The under 12s had a great time at the weekend.

Joint players of the match during Leongatha v Inverloch seniors, Charlie O’Dougherty and Stu McNaughton all tuckered out after a close tie.

Inverloch v Leongatha

Seniors:

LEONGATHA’s seniors headed off to the Inverloch football ground for a keen competition against the Stars.

This matchup would bring the return of the Gippsland Soccer League after our brief lockdown.

Lovely weather brought a formidable Knights’ line-up that was raring to go against the Stars as they hoped to prove themselves as a dangerous team.

Kick-off brought aggression from both ends as it was clear to see that there was heavy focus on attacking play.

The orientation of the game resembled that of a consistent back and forth between the teams’ defences as the smaller pitch provided numerous goal kicks and long passes. It would be Mitchell Bath to be the first to break the mould after the first half hour with an excellent slot into the back of the net.

But without a moment to lose the Inverloch kick-off brought a second goal of the game, leveling the scores to one apiece. This deadlock would be carried into the second half as the whistle sounded for half time to reflect and recuperate.

Like a mirror image of the first half, the two teams ensured that the goal kick and throw-in counter went up whilst keeping the shots on target shots down.

Key midfielders Stu McNaughton and Jack Bainbridge and defenders Curtis Rintoule and Sam Bainbridge were essential in their role of maintaining the tie.

With an estimated 10 minutes left in the game, Jett Alison worked effectively with the forward line to break the Inverloch defence to move into a two to one lead.

With only minutes left in the game, after an excellent diving save from goalkeeper Charlie O’Dougherty, a second chance from the Inverloch attackers led to a heartbreaking equaliser that left the local crowd roaring.

A devastating goal from the Stars left the game at two all at the full time whistle. Player of the match (sponsored by Gatha Pizza) was awarded to Charlie O’Dougherty and Stu McNaughton.

Senior women:

Following a two-week break due to the lockdown, the Leongatha Knights seniors women’s team headed to Inverloch for the first away game of the season.

Inverloch took to the field with only nine players but was ready for a run.

The Knights played a strong possession game, continuously attacking Inverloch’s goal. It didn’t take long for the striker, Kathy Zacharopoulus to open the scoring, her first of six for the day. In the striker position joining Kathy was Evie Bath, who soon added a total of nine goals to the day’s tally.

Inverloch managed to gain one back shortly before time after a fast break and an excellent shot from striker Lucy Simnett.

The Knights ended strongly with a full-time score of 22-1, Naomi Eaton scoring four goals, and Jordan Rintoule kicking her first two goals of the season.

A special mention to a newcomer, Valentine Langlet for kicking her first goal and to Lily Mckenzie for her senior women’s debut.

Reserves:

The reserves took on a far older and more experienced Inverloch side with the Knights’ younger players challenged by the perceived stronger opponents.

Quick goals from the Knights at the feet of Hamish Box sparked confidence in the side but the Stars found their stride and before too long had finished the half two goals to six in favour of Inverloch.

Second half would be far more even with goals from Matt Wardle and Mitchell Bath improving the overall scoreline to a high scoring affair. The game would end at four goals to Leongatha, 10 to Inverloch.

Korumburra v Mirboo North

Seniors:

From Khalil Cheikh-Hussein: “Korumburra were quick to get off the mark thanks to Thomas Sorrell (4th min).

“The game was well balanced for the entire first half, but Korumburra were able to add two more goals from Aidan Richards (23rd min) and Hayden Smith (25th min).

“Despite pressing attacks from both sides the score remained 3-0 at half-time. Liam Richards came out firing in the second half, scoring a hattrick (58th min, 68th min and 81st min). Benjamin Lineham (66th min) also scored on his debut for Korumburra. An own goal in the 60th minute and a late consolation goal from Mirboo North, ended the game at 8-1 to Korumburra.”

Reserves:

From Khalil Cheikh-Hussein: “Mirboo North started strong with a goal in the 8th minute thanks to Keanu Miller.

“Despite an early goal, Korumburra held the ball for the rest of the half but could not convert. The score remained 1-0 for Mirboo North until half time.

“Mirboo North added two goals in quick succession in the second half through Chris Kendall-Jones (61st min) and Rocci Thomas (62nd min). Korumburra continued to press but could not make their chances count. Game ended at 3-0 for Mirboo North.

“Congratulations to long-time members Greg Walker and his son Marley Walker who played in the same team together for the first time.”

Senior women:

It was always going to be a tough match for the Wonthaggi women’s team.

After the extended break, it was going to take time to settle back in.

Phillip Island have always been a quality side and are looking fierce in the 2021 season. It was great to have Zoe T return to the starting line-up this week after missing several matches with injury.

Unfortunately, Wonthaggi lost quality midfielder Zoe A in the early minutes to an ankle injury.

Starting strong, Phillip Island applied the pressure early.

Wonthaggi’s strong defence worked tirelessly throughout the entire match.

Shanah was brilliant in goals, saving countless strikes by the Phillip Island forwards. Wonthaggi managed to steal two goals in the second half leaving the score 8-2 at the final whistle.

Phillip Island v Wonthaggi

Reserves:

It was great to see the Wonthaggi reserves take to the field on Sunday with a full line-up.

Both teams started strong, but it was April who managed to put Wonthaggi on the board first.

With Jason having a run on the field as Wonthaggi’s sweeper and some brilliant work in goals by Adam, Wonthaggi held the lead for the majority of the first half.

Unfortunately, a penalty awarded to Phillip Island saw them score the equaliser before the half time whistle.

Both teams fought hard in with scores remaining unchanged for most of the second half. Another penalty to Phillip Island gave them the edge, allowing them to take the confidence late into the game scoring a fourth in the dying minutes.

A brilliant effort from Wonthaggi who after the break are looking forward to a more competitive second half of the season.

Under 12s:

It was great to see soccer return to the Bass Coast on Sunday.

Wonthaggi travelled to sunny Newhaven to take on the Phillip Island Breakers.

The U12s had a shaky start and after several weeks off, the players were a little hesitant as they took to the field against a much larger Phillip Island side.

It was Daisy who applied the pressure first, the young player took on the opposition, running the ball from the half to place a quality strike high in the corner of the net.

With that Wonthaggi was on the attack, Archie and Billie worked hard through the midfield both keeping the pressure up by scoring their own goals early in the first half.

The Wonthaggi defence held strong, but a skilful Phillip Island player slipped one past an unlucky Tony in goals. Archie once again applied the pressure again giving Wonthaggi a convincing 4-1 lead heading into the half time break.

A few changes to the Wonthaggi line-up in the second half saw Jarah put on the gloves in the second half.

It was great to watch Aurora, Skye and Jeda working hard throughout the game, all applied pressure and controlled the ball brilliantly.

Joe once again stood out in defence, his second efforts made him outstanding.

Out of defence, Daniel had some great attempts up forward which unfortunately sailed wide. Wonthaggi’s youngest team member Axl had an amazing game. He ran the ball brilliantly along the wing and managed to sneak one past the Island keeper to score his first goal as an U12.

Phillip Island was lucky to sneak another goal in late in the second half to leave the scores at 5-2 at the final whistle.