Oakleigh stretches Warriors' losing streak to seven
By Tonci Prusac (@tonciprusac)
New Oakleigh coach Arthur Papas has walked away from Elcho Park a happy man aftera convincing 2-0 victory over a disappointing North Geelong Warriors in heavy conditions on Saturday afternoon.
A goal by Ben Clarke in the dying seconds of the first half and a second by Goran Zoric midway through the second was enough to secure the Cannons the valuable three points.
It could have been an even bigger defeat for the embattled Warriors, who succumbed to their seventh consecutive league loss if not for a series of missed sitters by livewire Cannons striker Dusan Bosnjak half way through the second stanza.
The first half was, by and large, an uninspiring affair with both teams struggling to string a series of effective passes in the wet and heavy conditions.
Although both sides came close to scoring early in the piece, the only goal of the opening half was scored deep into injury time, following a swift counter attack by the Cannons.
Jake McLean, one of the opening stanza's best players, managed to cross the ball into the goalmouth, where a simple tap-in by the unmarked Ben Clarke gave the visitors a 1-0 lead into the break.
Aside from the goal, the only other significant occurrence happened in the 27th minute, when North defender Nathan Long, who had a solid game up until then, was stretchered off the pitch with what appeared to be a serious leg injury. He was replaced by Englishman Josh Pugh soon afterwards.
In the second half, it was only a matter of time before the dominant Cannons doubled their lead.
That moment arrived in the 63rd minute when Zoric was fed a delicious through ball and he managed to slot the ball into the goals past the on-coming goalkeeper Daniel Zilic.
Minutes later, Bosnjak was presented with a gilt-edged opportunity to make it 3-0, but his effort was skied well over the crossbar.
With the home players’ confidence waning, once again Bosnjak should have etched his name on the scoresheet in the 78th minute, but his effort was deflected onto the crossbar.
His missed attempts mattered little, as the Cannons ran out convincing 2-0 winners at game’s end.
North Geelong Warriors 0 defeated by Oakleigh Cannons 2 (Clarke 45’ + 2, Zoric 63’) at Elcho Park
North Geelong: 1 Daniel ZILIC, 99 Nathan LONG (6 Josh PUGH 30’ (18 Stipe Trbuhovic 73’)), 16 Michael GRGIC, 3 Matt TOWNLEY, 2 Darren LEWIS, 8 Vito CICHELLO, 4 Nikola JURKOVIC, 10 Rob ZADWORNY, 11 Juso JULARDZIJA, 17 Nicholas JURCIC (7 Reardo LUKA 63’), 23 Michael ANDERSON.
Unused subs: 31 Tonio BARESIC
Yellow Cards: Jurkovic 27’, Grgic 32’, Anderson 73’, Cichello 83’
Red Cards: None
Oakleigh Cannons: 76 John HONOS, 7 Ben CLARKE (21 Kristopher KIOUSSIS 54’), 18 Adam LE CORNU, 15 Jake McLEAN, 5 Aron WILFORD, 8 Dusan BOSNJAK (2 Rowan McNAMEE 90’+1), 3 John BLACK, 10 Dean PIEMONTE, 12 Tremayne SADLER, 19 Goran ZORIC, 23 Dominic D'ANGELO
Unused subs: 22 George KROMMIDAS, 35 Evan KRALOGLOU, 14 Louis PARASKEVAS
Yellow Cards: Bosnjak 55’
Red Cards: None