Winning formula

Feeling: With the league championship on the line, tempers flared on Sunday between Fortuna and Falcons, as seven yellows and two reds were handed out. Photographs: Liam Durkin







FORTUNA took out the Latrobe Valley Soccer League championship with a 5-1 victory over Falcons on Sunday.


In front of a huge crowd at Falcons’ synthetic pitch, the Orange Lions overcame some nervous moments when the score was 2-1, to eventually open the floodgates.


It was Fortuna’s first league championship since 2011.


Falcons only needed a draw to claim the title, while the Lions had no option but to win.


In a tough match that saw Falcons finish the game with nine players after send offs in the 48th and 93rd minute respectively, there was no beg pardons as the two battled for not only the championship but also the Danny Malarkey Trophy.


Fortuna controlled the first half with continual shots towards goal keeping Charles Simon under pressure.


Four shots that were potential goals were gobbled up by the keeper. The referee was busy sorting out players who were tackling hard, and by halftime, quite a few players were on yellows.


Fortuna was quick to grab the spotlight when Hayden Tanti, after a solid run, crossed to Damon Scott who buried the ball to open the scoreline at the 22-minute mark.


Fortuna were strong in defence with their back three keeping the Fortuna strikers beyond range.


Tom D’Alia and Kevin Carcella were gaining plenty of possession for Falcons, but Fortuna was able win the ball more frequently.


Jordan Campbell, who had previous shots at goal, was rewarded at 46 minutes to give the Orange Lions a 2-0 buffer.


Falcons’ Jamie Pistrin was given his marching orders at 48 minutes as Falcons were reduced to 10 players.


Players were subdued in the second half, afraid to collect more yellow cards, but still, the play was intense.


Tanti was busy for Fortuna and twice in succession his shots at goal were saved.


At the other end, Fortuna keeper Con Mavrofridis was rarely tested as Falcons were limited to wild shots that went wide.


Fortuna went on the attack and missed but on the rebound Falcons were able to break free to score through sub Nick D’Allesandro at 71 minutes.


This made things very interesting as Falcons now had a window to drawing the match.


However, a few minutes later, Fortuna replied through Tanti (who was having a blinder of a game) and Scott, to make it 3-1.


This goal gave Fortuna breathing space, and with plenty of time to play, the Lions slammed through two more goals to make sure of it.


DJ Matar from the right went one on one with the keeper and lobbed it over his head to give the Lions a 4-1 vantage.


Over the next eight minutes, Fortuna scored again to make it 5-1 and with a minute to play Falcons lost captain Toby Capp after his second yellow card.


There was double delight for Fortuna, with their reserves winning 3-1, and also taking out the championship, making it back-to-back titles.


Skill: DJ Matar on his way to sealing the LVSL championship for Fortuna with a fourth goal to make the score 4-1.

Done deal: Damon Scott celebrates after putting Fortuna 3-1 up.

The moment they knew: With a virtually unassailable lead, Fortuna were afforded the opportunity to celebrate.

Full song: Past Fortuna president Danny Maccafferty sings the praises of the team.

All in: Players embrace with family and friends after the game.

Double digits: Fortuna has now won 10 Latrobe Valley Soccer League senior men’s championships.

Pause and reflect: Fortuna playing-coach Hayden Tanti addresses the crowd postgame.

Ours: Fortuna get their hands on the championship trophy for the first time since 2011.

Job half done: With a 2-0 lead, Fortuna players head to the rooms for the main break.

Leader: Fortuna captain Jordan Campbell in action. Campbell has had an enjoyable 2023, with a soccer flag to go with a cricket one for Morwell Cricket Club earlier this year.

Peppering: Fortuna kept Falcons’ defence in check, with numerous shots on goal.

Launch: Daniel Cooper boots the ball forward.

Footwork: Hayden Tanti looks to get the ball back into a dangerous spot.

Options: Jamie Maxwell prepares to throw the ball back in.