The Hobart Zebras have upset title chasers Olympia FC Warriors in a close game, defeating the home side 4-2 at Warrior Park.
Sam Whatman gifted the first goal on a plate for the Warriors early on. Whatman received a backpass and went to trap the ball, but Olympia’s Joffery Nkoso pounced and slotted home in an open net in the 4th minute.
Zebras quickly responded 2 minutes later when Nicky Edwards finished a quality shot on his left boot inside the box past Warriors keeper Kyle Mcdonald in the 6th minute!
Matthew Pace gave the lead to the away side when Warriors defender Paul Stevens made an error when he tried to head the ball back to McDonald. Pace kicked it out of McDonald’s reach, skipped around him and kicked it in the back of the net to give the Zebras a 2-1 lead.
‘The Colonel’ Matthew Sanders would also add a goal before half time when he tapped in after Luke Huigsloot’s header was initially saved by Mcdonald. Sanders picked up the pieces and calmly finished to give the Zebras a 3-1 lead going into the break.
Lucas Hill gave the Warriors a glimmer of hope when he got one back in the 65th minute. A corner ball came in for Jack Ryan, Ryan mishit his shot but Hill did not!
Pace put the game to bed when he received a great ball from midfield. Pace got onto a accute angle and hit home into the top left for the final goal of the game in the 73rd minute.
After the game Zebra’s Manager Dave Smith was delighted with the win “Bloody good performance.. we rested a couple guys due to the last couple weeks.. bounced back this week Pace’s 4th goal was super.. very pleased.
Olympia Manager Rob Clarke expressed his disappointment after the game. “Disappointed with the defending.. frustrating to lose the lead so early.. we didn’t win in the critical moments or the 50/50s
Zebra’s win effectively seals the NPL TAS title for Devonport Strikers as Warriors needed to win today to keep their hopes alive. Although still 6 points behind, Strikers have a favourable run home heading into the final day which would give every Devonport fan zero nerves.
But this is football. So anything can happen! But gee the Strikers can’t lose it from here surely?
Written by Tanner Coad