Written by Shaun McManus

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Launceston City showed they are a vastly different team to previous years, pushing reigning champions South Hobart all the way before succumbing 3-2 in the Playstation 4 Victory League on Sunday.


Playing away from home at Darcy Street, City displayed tenacity and organisation rarely seen in past seasons.

South Hobart got off to a lightening start, scoring through Harrison Thomas after just five minutes, and it seemed that Launceston were in for a long day.

City’s response was immediate, however, winning a penalty for handball which was duly converted by Omar Murati in the 10thminute.

There were few chances for either side after the frenetic start until the 34th minute, when Thomas restored South Hobart’s advantage with his second.

2-1 it stayed until half time, and South Hobart came out in the second half looking to kill the game off.

Forward Brayden Mann could have had two goals within ten minutes of the restart, denied first by the incredible reflexes of goalkeeper David Smith and then by the crossbar.

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Launceston hung in though, and were rewarded for their effort with another penalty in the 59th minute, which Murati again tucked away to equalise at 2-2.

South Hobart pressed for a winner, but the City defence held firm until the 82nd minute, when Thomas was brought down in the penalty area.

Mann broke Launceston City hearts by scoring coolly sending Smith the wrong way, giving South Hobart a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.

Despite the loss, Launceston City showed that they are a much improved outfit.

Last year’s side lost 17 out of 21 games, while this year they already have a win and a draw from four games, to go with their effort against South Hobart.

While disappointed to lose, Launceston City coach Lino Sciulli described his team’s performance as “heartening,” and was pleased with their endeavour.

“The guys know now that they can mix it with the likes of South Hobart, and hopefully next time we will be right up with them again,” he said.

South Hobart coach Ken Morton was happy with the number of chances his team created.

“We should have had a hatful of goals,” he said.


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