THREE late goals were not enough for Moe United to book a berth in the Battle of Britain Cup semi-finals, after it fell 4-3 to Fortuna 60 on Saturday night.
The Orangemen went into the match without experienced midfielder Owen Kelly but it didn’t seem to stall their engine room with youngsters Hayden Tanti and Kieran Coltman linking up well.
It was Coltman who put Fortuna in front when his powerful drive from outside the box left Moe goal keeper Peter Albanese with no chance.
Fortuna doubled its advantage when Tanti intercepted a Moe pass on the half way line to then run at goal and score with a well-placed shot to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
The second half started in the same vein for the Orangemen with Tanti again in the thick of the action as he worked his way past three defenders before passing to Ben Cassar who made it 3-0 within two minutes of the restart.
On the hour Albanese made three fine saves in succession from a rampant Fortuna, but he parried his final effort into the path of Joel Pirotta who finished from close range to put the Orangemen in a seemingly unassailable 4-0 lead.
With 20 minutes to play Moe heaped on the pressure and began to attack at every opportunity.
Under pressure, Fortuna defender Josh Tanti attempted to clear the ball and collided with Moe’s Adrian Savage inside the box and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.
Savage stepped up and coolly dispatched the kick to give the Red Devils some hope at 4-1.
Moe lifted another gear and forced another fumble in Fortuna’s defence and the ball fell to the feet of Luke Bathgate who bundled the ball over the line to make it 4-2.
Soon after Moe had a goal disallowed for offside but this did not deter it as it continued to drive into attack.
Moe made it 4-3 and three goals in eleven minutes of blistering soccer when Bathgate claimed his brace with a clinical finish.
With the Red Devils driving for an equaliser Fortuna managed to compose itself and wrestle back some of the initiative, however the score would stay 4-3.
Falcons edge out Monash
Falcons progressed to its fourth Battle of Britain Cup semi-final in as many years after surviving a Monash comeback to eventually prevail 3-2 after extra time.
The Wolves were missing captain Wally Noppert and were nursing Coen Slaughter and Adrian Iacovou back from injury on the bench.
After a slow start from both sides it was Falcons who broke the shackles when former Monash player Daniel Tawfik tapped in from close range.
Mid way through the first half the Birds made it 2-0 through Sam Amaira and went into the break in a commanding position.
Monash started the second half much better but needed a spark if it was to trouble the Falcons defence.
Coach Eamon O’Hare looked to his bench and introduced Slaughter and Iacovou with almost immediate effect.
Three minutes from their introduction striker Daryn Cummings goaled for the Wolves with a sweet drive from 25 yards out into bottom corner of the net.
Monash was up and about and five minutes later equalised when Cummings chimed in for his second after neat build up work from the newly introduced Slaughter.
Monash peppered the goal late on with Slaughter having a chance cleared off the line.
Soon after Wolves youngster Cam Smith had a long range drive tipped over the bar by the Falcons keeper.
The match was then sent to extra time and it was Falcons who broke the deadlock through coach Mauro de Luca after Monash gave away possession cheaply.
Monash pushed forward in a bid for another equaliser earning a succession of late corners but couldn’t grab another goal with Falcons holding on to win 3-2.
Olympians too good in Traralgon derby
In a fast paced physical game Olympians eventually won through to the semis with a 4-2 victory over Traralgon City.
Both sides squandered early chances before the Blues went ahead with a great individual goal from Aaron Daniels.
City equalised minutes later after the Olympians keeper fumbled a shot.
A stunning header from Frank Albanese put Olympians back in front 2-1, but once again Traralgon City drew level when reigning Dick Bosma medallist Mark Fairbrother made it 2-2.
It wasn’t until mid way through the second half that Olympians regained the ascendancy after Clayton Bell was given too much room in front of goals and unleashed a shot into the top left corner, making it 3-2.
When Olympians youngster Michael Fava caused a goalkeeping slip up with a long range shot the result was secured for the Blues, who made it 4-2.
Churchill overpower Sale
Churchill United went into its match without captain Jamie Robson and regular starters Tim Dawson and Nathan Osborne, but despite their absence the Rams were too good for Sale United, winning 4-0.
Churchill scored 15 minutes in when Mitchell Jackson’s 20-metre shot took a deflection off a defender to wrong foot Sale keeper Chris Richardson 1-0.
Eight minutes into the second half Churchill doubled its advantage when Richardson allowed a speculative shot from Luke Cheney dribble between his legs after making several fine saves during the match.
The Rams pressed for another goal and when midfielder Nathan Lugton was fouled just inside the box Mark Bianconi stepped up to dispatch the penalty kick and put the game beyond doubt.
Churchill rounded out the match 4-0 when Stephen Riess controlled a cross and knocked the ball in off the post from 18 yards with a minute of regular time to play.
Shopwell Trophy (reserves)
Fortuna 60 3 d Moe United 1, Churchill United 0 lt Sale United 2, Monash 2 lt Falcons 2000 3, Traralgon City 5 d Traralgon Olympians 0.
Under 21s Cup
Fortuna 60 4 d Moe United 3, Churchill United 2 d Newborough-Yallourn United 0, Monash 1 lt Falcons 2000 2, Traralgon City 7 d Traralgon Olympians 1.
Browne/Huizer Cup (women’s)
Churchill United 18 d Morwell Pegasus 0, Fortuna 60 15 d Olympians 0, Monash 0 lt Traralgon City 3, Tyers 5 d Newborough-Yallourn 1.
Fortuna 60 v Falcons 2000 Crinigan Rd Res Saturday 4pm
Sale United v Traralgon City Hazelwood Sth Res Sunday noon
Under 21s Cup
Fortuna 60 v Falcons 2000 Crinigan Rd Res Saturday 6pm
Churchill Utd v Traralgon City Hazelwood Sth Res Sunday 2pm
Churchill United v Fortuna 60 Crinigan Rd Res Saturday 2pm
Traralgon City v Tyers Hazelwood St Res Sunday 10am