LVSL have their spin on Gather Round

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IN local soccer’s version of Gather Round, all four games were played in Morwell across Round 15 action in the Latrobe Valley Soccer League.

Intriguingly, the top six sides all faced off against one another which had a significant effect on the league standings.

We start our round up with the match of the round between Falcons 2000 and Newborough.


Falcons def Newborough/Yallourn 3-1

SATURDAY night football returned to Gippsland Sports and Entertainment Complex as first-placed Falcons 2000 hosted fifth-placed Newborough/Yallourn United.

When factoring in the mismatch of games played, only three points separated both sides, with the pressure all on the away side to win to ensure they kept pace with the leading sides.

Conversely, a win for Falcons would almost extinguish any hopes United had for league title honours in season 2023.

Much was on the line and the fixture was played out in a tempo the befitted what was at stake.

After a mediocre performance against Churchill the week before, Falcons came out all guns blazing and pressed their opponents ruthlessly.

It was not long until they fashioned their first chance but Jim Mills could not convert from close range. The Morwell side continued to play chaotic football which unsettled the Combine but the score remained 0-0.

Newborough had their only chance for the half when striker Mark Fairbrother skied his chance over the bar. Falcons soon after took the lead as Mills lept highest from a set piece to give his side the advantage leading into the break.

The second half saw Falcons continue their manic ways and within minutes doubled their advantage as wonderful build up play from full back Josh Patterson set up Mills to convert for his side.

Mills, a conventional defender, was a surprise selection up front by coach Adrian Salvatore but his decision was well and truly vindicated on the night.

Falcons continued to push, and it should’ve been three goals to the good if it weren’t for Jamie Pistrin missing from close range in what would’ve been just reward for his performance in his 100th game for the club.

However, that missed chance almost proved fatal as United clawed one back through a Fairbrother strike from a freekick outside the box.

With 10 minutes to go the away side started to push for an equaliser but Falcons sturdy defence led by vice-captain Harley Broadbent and veteran Joe Auciello held them at bay.

The game was sealed as substitute Michael Fava made no mistake from close range to ensure all three points went to the reigning league champions.

The win sees them consolidate top spot while for Newborough/Yallourn they now find themselves six points off the pace.


Monash def Fortuna 3-2

A TRICKY contest ensued for Fortuna on Sunday as they lined up against a Monash side who have got the unofficial title of ‘giant killers’ in season 2023.

Whilst Falcons were on top at the start of the round by a point ahead of Fortuna, the Orangemen had a game in hand so in effect they knew that they had the upper hand in the race for the title.

However, Monash were in no mood to succumb to the demands of their opponent on the day as they started full of gusto and took the lead through Mark Krznaric.

Fortuna soon hit back as equalised and followed up with a second to take a 2-1 lead and seemingly into the drivers position to gather all three points.

The match would turn on its head in the second half as firstly Alex Bowman gave away a penalty which was converted by Adam Semple to level the scores, and then Fortuna midfielder Daniel Cooper was given a straight red card for dissent to leave his side with 10 men for the last 30 minutes of the game. Sensing an opportunity to underpin their newfound reputation, Monash hunted for the winner and it was successful in doing so through Jared Baldacchino.

The Wolves were simply the better side on the day with the win consolidating sixth spot meanwhile the loss for Fortuna means they fall four points behind arch-nemesis Falcons, albeit with a game in hand.


Sale def Churchill 4-2

SALE fought hard against a determined Churchill side to down the Rams 4-2.

Sale, with two first half goals, looked to be cruising with goals from Isaak Jondahl and Kieran Horgan and continued after the break with both players scoring again to put Sale in a prominent position at 4-0.

However Churchill threw everything into the last 15 minutes and were rewarded with goals from Craig Johnson and Hayden Motta but time had run out for the Rams as Sale ran out winners 4-2.

Churchill continue to look for their first points of the campaign whilst Sale stay in seventh position.



