The Kingborough Lions have defeated the Hobart Zebras 3-2 in a classic at Lightwood park. Scoreless at half-time, the two teams certainly turned it on for the fans in attendance. Keenan Douce continued his goal scoring form, his 3rd in 3 weeks sealed the win for the Lions in the 84th minute.
Thomas Little nearly conceded a horrid own goal for the Zebras in the early stages. A cross from Brayton Allen found Little who attempted to heave it long but his clearance came off wrong and banged off the post!
Lion Nic Zammit received the first booking of the night when he committed a bad challenge.
Zebras Manager Dave Smith received a yellow ticket of his own after an argument on a linesman’s call, proving that no one was safe from the referees book tonight!
The bookings followed suit for the away side only a minute later when Japanese import Ryu Yonezawa was given a yellow card for time wasting on a throw in.
Half time and we headed into the sheds goalless.
Suddenly the lights went pitch black! Panic went around Lightwood Park but order was soon restored as it was assured by Lions president Warren Iles.
“It was just tests to make sure we can turn them off manually“Warren Iles
I’m sure glad those lights came back on because we witnessed a incredible second half of NPL TAS football.
US Cameron Steele continued his good form when he sent in a corner ball in the opening minutes. Fellow US import Horacio Guitterez Jr was waiting at the far post and headed home past Zebra’s keeper Sam Whatman to give the Lions the breakthrough in the 45th minute.
‘The Colonel’ Matthew Sanders canceled out the lead in mere seconds. A looping cross from the wing found Sanders in the box, he got onto a tight angle and finished on the boot past Lions keeper Kenneth Perkinson.
No goals in the first half but two in the opening three minutes.
Danny Cowen was very lucky not to get sent off after a massive knock to the shins of Nicky Edwards. Cowen did however receive the cheese.
Nic Cuthbertson brought the lead back to the Lions after a great leaping header courtesy another Steele setpiece.
Lions attacker Jack Turner continued the bookings trend when he received a slice of cheese for a bad tackle on Little.
Zebra’s Matthew Pace and Lion’s Joel Sammit soon followed after with bookings of their own.
Zebra’s got the equaliser but not in the way they would of thought it would come. Chris Downes scored a disastrous own goal after an attempted clearance gone wrong. A cross from the Zebras came in and Downes failed to clear and it sailed into the net past Perkinson.
2-2 with just under half an hour to go.
Edwards and Jan Charuza were both shown yellow cards heading into the final stages.
Douce put the game out of the Zebras reach with a goal of the season contender. Turner not being outdone put in some great lead up play for Douce, Douce saw Whatman off his line, skipped around his defence and fired in a amazing curling shot from outside the box to give the Lions the crucial 3-2 buffer with little minutes to go.
Zebra’s bench and players were adamant that they were robbed with that goal; Turner was apparently in question that he may of been offside which sparked the reactions. After the referee finished consoling with the sidesman, the goal stood and that was all she wrote.
Full time and the Kingborough Lions picked up a much needed win after weeks of not being able to close out results.
What a classic at the Den!
After the game Kingborough Manager Jez Kenth praised his team for finally getting over the line after weeks of not being able to hold onto positive result. “Good performance, we work as a unit when Turner is in the XI.. good to see we put away some set piece play tonight.. Keenan should be one of the first names in the TAS rep side v Central Coast Mariners, fantastic work by him.”
Dave Smith expressed his thoughts on the game. “Down the other end of the field it did look offside..I can’t comment.. it was a battle.. weren’t good enough tonight.. we weren’t able to win the second ball and that’s what we have to be better in doing..”
Charuza played his final game for the Zebras tonight after both parties agreed on an early release, so the Czech defender could return home with his family.
The win for Kingborough takes the Lions back to 5th position. For how long though? if Glenorchy are triumph in today’s match with Launceston City, Knights get that spot back with their superior goal difference in hand.
Zebras on the other hand will sit in 3rd position till perhaps Sunday afternoon at least when South Hobart could reclaim the spot when they play Clarence United at Darcy St.
Real pleasure to cover and watch that one. Well done to both teams and spectators for making this night a fun one.