The Strikers Vault
2016 Lakoseljac Cup Final v South Hobart FC
Our next entry into the Strikers vault recounts a journey to KGV as we take on South Hobart in the 2016 Lakoseljac Cup final.
The most important game on the Tasmanian football calendar brought about arguably the most significant game for the Strikers in recent history.
An eventual 1-0 win against South not only resulted in the Strikers being crowned the 2016 Lakoseljac Cup Champions. The win also booked our spot on the national stage for the first time via entry to the FFA Cup and was the first milestone in a successful period that extends to the present day.
The pre-game expectations suggested the match would feature a defensively sound Strikers unit which had conceded the least amount of goals in the NPL (8), against a more aggressive and attacking South Hobart outfit who had scored almost double the amount of goals than the nearest side in the NPL (61). In terms of recent history the Strikers had a slight edge over their opponents, narrowly edging out South 1-0 at Darcy Street earlier on in that year but all predictions were suggesting a very close spectacle.
For the most part, the opening period of the game lived up to expectation as South retained the lion’s share of possession with the Strikers absorbing the pressure and looking to break quickly on the counter-attack.
Clear-cut chances were at a premium for both sides at this stage in the match. The only real chance came in the 5th minute from a South Hobart set-piece when a cross delivered by South’s Kobe Kemp bounced to the feet of Daniel Brown only to see his half-volley spooned over the crossbar from 4 yards out.
As the first half progressed, the seemingly tireless pressing of the Strikers front three began to pay dividends. The shine of South’s patient passing game, that was seen in the opening period, was wearing off as rushed passes and turnovers began to creep into their play due to the pressure imparted by the Devonport attacking unit.
This created a few half-chances for Devonport and many nervous moments for the South Hobart defence but nothing clear-cut presented itself for the Strikers. The half ended nil all.
As the second half began Strikers fans would not have to wait long to see the team hit the scoresheet.
In the 48th minute, a clearance from centre back Nathan Gratton was misjudged by the South defence and collected by a composed Adam Gorrie who made no mistake burying his one-on-one chance with the keeper.
Gradually the match began to adopt a similar tone to the beginning of the first half with South dominating the possession and launching attack after attack in an attempt to draw level.
Barring one or two anxious moments the determined Devonport defence successfully negotiated the rest of the second half and the Strikers emerged as 1-0 victors!
Stay tuned next week as we go into the Strikers Vault next Wednesday!