Churchill United moved a step closer to securing the Gippsland Soccer League central division championship title with a come-from-behind 5-1 victory against opponents Falcons on Saturday night.
The Rams were still smarting after being knocked out of the Battle of Britain Cup by the Birds 4-1 at the beginning of last month, Churchill’s only loss in any competition all season.
Early on it looked like the match would follow a similar script as Sam Amaira gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead three minutes in when he took advantage of some lax defending.
An arm wrestle ensued as play switched from end-to-end with Churchill coming the closest to scoring.
Ten minutes before the break Churchill was awarded a free kick on the edge of the 18 yard box. After a Dean Pyle step over Luke Cheney unleashed a cracking shot that gave Falcons goalkeeper Adam Brooker no chance as the Rams equalised.
Soon after Churchill talisman Tim Dawson shot from long range, but Brooker managed to tip the ball out of the top corner and away to safety.
At the beginning of the second half Falcons had a period where they controlled the ball, but lacked any potency going forward with dangerous striker Jesse Kennedy well held by Churchill captain Luke Van Lambaart.
At the 58 minute mark the Rams took a 2-1 lead when Taylor Jackson converted a penalty after Dawson was brought down in the box.
The flood gates then opened as Jackson coolly finished his second goal to make it 3-1.
Substitute Brodie Downie took the score to 4-1 with 10 minutes remaining after some neat lead up play.
With minutes remaining Jackson claimed his hat-trick and a memorable 5-1 Churchill win.
Traralgon City v Morwell Pegasus
With Traralgon City coming off a good win against Fortuna, it was ready to cement its position in the top six.
The Roosters controlled the match and continually attacked Pegasus, with the first goal coming from a penalty, which Mau Aliyu converted.
City’s Sam Lietzau then placed in a cross to Mark Bruzzese who put the ball away and he then scored another just before half-time with Traralgon leading 3-0.
The second half started where the first had finished with City holding its structure and the defence working hard to stop any attacking play from Pegasus.
Lietzau scored a brace, Bruzzese found another to claim his hat-trick and Michael Bloss made it 7-0 in a well executed game by City.
Newborough-Yallourn United v Moe United
Moe United held on to third place on the GSL ladder with a comprehensive 6-0 drubbing of eighth-placed Newborough-Yallourn United.
The Red Devils had the match sealed up at half-time, taking a 4-0 lead into the break.
Moe rubbed salt into the wounds with two more goals in the second.
Goals came courtesy of Luke Bathgate (2), Lee Dastey, Marc Mchallam, Ashley Birrell, and Nick Dastey.
Fortuna 60 v Tyers
Fortuna was in need of a win to keep in touch with the top four following the loss to Traralgon last week
The game against Tyers did not start well following a poor back pass to the Fortuna goalkeeper, which Shayne Pavich pounced on to score Tyers’ first three minutes in.
It took Fortuna 28 minutes to open its account from a long cross, which Mauro De Luca volleyed into the back of the net from within the 18 yard box.
Fortuna’s next came four minutes later with a deep cross near the corner flag, which found George Fkiaris’s foot for a tap in.
Tyres had a few chances late in the half and got its second just before half-time from a long driving shot outside the 18 yard box from Jake Budija.
It was left to Fortuna substitute Jamie Pistrin late in the game to break the deadlock.
In the final 10 minutes of the game Pistrin took on some players and put the ball past the ‘keeper and for his second, first senior gamer Bailey Mangano crossed the ball into space for Pistrin to run on to and convert.
Monash v Sale United
Monash’s hopes for a top sixth finish have been dealt a huge blow when it was torn apart by Sale United, 6-0.
The Swans travelled to the Wolves’ den where prolific goal scorer Tommy Nguyen converted a hat-trick to take his season tally to 22 goals.