South Hobart survives big Lions fright
SOUTH Hobart survived a mighty scare from the Kingborough Lions to come away with a pulsating 3-2 win in the first match under lights at Lightwood Park last night.
Jack Turner scored the winner with less than 15 minutes to play to help the visitors climb back to within six points of NPL Tasmania ladder leader Launceston City after nine matches.
A healthy and vocal crowd turned out to see the seventhplaced Lions put on a strong showing, but South’s relentless pressure eventually told as they fought back from a 1-0 deficit at half-time.
South dominated the first 20 minutes, and Turner had the ball in the net in the eighth minute but saw his header chalked out for offside.
The Lions struck against the run of play in the 23rd minute, when Christopher Downes met a cross at the back post and finished with classy first-time volley.
South continued to have more of the ball after falling behind, but they struggled to break the well-organised Kingborough defence down.
Lewis Verdouw could have doubled the Lions’ lead five minutes before halftime when he found space in the right channel, but he fired straight at South keeper Kieran Brown.
South came out with renewed purpose after the break and it was 1-1 within three minutes when a deflection fell kindly for Nick Morton in the box and he picked out the bottom corner.
A headed goal from defender Daniel Brown gave South the lead five minutes later.
The Lions refused to surrender though, and Timothy Baker struck the post in the 64th minute before Danny Cowen levelled from the penalty spot in the 72nd.
Turner broke Kingborough hearts in the 77th minute when a low cross from the left made its way through a sea of legs to the back post, where he was on hand to bury it.
Downes nearly made it 3-3 with three minutes remaining when he flicked on a long diagonal ball, but his header flashed just wide of the post as South held on.
Elsewhere, Brayden Mann hit a hat-trick as the Devonport Strikers fought out a 3-1 win over Olympia Warriors at Valley Road.
The loss leaves Olympia 10 points off the pace in fourth position.
Launceston restored their four-point buffer in the twilight kick-off after the Strikers had briefly cut their lead to a solitary point, hammering bottom side Clarence United 7-0 at Buckby Land Rover Park.