South Hobart Fight Back To Beat Clarence
South Hobart overcame a plucky Clarence side, recovering from an early 1-0 deficit to win 3-1 in a game that Clarence could so easily have taken points from. Despite South Hobart controlling possession and firing off a large number of shots, it was the Reds who had the best scoring chances of the game but were punished late on for not taking them, as South moved up into second place on the table.
Nick Naden opened the scoring with the first shot of the game, coming in just the second minute. Starting out on the right wing again, he capitalised on a rare error from Liam Quaile, who took a poor touch in the box, to rob him of the ball and curl a shot into the bottom corner of the net.
South Hobart looked to hit back and quickly gained control of the contest, pegging Clarence back deep and firing off a raft of shots form long range. Clarence defended superbly though, Hedge and Malcolm were flawless in the middle whilst Joey Stevens work to drop back and support them was exceptional. They did a brilliant job of blocking off the middle of the box and getting bodies around the top of the area to disrupt South’s short passing game. Too often the South player’s decision making wasn’t good enough and the Clarence defence blocked a mountain a shots and crosses. Despite the shot count rising towards double figures and Clarence rarely venturing forward, they didn’t really create one chance you’d look back upon and say they should have scored from, with most their efforts coming from outside the box.
Then right on half time, with a rare Clarence foray forward, Naden probably should have doubled the lead. He raced onto a long ball over the top of the defence, outpaced Lewis, stormed into the box but dragged his shot wide when 1 on 1 with Brown.
The second half began in a similar fashion, again Naden outpaced Lewis was presented with a 1 on 1 but this he fired straight at the keeper. Had Clarence taken either of those chances then perhaps they could have got something, but the one goal margin always looked shaky and eventually the South Hobart pressure would pay off, as they finally capped off a 20 minute period of pressure with a goal in bizarre circumstances.
Kobe Kemp crossed a ball to the back post where it was headed goalward by Jack Turner, but right as it crossed the line Adam Hedge hauled it back with his hand. The referee Jimmy Hortle initially showed hims a red card and paid a penalty, but after consultation with the linesmen he instead awarded the goal and Hedge stayed on.
Ten minutes later they were ahead. Nick Morton, who had fired off numerous shots from outside the box, finally got his goal. Leszczynski played in Walter who drove a shot across the face of goal which Dyson denied with a superb diving save, but the rebound fell to Morton who buried it.
It appeared Clarence had run their race, holding on for so long but not long enough as they struggled to create anything in the final 15 minutes of regular time but then in the final minute they had a chance that could have earned them a point.
Again it was Naden who bobbed up, getting on the end of a Reibel ball that woudn’t quite sit for him, and he volleyed wide of the post when presented with another one on one chance.
Rubbing salt in the wound Alex Leszczynski iced the victory a minute later when he curled in a superb free kick from just outside the box, curling it around the wall and into the bottom corner of the net to seal a 3-1 win for South Hobart that also saw them take out the Karl Posselt Memorial Shield.