By Tanner Coad
NPL Tasmania took a break of sorts this Easter weekend but all eight clubs did take their place in the return of the Milan Lakoseljac Cup with the R16 keeping us entertained. FNR are here to take you through all the action.
South Hobart 2 (Nick Morton x2) Clarence Zebras 0 at South Hobart Oval.
South Hobart are continuing to make some noise in Tasmanian football, eliminating former cross-town rival Clarence Zebras 2-0 in the Milan Lakoseljac Cup R16 at South Hobart Oval. It has been quite the seven days for South knocking off NPL champions Devonport Strikers last week and now a prized scalp in the cup.
The Laka Cup serves as Tasmania’s path to the FFA Cup round of 32, with the cup winner being the State’s sole representative in the competition.
Tasmania rarely get any heated weather but Saturday was a fine exception with a balmy 29 degrees, which must of made play difficult for all involved.
South welcomed back Hugh Undy and Marcus Eugster with Jayden Hey warming the pine, while Zebras had an absent Dwayne Walsh on the team-sheet and welcomed back goalkeeper Matt Dyson into the senior side for the first time since 2019. Dyson previously played in the 2019 NPL TAS season for the then Clarence United before the merger with Hobart Zebras.
Zebras started the better of the two putting on the early pressure through the midfield corridor electing not to work the wings despite having plenty of room.
Matty Pace appeared to have scored the opener on the 20 minute mark but was deemed offside moments later much to the frustration to the Zebras staff in attendance behind the goal. South worked their way back into the game and finished the half strongest but settling for a 0-0 scoreline at HT.
South captain Nick Morton finally scored the breakthrough goal on the 59th minute. Morton picked up the pieces in a goal scramble and managed a cheeky back-heel past Dyson for the opener. Zebras’ believed there was a case of copy and paste on Morton’s goal, appealing to referee Mr Kopra that it was no different to the previous disallowed call. US import Daniel Baumgartner and local boy Simon Stankovich voiced their frustrations but Kopra told the duo that the goal was final.
Kasper Hallam and Morton combined with a one-two play to lure the Zebras defence into a tackle which meant it was penalty time for South. Morton hit into the bottom right to put the result to bed. Hallam played an outstanding game it has to be said, making his usual darting runs up the wing causing all sorts of trouble for the travelling side.
Eugster was sent off as the game reached the final stages but by then South had done all they needed to do with Eugster to serve a suspension for the quarter-finals.
A further match gallery provided by Nikki Long is attached below. Thank you Nikki for allowing FNR to use your shots.
Lakoseljac Cup Saturday R16 results
University 2 Beachside 1
South Hobart 2 Clarence Zebras 0
Dev Strikers 13 Northern Rangers 0
KLUFC 4 Newtown Eagles 1
Olympia Warriors 11 Ulverstone 0
Launceston City 5 Somerset 3
Glenorchy Knights 4 Riverside Olympic 0