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Olympia FC Warriors Vs South Hobart Rd 7

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Published on Apr 16, 2011

South Hobart opened up a 4-point lead over second-placed Clarence United when they beat Olympia Warriors 4-2 away at Warrior Park on Friday night.
It was Franco Previdi's first game in charge of the Warriors and, although the team displayed the 'new coach' effect for the first half, they eventually ran out of legs and sloppily conceded two goals in the last half-hour to be well beaten by the end.
Olympia were without dangerous front-man Warren Wadawu, who was in Melbourne, but they did have goalkeeper Michael McKenna, who was rumoured to be on the move following the dismissal of coach Chris Hey. McKenna decided to stay and he produced a brilliant performance. He kept the score down with some fabulous saves and Olympia can thank him for ultimately not getting a hiding.
South Hobart started at a blistering pace and Olympia reeled but did not fall. The visitors forced three corners in the opening 90 seconds and five after just six and a half minutes. In that time, also, Andy Brennan missed a good chance after creating an opening for himself with his pace and nimble footwork, while Greg Downes sent a pile-driver screaming just over the crossbar.

Photo: Olympia prepare to defend a South Hobart corner [PlessPix]
Brayden Mann just failed to connect properly with a deep cross from the right in the 5th minute, while McKenna produced an outstanding save from a Kostas Kanakaris bullet after Ben Phillips's attempted clearance fell at the striker's feet.
A minute later, Shae Hickey's firm strike went straight at McKenna, while in the 9th minute, an error by Jayden Hey allowed Mann to shoot, but McKenna saved.
And then, in the 11th minute, and totally out of the blue, Olympia took the lead through a marvellous goal by Nick Meredith. Kosta Grillas played the ball wide to the left to Meredith, who cut inside and beat three defenders before placing his shot past Sam Kruijver.
The Olympia supporters went wild, but their celebrations were cut short as South Hobart equalised within a minute. Jim Pennicott sent over a low cross from the right and Brennan incredibly hit the bar from close range. The ball rebounded to Mann, who made no mistake from the edge of the 6-yard box with his header.
In the 14th minute, Josh Fielding put Grillas through the middle, but Kruijver blocked bravely at the forward's feet.
Olympia were still high on adrenaline, however, and pressed strongly for the remainder of the half. In the 27th minute, Fielding expertly controlled a forward lob, rounded Kruijver and slotted the ball home to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead at the interval.
South were out on the pitch early for the second half and, when they kicked off, everyone knew they meant business. They stroked the ball about skilfully and at pace and Olympia were having trouble coping.
South Hobart's equaliser in the 11th minute of the second half came as a result of sheer desperation by Olympia, Youssef Mohamad bringing down Brennan as he was about to break through. With Olympia still trying to form a wall, Kanakaris slipped the ball through for Downes to run onto and beat McKenna from inside the box.
The very next minute, Kanakaris landed a corner on top of the crossbar just to let Olympia know the action wasn't going to stop.
Five minutes later, the visitors led 3-2 when Kanakaris again proved provider, slipping the ball through for the courageous and lightning-quick Brennan to skilfully lift the ball over the advancing McKenna with the rest of the Olympia defence watching and out of position.
From then on, McKenna often proved the sturdy and reliable last line of defence, while Olympia spoiled their own attacks with sloppy and inaccurate passing into the final third.
Eight minutes from the end, Mann killed the game off with his second goal and South Hobart's fourth. Brennan broke clear on the left and played the ball across the face of goal for Mann to slide home at the far post. There were Olympia defenders about, but they looked all at sea and thoroughly exhausted, as if a whirlwind had hit and buffeted them mercilessly.
Match Report by Walter Pless

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