Moe United def Pegasus 4-1

MOE United moved back into the Latrobe Valley Soccer League title race after an impressive 4-1 win over top-four side Morwell Pegasus.

Fortuna’s surprise 3-2 loss against the unpredictable Monash sent the Red Devils to third on the ladder with games in hand on league-leaders Falcons.

It was a subdued start by both sides testing each other’s defence. The first opportunity came from a run by Pegasus forward Otenio, who’s shot from an acute angle was saved by Moe keeper Peter Albanese.

Moe set up a quick counterattack from a Connor O’Hanlon pass, which saw Riley Winkleman’s shot go narrowly wide of the side netting.

It took 28 minutes for the Unites side to break open the Pegasus defence, when Nick Fogarty sent a long, searching ball into the Pegasus goal mouth and saw Winkleman soar high above the Pegasus defence to send a superb header into the back of the net.

Moe United doubled its lead when a cross found O’Hanlon, who miscued his shot, but his second attempt saw his cross find a diving Luke Bathgate, who headed it home.

The Red Devils were dealt a blow when Matt Shearing went down with a dislocated elbow just before halftime.

After the break, Pegasus forward Otenio again broke through Moe’s defence, but his attempt from an acute angle went wide. In defence, Moe were lid brilliantly by captain Fogarty, and strongly supported by Lachlan McKenzie, Brendan Ruddell and Chad Shelley.

A 50/50 tackle saw Noah Kane win the battle, then send a great pass through to Winkleman who raced clear and slotted the ball into the goal past the advancing keeper.

After 60 minutes, Moe United was reduced to 10 men when Bathgate was yellow carded following a slide tackle.

Despite the setback, Moe went 3-0 up when Tanner Pyle took off on a long run and slotted the ball past the stranded Pegasus keeper.

A never-say-die Pegasus got a spot kick when forward Ali and Albanese came together in a tackle. Kulu Mahmoud made no mistake from the spot kick. Late in the game, Moe United put the game beyond doubt when a Joe Stewart through ball sent Winkleman clear and he made no mistake, making the fulltime scoreboard read 4-1.


TYERS and Olympians had the bye.



ALL 10 clubs in the Latrobe Valley Soccer League are in action this weekend for Round 16.
Match of the round takes us to Olympic Park on Saturday night as Moe United host Falcons 2000.


Moe United (3rd) vs Falcons 2000 (1st), Saturday Night 7pm

GAMES don’t get much bigger than this, especially as the season is nearing its climax.
There is a healthy rivalry between these two sides and it will be on full display Saturday night in what shapes to be a physical encounter.

Moe, with oodles of talent at their disposal, will probably go into the game as favourites given they’re playing at home but Falcons are made of stern stuff, and their performance last weekend shows no sign of that abating.

When factoring in games in hand both sides have the same record so the result will have a huge bearing on who takes the advantage in the race for the league title.


Fortuna (2nd) vs Churchill Rams (10th), Saturday night 7pm

AFTER their shock loss to Monash last weekend Fortuna will be breathing fire looking to make amends for that lacklustre performance.

Churchill, whilst showing plenty of fight of late, have still yet to score their first point but those around the league know that on their day they can shock, although it’s expected Fortuna will win comfortably.


Sale United (7th) vs Newborough/Yallourn (5th), Sunday 2.30pm

THIS is a chance for Sale to shine given that they are putting the pressure on the clubs higher up the table.

The Swans will finish where they are now but have the ability to make it difficult for other clubs around them. Newborough/Yallourn shouldn’t be too fazed and will head into the game as favourites.


Traralgon Olympians (8th) vs Morwell Pegasus (4th), Sunday 2.30pm

PEGASUS has made it hard for themselves and will need to put together more wins over the next few weeks to become a real challenger to the top teams.

They should take the points over Olympians but have to be wary against the Traralgon team.


Tyers Lightning (9th) vs Monash Wolves (6th), Sunday 2.30pm

MONASH can further consolidate their position on the ladder and potentially go even higher with a win against a struggling Tyers outfit.