It was a battle of NPL TAS v NPL NSW between South Hobart v Marconi Stallions at Bellerive (Blundstone Arena) last night in the FFA Cup. Unfortunately the home crowd of 2,617 were left disappointed as the Stallions stormed home for a 3-0 win. Former Newcastle Jets (A-League) striker Marco Jesic lead the away side to victory scoring a brace.
South headed into the match very undermanned and a couple injury clouds to add to that. Kobe Kemp, Adam Gorry and Gilly De Souza were all exempt.
South Manager Ken Morton selected forward Alex Walter into the starting XI despite recent injury concerns. The gamble didn’t pay off when Walter copped a hard knock in the 15 minute mark of the first half and was replaced by Kasper Hallam.
Marconi earned a penalty kick in the 36th minute after South player Declan Foley was deemed to have hand-balled in the box.
Up stepped Marko Jesic and he sent South keeper Graham Wright the wrong side of the net and he slotted it home for the visitors first.
Jesic wasn’t done with his goal scoring when he bagged a brace in the 40th minute. Martin Fernandez whipped in a nice cross and Jesic fired home after a deflection went in his favour from South Captain Hugh Ludgford.
South tried their hardest in the second half but the lack of depth cover hurt them on this night. Stallions sealed their passage to the Round of 16 before injury time. Substitute Damian Tsekenis received a corner ball from Jesic. Tsekenis got onto his head and banged it home for the final action of the night.
After the game Morton praised his team for their efforts.
“I’m super, super proud of the young players who came in and did a great job.. It was pretty much as we thought it would be. Long-flighted balls, batter you into the ground, bully you, bully the referee from the sides as well.”
Marconi will now enter the Round of 16 draw, while South will now set their sights back on their season in the NPL TAS.