ROUND 7 of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League returned another lot of talking points.


Monash 1 def by Moe United 4

MOE United ended Monash’s five-game unbeaten run with an emphatic 4-1 demolition away from home on Sunday in Latrobe Valley Soccer League.

The Round 7 win was welcomed for the Red Devil’s, following weeks that saw them suffer slow starts and concede early goals.

In his pre-match speech, Moe coach Lee Dastey reminded players of the consequences of pulling back an early goal against arch-rival Monash, who always seem to thrive on the battle to hold Moe United, which has occurred in the past few meetings.

Moe United was switched-on from the outset, and were soon on the offensive. The visitors jumped to an early lead only seven minutes in, when a long, searching ball by Nick Fogarty from the left defensive flank caught the Monash defence by surprise, with only Riley Winkleman coming towards, anticipating the bounce of the ball, which saw him race clear.

He calmly slotted the ball into the empty net to give Moe United their first for the day.

Bayden Heausmann created Moe’s next opportunity, when he sent a pass to Connor O’Hanlon, whose first-time flick gave Heusmann a good look, only for his cross to be cleared by Monash keeper Logan Troughton.

Monash produced their best chance of the first half after a free kick was headed toward goal by Gonza Ortellado, only to be denied by a fingertip save from Moe veteran keeper Peter Albanese.

Midway through the half, a Heusmann free kick found O’Hanlon, whose headed attempt went inches wide of the upright.

Forty minutes into the match, an Oscar Sceney cross was headed on by Tanner Pyle to an unmarked Winkleman, whose header beat the keeper but not the crossbar.

Moe continued to dominate up to the halftime break, when a cross from Joe Stewart found an unmarked Winkleman, only to have his celebraton stopped after being ruled offside.

At halftime, Moe held onto a 1-nil lead, and on the resumption, caught Monash on the back foot.

Winkleman again found space, getting free inside the box and then, with a clear back heel, found O’Hanlon, whose first-time shot was hammered home from close range to put Moe 2-nil up.

Matt Shearing was the next involved, sending a cross to O’Hanlon, whose header was cleared off the line, resulting in a deflection that fell back to him, although his shot was well-saved by Troughton.

Monash came close to replying, when a long clearance gave Ethan Lawrence a chance, only to be stopped by Albanese.

Sixty minutes in, a Chad Shelley pass put Winkleman through on the left flank, and he found his way deep into the attacking area, while O’Hanlon was making a run from deep toward the post.

A superb pass by Winkleman then saw O’Hanlon hammer the ball home to give Moe a 3-nil lead.

Monash refused to lie down, and when a Caleb Semple pass was picked out by brother Adam, he produced a great finish from 20 metres out to make the score 3-1.

Moe however was hell-bent on not letting this game slip, and with minutes remaining, a Brendan Ruddell pass made its way to Luke Bathgate, who took his time to hit home the team’s fourth goal.

After the match, Dastey said he was pleased with the effort from all on the team, singing the praises especially of Sceney, Stuart, Pyle and Heusmann.


Falcons 3 def Traralgon Olympians 2

IN yet another enthralling contest which has breathed new life into the Latrobe Valley Soccer League, Falcons 2000 hosted fellow league leaders Traralgon Olympians in a Saturday night match that left everyone on the edge of their seats until the final whistle.

A large and boisterous crowd was in attendance for the Round 7 clash, which added further weight to the every-increasing groundswell of support for more Saturday fixtures that only help advertise local football.

Those present were treated to a classic contest.

Olympians came into the game full of confidence given their last two weeks, which saw them dispose of Fortuna and Moe.

This match was the perfect opportunity to further solidify their recent return to form after many a year of mediocrity. Falcons on the other hand was looking to make a statement by taking all three points and putting some breathing space between their opponents, making for a good old fashioned six point contest.

Falcons started well and were quick to dominate possession and territory, with the away side seldom venturing into the opposition penalty box.

Wing backs Josh Patterson and Kevin Carcellar were in a dominant mood, with their pace causing Olympians grief with every attacking wave. Soon enough, Falcons started to fashion clear cut chances, but it seemed their penchant for missing chances since the commencement of the season had failed to dissipate.

Moni Eliaser and Kuku Mahmoud each had chances thwarted by some desperate Olympians defending, which ensured the score remained goalless at the break.

Olympians seemed to lift after halftime, with experienced campaigner Alradi Ismail taking a stranglehold of his younger defensive teammates.

However, that lack of experience came to the fore as Mahmoud was fouled inside the box and was awarded a penalty.

Mahmoud made no mistake from the spot to give his side a deserved lead.

Olympians were far from finished, and they continued to push for an equaliser, and with 20 minutes to go a mishit cross cannoned off the crossbar which was tapped in to level the scores.

The equaliser injected a large dose of confidence for the away side, as they put Falcons under extreme pressure which finally paid dividends as Jordan Martin scored from outside the area to give his side an 85th minute lead.

This seemingly put his side in a position to grab all three points. However, the home side are renowned for their never say die attitude, and it would take every ounce of that attitude to finish the game with at least a point.

What ensued over the last five minutes of the contest was something of a dream (or nightmare depending on who you support).

With full time fast approaching, Falcons converted to a more attacking formation and were able to fashion a scrappy equaliser from a corner as substitute Jamie Pistrin poked home from close range.

The home side was in no mood to rest on their laurels – they wanted all three points.
With five additional minutes being played, the Birds continued to press.

A through ball from Pistrin to his strike partner in Mahmoud allowed the latter to run at the Olympians defence, and although he was initially corralled, his persistence paid off as a loose ball found its way to the evergreen Nick D’Alessandro, who finished with aplomb on a tight angle to send his teammates and fans into delirium.

The final whistle soon followed after the restart and the three points for Falcons sent them equal top after a 3-2 win.

Falcons take this victory ahead of another Saturday night blockbuster away to Moe United.


Newborough/Yallourn 1 def Sale United 0

The Combine added another three points to their tally in a tough encounter at Burrgae Reserve.

After a scoreless first half, the Combine got their act together but were made to earn their kicks, but eventually pressure paid off when Dylan Fairbrother scored the only goal for the match.

Sale almost got on the scorecard but the crossbar denied them the chance to at least draw the match.


Churchill United 2 def East Gippsland 0

CHURCHILL scored their second win of the season at the expense of East Gippsland.
It was a tight match, but the home team Rams eventually cracked the Eagle’s defence, scoring twice.


Tyers 0 def by Fortuna 9

FORTUNA did a number on Tyers.

As expected, the reigning league champions were far too strong, winning 9-nil away from home.

Damon Scott helped himself to a hat-trick, as did Jake Budija. Hayden Tanti settled for a brace, and Jordan Campbell took his season tally to eight after slotting one.