By LAURIE WILLIAMS
ROUND 8 REVIEW
ROUND 8 of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League saw Traralgon City hold the high flying Fortuna 60 to a draw, Morwell Pegasus move back to the top of the table after beating Morwell rivals Falcons 2000, East Gippsland surprisingly held Monash to a draw while Newborough/Yallourn and Moe had victories over Churchill and Sale respectively.
TRARALGON CITY v FORTUNA
TRARALGON City’s keeper Mason Loprese was the hero in the Roosters holding the league title aspirants Fortuna 60 to a 3-3 draw in windy conditions on Sunday afternoon.
The Roosters were reduced to 10 men after a double-yellow send off at the 20 minute mark.
Fortuna scored through Ryan McCauley only after seven minutes as the Lions continually forced the ball forward. Keeper Loprese was forced into some heavy saves which denied the ever present Fortuna strikers.
The windy conditions made it difficult to judge the flight of the ball as players continually miskicked to the opposition players. Traralgon City got a corner on the left and the wind took it wide enabling Traralgon City’s Mohamad Taleb to sweetly strike the ball home to level at 1-1 and that was the scoreline going into the break.
It was goal for goal in the second half as both teams attacked hard.
Both shotstoppers John Beamer and Loprese played their part in keeping the match on a level footing as at the final whistle it was a 3-3 draw.
The draw by Fortuna and a big win by Moe has seen these two clubs change places on the ladder.
PEGASUS v FALCONS
IT was first versus second at Ronald Reserve as the home side handed the high flying Falcons 2000 side their first defeat of the season.
The first half saw a tight affair with both sides finding it difficult to fashion any clear cut chances.
Many a yellow card was handed out in a physical encounter albeit with no intended malice; after all there was plenty at stake.
The away side started to get on top early in the second half, but their inability to take advantage soon took its toll and with the Flying Horsemen’s only chance of the game, they took the lead after a loose ball in the box was tucked away in the bottom corner, leaving Charles Simon no chance.
The contest continued to heat up and Falcons should’ve equalised through striker Jamie Pistrin however he was thwarted by the Pegasus keeper to tip the ball wide.
Falcons has a never say die attitude and continued to push and push for an equaliser, but it was to no avail as Pegasus collected all three points and leapfrogged them into top spot.
MOE v SALE
MOE and Sale went head-to-head under lights at Moe on Saturday night in what was an important match for the Devils in the first round of the McHallam/Patterson Cup.
Moe’s injury plagued win over Traralgon City the week before was full of merit, but they picked up the pace against Sale scoring their highest ever total (10-1) against the Swans beating the 9-2 scoreline back in 1994.
It was Moe’s 77th win over the Swans.
The misty weather made conditions greasy, but Moe adapted better to cause Sale plenty of headaches.
The Devils had four on the board by half-time with Connor O’Hanlon scoring a brace and Noah Kane and Ty Georgiou on the scoresheet.
It was all Moe in the second half with O’Hanlon grabbing his hat-trick and Kane his brace.
Further goals to Brendan Ruddell and Bailey Somerville pushed the scoreline to 8-0.
Sale, although down, kept at Moe and with determination clawed back a goal but in reality it didn’t make much difference as Harley Robinson scored and then coach Kevin O’Farrell headed in Moe’s 10th from a corner.
CHURCHILL v NEWBOROUGH/YALLOURN
NEWBOROUGH/Yallourn bounced back for a second win in three weeks with a more than satisfying victory over Churchill.
The Rams were expected to push Newborough/Yallourn, but it soon became obvious that the Combine had too many big guns for Churchill, running out 6-1 winners.
It was the eighth successive victory by Newborough/Yallourn over Churchill.
MONASH v EAST GIPPSLAND
AFTER getting the hide belted off them by Falcons the previous week, East Gippsland fought hard this week to force a draw with Monash.
It was a history-making match with the first drawn game between these two teams.
Over the previous nine games Monash had taken the points from the Eagles but this time round the Eagles at least got a point from a close and interesting match.
TWO catch-up matches will be played this weekend.
The first will be between Newborough/Yallourn and Traralgon City after their earlier season match was cancelled due to COVID.
Newborough/Yallourn will look to continue their push towards the top-of-the-table.
The Roosters will be keen to continue their rich vein of form after holding the high-flying Fortuna side to a 3-3 draw last weekend.
East Gippsland and Fortuna will also get on the park after their first match was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch.
East Gippsland will be somewhat buoyed after they snagged an unlikely point against Monash last weekend although they face a Fortuna side who will be baying for blood after unnecessarily dropping points to Traralgon City last time out.
It is a must-win game for Fortuna and they may well see it as an opportunity to improve their goal difference given the tight nature of the league ladder.