ROUND 8 of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League saw wins go the way of Olympians, Fortuna (who won 7-nil against Newborough/Yallourn), Sale United and Falcons, while Churchill and Monash played out a 2-all draw.

Falcons went outright clear on top of the table following their 3-nil win over Moe, who are now equal-second with Fortuna and Olympians on 16 points.


Moe United 0 def by Falcons 3

A TOP of the table clash on Saturday night highlighted Round 8 in the Latrobe Valley Soccer League.

With a perfect night for football at Olympic Park, one of the biggest crowds seen at an LVSL game for many years saw the visiting Falcons 2000 triumph over Moe United 3-nil.

Falcons 2000 travelled to Moe looking to break a four-game losing streak against the Red Devils, spanning back to 2022. A win for either side would give them the upper hand in the race for the league championship.

The Red Devil’s line-up was hit hard with Lachlan McKenzie, Joe Stewart and Oscar Sceney all ruled out, while key forward Connor O’Hanlon played with a knee issue.

A slight switch in formation by the away team seemed to unsettled Moe from the first whistle, but it was the intensity and determination of the Morwell team that really stood out, and it would be omnipresent throughout the evening.

The first half was a relatively even affair, as both defences stood firm under the opposition’s forward thrusts.

Falcons created better chances, and got on the board late in the first half from a corner kick which caught Moe’s defence off-guard.

The Birds were finally rewarded as a quick short corner was taken with a deep cross finding winger Jordan Kennedy unmarked at the back post to tap in from close range.

Moe had some chances stopped by Falcons keeper Charles Simon, notably a Matt Shearing shot on the run, as well as another by O’Hanlon after accepting a through-ball from Bayden Heusmann, which was stopped by Simon rushing off his line to clear the danger.

O’Hanlon was closely checked by Jordi Vacca and Harley Broadbent during the game, keeping both him and his speedy strike partner Riley Winkleman relatively quiet.

The home side started the second half with 10 men after Chad Shelley was sin binned for dissent during the break.

Falcons took advantage of their extra man, and took the lead to 2-nil inside the first few minutes.

The intent of Falcons from the start of the second half was evident, and they got their second major after a lovely through ball from Josh Patterson found Kuku Mahmoud, who made no mistake from an acute angle to knock the stuffing out of the Red Devils.

Moe tried to push for an avenue back into the game but it never eventuated.

At 2-nil down, the Red Devil’s went on the offensive, their best chance appearing after a great run through the middle by Heusmann was unrewarded when his shot was miscued over the crossbar.

With United taking risks, it left their defence vulnerable, and counterattacks from Mohmoud, Kennedy and the dominant Tommy D’Alla in midfield saw Falcons create a plethora of opportunities.

In any league championship campaign, depth is key, and Falcons have it in spades. With two key senior players out they still boasted a bench consisting of Jamie Pistrin, Nick D’Alessandro and Toby Capp, and their entry into the game only made it harder for Moe to overcome the Blues’ dominance.

The icing on the cake came with five minutes to go as Moni Ellaser found himself one-on-one with veteran goalkeeper Peter Albanese, and despite making a meal of the opportunity, he was able to bundle the ball over the line to seal all three points.

Frustrations continued to boil over for Moe, with Albanese sin binned during extra time for dissent.

The win for Falcons keeps them at equal top position with arch rival Fortuna, while for Moe, they fell three points back. However, with more than half the season to go it is still anyone’s guess as to who will be the league champion come the end of the season.

Best players for Falcons were Kevin Carcellar, Mahmoud and Vacca.

Better players for the home side were Tanner Pyle, Heusmann, Shearing and Nick Fogarty.


Olympians 6 def Tyers 1

OLYMPIANS came back with a vengeance, especially after being beaten in injury time against Fortuna the week before, inflicting Tyers with a 6-1 drubbing.

The home side found it difficult against Tyers early in the match, with the Lightning providing stiff competition, but the will of Olympians was strong, eventually breaking the barrier to score the opening goal.

A further goal before halftime created a 2-nil barrier.

After the break, Olympians went on a feeding frenzy, scoring four goals, but Tyers clawed one back thanks to Flynn Mangion.

Guguei Malual scored a brace for the winners at home, while additional goals were netted by Alradi Ali, Hayden Wood, Jordan Martin and Ollie Saliba.


Churchill 2 drew with Monash 2

CHURCHILL and Monash had a 2-all draw, which was only the fifth draw between these two clubs in 99 games.

The Rams were on the move early, and a cracker from Marc McHallam opened the gate for the home side. This was followed up by coach Jayden Unmack showing a positive attitude to score their second to give them a 2-nil lead at the break.

A 2-nil lead however is hard to defend, and Monash came into the second stanza with a different mindset. They started to get on top with a goal, and got another to equalise just before the final whistle.


East Gippsland 2 def by Sale United 4

THE road trip to Bairnsdale wasn’t wasted for Sale, as they brought home the points against East Gippsland for their second win of the season.

Going into the match, it was eighth (East Gippsland) versus ninth (Sale United), but the two sides traded places after the game, albeit both still on eight points – the Swans ahead with a better goal difference.

It was Sale’s ninth win over the Eagles in their 12 matches played.


Newborough/Yallourn 0 def by Fortuna 7

Result was unknown at the time of print.