Olympia Warriors and Devonport City continued at the top of the PS4 NPL Tasmania standings after both won their matches on the weekend.
Olympia, with new coach Kenny Weston in charge, overcame Northern Rangers 4-1 away, while Devonport City accounted for the visiting Kingborough Lions United 3-0 at Valley Road.
Last-placed Launceston City may have turned a corner as they followed up on their 2-1 Lakoseljac Cup win over South Hobart by downing Clarence United 5-0 away in the league on Saturday.
The highly-fancied Hobart Zebras led South Hobart 2-0 before a late surge by South Hobart ground out a 3-2 win at South Hobart Oval on Sunday.
Olympia fell behind to a goal by Rangers’ Riley Darrant after only 10 minutes but were back on level terms in the 21st minute through Hugh Undy.
It was then the turn of Olympia’s Czech striker Jakub Sklenar to take the limelight and his hat-trick gave the visitors a 4-1 win and they remained top of the standings on goal-difference from reigning champions Devonport City.
Devonport had all the play against the visiting Lions but could manage only three goals. These came through Brayden Mann, Tyler Fischer and Michael Holden.
Launceston City easily beat Clarence United 5-0 away at Wentworth Park for their first league win of the season but they remain in last place, a point adrift of three other teams locked together on 5 points.
Vincent Kamano and Andrew Compagne each netted a brace, while Isaac Degetto grabbed the remaining goal.
Degetto had returned to Launceston City last week after starting the season with Hobart Zebras and not getting much game time. He continues his studies in Hobart and is training with South Hobart while playing for City.
Hobart Zebras seemed on the way to an important win over South Hobart when they led 2-0 just after the interval through an own-goal by Liam Quaile, while under pressure from Dwayne Walsh, in the first half, and a header by Luke Huigsloot from a corner just after the break. It was Huigsloot’s 23rd goal in 28 games for Zebras.
Quaile’s own-goal was the 38th own-goal in the current iteration of the State League.
Adam McKeown had gone close for Zebras early on but shot straight at the goalkeeper, a miss that was to cost his side dearly later on.
Nick Morton should have pulled a goal back early in the second half when he skipped past the grounded Imran Lewis, but his shot hit the outside of the left-hand post to let Zebras off the hook.
Three goals in 10 minutes in the closing stages of the match gave South Hobart victory and showed that they are never down and out until the final whistle.
Morton’s close-range overhead kick following a corner in the 77th minute made it a goal the difference, while a penalty by Kobe Kemp in the 86th minute made it 2-2. Morton’s goal was his 44th in 71 appearances for South. Kemp’s goal was his 13th in 43 appearances for South.
A minute later, Alex Walter’s low shot from the edge of the box beat Zebras keeper Marcello Mercuri and it was South Hobart’s 3 points, but they remain third and Zebras fourth. Walter’s goal was also his 13th in 43 games for the club.
South Hobart’s win was their 72nd in 92 State League games in the current era. It was the 41st State League game of the current top-flight era played at South Hobart Oval and the 368th game of the current top-flight period.