Pulsating draw the highlight

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ROUND 9 saw the highly anticipated match-up between Morwell Pegasus and Newborough/Yallourn end all square while Moe got out of jail against bottom side East Gippsland and wins to Falcons, Fortuna and Churchill.
We are now halfway through the season which sees Falcons back on top courtesy of goal difference as they are on the same points as Pegasus.

PEGASUS and Newborough/Yallourn put on a close encounter with nothing between the two teams for most of the match.
Direct football was the order of the day where both defences were under pressure.
There was no real difference in either team’s pattern of play where constant turnovers became rule of thumb.
The tall Alradi Ali was a constant nightmare for the Newborough/Yallourn defenders with the big man gaining plenty of possession but was unable to convert his opportunities.
Newborough/Yallourn tested Santo Simon in goal and he was able to keep things on an even keel.
By half-time neither team had broken the deadlock.
Play got more physical in the second half with a lot of pushing and shoving as both teams strived to gain the upper hand.
Both teams missed opportunities with shots going high or wide.
Pegasus’s big chance came at 62 minutes when Ali’s free kick was just palmed over the top by the energetic Damian Gilbert.
Newborough/Yallourn gained what seemed the winner at the 80-minute mark after Dylan Fairbrother’s corner kick somehow evaded all and sundry to give his side the lead.
Newborough/Yallourn’s excitement lasted about 30 seconds when from the kick-off Manny Tombra found Ali with a long ball and home side’s talisman drilled it home from 20 metres to equalise and send the home support into raptures.
In the last 10 minute, the Combine was relentless in its pressure, but was unable to break the strong Pegasus wall.
A small spot fire broke out with finger pointing and arguing but to no avail as Newborough/Yallourn took a point each after a 1-1 draw.

CHURCHILL hit the ground running at home against Traralgon City, quickly asserting their dominance which would turn out to be critical in the finish.
There was plenty of action with both teams getting a fair share of the ball.
The Traralgon team was under attack with Sammy Di Ciero causing a few headaches for the City defenders, his nippy footwork and passing giving his teammates the chance to shoot at goal.
Disaster would soon strike for Traralgon City as they went down to 10 men after a player was double yellow carded for dissent.
Traralgon City gave Glen McColl a good workout with the Rams’ custodian able to keep out some very good shots.
Churchill thought they had the first goal 18 minutes in, but some didn’t see the assistant referee’s call of offside.
It wasn’t long after however that the Rams did celebrate when a Corey O’Shea cross found the energetic Di Ciero lurking near the edge of the box and he slotted it to put Churchill one up.
Di Ciero scored his brace only a few minutes later to give them a two-goal buffer, but Traralgon eventually broke the Rams from a good build-up by Ryan McCluskey, Enrique Sbaglia and Willis Medd.
By half-time, the Rams led 2-1.
Blake Wykes made it three for Churchill just after the break.
Traralgon however came back after a substitution to make it a 3-2 ball game.
Lachlan Huizer sealed the points with a blistering run and finish for the the Rams’ fourth goal as they ran out 4-2 winners.
It was the final time for the old Churchill changerooms and all will be impressed with the newly finished change rooms which will operate from their next home game.

IT was all one way traffic for Falcons on Saturday night as they took Monash to task with a
resounding 8-0 victory.
In what was club stalwart and club games record-holder Joe Auciello’s 250th game, his team mates ensured the night was one to remember as the home side were at their clinical best.
A tactical shift saw Sam Amaira moved into the central striker position and it turned out to be a coaching masterstroke as the club captain helped himself to six goals on the night to send him towards the top end of the league goalscoring table.
A three-goal half-time lead would see most teams take their foot off the pedal but Falcons have found a ruthless streak this season under coach Mark Cassar, which is evidenced by their strong goal difference.
Yet another clean sheet means that in nine games thus far, they have let in a paltry six goals.
Further goals to Nonda Lazaris and Jordi Vacca rounded out the scoring.

WITH five of their best players out, an under strength Moe were given a fright by a determined East Gippsland team.
Moe lacked the usual killer drive which let their play become ragged and out of character.
East Gippsland showed passages of play that looked good, but poor finishing let the Eagles down.
Moe eventually broke down the barrier at 35 minutes when Oscar Sceney gave the energetic East goalkeeper no chance.
It was a scrappy start to the second-half with Moe putting in a few long range bombs but couldn’t add to their solitary goal.
East Gippsland with a desperate charge levelled the score at 75 minutes and were prepared to hang on for the next 15 minutes or so for an honourable draw.
However, Moe produced a last gasp effort when Riley Winkelman rose above the pack to head in a Nick Fogarty cross to give them all three points.

FORTUNA was expecting a convincing win on their travels to Sale, but their 2-0 success left more questions than answers as they struggled to dominate a side they ought to have put to the sword.
In saying that, a young Sale outfit should be commended for holding strong, which bodes well for the future of football in the area.
A brace to Damon Scott saw the Orangemen keep pace with the top of the table, leaving them only two points adrift in outright third.

FOR the second week running Newborough/Yallourn find themselves in the match of the round, this time against the high-flying Falcons 2000 in Morwell.
The Combine will be looking to bounce back to winning ways after their draw last week against Pegasus, but their task will be a tough one against a Falcons side that has their sights firmly set on silverware this season. Other matches are Fortuna v East Gippsland, Sale v Churchill, Traralgon City v Pegasus, Moe v Monash.

THE Moe Soccer Club will celebrate their 70th birthday anniversary on Saturday, June 11 with a gala dinner and Past Players match.
Players from the different decades of Moe’s past have indicated that they’ll attend.
A full program of events have been planned for the club that has enjoyed success in the Gippsland/Latrobe Valley Soccer Leagues as well as a stint in the Metro competition.
The club have gone through many stages since their birth in 1952 including a split in the club at on stage when a “rival” Moe team was formed by a group of Dutch players called Moe Rapid.