Strikers Overcome Warriors To Stay Top
Devonport 5 (Brayden Mann 24’, 79, Miles Barnard 41’, 55’, Kieran Mulraney 53’)
Olympia 2 (Gavin Hoy 6’, Daniel Syson OG 43’)
The Devonport Strikers secured a massive 3 points today as they defeated the Olympia Warriors 5–2 at Valley Road. The win keeps Devonport at the top of the PS4 NPL Tasmania ladder.
Olympia opened the scoring in the 6th minute with a very controversial goal, as it appeared that Gavin Hoy was well off-side when the pass was made to him. Despite the appeals from the Devonport crowd, the linesman’s flag stayed down and Hoy converted the shot calmly to give the Warriors the lead.
Devonport were able to level the score in the 24th minute through some great defensive pressure, Daniel Syson, robbing Hickey of the ball and sliding it through to Brayden Mann’s who fired a powerful shot from the top of the box on his non preferred left that sailed into the back of the net.
As the first half was nearing its close, Devonport were able to take the lead through Miles Barnard. The corner from Brayden Mann was sent to the back post where Joey Zupo was able to get his head on it. His header was saved by Olympia keeper Roan Gillam, but fortunately for the Strikers, the ball landed at Barnard’s feet, who was there for the tap-in.
It lasted only two minutes though as Olympia responded immediately when Gavin Hoy dropped the shoulder and charged into the box with a mazey run, firing a shot that deflected off Syson and into the back of the net despite the Strikers appearing to have good numbers back in defence to cover.
With the scores tied at half-time the game was in the balance, both teams had a good chance to win. However, Devonport came out of the break with determination, setting the tone for the rest of the game by scoring twice in the first ten minutes.
Devonport took the lead once again in the 53rd minute after a corner kick from Brayden Mann met the head of Kieran Mulraney at the near post who flicked it over the keeper and into the corner of the goal despite the best efforts on an Olympia defender on the line.
Just two minutes later, the Strikers extended their lead, with Miles Barnard adding another goal to his name. It was a stunning goal as Barnard curled a perfect shot from around 20 yards into the back of the net past a diving Gillam.
Devonport sealed the deal in the 79th minute when Brayden Mann scored his second goal of the game. Adam Gorrie’s switching pass found Joel Stone in space inside the box. From 12 yards out, Stone tried to smash the ball past the keeper and sneak it on the inside of the near post. Instead, the ball battered against the woodwork and rebounded back towards the centre of the box where Brayden Mann was waiting, and as he does so well, converted the opportunity.
Devonport will be extremely happy with today’s result defeating last year’s champions 5-2. Despite a real challenge from Olympia, the Strikers were able to come through under pressure, and once again they have established themselves as real title contenders.
For Olympia, they face an upcoming schedule where the games are almost must-win. Their lack of wins this season against other title contenders puts them in a difficult position, and they must find a way to string wins together, as they continue to fall further behind the front runners.