Strikers Go Top With Commanding Victory
IC- Solstice Digital
Devonport took full advantage of Hobart Zebras slip up and moved to the top of the PS4 NPL TAS table after notching up another win against Clarence in commanding fashion. The Strikers were on top from the outset as Brody Denehey opened the scoring in the 9th minute of play with a nice move from the left side of the box, before dribbling around Dyson for the goal.
The Strikers doubled their lead ten minutes later, as big Canadian centre-back Joe Zupo headed the goal in from close range after Clarence failed to properly clear a corner.
Clarence had a few good chances to get back in the game, the best of them coming in the 34th minute. A wonderful turn from Naden after a throw in created an open area in the centre of the box. After dribbling away from a few challenges, he was able to get the shot off in space, but it was directed straight at Giantsopoulos. Just two minutes later Clarence had another promising attack, this time ending with the shot by Choi from the top of the box smashing into the upright.
Devonport then doubled their lead once again just before half time, as Denehey and Mann found the back of the net in the 43rd and 45th minute respectively. Denehey’s goal was the result of him being unmarked and getting in behind the Clarence defensive line. Joel Stone’s cross from the left wing, which was originally intended to go to Mann, was too high, but fortunately for Devonport, it floated to Denehey who converted the chance into the bottom left corner to make the score 3-0. Mann’s penalty conversion just before half time capped off the perfect half for the Strikers and it gave them a commanding lead of 4-0 to take into the second half.
Despite chances for both teams, the goals dried up in the second half, as most of the attacks ended with a wayward shot. The best of the missed chances for Devonport came both from Brayden Mann, in the 74th and 83rd minutes but he didn't have his shooting boots on.
However, in the 87th minute, Mann was rewarded for his efforts, and in doing so broke the second half stalemate to round off the 5-0 victory for the Strikers. Mann positioned himself on the left side of goal, where he received a pass from Daniel Syson. The shot went across the face of goal and into the bottom right hand corner, despite a diving Dyson getting a hand on the shot.
Clarence finished off the game strong, fighting until the last whistle. In the final minutes of the game it appeared as though they were going to at least get a consolation goal, with three quick chances. Malcolm’s shot at goal from directly in front in the 89th minute was saved by Giantsopoulos before the resulting corner produced two good chances for Naden, but the ball just sailed over the crossbar and landed on the top netting.
The victory propels the Strikers into top spot on the PS4 NPL Tas ladder after 8 rounds as momentum for their title push continues to build.