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Lions hold heads high and South Hobart manage late escape act against Warriors

Photo:  Jayden Hey is congratulated by his South Hobart team-mates after putting his side in front against Olympia. [PlessPix] 

Devonport Strikers suffered a minor setback when they were held to a 2-2 draw at home at Valley Road on Saturday by third-placed Kingborough Lions United.

It was hardly a disaster and the Strikers are still well on course for the NPL Tasmania title.

It was a creditable result for the Lions, who have been inconsistent at times this season.

Photo:  Devonport goalkeeper Keegan Smith made several important saves against Kingborough on Saturday. [PlessPix]  

A goal in the 8th minute by Fahim Moradi gave Devonport a 1-0 lead at the interval.  The goal was set up by Roberto Fernandez Garrido, who was returning from suspension.

Noah Mies equalised for the Lions 10 minutes after the resumption after great work by Kobe Kemp, but Devonport restored their lead in the 79th minute through a penalty, converted by Garrido.  Raphael Reynolds had been fouled by Alfred Hess to concede the penalty.

Photo:  Referee Alfonso Giusti checks on the condition of injured Riverside striker William Coert. [PlessPix]  

Kingborough earned a valuable point, though, when Declan Taylor was fouled by keeper Keegan Smith and Kemp struck home the spot-kick.

Second-placed Glenorchy Knights made hard work of beating bottom-side Riverside Olympic 3-0 at home at KGV Park.

The Knights sprayed passes all over the place but rarely threatened the visitors’ defence in vital areas.

The hosts took the lead in the 31stminute when central defender and captain Eli Luttmer sent a looping header into the far left-hand side of the net while stationed at the far right-hand post for a corner from the left.

This sort of goal is becoming a party-piece for Luttmer as he gives his strikers a lesson on how to score.

Riverside had a couple of half-chances before the break through the pacy William Coert, but the shots flew harmlessly across the face of Alex Woodham’s goal.  Woodham was in goal in place of regular custodian, Reef Murfet, who was, surprisingly, rested against his former club.

Photo:  Knights' first-choice goalkeeper Reef Murfet was rested against Riverside Olympic, his former club, on Saturday. [PlessPix]  

Coert was injured while executing the second of his chances and had to be taken off and replaced at half-time.  It was subsequently revealed he broke his leg.

Five minutes into the second half, midfielder Daniel Schmidt showed how to score from range when he netted with a full-blooded drive from just outside the box to make it 2-0 for Knights.

Riverside were unlucky not to pull a goal back when the speedy Thomas Milner attacked down the right and unleashed a powerful shot that struck the inside of the far left-hand post and rebounded across the face of goal before being cleared by a relieved Knights rear-guard.

Photo:  Knights' Mathew Brkic is assisted off the pitch by trainer Danielle Baez after suffering a knee injury. [PlessPix]  

Knights scored their third in the 73rdminute when Hugh Undy’s corner from the left was nodded into the six-yard box by Luttmer, who was positioned beyond the far post, and substitute Thomas Walpole tapped it home from point-blank range.

Clarence Zebras were without key utility player Daniel Baumgartner as they succumbed 3-0 to the visiting Launceston City at Wentworth Park.

Photo:  Clarence Zebras' Daniel Baumgartner at the game on Saturday night.  He has a medial ligament injury but will not undergo surgery.  He is confident of recovering in time to play against Devonport on the final day of the season. [Plesspix]  

The hosts were 1-0 down at half-time courtesy of a Gediminas Krusa goal in the 42nd minute after an air-swing by a defender presented him with an unmissable chance.

Albert Amankwaa made it 2-0 midway through the second half when he scrambled home from close range as both he and keeper Darby Randall were tangled up and sprawled on the ground in the goalmouth.

In stoppage time at the end of the game, Stefan Tantari’s powerful drive from the edge of the box beat Randall, despite an effort by Ryan Cook to block the shot, and made it 3-0.

Photo:  Eli Luttmer, the Knights captain (No.10), scores the opener against Riverside in a rather unorthodox fashion following a corner. [PlessPix]  

Fourth-placed South Hobart left it late to beat home-side Olympia Warriors 2-1 at Empire Couriers Park.

Jayden Hey slotted home the opener for South Hobart in the 13th minute, but a magnificent first-time volley by Adam Pickup midway through the half made it 1-1.

Olympia were giving as good as they were getting and there is an undoubted and growing self-belief in this side, who are second-last in the standings.

But, as so often happens, South Hobart snatched a late winner.  They never give up until the final whistle and, together with a slice of luck, they did it again in this match.

Photo:  Knights' Austin Yost battles a Riverside defender. [PlessPix]  

Olympia keeper Mitch Stalker failed to hold a shot and South Hobart captain Nick Morton nipped in and struck home the loose ball.

The win kept fifth-placed Launceston City at bay, but South Hobart must still face Launceston City, who are 2 points behind, in a postponed match.

South Hobart must have been tremendously relieved with the win as, right up until the dying minutes, they were staring at the prospect of two draws in successive weeks against the bottom two sides.

Photo:  Clarence Zebras' Matt Pace and Launceston City's MacKenzie Hancox contest a header. [PlessPix]  

NPL Tasmania results

Glenorchy Knights 3 (E Luttmer 31, D Schmidt 49, T Walpole 71) beat Riverside Olympic 0

Clarence Zebras 0 lost to Launceston City 3 (G Krusa 42, A Amankwaa 67, S Tantari 90+1)

Olympia Warriors 1 (A Pickup 22) lost to South Hobart 2 (J Hey 13, N Morton 86)

Devonport Strikers 2-2 Kingborough Lions United

Photo:  Knights' Austin Yost collects a kick to the face. [PlessPix]  

Men’s Southern Championship NPL Tasmania Standings (As at 23 July 2022)

TEAM

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Devonport Strikers

15

13

1

1

52

10

40

Glenorchy Knights

15

10

1

4

35

14

31

Kingborough Lions

15

9

2

4

41

26

29

South Hobart

14

8

3

3

40

11

27

Launceston City

14

8

1

5

28

25

25

Clarence Zebras

15

3

2

10

23

37

11

Olympia Warriors

15

2

0

13

17

53

6

Riverside Olympic

15

0

2

13

7

68

2

Photo:  Prominent football writers Jason Goldsmith (left) and Adam Muyt watched the Olympia Warriors versus South Hobart game at Empire Couriers Park on Saturday night.  Goldsmith's books include "Surfing for England" and "Be My Guest:  Football Superstars in Australia".  Muyt, an expert on Dutch football, is working on a chapter about Dutch players and clubs in Tasmania as part of his book on Dutch footballers in Australia.  He is also the author of the history of AFL club Fitzroy, "Maroon and Blue:  Recollections and Tales of the Fitzroy Football Club".  Jason lives in Melbourne and Adam in Hobart. [PlessPix]

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