South Hobart too Strong for Lions
South Hobart 3 (Ben Hamlett 10’, Alex Leszczysnki 53’, Alex Walter 81’)
Kingborough Lions 0
South Hobart overcame an improved Kingborough Lions 3-0 this afternoon at Lightwood Park to ensure they stay in the leading trio of teams at the summit of the PS4 NPL Tasmania ladder. In a game that was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests, South Hobart were wasteful in front of goals at times, whilst the Lions lacked polish when it counted.
South Hobart started the game rapidly and opened the scoring in the 10th minute as Darcy Hall, who had a blinding opening 35 minutes to the game, played a perfect ball to the back post to Ben Hamlett. Hamlett had time to control before advancing on the exposed Mark Grace in the Lions goal and slotting past him into the bottom right corner.
In the 22nd minute, a cutback from Hamlett found Nick Morton who smashed a shot into the right hand post. Both teams continued trading blows until the 27th minute when a massive clash of heads between Nick Cuthbertson and Hamlett occurred. Both were split open and required stitches and both suffered concussions. Cuthbertson was walked from the field and was very proppy, whilst Hamlett came off the worse of the two and required a stretcher and an ambulance later to attend to him. Reports after the game suggested he has not suffered any more than a concussion which is great news for the unlucky striker but he is expected to miss the next 2-3 weeks.
The Lions kept attacking South and in the 35th and 40th minutes they had two great chances to level it up. Both came as a result of Jack Gates getting in behind the South defence and both times he slightly miscued his efforts and they went wide, squandering a chance to head into half time on parity.
In the second half, the Lions started brightly with a couple of near chances before Leszczynski added a second goal for South Hobart in the 53rd minute. He received the ball before shooting on the turn towards the bottom right. The contact he made with the ball was not to his normal standards and left Grace with a relatively easy chance to save it but he was too slow to get down and the ball squeezed under his arm and into the net.
In the 81st minute it was 3-0 as Morton surged into the right channel and played a ball along the ground to the back post for substitute Alex Walter to tap home from 3 yards out and round out the scoring for the day.
Alex Leszczynski was again a perfect target man for South, whilst the Lions best performer on the day was new signing Jackson Nugent who put in a great shift at centre half.
South Hobart coach Ken Morton was happy with his team’s performance, “we thought it would be an awkward game, a new coach, a home game for them and a new player in Conway coming in.”
“Overall a good three points for us.”
“We kept creating the chances and they finally came for us.”
“I think we generally controlled the game.”
“Not good, he’ll be out for 2-3 weeks with concussion and quite a deep cut (Ben Hamlett).”
Kingborough Lions coach Ian Shaw was also pretty happy with the performance of his team, “I’m really proud of the boys effort today, we spoke about it and we realised that as a football team that four points from nine games is not what any club wants and we all had a look at ourselves through the last couple of weeks and everyone has bought into the fact that we need to give a hundred percent.”
“Two clear opportunities before the end of the first half. Could have been up 2-0 at half time.”
“Changing our game up means that we’re showing some of the skills of our players.
“There is a lot to work with and as a coach a lot to be happy with.”
And so it was a much improved performance from the Lions, and with Lewis Verdouw back soon, they may well find themselves surging up the ladder throughout the remainder of the season. But today the story was about the South juggernaut that keeps rolling on and will continue to press for the title with solid performances week after week.