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Walter Whatman and ball - Copy

Photo:  Northern Rangers survive again [PlessPix]

(League Cup Semi-Final, South Hobart Oval, Saturday, 2 September 2017)

South Hobart 3 (B Hamlett 22’ 61’, A Leszczynski 94’)

Northern Rangers 0

HT: 1-0   Ref: B Kopra

South Hobart: K Brown - Gorrie, Thomas, Kemp, Quaile - Feral, Turner, Morton - Kass, Hamlett, Walter (Subs: J Brennan, D Brown, Conforti, Leszczynski, Moncur)

Northern Rangers: Whatman - P Lanau-Atkinson, Anderson, Burk, Fulton - Cross, Thannhauser, Appleyard, Jones - Kensley, N Lanau-Atkinson (Subs: Humphrey, Jin, Johnson, Monticchio, Ngor)

Lewis Hall Brennan and Skalkos - Copy

Photo (L-R):  Matt Lewis, Darcy Hall, Andy Brennan and Peter Skalkos [PlessPix]

Northern Rangers goalkeeper Sam Whatman was man-of-the-match for me in their 3-0 loss to league champions South Hobart at South Hobart Oval.

And, he was the only Rangers player who didn’t have to change his strip before the game.

The officials were concerned about a colour clash and so ordered Rangers to change. They didn’t have an spare kit with them and so were given the South Hobart strip worn two years ago in the FFA Cup. Legs and Breasts owner Peter Skalkos, who sponsors South Hobart, must have been delighted as his company’s logo was displayed prominently on the front of the shirts of the home team and the away side. Sitting in the grandstand with former South Hobart player Andy Brennan, one could almost see the smile on Skalkos’s face.

Turner Walter and Ranger - Copy

Photo:  South Hobart's Jack Turner on the ball [PlessPix]

Why don’t clubs talk to each other? Surely in this day of instant communication, a visiting team can contact the host club and find out which strip they are wearing and make appropriate arrangements as far as their own team is concerned. And doesn’t it make sense to always have a spare strip available as well? I mean, there could be a fire, or the weather could be so bad that the players have to change again at half-time. I remember reading somewhere that Liverpool always donned a new strip at half-time when the pitch was in bad condition. It made the players feel more comfortable and it may just have given them a slight psychological edge over their opponents. I know we’re talking about two different worlds in this regard in terms of finances and leagues, but we must at least try and be more professional. Do clubs have kit stewards, or does the coach carry the balls and strips? Comments on a postcard, please.

b Rangers in strange kit

Photo:  Rangers look strangely uncomfortable in their borrowed strip [PlessPix]

As for the game, Whatman was superb and South Hobart would have at least doubled their score if it hadn’t been for the Rangers keeper. He saved at full stretch on several occasions.

South Hobart were not as clinical as they should have been, either. Jack Turner, for example, hit the crossbar from the edge of the 6-yard box on one occasion while Nick Morton should have got on the score-sheet, too.

Ben Hamlett headed South Hobart in front from Alex Walter’s cross midway through the first half and Rangers would have considered themselves fortunate to go in only a goal down.

d Whatman blocks Hamlett

Photo:  Rangers keeper Sam Whatman blocks at the feet of South Hobart's Ben Hamlett [PlessPix]

Hamlett poked home the second from close range after a low ball from the right in the 61st minute.

It was not until deep into stoppage time that substitute Alex Leszczynski bundled the ball over the line from close range after a right-wing delivery to make it 3-0.

The number of goals didn’t matter, though, as winning was all that counted in this cup semi-final and South Hobart will now meet Olympia Warriors in next weekend’s League Cup final.

As for Rangers, they would have had time on the long trip home to ponder what might have been and to turn their minds to next season. Oh, and they would have been relieved that they didn’t have to nominate anyone to wash the strip.

a Oscar Thomas goes for ball

 

Photo:  Rangers' Mitchell Jones fights for possession with South Hobart's Oscar Thomas [PlessPix]

c Walter header at goal

Photo:  South Hobart's Alex Walter climbs to direct a header at goal [PlessPix]