Sale’s horror run continues
Churchill United defeated Sale United 2-0 on Sunday to consign the Swans to their third Gippsland Soccer League defeat in a row, with all three losses coming at the hands of fellow top four company.
Churchill was without Nathan Lugton, Kwaku Dade and Dean Pyle whilst Sale was missing Tom Nguyen, Ross McWhirter and Ashley Ross.
After just ten minutes Rams enforcer Mitch Jackson sustained a leg injury and was substituted out for youngster Matthew Maselli as the Rams were forced to take stock.
Prior to the break Churchill missed two chances from Coach Luke Cheney who hit the cross bar with a header and sprayed a penalty kick soon after to enter the break at 0-0.
After a tense twenty five minutes in the second half Churchill finally claimed the lead when Aidan Huizer rose above a pack of players to head home and break the dead lock.
Soon after Taylor Jackson had his penalty kick saved by Sale keeper Chris Richardson as the Rams held onto a tenuous one goal lead after missing another gilt edged opportunity.
Churchill was almost made to rue its inaccuracy when keeper Jason Sands was caught in no man’s land before Jamie Robson cleared Callum Clancy’s shot off the goal line.
Churchill finally iced the match 2-0 through substitute Maselli who played an impressive match after lining up in the Youth match curtain raiser.
Moe consolidated third place with a 2-0 away win over Traralgon City despite the absence of Coach Lee Dastey.
After a scoreless first half Red Devil’s striker Matt Shearing put his side into the lead with a charmed run from the half way line.
Moe claimed the match 2-0 when Jason Koppen unleashed a trademark twenty five yard free kick that gave the City keeper no chance.
Newborough-Yallourn stunted Falcons’ finals run with an impressive 3-1 win on Saturday night.
NYU took the lead in the opening minutes through a Brendan Ruddell strike from close range.
The Combine doubled its advantage shortly after with Jon Davey’s volley from the edge of the area found the top corner and gave the keeper no chance.
After just twenty two minutes NYU made it 3-0 when they won a corner and Jayden Mathison rose above the defenders to power home his header at the back post.
Falcons pulled one back through an own goal but the visitors took a deserved 3-1 lead into half time.
Falcons pushed players forward in the second half looking to reduce the deficit which made for an entertaining game as the play swung from end to end, however both teams were guilty of wasting good chances as the score remained 3-1 at the final whistle.
Fortuna continued hot on ladder leader Churchill’s heels with a 4-1 win over Monash on Sunday to severely dent the Wolves’ hopes of a top four berth.
Josh Tanti gained an early lead for Fortuna before Wally Noppert volleyed home for the Wolves soon after to equalise 1-1.
Fortuna regained the lead through David Embleton before Owen Kelly made it 3-1 with a back post header.
In the second half Fortuna rounded out the result when Joel Pirotta crossed to Josh Tanti to finish from close range 4-1.
Traralgon Olympians continued its late season surge for the finals with a day out against Tyers winning 7-1.
Ivan Vekic starred with a hat trick and goal scoring machine Clayton Bell chimed in with a brace. Other Olympians’ goal scorers were Michael Fava and Andrew Marinou.
Round 15 Preview
Traralgon Olympians vs Sale United
The Olympians have been in fantastic form in the last month whilst their opponents Sale need to find something special to get its season back on track.
Last time Sale prevailed 2-1 at home but will find the Blues a tougher task this time with spearhead Clayton Bell peaking having kicked a bag in recent outings.
Sale will need more from target man Jon Piefke and flashy counter attacker Dave Myall if it is to get back on the winners list.
Fortuna vs Traralgon City
Traralgon City finds itself in a similar predicament to Sale having failed to step up to the mark at critical times in recent weeks and faces a massive challenge on Saturday night at Fortuna.
City needs at least a point from this fixture and after narrowly going down to Fortuna 2-1 the last time they met they will fancy their chances of an upset.
Tommy Leckey will be drilling his side to play the full ninety minutes as they come up against a Fortuna side that has scored 17 times in its last four outings.
Churchill United vs Monash
Also on Saturday night Churchill hosts Monash with the Wolves expected to welcome back Trent Felici and Adrian Iacovou into the line up but will again be without attacking weapons Eric Sostack and Coen Slaughter.
Churchill will include Nathan Lugton, Kwaku Dade and Dean Pyle who missed against Sale; however Mitch Jackson is not expected to come up.
Last time the Rams managed to overhaul Monash with some late goals to win an arm wrestle 3-1 and expect a similarly tight match this week.
Moe United vs Falcons
Last time these two met they played out an entertaining 3-3 draw and since then the clubs have had contrasting fortunes with Moe heading up the ladder and Falcons remaining stalled mid table.
Falcons have been on a se-saw this season swinging between brilliance and mediocrity which is much to the frustration of Coach Mauro Deluca as he strives for consistency from his young side.
Moe are flying having won six on the trot and at home should be too strong, but you never know which Falcons side will come to play so Lee Dastey’s side will be on its toes.
Newborough-Yallourn vs Tyers
NYU showed its potential last week with an upset 3-1 win over Falcons and will be hoping to replicate its 4-2 win over Tyers the last time they met.
At home at Burrage Reserve the young legs of Zac Teller and Chad Shelley should provide the Combine with the edge over the seasoned Tyers line up featuring the Pavich brother Mark and Shayne.