Tyers Lightning turned around a half time deficit to defeat Moe United 5-3 in a highly entertaining round two Gippsland Soccer League match on Sunday.
After its round one 6-0 humbling at the hands of Traralgon City, the Lightning were a different team this week recording its first win in the senior division since August 2010.
Moe went into the match without James McHallam and Matt Shearing, but welcomed Adrian Savige to the lineup after returning from Diamond Valley.
The first half was played at a fast pace and saw both sides enjoying periods of dominance.
Tyers broke through with the first goal with a long range free kick from Luke Budija that beat veteran keeper Peter Albanese all ends up 1-0.
The Red Devils replied almost instantly via a crisp free kick that found Lee Dastey at the back post 1-1.
Jason Shearing then put Moe in front later in the half with a well placed strike to take the lead 2-1.
The second half started with Lee Dastey joining the Moe injury list suffering a hamstring strain.
Dastey’s absence opened a gaping hole in the Moe defence and the Lightning capitalised.
Budija had an afternoon to remember, with an impressive hat-trick to his name and his team mate Luke Milstein scored a brace for Tyers to lead 5-2 in quick time.
Lachlan McKenzie scored a late consolation for Moe but the damage was done as Tyers ran out resounding victors 5-3.
Traralgon Olympians v Churchill United
Churchill’s seven year winning streak over Traralgon Olympians has continued with a dominant 3-0 win in front of a large crowd on Saturday night.
The Rams were without captain Jamie Robson and had injury clouds hanging over several key players, but despite this they continued their stellar form.
Churchill striker Kwaku Dade played a decoy role while nursing a hamstring strain as attacking partner Jesse Kennedy stepped up to sweetly finish a slick through ball from midfield dynamo Nathan Lugton for the Rams to lead 1-0 on the quarter hour.
The Blues looked to its midfield for inspiration as captain Clayton Bell almost answered the call but was thwarted by a series of great saves from Churchill ‘keeper Jason Sands.
Rams’ substitute Taylor Jackson was in fine form and having a goal disallowed for offside, he made no mistake soon after when he took on no less than five Olympians’ players to coolly chip the advancing Reid for Churchill to run out 3-0 winners.
Falcons 2000 v Monash
In a game of twists and turns, Falcons managed to come back from two goals down against fierce rival Monash to salvage a 2-2 draw at Latrobe City Sports Stadium.
A slow start from the home side was evident to all and a bustling Monash took the lead when Wally Noppert created space outside the box for a shot which was deflected before Matt Amaira pounced on the loose ball for the opener 1-0.
Monash extended its lead through Eric Sostak, who headed home from a near-on impossible angle after great lead up work from Cummings and debutant Brandon Paulet to lead at the break 2-0.
The home side came to life in the second half and Nick D’Alessandro reduced the defecit to 2-1 with a free kick from the edge of the area that beat Wolves custodian Mark Heatherington.
Falcons had two further chances to take all three points but it was not to be, with the game ending 2-2 in an enthralling contest.
Newborough-Yallourn United v Fortuna 60
Newborough-Yallourn once again gave perennial title contenders Fortuna all they could handle, but the Orangemen claimed the points 1-0 with an injury-time winner.
Chances for both teams were largely reserved to strikes from outside the penalty area in the first half, until a Newborough-Yallourn corner saw a header from Jayden Mathison cleared off the line by Joel Pirotta but only into the path of the home side’s Chad Shelley who saw his dipping volley skim just over the bar.
This proved to be the best chance of the first period.
In the second minute of stoppage time. Fortuna found the ball on the right flank and crossed into a packed penalty area where Fortuna and Newborough-Yallourn players battled.
After the first and second Fortuna efforts were blocked, the home side couldn’t clear the area leaving an opportunity for Josh Tanti to blast away from eight yards for the Orangemen to prevail 1-0.
Sale United v Traralgon City
Traralgon City travelled to Sale looking to build on a good win the previous week and eventually ran out narrow winners 1-0.
Mid way through the first half, Traralgon were awarded a penalty but reigning Dick Bosma medalist Mark Fairbrother couldn’t convert as he completely missed the target.
Sale’s young gun Tommy Nguyen ran at the Traralgon defence skipping past several tackles before unleashing a powerful strike that was well saved by the Traralgon keeper to keep the ledger even 0-0 at half time.
Late in the match Fairbrother redeemed his earlier miss creating havoc with a rebounding blocked shot that deflected into the Sale goal 1-0.
Round three preview
Traralgon City will aim to make it three in a row when they host Monash on Sunday.
Both sides are in good form and have finals aspirations so expect an even contest.
Traralgon Olympians host Falcons at home in a must win for the Blues after successive defeats to Fortuna and Churchill respectively.
With four ex-Falcons in its line-up, including former coach Tony Pardo, expect this match to be played with a lot of feeling.
In other matches, Churchill face Newborough Yallourn, Fortuna host Tyers and Sale travel to Moe.