Understrength South Overcome Dogged Clarence
IC- Northern Rangers
Clarence United 1 (A Hedge 49’) South Hobart 3 (A Hedge 7’ og, P Sculthorpe 68’, J Turner 91’)
South Hobart put in a completely dominant performance over Clarence United FC tonight at Wentworth Park but were made to work hard for their 3-1 win. In blustery and cold conditions, the somewhat second string South Hobart eleven eventually put three goals past Clarence in a game that their territorial domination was clearly evident in. Clarence to their credit battled out well and scored one of their own early in the second half to breathe some life into the match but South always looked the more likely side.
The one thing missing from this performance for South was their ability to finish. They sorely missed the towering presence of Alex Leszczynski tonight, who would have likely scored in the opening half with the amount of good crosses and cutbacks being played by the wide players of South.
For all their dominance in the first half, South still couldn’t score a goal for themselves. They relied on the towering presence of Clarence striker Adam Hedge to power a header past his own keeper in the 7th minute. A bouncing ball was begging for someone to header it home from 10 yards out, but neither team would have expected Hedge to be the man to perform that role.
It was unfortunate for Clarence who tried hard to defend and keep the scoreline healthy. If anything though, South only had themselves to blame for the scoreline only being 1-0 at the break. Liam Quaile ran riot in the first half, putting in numerous great balls and overlapping from his left full back role. He used some sublime skill at times to create space when it looked like there was none. His excellence continued into the second half where his overlapping runs provided a constant menace for Clarence.
Alex Walter, Jacob Brennan and Alfred Hess were probably the pick of the rest of the South Players, and no surprise, they were the wide players. They worked hard to create and played numerous great cutbacks for the midfielders who didn’t reward their excellent service. Nick Morton and Jack Turner were both guilty of missing some glaring opportunities.
In the second half, Hedge atoned for his earlier mishap by thundering a strike into the bottom right corner in the 49th minute. It was one of those nights where you felt that South just wouldn’t be able to score and regain the lead. Fortunately for them, that was not to be the case.
Some inspired keeping throughout the match by Mathew Dyson kept the Reds in the game. On the odd occasion South managed a shot on target, he was there to stop it. He was ably assisted by his back four on the occasions he didn’t clunk the ball cleanly and they scrambled to clear the danger for him.
South introduced Pajari Sculthorpe in the 57th minute and in the 68th minute it was that man that broke the deadlock. He raced onto a ball to the right inside the 18 yard box and hit a sweetly struck shot into the bottom left corner to make it 2-1.
South continued to pepper the goals of Clarence to no avail until the 91st minute when Turner made up for some of his earlier misses with a towering header from a corner to the back post. The back of the net rippled and South increased their lead to 3-1 which was probably less than they deserved after dominating the game for so long.
The win keeps the faint dreams of a South Hobart title chase alive, but they’re still going to struggle to bridge the gap to the Strikers with one full round remaining.
South Hobart coach Ken Morton was pleased with the win, “happy with the result in the end.”
“It was an awkward game and we expected a difficult game as well.”
“We kept at it and we kept creating chances and in the end it came.”
Clarence United coach Alan Jablonski was disappointed with the result, “obviously they had numerous chances to score goals.”
“Obviously I thought our keeper had a blinder”.
“I thought the first goal.. the free kick wasn’t a handball and it appeared that both teams didn’t think it was.”
“I thought the corner that they scored off wasn’t a corner. But again I have to watch that.”
“I felt tonight a lot of things didn’t go our way and to beat a top side like South everything has to go your way.”
“The boys worked really hard.”