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Match of the Round

Kanwal v Berkeley Vale

Top-of-the-table clash on Saturday night between the Bulls and the Wombats saw Berkeley Vale overcome a 2-0 deficit to reclaim the crown of MPL league leaders.

The visitors almost opened the scoring in just the second minute with a well-taken free kick to the near post that was headed in only for the Berkeley player to be ruled offside.

A few minutes later Kanwal had a chance with a ball into the box, but the shot was well blocked as the opening few minutes set the tone for an exciting match.

It was end-to-end football with both teams having chances. 20 minutes in, Logan Moore ran onto a through ball and beat the on-rushing Berkeley keeper only to have the ball beat him over the sideline.

However, it wasn’t long before Moore would get his first with a mistake in the Berkeley defence seeing Logan pounce on a loose ball and neatly converting in the bottom corner to give the home side a 1-0 lead.

Just on half-time Logan would get his second of the night when another lapse in concentration from the Berkeley defence saw a well-delivered cross finding Moore unmarked as he calmly finished past the Berkeley keeper to give Kanwal a 2-0 lead after the opening period.

In a tight start to the second half, it was Berkeley who opened the scoring in the 60th minute when Kanwal failed to deal with a ball on the edge of the box with Berkeley winning the 50/50 battle for the ball and a low cross along the face of the goal was tapped in by Josh Corelli to reduce the deficit to one.

Kanwal had a few half chances, but Berkely would be on level terms after 77 minutes with a close offside call being waived away as Corelli ran onto the ball and slid it past Kanwal’s keeper for his second of the night.

A few minutes later Berkeley would have a third when Kanwal Keeper Kurtis Mahon was beaten to a through ball and brought the Berkeley attacker down in the box. Kurtis was able to save the penalty, but Berkeley’s Scott McGinley reacted quicker and made no mistake with the second chance to give the Wombats the lead for the first time.

Kanwal would throw everybody forward in the last 10 minutes and should have made it 3-3 but unfortunately, Zac Johnson pushed his shot wide.

 It would be Berkeley who would have the final say when Kanwal pushed everybody forward and Berkely broke away quickly as Corelli secured his hat-trick and ensured the victory for his side with a 4-2 win.

“As predicted the game was played with two different styles,” declared Mark Pratt. “Kanwal as always are a good side and play to their strengths and will be hard to beat with the run home from here we are glad to have been able to play them twice already as they are tough opposition.”

Pratt also acknowledged the officials on Saturday night. “The officials don’t get enough positive acknowledgment and I thought Anthony done a really good job as well as the young lines people as they were all really consistent with their decisions.”

An optimistic Ryan Walker reflected on his side’s loss after the contest. “It was a great first half where we fought for everything and were rewarded.”

“But unfortunately, we switched off a bit in the second half and credit to Berkeley they reacted to situations quicker than us and were rewarded and got the result. Lesson for my boys to stay switched on for the full 90+ minutes.”

Match Official – Anthony Kabbout

Terrigal 4 – 2 Avoca

Two teams at the opposite ends of the ladder met at the neutral venue of Pat Morley as the O’lads for the second time this season were able to record all three points against a stern Avoca side.

In the opening stages of the contest, Avoca were content to sit deep and let Terrigal play as they wanted.

Terrigal continued to push and build pressure, and a dangerous free kick was awarded in a promising area as Max Vegter rose highest to nod home a Dean Heffernan cross to make it 1-0.

The rest of the half was dominated by the O’lads, but they weren’t able to convert their opportunities as the score remained in favour of Terrigal at 1-0.

Avoca came out fired up in the second half and within five minutes they were level. A dangerous cross wasn’t dealt with and as he always does against Terrigal, Tyler Wade was there to tuck it home to make it 1-1.

Within minutes the O’lads were on the attack, winning themselves a corner. The cross wasn’t dealt with by the Avoca defence and the bouncing ball fell to Aidan Bastick who took a shot on goal, but an Avoca hand was there to stop it and a penalty was awarded.

Bastick, the O’lads number 9 made no mistake with the spot kick sending the keeper the wrong way making it 2-1.

