Fortuna and Falcons take control

Respect: Churchill and Fortuna players line up before the Anzac Day formalities. Photograph Tom Hayes





THE traditional ANZAC Day fixture between Churchill United and Fortuna 60 was played on Tuesday, April 25, to a decent-sized crowd.

Although these two sides have featured on either end of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League ladder, the turnout for the occasion at Hazelwood South Reserve still exceeded expectations.

It was simply one way traffic in favour of the visitors, who dominated the day, scoring 14 goals to two across reserves and seniors.

In the reserves, it didn’t take long for Fortuna to find the back on the net, holding a lead after eight minutes.

They doubled their lead 10 minutes later, but Churchill nabbed one back against the run of play midway through the first half.

Moments before Churchill’s goal, they were reduced to 10 men, so the fact that they managed to score at least once was impressive.

Fortuna added another to take a 3-1 lead into the half.

The second half would see Fortuna add five more goals, in the 46th, 58th, 66th, 70th and 85th minutes.

As the final whistle blew, the score read 8-1 to Fortuna, as preparations for the main event began.

As players lined up to face the crowd, a rendition of The Last Post echoed through the stands, as was the Australian and New Zealand national anthems.

Churchill donned a special one-off kit, with poppies making the red stripe.

As the action kicked-off, it would soon turn into a similar game to the reserves, Fortuna holding possession and having rich chances.

After 20 minutes, Fortuna held a 2-0 lead after goals in the 11th and 17th minutes.

They were fortunate however not to drop to 10 men, after an altercation with a player saw him cautioned, but on thin ice.

With a 2-0 lead, Fortuna was comfortably ahead, but Churchill was not out of the contest yet.

Early into the second half, Fortuna managed two quick goals, in reply to Churchill’s first, leading to a 4-1 score line after 50 minutes.

Fortuna would find two more in the remaining 10 minutes of the game, as the three points moved closer and closer into their territory.

Finally, in the 82nd and 90th minutes, Fortuna extended the lead to four, then five, boasting a 6-1 lead at the final whistle.

The win put Fortuna to the top of the ladder after Round 5, and thanks to their Round 6 win, they stay on top for another week.


ROUND 6 of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League went largely to script.

Moe continued their rich vein of form with a trouncing of Sale, and match of the round honours went to Fortuna 60 in a thrilling encounter against Newborough/Yallourn.

The other two games saw Falcons 2000 and Tyers win against Olympians and Churchill respectively.


Fortuna 60 vs Newborough/Yallourn

IN the match of the round, Fortuna 60 hosted Newborough/Yallourn, in a game that was nothing short of physical but enthralling.

With both clubs amongst the top five stronghold, a victory to either one of them would ensure their opposition would find it that extra little bit harder to content for league championship honours come season’s end.

Newborough/Yallourn started the stronger and scored the only goal of the first half to give them a 1-0 lead at the break.

The home side came out full of zest in the second stanza, and it was soon 1-1 as Lachie Frendo scored a contender for goal of the season as his long-range effort left the opposing goalkeeper no chance.

The Combine were not to be denied, and they soon retook the lead via a penalty.

With the Orangemen pushing for an equaliser, the intensity of the game lifted, and soon it was 2-2 with Ollie Spiteri equalising from a DJ Matar cross.

With the support of their home fans, Fortuna was simply too strong, in the final stages as they laid on three more goals to put the contest to bed.


Tyers Lightning vs Churchill UNITED

WITH both teams pointless thus far in season 2023, both sides had a point to prove, which in itself brought about a contest that was exciting from start to finish.

Churchill got off to a perfect start, going up two-nil, and within touching distance of a long-awaited victory.

Tyers, a club built on a foundation of hard work and never-say-die attitude, threw everything bar the kitchen sink at the Rams, and created history with arguably one of their best wins in history as they piled on four unanswered goals to win 4-2, and in turn bring about only their second ever victory against Churchill.

While the Lightning would have celebrated hard into the night, questions now must be asked within the Churchill ranks as to what needs to be done to get their season back on track.


Traralgon Olympians vs Falcons 2000

AFTER a nightmare last weekend against Moe United, Falcons were baying for blood on Sunday, and Olympians were unfortunately on the receiving end as the defending champions made light work of their youthful opponents.

The Birds started like a house on fire, with early goals to Nonda Lazaris and Josh Patterson. A midfield mix up however allowed Andre Antonopoulos to score, to bring the contest back to life.

A penalty to Jamie Pistrin restored the two-goal advantage for Falcons, but in the second half, an error by keeper Charles Simon gave Olympians hope again.

Falcons were simply too strong all day, and further goals to Harley Broadbent (brace) and Lazaris gave the away side what it required; three points and confidence leading into their all-important clash with Pegasus in a fortnight’s time.


Moe vs Sale

THERE was a festival of football in Moe on Saturday night.

The Red Devil’s played Sale under lights, just hours after Moe’s football (Australian rules) team recorded a 50-point victory down the road at Ted Summerton Reserve.

Moe United senior men backed up its win over previously undefeated Morwell Falcons, when they demolished Sale United 9-1 at Moe on Saturday night.

Moe stamped their ascendancy over Sale after only three minutes in Round 6 of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League, when a run up the right wing saw Oscar Sceney’s inch perfect cross find Connor O’Hanlon, who neatly headed the ball into the net.

