- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 20 January 2013
Photo: South Hobart's Mizael pursued by Tilford Zebras' Mark Page [PlessPix]
South Hobart beat Tilford Zebras 5-2 in a pre-season friendly at South Hobart today.
In the Under-20 curtain-raiser, South Hobart downed Tilford Zebras 5-0.
Photo: South Hobart's Cameron Williams wins a header in a crowded penalty area despite the attentions of Tilford Zebras' Ryan Smith [PlessPix]
Played in wonderful weather conditions and on an excellent pitch, the attendance was impressive and augurs well for the coming Victory League season.
The match was refereed by Simon Natoli and was played in three half-hour thirds.
The first third ended goalless, while the second ended 2-2 before South Hobart added three more goals in the final third to run out comfortable winners.
There were several new faces on view for both sides.
South Hobart had Mark Ambrose and Chris Hunt from Northern Rangers, as well as Joseph Stevens and Matt Lewis from Clarence United.
Photo: New faces on view (L-R) were Jacob Clamp, Adam McKeown, Alex Leszczynski, Joseph Stevens and Rob Kay [PlessPix]
Tilford Zebras had Olympia Warriors’ young goalkeeper Robert Kay and Kingborough Lions United keeper Alex Dand on view, as well as half a dozen or so New Town Eagles players and Mattias Toghill, Grant Malcolm and Sam McIntyre from Clarence United.
The Eagles contingent were Jacob Clamp, who started the match, and Adam McKeown, Alex Leszczynski, Andrew Clark, David Cox and Mark Page, who came on in the second period.
Andy Brennan, who is back from England, showed he hasn’t lost his scoring touch by giving South Hobart a 2-0 lead, the first goal coming from a free-kick after he had been fouled by Toghill.
McKeown reduced the arrears after a terrible error of judgement by South Hobart keeper Matthew Ferguson, while Leszczynski made it 2-2 when he slotted home a cut-back from the left by Page.
McKeown almost gave Zebras the lead, but his header came back off the crossbar.
Photo: Nick Morton squeezes his penalty under Zebras keeper Alex Dand [PlessPix]
In the third session, the speedy Brazilian winger Mizael fired home from the right to make it 3-2 for South Hobart.
Nick Morton then squeezed a penalty past Dand to make it 4-2, while Darcy Hall added the fifth with a powerful header at the far left-hand post.
Zebras were handicapped by the number of substitutions they made and their Eagles contingent has yet to gel with the established Zebras players, but one must remember this was a practice match and coach Stephen Pitchford would have been silly not to give everyone a run to see what he has available.
South Hobart continued where they left off last season with their possession style of football, accurate passing and stretching opposing defences by using the full width of the pitch.
“We learned a lot today,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton.
“We’re a little bit behind in our preparation as we’d usually have played three or four practice matches by now, especially in regard to the new players we’ve brought in.
Photo: Tilford Zebras' Alex Leszczynski on the ball with team-mate Henry Fagg in support [PlessPix]
“We had some good moments, but we made some alarming mistakes.
“It was a good run, though, and there was some good quality football from both sides.
“Our new players showed they have something to offer us.
“We were without Lucas Hill from the NTC and our English import Nick Hill, but they’ll probably play against Glenorchy Knights next Saturday.
“Without showing our hand too much, we did show we’ll be a good side and we’ll definitely improve our intensity and sharpness.”
South Hobart will take two young sides to Launceston on Wednesday to play Northern Rangers, while they also have a forthcoming trip to Melbourne to play the Melbourne Victory Youth side and Bentleigh Greens.
Photo: South Hobart's Andy Brennan looks for an attacking avenue as Tilford Zebras' Ryan Smith moves in [PlessPix]
“It was an excellent opportunity to see players in various roles and combinations against top opposition,” said Tilford Zebras coach, Stephen Pitchford.
“Thanks to South Hobart for making the games available.
“Jayden Welch was unavailable, with Matt Hall, Daniel Lapolla and Ethan Engels all doing well in the earlier game.
“In each of the first two thirds, we utilised combinations where players were familiar with team-mates and roles from last season.
“The last 30, we mixed up the combinations and, whilst we conceded late in the match, there were many aspects which indicated the playing group are capable of stronger performances as we move forward.”
Photo: South Hobart's Chris Hunt (left) races after Tilford Zebras' Mattias Toghill [PlessPix]
Photo: Zebras newcomers David Cox, Grant Malcolm and keeper Rob Kay try to impress South Hobart's Shae Hickey [PlessPix]