Lions bring down Zebras
(NPL Tasmania, Clennett’s Lightwood Park, Friday, 12 August 2022)
Kingborough Lions United 4 (N Mies 20, D Taylor 42, K Kemp 62, 66)
Clarence Zebras 2 (M Pace 10, D Walsh 23)
HT: 2-2 Ref: N Coad
Kingborough Lions United: Mackie - L Prince (D Taylor 21), J Huigsloot, G Downes, M Hess - Douce, Kemp, A Hess, Mundy (A McKeown 46) - Mies, Vilar
Clarence Zebras: Featherstone - Ebini, Cook, Eugster - Mathie, Miley, Toselli, Pace - Tooze, Walsh, Dillon
Clarence Zebras looked as if they might cause an upset when they took an early lead and held the Lions to 2-2 at the break.
The fell away badly, however, and conceded two goals in quick succession midway through the second half to run out 4-2 losers.
Both defences and both goalkeepers often left a lot to be desired. The keepers were sometimes too unsure in handling the ball, while the defenders were too easily caught out.
In the 10th minute, a high lobe from the left by Marcus Eugster caught the Lions defenders napping and when Sam Tooze controlled the ball beyond the far post and rifled in a firm, low cross, Matt Pace was on hand to whip the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
In the 12th minute, a close-range header by Noah Mies was well saved by Clarence keeper Aidan Featherstone.
In the 20th minute, Featherstone couldn’t hold a shot by Romero Vilar and Mies easily slammed home the loose ball to make it 1-1.
Midway through the half, Kingborough lost Tom Prince through injury and was replaced by Declan Taylor.
In the 23rd minute, the visitors regained the lead when Walsh raced through the defence and unleashed a full-blooded drive that hit the back of the net before Mackie could react.
Three minutes before the interval, Taylor repaid the faith the coach had shown in him by bringing him on in place of the injured Prince.
The referee had stopped play for an injured player and restarted the game by dropping the ball for Kennan Douce out on the right wing. Douce lobbed the ball into the goalmouth and, when Featherstone made a hash of catching it, Taylor was on hand to net from close range and send the teams in at the break locked together at 2-2.
The Lions finally hit the front in the 62ndminute when Featherstone failed to hold Adam McKeown’s shot and Kobe Kemp scored from the loose ball.
Kemp was fortunate to be still on the field as he had been injured shortly before and had required treatment.
He had obviously recovered as 4 minutes later he netted again when he broke through the visitors’ defence and rifled home a powerful shot to make it 4-2 for the Lions.
The win moved Kingborough back into second place, but possibly only for 24 hours as a South Hobart win the next day would drop them back to third.