Five minutes later, it was 2-0 when a dreadful clearance by the Sale keeper fell to Riley Winkleman, who seized on the chance to slot the ball into the empty net.

O’Hanlon made it 3-0 after 25 minutes when a penetrating run through the Sale defence saw him hammer his shot past the Swans keeper.

He repeated the effort minutes later, making no mistake to see the score 4-0, completing a first half hat-trick in the process.

Moe went up 5-0 shortly before the halftime break, when a run and cross by O’Hanlon was headed home by Winkleman.

The second half continued Moe’s dominance, with O’Hanlon again involved with a cross which found Campbell Dastey to make it 6-0.

Another run by O’Hanlon saw his pass find an unmarked Winkleman to put Moe 7-0 up. It was soon 8-0 when a well-taken corner by Noah Kane was headed home by Winkleman.

Cooper Coleman scored a consolation goal for Sale after a corner, but Winkleman finished the rout with a superb free kick from 25 metres out, which gave the Sale United keeper absolutely no chance.

Winkelman ended with five goals, O’Hanlon four and Dastey one.

Best for Moe were Winkleman, O’Hanlon and Luke Bathgate.

Moe was also successful in the reserves, winning 5-0, and second division 4-1.


Round 7

Moe v Fortuna (Saturday night 7pm)

MATCH of the round comes to Moe this Saturday night in a blockbuster between two high-flying sides looking to continue their push for the summit of the league table.

After a demolition job on Sale last weekend (9-1 victory), Moe will be full of confidence, whilst Fortuna will be equally as buoyed by their win against Newborough/Yallourn United.

Newborough/Yallourn vs Tyers Lightning (Sunday 3pm)

NEWBOROUGH/Yallourn return home, looking to get back to winning ways against a Tyers outfit that will be brimming with confidence after picking up their first win of the campaign.

The Combine will be expected to win but the Lightning will put up a brave fight.

Sale United vs Olympians (Sunday 3pm)

WITH both sides on the receiving end of drubbings the week before, each will be looking to rid the error of their ways with three points to ensure they get back on track.

Churchill United vs Monash (Sunday 3pm)

THE beautiful thing about our game is that you always have next week to redeem yourself.

Churchill will be afforded that opportunity this weekend against a Monash side who have worked exceptionally hard for little reward thus far in season 2023.

Monash will be expecting three points but Churchill aren’t a club that throw in the towel.

Bye – Falcons 2000 and Morwell Pegasus



MOE United women came up against a strong Sale United side at the weekend, in Round 6 of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League.

While the scoreboard showed a lopsided contest, it was also clearly evident the match was between two teams at different stages.

Sale United proved their deserving of the top-ladder position, with five goals from Hollie Ryan, four goals from Dani Wilson, three from Anouk Meereboer and a goal from Madelaine Breakspear sealing the Swanettes’ 13-1 win over a very inexperienced Red Devils.

While it took Sale some time to get out of first gear, the current ladder leaders killed the game by the half-hour mark, with Wilson scoring the opening goal in the 11th minute, followed by a second in the 15th.

Ryan added a third goal for Sale in the 20th minute, Wilson a fourth in the 23rd minute, and Ryan stretching the Swanettes lead to 5-0 in the 29th minute.

Bagging a hat-trick in 20 minutes, Ryan extended Sale’s lead to 6-0 in the 38th minute.

Playing coach Breakspear scored a screamer from outside 18-yards in the 41st minute.

Ryan scored her fourth goal before the break, taking the Swanettes to an 8-0 lead heading into the second half.

Ryan scored her fifth goal to open the second half.

Moe United took advantage of a complacent Sale, with Summer Cooper scoring a consolidation goal in the 55th minute.

Sale immediately replied, with SUFC senior men’s coach Anouk Meereboer scoring two goals in two minutes just before the hour mark.

Meereboer completed the hat-trick in the 80th minute, while Wilson sealed the Swanettes’ 13-0 win, scoring her fourth goal in the 85th minute.

While the young Moe team fought hard, they were unable to stop Sale’s onslaught of goals, leaving Meereboer tied for top goal scorer with Falcons 2000’s Savannah Lapenta, and Wilson third by the end of Round 6.

Remaining undefeated with five wins from five games, conceding just two goals for a goal difference of 46, Sale United senior women retained their top ladder position in front of Fortuna and Falcons.

Fortuna ’60 proved too good for Newborough/Yallourn United, finding the net twice early doors. Fortuna scored a third goal before the break, and then returned to score a late goal in the second half, defeating the visitors 4-0.

Netting four goals, a goal from Sophie Jarvis and a hat-trick for Emily Brabazon and, while keeping a clean sheet, Fortuna ought to be happy with that.

Morwell Pegasus defeated Traralgon City 3-1; Monash was no match for East Gippsland United, with the Latrobe Valley side going down 14-0, while Tyers Lightning beat Churchill 5-1.

Falcons 2000 had the bye.

This weekend, Moe hosts Fortuna in Round 7 of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League. Tyers Lightning head to Newborough, Churchill hosts Monash, Traralgon City meet Falcons 2000 in Morwell, while EGUFC takes on hosts Morwell Pegasus.

Sale has the bye.