Sorrento soar above Balcatta
Report by Chris Caldwell
Sorrento soared into sixth placed after a 3-0 victory of Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday.
First half goals from Sean Canham and Scott Bulloch, allied to a second half strike from substitute Alex Morgan ensured the visitors had plenty to spare over a home side who badly missed their top scorer Cameron Teece.
The result should give Sorrento a much needed confidence boost, especially having picked up just two points out of a possible 12 in the previous four league fixture.
And recent acquisition, former Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder, Matthew Sparrow, believes Saturday’s performance could be the catalyst for a better end to the season.
“After last week’s defeat we knew we had to come here and respond,” he said.
“I thought it was a different team out there. We defended well, we attacked well and we kept the ball a lot better.
“We saw the game out, scored three goals and it’s a great away win. I think the lads need to believe a bit more. We have a great bunch here. The goals came today and we defended well from front to back.”
Sorrento couldn’t have asked for a much better start to proceedings, scoring with their first meaningful attack on six minutes.
Canham headed home the influential Reece Vittiglia’s drilled cross after he latched onto Bulloch’s pass.
Things nearly got even better for the visitors nine minutes later when Bulloch crashed a Sparrow cross off the frame of the goal.
It wasn’t completely one-way traffic, however, as Sorrento had keeper James Morgan to thank for keeping their lead intact when, on 18 minutes, he tipped over a Conor Kavanagh effort before using his head to thwart Kieron Stallard at the back post.
Having weathered that storm, the visitors gave their hosts a mountain to climb when, on 33 minutes, the goal of the game arrived.
Again, Vittiglia was Sorrento’s creative force, playing an inch-perfect ball through for Bulloch to deftly clip the ball over the advancing home custodian Clint Davies.
His dinked effort had just enough pace to evade covering defender Alexander Suleski, who was unable to keep the ball out.
Just before the interval Vittiglia was forced off with an injury and although Sorrento seemed a little unsettled for the first few minutes of the second half, they soon found their feet.
On 55 minutes, Niccolo Sabattini tricked his way into the box from the left before rattling the upright with a snap shot.
Then Bulloch headed over from close range and Canham forced Davies into a fine reflex save 10 minutes later.
Balcatta’s best second half openings arrived on 69 and 80 minutes respectively when Hanafi Ghazali had a shot blocked by Sabattini, while Kavanagh’s looping header was tipped over by Morgan.
The game was put beyond the hosts’ reach seven minutes from time when substitute Alex Morgan tapped home the rebound from Canham’s shot following Shaun Kilkelly’s incisive throughball.
Sorrento 3 (Canham 6min, Bulloch 32, Morgan 82)
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Referee: Matt Southern
Assistant referees: Eamon McDonnell and Simon Hicks
Balcatta: 1. Clint DAVIES, 2. Hanafi GHAZALI, 3. Kieron STALLARD (cpt), 4. Alexander SULESKI, 5. Conor KAVANAGH, 6. Jonathan CORNESS, 10. Zelfy NAZARY (Daniel MOSS, 62), 12. Eamon MCNELIS (James SAMMUT, 45+3), 17. Kieran COLWELL, 19. Alan CARROLL, 23. Gomo DUKULY (Scott NEWLAND, 68).
Substitutes not used: 11. Ali NAZARI, 21. Kyle MCDONALD.
Yellow cards: Nazary, 45+1, Stallard, 66, Moss, 70, Newland, 86.
Sorrento: 1. James MORGAN, 9. Sean CANHAM, 10. Scott BULLOCH (Alex MORGAN, 62), 11. Tim HILL, 13. Steven MCDONALD (cpt), 14. Matthew SPARROW, 16. Niccolo SABATTINI, 17. Reece VITTIGLIA (Brad MCDONALD, 44), 18. Jordan BROWN, 27. Brody KENNEDY (Shaun Kilkelly, 76), 32. Joshua TUCKER.
Substitutes not used: 3. Daragh KAVANAGH, 60. Sam HERBISON.
Yellow cards: Sabattini, 32, Kennedy, 39, Bulloch, 43, Canham, 74.