Victory League Wrap - Round 9

Tilford Zebras bounced back in spectacular fashion, upsetting top of the table South Hobart 3-0 on Saturday night to close down South Hobart’s lead at the top to just two points.

Tilford Zebras bounced back in spectacular fashion, upsetting top of the table South Hobart 3-0 on Saturday night to close down South Hobart-s lead at the top to just two points.

Tilford Zebras came into the game with just one win from their last month of Victory League football but returned to the winners list with a spirited second half seeing them shock last year-s champions.

The Zebras set the scene for a gripping Lakoseljac Cup final next week between Tilford Zebras and South Hobart with a three goal second half seeing them storm home over the ladder leaders.

It was a cagey goalless opening half in which South Hobart had the better of the play but couldn't find the net, with chances from Brayden Mann, Andy Brennan and Nick Morton all being saved by Nathan Pitchford, who was defiant in goal.

Tilford Zebras broke the deadlock in the 51st minute through young striker Ethan Engels. Engels scored from a delightful cross from substitute Adam McKeown, Engels- shot was well blocked from keeper Kane Pierce but cruelly for the keeper the ball bounced back into goal, with South Hobart midfielder Liam Scott air-swinging an attempted clearance on the last line as the ball bounced into the net for a Zebras opener . Tilford Zebras made it 2-0 through Alex Leszcysnki just seven minutes later, when a scuffed shot from fullback Kurt Engels fell out to the bustling forward, who powerfully struck home into the net.

With South Hobart chasing the game, Tilford Zebras sealed a memorable victory in the 85th minute with Alex Leszczynski assisting McKeown for a superb diving header finish into the bottom right.

The victory from Tilford Zebras cuts down South Hobart-s lead at the top, with Olympia and Rangers closest at just two points behind the pacesetters.

While Tilford Zebras- fifth win for the season sees them remain in fourth position after nine rounds of the Victory League.

South Hobart don-t have to wait long for an opportunity for revenge, with the pair meeting again next week in the 2014 Lakoseljac Cup Grand Final, a match that will not only decide the prestigious trophy but also Tasmania-s representative for the inaugural FFA Cup.

Northern Rangers kicked off the round earlier with a 3-1 win over Glenorchy Knights.

The underdogs Glenorchy opened the scoring in the 13th minute, with Callen Griffin cracking it into the back of the net from the right edge of the box.

Rangers responded in lightning fashion, Nick Lanau-atkinson entered down the right and struck home into the bottom left.

Jeremy Marshall almost returned Knights to the lead with a near miss from the by-line. Marshall shot from an acute angle and sent it across the face of goal, rolling swiftly by the back post.

Northern Rangers edged ahead in the 31st with Shane Brassington nodding home an Adam Edwards cross from the right.

On the edge of half time, the Knights lost Harry Woolley with the youngster coming off with a knee injury sustained from a Todd Hingston tackle. Hingston was fortunate and escaped with a yellow from the late challenge.

In the 59th minute the Rangers sealed the result to record their sixth win for the season. Brassington completed a good afternoon and bagged a brace, Harry Thannhauser fed the Englishman, who rounded Alex Woodham, steadied and shot into an empty net.

Olympia stuck with the Rangers on the table, recording a win with an explosive second half seeing the Warriors storm home over Devonport.

The Strikers day started poorly with Skipper Kieran Mulraney under hitting a back pass to debutant keeper Tom Pearce, Emmanuel Tsakiris stole for the Warriors and dished into Nick Meredith who slotted home an opener in the third minute.

Devonport responded in the 16th minute, Ben Foote found Brody Denehey, who found the net with a wonderful diving header.

Denehey went close to doubling Devonport-s tally with a dangerous header wide of the back post. In the 31st minute, Cory Vickers saved Devonport from falling behind, when Meredith beat Pearce and fired a shot at goal but Vickers scurried out a goal line clearance.

On the edge of half time, Olympia made it 2-1 with Mexican livewire Eduardo Cabello holding off the Strikers defence to poke home a shot into the bottom right.

Devonport made a double change in the 53rd minute and brought on some experience and class in Joel Stone and Miles Barnard.

In the 56th minute, Denehey very nearly equalized when his front post header zipped past the post.

Cabello continued to prove a nuisance for the Strikers, he slotted his second in the 65th minute to make it 3-1. Emmanuel Tsakiris raced away on the counter and found Cabello at back post, who slotted into the top right corner.

From there, the Warriors ran away with the result with Cabello tearing the Strikers apart.

In the 71st minute, Cabello rifled off a 25 yard bullet from an angle that crashed into the cross bar.

Four minutes later Cabello created the Warriors fourth, threading through to Tsakiris at back post, who cut in and slotted home off the body of Pearce.

Cabello had a hand in the Warriors fifth goal in the 89th minute, he kept alive a ball on the by-line and weaseled inside to fire off a shot that spilt to substitute Stuart Page, who goaled on debut to round out a healthy Warrior win.

Kingborough Lions won their third game in four matches with a 3-1 away win over Launceston City at Mitsubishi Park.

The Lions opened the scoring through sharpshooter Danny Cowen in the 14th minute and added to it five minutes later with Lewis Verdouw finishing to make it 2-0 going into the break.

Nick Abougelis again proved his worth for the hosts with some strong stops to keep City in the hunt.

City shot back through Pail Scicluna, who scored five minutes after the restart. Billy Gasparinatos then saw off any fightback from the home side with a great finish at back post in the 72nd minute securing all three points for the visitors.