ONLY five rounds remain in the Latrobe Valley Soccer League, with the race to the senior men’s title well and truly on.

Round 13 brought together some lacklustre and expected results, but also some thrilling and down-to-the-wire matches that mean plenty as the final rounds are just around the corner.


Churchill 4 def Newborough/Yallourn 3

CHURCHILL United scraped by Newborough/Yallourn, 4-3, to move ahead of their most recent opponents’ into sixth place.In an absolute goal fest, the Rams had two goals go through and conceded one to halftime.

Churchill was guided by Corey O’Shea, who kicked three goals for the match to give the Rams a needed leg up as the Combine kept close all the way through to the end.

Newborough/Yallourn went down a man after Liam Mccluskey was red-carded, but had goals from Mark Fairbrother (2) and Tristan Donohue (1).

Besides O’Shea, Sakhon Khamchom found the back of the net to give Churchill that much sought after gap by fulltime.


Tyers 0 def by Monash 3

MONASH beat Tyers, 3-nil, to hold onto fifth spot on the ladder and keep Tyers at the bottom.

Tyers held up for a half, meaning all Monash’s damage came in the latter portions.

Noah Bennett had two goals and Jay Hall booted one goal.

Monash will hope to keep their season kicking with a matchup against Falcons 2000 this weekend.


Olmypians 3 def East Gippsland 1

TRARALGON Olympians stayed alive following a 3-1 victory over East Gippsland United.

Olympians are still five points off third-placed Moe, and stand at record of 8-2-3 before a true test next against Fortuna 60, in second.

East Gippsland United has only managed two wins this season – good for second-bottom.


Fortuna 1 def by Falcons 2

NO matter the sport, and no matter the level, there is always something special when it comes to a traditional derby game.

And when you factor in the ladder position of each of Saturday night’s combatants in Fortuna and Falcons, nothing less than a spectacle was expected during Round 13 of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League.

The geographical distance of a stone’s throw between each club resembled the margin between both clubs at the top of the senior ladder coming into the contest, with both sides equal on points but Fortuna having the edge due to a superior goal difference.

A bumper crowd turned out in force for the 6pm kick off at Crinigan Road Reserve, which provided further evidence that, if fixtured right, big games will attract many to attend which can only propel the sport forward.

Fortuna, on their home deck, came into the game as strong favourites given the fact they hadn’t come close to losing to Falcons since 2022.

The Orangemen were missing their talisman Jordan Campbell for the second week in a row, but otherwise were at full strength.

On the other hand, the blue side of Crinigan Rd have been dealing with unavailability for the last few weeks, so much so that midfielder Gabrielle Bocchichio was rushed back into the starting line-up only days after returning from a five-week holiday, in addition to 18-year-old Chocho Jacob making his starting senior debut for the club which was seen as a gutsy call by coach Adrian Salvatore.

Despite the lack of availability, Falcons threw caution to the wind with an attack-minded mentality to try and curtail their opponents who have been the attacking benchmark over the last two seasons.

The game was largely even for most of the first half as Damon Scott failed to hit the target with two guilt edged chances for the home side and likely Kuku Mahmoud and Moni Eliaser failing to make the Orangemen pay.

Youngster Jacob was providing great value on the wing and his intensity was infectious as his teammates started to ramp up the pressure and force their more fancied opponents on the back foot.

The turning point of the half was when Hayden Tanti was sinbinned for dissent, which meant a 10 minute spell on the side lines.

With the one-man advantage, Falcons made their opponent pay, as a disputed ball in the middle of the park was collected by Bocchichio, who slipped through a deft ball into Mahmoud who gave his side the lead just before the halftime break.

At the commencement of the second stanza it was still anyone’s game, but ultimately it was the Bird’s fitness edge that proved to be the difference.

Falcons doubled their lead after a corner was cleared to Josh Patterson. His attempted shot on goal was expertly diverted by an experienced and in-form Nick D’Alessandro that left Fortuna’s goalkeeper John Beamer rooted to the spot. Beamer was arguably his sides best player as he single-handedly kept them in the game, with his best save coming from a point blank header from Bocchichio that would’ve put the result beyond doubt.

As the second half progressed, and with the score at 2-nil, Fortuna were always going to press as good sides find a way to stay in the contest.

They were unlucky not to halve the deficit as a header from a corner was cleared off the line by Kevin Carcellar.

With the game deep into stoppage time, it would be an own goal by Jamie Pistrin that gave them a whiff of a chance to equalise but ultimately it was too little too late.

The 2-1 win to Falcons means they are now outright top by three points with five games remaining in the chase for ultimate glory.

Best players for the victorious side were Mahmoud, Moni Eliaser, Tom D’Alia and Bocchichio, while for Fortuna the standout was goalkeeper Jon Beamer.


Sale 1 def by Moe 5

ON the back of a disappointing 3-1 loss to Fortuna the previous round, Moe United travelled to Sale to play Sale United in all four grades at the weekend.Moe United fielded the same starting 11 from the previous week, with a host of injured players still not ready to resume playing seniors.

From the kick-off for the Round 13 clash, Moe United went straight into attack and ended up winning 5-1.

A solo run by Oscar Sceney in the first 20 seconds was thwarted from opening the scoring by Sale United keeper Ben Sly.

No less than 30 seconds later, Oscar Sceney collected a loose ball, and from 30 metres out unleashed an unstoppable bullet-like shot into the top left corner that left Sly on the spot as a spectator.

Riley Winkleman was next into the action from a Matt Shearing through ball which saw his one-on-one with Sly fail to materialise into a goal.

Midway through the first half, a Winkleman run from out wide on the right saw him beat the Sale offside trap from a Bayden Heusmann through ball, and this time as he raced towards goal, he converted the one-on-one chance.

Nearly 10 minutes later the score was 3-nil when a perfect pass by Sceney found Heusmann as he beat his fullback. His initial shot at goal was blocked but he quickly seized on the rebound to slam the ball into the net.

Sceney was again involved in the play, this time picking out Luke Bathgate, but his shot on the run was saved by Sly.

Just on halftime, a smart bit of thinking by Shearing, where he got a quick free kick out wide to the left to Heusmann, who’s perfect cross found Bathgate who headed home to give Moe a 4-nil lead at the break.

At halftime, a concussion issue saw Sly replaced by reserve keeper Cooper Kelly-Williams after Sly was hit by some friendly fire.

The early part of the second half was basically a battle of defences until midway when things began to liven up.

Finally, after around 65 minutes play, Sale got their rewards after a few missed chances when a Kieran Horgan free kick was whipped across goal and in his attempt to clear the ball, Lachie McKenzie sliced it into his sides own net.

From there it sparked a resurgence in the Moe United side, and a cross by Winkelman to Heusmann saw his goal bound shot deflected inches wide.

Bathgate was next into the action, and his run up wide on the right saw his cutback pass completely mistimed by a Heusmann header over the crossbar.

Shortly after, Moe United got their rewards for a fifth goal when a pinpoint Harley Robinson pass found Winkelman, who happily slammed the ball home.

Moe United was still not done though and a Winkleman run saw his cutback hit first time, only to be denied by a Kelly-Williams save.

Just before fulltime, a Heusmann pass went to Winklemann, who’s well-timed first strike was brilliantly tipped over the crossbar by Kelly-Williams.

Best for the winners was Sceney, Connor Dastey, Winkelman and Bathgate.

Best for the home side was Tom Garner, Isaak Jondai, Mace Irvine and Sly.