souths-season-kicks-offBilly Garcia for Leongatha played a strong game as an attacking midfielder, linking up with play-maker Tim Barker in the first round for the Gippsland Soccer League, South Division against Mirboo North. N031714

SURPRISES kicked of the Gippsland Soccer League South Division opener for the season. In hard and fast matches, Round 1 set off at a furious pace.
Clubs had obviously taken the lessons from the Korumburra Cup two weeks previously to heart, resulting in some great games. One of the biggest, and welcomed surprises was Phillip Island defeating Trafalgar Victory at home 5-6.
Perhaps Trafalgar was too busy preening for the online soccer channel Football Chaos that had chosen to record the game after Trafalgar’s coordinated social media blitz.
Korumburra also provided a surprise, limiting the dominant Drouin to only five goals, while scoring its two (Ben Rotheram) in a second half fight back.
A very new and mostly untested Knights outfit lost at home to Mirboo North 2-0 on a spectacular autumn’s day at Mary MacKillop College.
With nine new faces into the line-up this week, the Knights were always going to take some time for players to gel as a team.
Signs looked good early, with some great passing taking place where pacey forward PJ was providing a target, along with Timmy Barker and Billy Garcia.
The backline was holding firm, well lead by captain Andrew Angwin with a player of the match effort, well supported by young Dean Petersen, Trav Bennett and Jason Cooke.

‘Inspector Gadget’ Thomas Larsen pulled off some remarkable saves to keep the Knights in the game but a lax piece of defending, that drew players to the ball saw an easy cross to an unmarked Mirboo North player who headed truly giving Mirboo North its first goal.
The second half saw the Knights start to control the midfield with, Tommy Stampton, Stu McNaughton, Andy Corponi and Fergus Warren starting to link up well and play the through ball.
After a great link up passage, Andy Corponi was denied after a great save from the Mirboo North keeper.
An indiscretion inside the 18 yard box handed Mirboo North a penalty, with the player making no mistake.
The Knights continued to battle hard, but being two goals down, well into the second half it was always going to be a difficult task to get back into the game.
There were plenty of positives for coach Drew McLean to take out of the game, and with a solid week on the track, it will be a great battle next week against cross town rivals Korumburra City.

Women

The Trafalgar Victory women’s team scored their first ever win against Phillip Island at home.
Phillip Island jumped out of the blocks and scored very quickly after the start of the game.
Trafalgar then slowly got into the game and were able to put pressure onto the Phillip Island defence.
Amanda Hines provided great drive down the right wing and created numerous opportunities.
After a period of sustained pressure Jo was able to put the ball in the back of the net to level the scores.
Phillip Island again broke through to take the lead before Amanda slammed the ball against the crossbar.
It took about 20 minutes after restart for Jo to score her second to level the game.
Trafalgar was definitely starting to control the play and Caitlyn, Christy and Britt shut down most Phillip Island attacks.
Anything that did get through was easily stopped by Bekk and the introduction of Jaiden into the game meant the Phillip Island defence had much more to worry about.
Her hard work allowed Jo to score goal three and then Jaiden also hit the cross bar.
The final goal came from Jaiden’s kick rebounding off a Phillip Island defender to make the final score a 4 – 2 win to Trafalgar.
In the Drouin v Korumburra game Drouin used its strong breeze advantage well, scoring two early goals.
Korumburra slowly got its game going and an excellent lofted goal from Bree Allen saw Drouin lead 2-1 at half time.
Drouin scored early in the second half and then went up 4-1 after an accidental hand ball penalty.
Straight after Korumburra scored its second from a penalty.
Korumburra did all the attacking at the end but Drouin held on to win 4 – 2.
New South Coast Stars player Julia Ward made a strong debut, who scored a goal in the first half against Wonthaggi, followed by fellow striker Fiona Richardson – a deflection from a lovely floating cross from the corner.
Wonthaggi started tentatively and the Stars dominated play throughout the first half with two strong goals.
Without the efforts of Michaela Tong and goal keeper Loretta Mabin, the score line could have been worse for Wonthaggi at half time.
Wonthaggi regrouped after the break and were able to put some pressure on the Stars.
Alana Stein, Alycia Marotta and Una Curtain were starting to look dangerous up forward and eventually their hard work was rewarded with a goal to Una Curtain.
Goalkeepers on both sides went on to save some spectacular shots at goal keeping the scores without change for the rest of the match.

Reserves

This year sees a true Reserves competition.
Korumburra took the field with a new look team including four Under 16 players, two 17 year olds and three new players.
The first half was a typical Drouin game, with good marking and movement around the field, while Korumburra was sorting out their line-up.
Drouin took a 3-0 lead to the break.
In the second half Korumburra found good space and moved the ball around well to their advantage and peppered the goals to no avail.
Whilst not scoring they held Drouin scoreless in the second half.

Under 16s

In a hard fought game in bright sunshine at Drouin, Korumburra took the lead early through a goal to Aidan Richards.
Korumburra dominated early on and increased the lead with a well-deserved goal to Jared Chesterfield.
The rest of the half was an even game with no real threat on the Korumburra goal.
The second half carried on the same way with both teams playing a good brand of football.
Richards scored his second with six minutes to go – heading the ball in from a corner by Liiam Miller.

Under 13s

The young Stars can hold their heads high after a tough game against Wonthaggi on a full field.
The Stars played good football in the first half; playing the ball out from the back, right through to some good attempts on goal.
The Stars were unlucky not to be two goals up at half time, but the scores were nil-nil.
In the second half Wonthaggi stood on the gas and sent three into the back of the net – two to player of the match Manuel Sibly and Jasmine Garry.
Korumburra’s Under 13 team has eight new players this year and in a hard fought tussle, Korumburra lost to Drouin 6-0.
The second half was much better with the Korumburra players looking much more like a team and allowing only two goals in the second half.