Who Is Walter Pless?

Walter_Pless

A teacher by profession, but is now in his 38th year as a football writer. Has written for "Soccer Action" (Melbourne), "Australian Soccer Weekly" (Sydney) and "World Soccer" (London), as well as for several Tasmanian newspapers. Currently contributing to "Goal!Weekly" in Melbourne and the Australian magazine "Soccer International". Played for Croatia-Glenorchy, Caledonians, Metro, Rapid and University in Tasmania, as well as in the United States of America. Coached University, Metro and Croatia-Glenorchy.

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Jackson and Holmes

Photo:  Devonport's Daniel Jackson controls the ball as Olympia's Alex Holmes applies pressure.  Holmes was the outstanding defender for Olympia against Devonport. [PlessPix]

Hobart Zebras are top of the NPL Tasmania standings with two wins from two outings.

Saturday’s 4-2 win over Northern Rangers at Grove Road was a frustrating affair for the Zebras.

Cano and Van Doorne - Copy

Photo:  Rangers' Federico Cano (left) engaged in a debate with Zebras' Iskander Van Doorne as Zebras' Luke Huigsloot adjudicates [PlessPix]

They conceded a goal in the 13th minute to Mitchell Jones, who was wiped out in the process by Zebras keeper Sheku Kamara, who was shown the red card by referee Mr McInerney.

It came as no surprise then when Daniel Cristy made it 2-0 for the visitors in the 28th minute.

Zebras had squandered some good chances and it was doubtful whether they could salvage anything from this 10 versus 11 game.

Zebras came out full of confidence for the second half, but two bad misses in the opening minutes of the half by Jayden Hey and Mathew Sanders bode ill for the chances.

In the 49th minute, Zebras centre-back Ben Robinson made a long run down the right and his cross was headed home at the far post by Jakub Sklenar to make it one goal the difference and give the home side and their fans a glimmer of hope.

Lanau-Atkinson and Sanders - Copy

Photo:  Rangers' Simon Lucas tackles Zebras' Mathew Sanders [PlessPix]

Iskander Van Doorne made it 2-2 in the 55th minute with a low shot from the right and inside the far corner of the net and Zebras were back in contention.

The home side hadn’t quite got the monkey off its back, though, as Sanders headed wide when he should have scored and Dwayne Walsh sent a powerful low drive whistling narrowly past the left-hand post.

In the 65th minute, Sanders produced yet another incredible miss from point-blank range after Sklenar’s perfect service.

Sanders’s luck changed in the 76th minute when a long throw-in from the right by Robinson found him unmarked inside the six-yard box and he netted to give Zebras the lead at last.

Van Doorne completed the remarkable come-back 10 minutes from the end when he scored his second goal of the game, this time by turning in Hey’s left-wing cross.

Cano and Huigsloot - Copy

Photo:  Rangers' Federico Cano mixes it with Zebras' Luke Huigsloot, who went off injured later after suffering a head wound [PlessPix]

Rangers were fortunate to finish the game with a full complement. Their goalkeeper, William Smith brought Sklenar down on the edge of the box and it could easily have been a case of the last defender bringing down an opponent and denying a goal-scoring opportunity. A yellow card only was shown and the Zebras free-kick came to nothing.

Zebras’ sister club, the Italian-backed Launceston City, share top spot with them after beating Clarence United 4-1 at home at Bucky Land Rover Park through goals by Noah Mies, Jarrod Linger and two by Tyler Fischer.

Cody Snell, a bright 16-year-old prospect, hit Clarence’s consolation goal, but they remain bottom after two straight losses.

Undy tackles Stone - Copy

Photo:  Olympia's Hugh Undy tackles Devonport's Joel Stone [PlessPix]

The highly fancied Devonport City came unstuck against Olympia Warriors at Warrior Park when they were held to a 1-1 draw.

Devonport squandered numerous chances, with Daniel Jackson one of the main culprits. He could easily have had a hat-trick.

Olympia goalkeeper, Brett Johnson, an American import, had a jittery game. It was panic stations in the first half whenever he had the ball at his feet, and he should have cut out Edward Bidwell’s low cross from the right on the hour. He went down late and Brayden Mann was left unmarked on the far left-hand side of the box and rolled the ball home with time to spare to give Devonport the lead.

Ten minutes from the end, substitute Joffrey Nkoso equalised with a low drive from the edge of the box.

Stone breaks clear - Copy

Photo:  Devonport's Joel Stone on a run with Olympia's Mark Ortmann in pursuit [PlessPix]

Olympia coach Dale Itchins was satisfied with the draw given that he had key players including Lucas Hill and Jack Turner not playing, although the latter was named on the bench.

Devonport came to Warrior Park with a high reputation, if one considers the media attention they’ve been getting, but they didn’t deliver.

Reigning champions South Hobart have made a poor start to the season and could only draw 2-2 with Kingborough Lions United at home at South Hobart Oval.

South Hobart have one point from a possible six after two rounds and, although it’s early days, it is surprising to see them in sixth place.

They should have won by a country mile, but their finishing was atrocious and will undoubtedly lead to more shooting practice at training.

Sculthorpe and Harris - Copy

Photo:  South's Pajari Sculthorpe faces Kingborough's Daniel Harris [PlessPix]

They missed some sitters and even had one deflected shot hit the woodwork.

Kingborough worked hard and scored two excellent goals, so one can hardly be critical of them for earning their first point of the league season against the champions.

Nick Morton finished off Alex Walter’s right-wing cross in the 13th minute to put South Hobart in front.

In the 27th minute, the Lions drew level when Danny Cowen’s left-wing cross was expertly headed home by Phil Kantzos.

An error by Kingborough goalkeeper, Mitchell Stalker, in the 32nd minute gave Pajari Sculthorpe a tap-in to restore South Hobart’s lead.

In the 36th minute, Adam Gorrie was lucky to avoid a red card when he brought down Kingborough’s Timothy Baker, but punishment came seconds later when Chris Downes curled a superb free-kick into the net to make it 2-2.

South Hobart continued to miss chances in the second half, mostly through wayward shooting, and they had to settle for a point.

Kingborough defend a corner against South - Copy

Photo:  Kingborough defend a Kobe Kemp corner for South Hobart [PlessPix]

NPL Tasmania Standings (As at Sunday, 25 March 2018))

TEAM

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Hobart Zebras

2

2

0

0

9

5

6

Launceston City

2

2

0

0

5

1

6

Devonport City

2

1

1

0

8

1

4

Olympia Warriors

2

1

1

0

6

3

4

Kingborough Lions Utd

2

0

1

1

2

3

1

South Hobart

2

0

1

1

5

7

1

Northern Rangers

2

0

0

2

4

9

0

Clarence United

2

0

0

2

1

11

0

Eyes all closed - Copy

Photo:  South Hobart skipper Daniel Brown wins as header against the Lions' Joel Schuth [PlessPix]