Launceston City, Devonport City fall to Hobart NPL rivals

ON THE BALL: American Dylan Williams wins the race ahead of his Olympia Warriors rival in Launceston City's home NPL Tasmania encounter on Saturday evening. Picture: Neil Richardson

ON THE BALL: American Dylan Williams wins the race ahead of his Olympia Warriors rival in Launceston City's home NPL Tasmania encounter on Saturday evening. Picture: Neil Richardson

Two early goals have burst Launceston City’s bubble to end an impressive four-game winning streak on Saturday.

Olympia Warriors secured the 2-0 win at Buckby Land Rover Park to also put a stop to City stretching on its most recent club NPL record.

City had turned around a disastrous year after just one victory in the first 15 rounds to climb from last up to fifth in the space of four matches.

But after putting on 12 goals to set up its best winning run in five statewide seasons, City failed to strike a blow on Olympia’s defence.

The Hobart outfit looked in ominous touch on the back of four early corners despite the absence of Czech goalscoring marvel Jakub Sklenar, who has hit 25 of his side’s 50 NPL goals this year.

Warriors veteran Warren Wadawu finally capitalised on the build up of Olympia’s pressure to jump on the end of a wide ball to score in the 23rd minute of the clash.

Olympia would go out to a two-goal lead when Shane Cartwright netted another just seven minutes on.

His goal came among howls of protest from City, but Cartwright was judged to have beaten the offside trap.

Olympia almost landed a third after James Mccarthy slammed his second-half shot into the crossbar.

The hosts came close off chances from NPL centurion Aaron Campbell and striker Andy Compagne to no avail.

PACESETTER: Launceston City striker Noah Mies gets past the tight Warriors defence on Saturday. Picture: Neil Richardson

PACESETTER: Launceston City striker Noah Mies gets past the tight Warriors defence on Saturday. Picture: Neil Richardson

City maintains a one-point overnight lead on Northern Rangers, who play host to Kingborough on Sunday.

Devonport City slumped to its lowest point of the year on Saturday in a spiralling end to the defence of the club’s NPL Tasmania crown.

Under new coach Chris Gallo, his side had taken all points in 11 of their first 13 matches and had been leading eventual 2017 premiers South Hobart in the title race. 

But a tough 2-1 defeat at Clarence condemned the depleted Strikers to a fifth loss in their past seven outings.

The result proved to be a remarkable turnaround from the last meeting when Devonport had won 10-1 at Valley Road back in June.

The Strikers, who were coming off their worst six-goal loss of the season to South, appeared on target to score twice inside a minute against Clarence United.

But defender Henry Rush pulled off the saves late in the first half on Saturday to keep his side on level terms.

The home side soon after turned it around when talisman Nick Naden got on the end of a chip for his sixth for the year in the 35th minute.

Devonport had to wait half an hour of play to equalise after Dom Smith hit the back of the net off a corner. 

But Clarence struck back against the leaking defence when Paul Bremner headed away the 74th minute winner to secure back-to-back wins.