Fortuna go top after ANZAC Day clash

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Falcons v Moe (1-4)

SATURDAY night saw reigning league champions face their second test in as many weeks at home against a hungry Moe United side looking for redemption after last weeks’ loss to Pegasus.

The match started with little fanfare as both sides looked to grab a foothold in the contest however it was Moe who would soon gain the upper hand as a wonderful cross was met by Englishman Connor O’Hanlon who volleyed home.

Nonda Lazaris had Falcons biggest chance to equalise but all he could do was send his shot from 10 yards over the bar. It went from bad to worse for the home side when captain Toby Capp was given his second yellow card in the 30th minute to leave his side not only a goal down but a man down too.

If you thought it couldn’t get any worse, ‘keeper Charles Simon scuffed a clearance that landed at the feet of O’Hanlon who easily finished to give his side a commanding two nil lead at the break.

To the home sides credit, they came out full of vigour in the second half and showed a much improved tenacity but ultimately it would be in vain. Falcons kept pushing for a way back into the game and had a couple of chances to do so yet as they were pushing forward they became more vulnerable at the back.

Moe thought they had iced the contest as their good luck continued with a fortuitous deflection off Harley Broadbent snuck in at the near post to make it 3-0. However, the Birds wouldn’t back down.

They made it 3-1 with 18 minutes to go as Lazaris scored the goal of the night with his swerving freekick from 25 yards evading Moe veteran Peter Albanese.

Both Jim Mills and Liam Johnson had opportunities to cause further headaches for Moe but it just wasn’t their night as in the dying minutes O’Hanlon made it a night to remember with another simple but effective finish from only 10 yards out.

Monash v Tyers (11-1)

IN an important match for both teams to break their duck for season 2023, it was Monash who came home with their first points in a resounding victory.

It was hard going for both teams in the early stages but it was Monash who eventually broke through the resolute Tyers defence for Marcus Krznaric to score the opening goal eight minutes in, only a minute after he missed a one-on-one.

Tyers were playing well and created opportunities but suffered constant turn-overs as Monash were tight across the back.

At the 22 minute mark there was delight for the Lightning as a cross from a corner saw Flynn Mangion drop it in the net to level at 1-1.

Sadly for Tyers this was their only goal as Monash scored two more before half time with Marcus Krznaric scoring his hat-trick.

The game took a turn for the worst for Tyers after halftime when Monash piled on the goals which included three in four minutes.

All was not finished for the Knights as they added a further three goals with Jesse Davis scoring a brace before the referee called time on a game that Tyers will want to forget in a hurry with the final score being 11-1, Monash’s highest score against Tyers.

It was Monash’s highest score since 1985 when they defeated Drouin 13-0.

Pegasus v Olympians (4-1)

AFTER a superb victory over Moe last week, Pegasus continued on their merry way with a comfortable 4-1 victory over an Olympians side still looking for their first points of the campaign.

Kuku Mahmoud opened proceedings on five minutes and he soon had his brace at the half hour mark.

Germaine Otieno ended the contest before half time with his sides third goal.

Olympians were able to claw back a goal through Jordan Martin but it was too little too late as Otieno got his brace towards the end of the game.

Newborough/Yallourn v Sale (2-0)

SALE, defending their three-game winning streak came up against a tougher opposition in Newborough/Yallourn.

The match was played in great conditions between two physical teams.

It was a deadlock at half time at 0-0 as neither team could fashion any clear cut chances.

The momentum shifted Newborough/Yallourn’s way after halftime when Will Medd scored a sensational goal after the ball rebounded off the post, and this gave the Combine some incentive to keep the pressure on Sale.

A further goal to Mark Fairbrother put the icing on the cake for N/Y as Sale couldn’t find any way through the N/Y defence and went on to a 2-0 victory breaking Sale’s winning streak.

Churchill United v Fortuna (1-6)

Fortuna leapt to the top of the standing with a resounding 6-1 win over Churchill, in their traditional ANZAC Day fixture at Hazelwood South Reserve.

The visitors got off to a lightning quick start, kicking two goals inside the opening 20 minutes, creating multiple other chances in the meantime.

Possession was heavily dominated within Churchill’s half, as Fortuna continued to press forward after the Rams momentarily relieved it.

Despite the mounting pressure, Churchill held steady to go into half time with just a two goal deficit.

But the opening stages of the second half were much like the first, as Fortuna found the back of the net twice in the opening five minutes of the second half.

Churchill continued to battle, finding one of their own also early in the second half, to hold a three-goal deficit.

Just like the first half, there was a big hiatus for goals, although Fortuna continued to pile up the chances created.

But the dam walls did open once again toward the end of the match, with another two goals to the visitors in the 82nd and 90th minutes.

Capping off a well-deserved win on the road for Fortuna, allowing them to climb to the top of the ladder after Round 5.

A full wrap on the ANDAC Day events will be available next week.