LVSL championship race wide open

Control: Marcy Mahammud in action for Morwell Pegasus against Newborough/Yallourn.





ROUND 14 of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League opened with the match-of-the-round at Burrage Reserve.

Newborough/Yallourn United inserted themselves back into the league championship race, while there was also wins to Fortuna, Falcons and Monash.



NEWBOROUGH/YALLOURN were hosting their first night match since the introduction of their new lights against the high-flying Morwell Pegasus.

As the season nears its crescendo, games like these can define the title race. Pressure was all on the home side to gain maximum points to ensure they keep touch with top spot.

It would be the Combine who started the better as they quickly went to a 2-0 lead within the first 15 minutes with both goals coming from Pegasus errors. It would remain 2-0 at the break.

The second half was one for the ages, as the Flying Horseman halved the deficit in the 64th minute, but nine minutes later the Combine restored their two-goal advantage.

Pegasus, renowned for their exceptional attacking prowess, turned the screws with Aquila Jok bringing his side back to 3-2.

With only two minutes to go in regulation time, Kuku Mahmoud sent the away side fans into raptures with an equaliser. However, this thrilling contest would have one more twist in it, as coach Clayton Bell, at the ripe old age of 44, came on to snatch all three points and mark a special night both on and off the park.

The win for Newborough/Yallourn sees them sit six points off Falcons 2000 but with a game in hand, while the loss for Pegasus sees them now five points off top.



FORTUNA hosted Tyers Lightning on the synthetic pitch, and it proved no detriment to their performance as they easily accounted for the Lightning.

Tyers have been competitive in some matches against more fancied opponents, but it was not to be on Sunday as a rampant Lions outfit had their foot on the throat from the first whistle.



PRIDE was on the line for both Monash (sixth) and Sale (seventh) in what was a close encounter.

Although Monash have shown plenty of grit and determination over the last few weeks, they had to fight extremely hard against a determined Sale team to eventually run out 1-nil winners.



CHURCHILL, playing their home games out of Morwell Football Club on their synthetic ground for the time being, continued their competitive form from last week against league leaders Falcons 2000.

Falcons went out to a quick 2-0 lead as Anton Sbaglia helped himself to a brace, but a defence slip allowed Mitch Azlin to halve the deficit.

Falcons have been inexplicably wasteful in front of goal at times this season and Sunday was no different, as chance after chance went begging despite dominating the contest.

They eventually sealed the contest through a Toby Capp penalty and a Jim Mills near post finish.

With big games to come, the question will be whether the ladder leaders will find their mojo in front of goal. If they do, they will be hard to knock off.

For Churchill, they continue to strive for their first points of the campaign, but performances of late suggest it’s not too far away.


MOE and Olympians had the bye.


IN a unique set of circumstances, all four games in the Latrobe Valley Soccer League during Round 15 will be in Morwell.

Match of the day belongs to the anticipated blockbuster between Falcons 2000 and Newborough/Yallourn on Saturday night.


Falcons 2000 vs Newborough/Yallourn (Saturday 6pm)

YET another game where the result will have a huge bearing on league title honours later in the season.

After their gutsy win on Saturday night, the Combine will be looking to continue their rich vein of form against Falcons.

Their ability to fight for results is a cornerstone of the Newborough/Yallourn DNA and it will need to be on full display against the league leaders.

For Falcons 2000, such are their high standards that internally they are far from happy with their performances at times, yet they find themselves at the top of the table.

Irrespective of prior form, both teams will give a stern account for themselves.


Fortuna 60 vs Monash (Sunday 2.30pm)

FORTUNA, in their race to the top, still need to keep winning to give themselves a chance of the championship.

Currently, there is a log jam in the minor placings and up to five teams are in a position to take top honours.

This is a must win game for Fortuna, who will be playing on the Latrobe City Sports Stadium Synthetic.

The Lions won 4-0 when they last played Monash, but could find Monash a difficult team to beat especially after the Wolves’ gritty win over Sale.


Churchill vs Sale (Sunday 2.30pm)

WITH their second home match ‘away’ Churchill are in a position to cause an upset on the Morwell Football-Netball Club synthetic pitch.

Conditions will be perfect, although astro can be more slippery than conventional turf.
The Rams have been the scapegoats so far this season but need to rally and crack a win before season’s end, and this is as good a chance as any to get the points.

Churchill has history over Sale, but the Swans will be tough to crack this time round.

Sale won their last encounter 5-0 but will be smarting after their loss to Monash.


Pegasus vs Moe (Sunday 2.30pm)

ANOTHER match-of-the-round worthy fixture takes us to Ronald Reserve as fourth-placed Moe are up against third-placed Pegasus.

Moe, having endured their final bye for the season, will look to hit their next eight games full of vigour, and what better place than against a Pegasus side who are coming off a loss last weekend.

The pressure will be on Pegasus to gain all three points because if they don’t, it may well spell the end of their league title hopes for 2023.

Let there be light: Newborough/Yallourn Soccer Club showcased its new lights at the weekend. Photographs Liam Durkin

Heritage: Newborough/Yallourn United is wearing a special strip this season, paying homage to its Yallourn history, which started 100 years ago. Photographs: Liam Durkin

Good times: Moe United players used the bye as a chance to get-together and celebrate 10 years since the club’s miracle 2013 league championship. In arguably the most dramatic final day in league history, the Red Devils won the title by a point after being eight points off the top of the ladder with three games to go. Read the full story in next week’s Express.