A relentless defensive effort by the Devonport Strikers saw them edge South Hobart 1-0 in a thrilling Lakoseljac Cup Final which has seen them secure a place in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32.
The Strikers kept South Hobart scoreless for the second time this year, a feat no other team has managed once this season. The back four of Kieran Mulraney, Joe Zupo, Nathan Gratton and Dom Smith have been dubbed as the 'Yellow Wall' and they produced yet another disciplined performance to completely shutout the South Hobart attack.
But it wasn't just the back four today, every player from Devonport played with heart and determination and they pressed as a unit, thwarting everything that South threw their way. Daniel Syson was epic in a screening midfield role, Beau Blizzard played with courage, whilst Adam Gorrie and Brodie Denehey worked their socks off all game. Miles Barnard also played a role in the middle for Port, whilst Brayden Mann led the line with a workmanlike performance, pressuring at every opportunity he got.
The first half was a good old fashioned scrap. Daniel Brown had a chance to put South Hobart in the 5th minute with what proved to be their best chance of the game. A long free kick from Kobe Kemp found him inside the 6 yard box and with only the keeper to beat, he managed only to get a shin on the ball and skied his effort well over the bar when the goal beckoned.
At that stage, knowing the prowess of the Strikers defence, one wondered if that miss would come back to haunt South Hobart and it most certainly did.
The Strikers worked as a unit for the rest of the game, limiting South to half chances. Whenever something promising looked like it was unfolding the Strikers would snuff it out.
A deep tracking run from Mulraney where he followed Darcy Hall for 30 meters on an infield run to block his shot with a lunge was a perfect example. Another was Niko Giantsopolous' willingness to rush at the feet of South's strikers when they looked like they were on the verge of shooting.
It was 0-0 at half time and it was a score line that suited the Strikers down to a tee. In the 48th minute, Gorrie, who had copped a rocket at half time from Coach Peter Savill, managed to nudge Loic Feral under a bouncing ball before running on towards James Wilson in goals. Gorrie summed the situation up perfectly and took his time as he slotted home to Wilson's right to make it 1-0 for Devonport.
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