Strikers loss blows title race wide open

Pushing hard: Strikers captain rushes the ball back to the centre in the 3-2 loss. Picture: Solstice Digital.
Pushing hard: Strikers captain rushes the ball back to the centre in the 3-2 loss. Picture: Solstice Digital.

The inability to make the most changes in front of goal and uncharacteristic errors at the back was the difference in the 3-2 defeat against South Hobart at Darcy Street, said Devonport Strikers captain Brayden Mann

With the opportunity to go eight points clear of the chasing pack with a victory following Launceston City’s 2-1 loss to Olympia, but despite having more shots on target and possession, the Strikers and Mann with a brace could not overcame the host’s three first half goals.

Mann said the Strikers were not disappointed with the performance, but were frustrated they could not overcome their early errors.

“I just think it was a bit of a slow start for us really, it is what it came down to really,” Mann said.

“It was a couple of silly mistakes in the first half that really cost us, but apart from that, I felt we controlled much of the game.

“Even in the first half I didn’t think we weren’t too bad apart from the errors and just lacked some fight and intensity.

“It was pleasing to see the way we fought back and were unlucky to not get something out of the game, which was shown by South Hobart sit back because they feared us getting back into the game.”

The hosts established their 3-0 lead by the 30th minutes, with goals to Jack Turner in the ninth minute, Alex Walter in the 23rd minute and Kobe Kemp in the 30th minute.

Mann brought some life back into the Strikers with a perfectly executed scissor kick in the 55th minute and double his tally with a volley in the 63rd minute after great lead up play by Joel Stone and Michael Holden. But South Hobart did enough to hold the Strikers at bay.

Mann said it was good to get another brace, but would have preferred to have had less of an impact if the team couple have got the result.

“It is always nice to score, but it means nothing if the team doesn’t get the result.

“I would have preferred not to score and the team could have got something out of the game, but it wasn’t to be.”

The Strikers are three points clear of South Hobart and face Northern Rangers, Launceston City and Kingborough in their remaining games.