Tasmanian champions South Hobart struggle against former NSL club Brisbane Strikers

LONG SHOT: South Hobart's Dan Brown looks to get his kick away as pressure arrives from Brisbane Strikers. Pictures: Solstice Digital
LONG SHOT: South Hobart's Dan Brown looks to get his kick away as pressure arrives from Brisbane Strikers. Pictures: Solstice Digital

NPL Tasmania titleholders South Hobart got a harsh taste on Sunday of a Queensland club that still harbours ambitions to join the A-League.

Brisbane Strikers in their point to prove to the FFA brushed aside the game hosts 4-2 to win at Darcy Road in the NPL finals series opener.

The loss was also South Hobart’s first since a 2-0 defeat in the NPL campaign at Devonport back in April.

The one-time NSL club looked a cut above in the head-to-head state champions contest and would go two goals up within 10 minutes to also hold onto 2-0 half-time lead.

Jake McLean and Ryan Palmer had no problems unlocking South’s defence twice inside 90 seconds on the back of incisive passing.

CHALLENGE: South Hobart star Nick Morton struggles to fend of the attention of the Brisbane defence.

CHALLENGE: South Hobart star Nick Morton struggles to fend of the attention of the Brisbane defence.

After Jeremy Stewart added a Strikers’ third from the spot early in the second half, Jack Turner would soon turn the game on its head.

Turner put the Tasmanians back in contention with two goals in the 72nd and 79th minutes and all of a sudden South were still a chance to, at least, send the quarter-final into extra-time.

But an injury-time sealer from man-of-the-match McLean ensured the more composed Brisbane would advance through to the last four of the NPL post-season competition.