South Hobart turned the tables on Tilford Zebras on Monday afternoon, smashing their Victory League rivals 3-0 to book a spot in the inaugural Westfield FFA Cup.
South Hobart will now tackle a major national tournament later this year which includes the giants of Australian football, after the Tasmanian titans were crowned Lakoseljac Statewide Cup Champions yesterday.Manager Ken Morton altered his formation from last week's 3-0 loss to Tilford and rolled out an attacking lineup that caught the Zebras napping early. South took little time to open the scoring with regular substitute Ben Hamlett relishing a starting spot, turning in a Brayden Mann cross inside 11 seconds from the opening whistle. Tilford Zebras were left shellshocked and very nearly fell two down in the 25th minute but were rescued by keeper Nathan Pitchford, who produced a screaming save to deny Brayden Mann a goal from the penalty spot after Josh Fielding had collected the striker in the area. Zebras woes were worsened when they lost fullback Kurt Engels to a nose injury in the 26th minute. In the 41st minute, Nick Morton should have buried South's second when he sent a header wide after being found unmarked at the back post from a Mann cross. Mann then made up for his earlier effort from the spot, receiving the ball from opposition midfielder Mark Page, who played it back looking for a teammate but found the dangerous Mann, who slotted inside the left upright to make it 2-0 to South Hobart going into half time. Former Socceroo Steve Corica battled hard in midfield for the Zebras and should have pegged one back for his side on 56 minutes when Adam McKeown found him at back post but the Sydney FC legend stabbed his shot wide. The Zebras could have punished South's missed opportunities but failed to take their opportunities, having watched another golden chance go begging in the 83rd minute when South Hobart gloveman Kane Pierce produced a top draw save to tip wide an Alex Leszczynski set piece. Morton then sealed a resounding South Hobart victory with a delightful finish into the bottom right hand corner from a Caleb Ludlow assist to ensure South Hobart would be Tasmania's sole entrant in the Round of 32 of the Westfield FFA Cup. The Westfield FFA Cup gives Tasmania's top club the opportunity to be giant killers with a chance South Hobart could meet one of the four Hyundai A-League finalists in their first round cup fixture. South Hobart now await the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 Draw on Friday 27 June 2014 to discover their opponent for the historic tie.