, finishing off a fine cross from Warren Wadawu in the 10th minute. The second saw Nick Mearns finish expertly from the spot after Wadawu was brought down in the box by City Skipper, Toby Omenihu.
At the start of the second half, the tide turned with City fighting their way into the contest and their efforts saw them peg one back through Aaron Campbell, Campbell tapped home what was a well crafted team goal in the 56th minute.
Despite the home side’s best efforts, Olympia killed off the game late with goals from Emmanuel Tsakiris and Luke Eyles seeing Olympia home 4-1 and into top spot.
Sunday saw a preview for the Lakoseljac Cup Grand Final and if this week’s tussle was anything to go by we are set for an enthralling cup final come Queens Birthday.
South Hobart escaped a scare at the hands of Kingborough Lions, maintaining contact with the top two in the Victory League with a pulsating 3-2 victory over Kingborough Lions at Darcy Street.
In a frenetic, end-to-end, and at times fiery encounter, it was South who emerged victorious after a second half red card to Kingborough’s Jack Turner turned the match on its head.
The Lions began the game brightly, and took a deserved lead in the sixth minute when Turner had his shot from the edge of the box deflected into the bottom corner off the leg of Matt Lewis.
South Hobart didn’t have to wait long for an equaliser, which came through Kobe Kemp in the 13th minute when he nipped by Verdouw and unleashed an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area after Nick Cuthbertson cleared a corner outside the penalty area.
South Hobart began the second half sluggishly, and were punished in the 53rd minute by Danny Cowen, who put the Lions 2-1 up with a cracking free kick from 25 yards, with the ball sailing into the top right out of the reach of Mark Moncur.
The defining incident of the match occurred two minutes later, when Turner, who had been outstanding up to that point, collected Kobe Kemp with a late and high challenge on the wing. Players converged from all over the pitch to remonstrate as tempers flared, and Turner was given his marching orders.
South immediately began to dominate the game once more, and their efforts were rewarded in the 70th minute when substitute Hugh Undy lashed a volley in via the post. Undy was a masterstroke substitution from Ken Morton, with the youngster having a profound impact on the contest, helping them make the most of their numerical advantage.
The tiring and undermanned Lions defence was breached for the third time in the 83rd minute, Mann scoring the winner from a tight angle after displaying neat footwork inside the box, delivering the knockout blow with a thumping finish.
In the final match of the round, Northern Rangers swept away the early season cobwebs to get the thumping win they have craved.
It was a must win for the Rangers and they got the job in emphatic fashion, rocketing seven past Glenorchy Knights to win 7-1 at NTCA.
They took their time to get going, waiting until the 41st minute to break the deadlock with Man of the Match Yitay Towns nodding home the game’s opener.
The second half saw the hosts explode, scoring four goals in 16 minutes with Joel Sanderson, Yitay Towns, Kenta Yamane and Adam Edwards all netting goals in a clinical period from the Rangers.
Vincent Kamano pegged one back for the Knights, finishing off a Alex Buga ball to give Glenorchy reward for effort.
With the finish in sight, Towns closed out a hat-trick pushing it home from close range after Alex Woodham did well to cut off a teasing Alex Rossetto cross.
After several near-misses, Chris Hill got his goal in the 89th minute, finishing off to cap off a stress relieving victory for the Rangers, lifting them from the floor of the table.