Before long, an enormous throw-in from Ryan Pearce floated dangerously into the box and got a slight touch from an Avoca defender, nodding it over his keeper into his own net to make it 3-1 Terrigal.

The game became end-to-end, great build-up play from Terrigal saw Ryan Pearce on the edge of the box with space. He slotted in his winger Harrison Stone who he took his chance to score his first goal in first grade and make it 4-1.

Late on Avoca’s Noah Ajala moved well into the box, half-volleying it home and made it 4-2 with a fine finish but the goal was too little too late as the O’lads secured a vital three points.

Ryan Pearce stated, “Terrigal would like to thank the Entrance club for their hospitality allowing us to play a home game on their pitch.”

“This was a huge game for us, wanting to stay with the pack and build momentum with a handful of games in the upcoming weeks. Avoca played well like we know they can, but our boys were resilient in defence and fought hard for the derby win.”

Match Official – Jasper White

Woongarrah 2 – 0 Southern & Ettalong

Now unbeaten in their last five games, Woongarrah’s slow start to the season now sees the Wildcats two points away from the top four after recording their first clean sheet victory of the season against fourth-placed Southern & Ettalong.

The contest started with both sides feeling their way into the game. Just 5 minutes into the fixture Woongarrah would create a chance that would see Jacob Melling hit the underside of the crossbar which denied the Wildcats an early lead.

The home side were on the front foot for the majority of the opening period but faced a major set back 30 minutes in when their captain Dylan Holz was unable to play through his injury as Woongarrah were forced to make an early substitute. 

Holz was replaced by Daniel Ott who made his long-awaited debut in Woongarrah colours. The remainder of the first half was end-to-end action with a lot of half-chances for both teams.

With halftime approaching the ball would be passed to James Stiffle just outside the opposing 18 yard-box, his sharp turn and cracking shot would leave the southern defence little chance of stopping it and his strike gave Woongarrah a crucial 1-0 lead at the break.

The second stanza was only five minutes old when Woongarrah would earn a corner. Southern would clear it to one of their players just outside their box.

Daniel Ott would win possession of the Southern player and then drive the ball low into the corner of the goals, scoring on debut and giving his side a 2-goal lead.

Some good defensive efforts by both sides prevented the scoreboard from changing and as the game wore on and fatigue set in due to both teams exerting so much energy in the hopes of finding the next goal,

The final ten minutes saw a scrappy ending to the game as the final whistle blew and the home side were declared 2-0 victors.

“A great battle against Pagey and his boys,” voiced Rogers. “The game was an even affair with not much separating both sides right up until the final whistle. You can see why Southern are up near the top of the ladder.”

“I was happy with our performance after not playing last weekend, plus we didn’t have the ideal preparation throughout the week due to the weather.”

Rogers also stated, “I’m very pleased with my lads keeping a clean sheet against a southern side who lead the league for goals scored at the moment. I was a strong team display from my guys.”

“We were a little bit off our game today,” stated Southern’s Matt Page. “Despite not playing to our potential, I still felt we created enough chances to get something out of the game, but ultimately we didn’t capitalise on any of those chances.”

“Full credit to Woongarrah as they did take their chances and deserved the win. It’s up to us now to work hard on the training paddock to get ourselves out of this little slump.”

Match Official – Luke Dunkerley

Killarney 6 – 0 Woy Woy

Round 13 saw Killarney get back to their dominant goalscoring ways of the past, handing a struggling Woy Woy side their biggest defeat of the season as the Terriers recorded their third win of 2024.

Killarney welcomed attacker Ryan Gibson back into the squad after he was forced to take some time off due to injury, but the attacker got back to his goal-scoring form just 12 minutes into the contest to give the Terriers the lead.

Gibson then made it 2-0 four minutes later as he was able to secure a brace and double his side’s advantage.

Killarney were able to make it 3-0 before the halftime break, this time thanks to Cameron Brown who secured his fourth goal of the season.

The second period saw Killarney once again continue their dominant ways, adding another three goals in the second 45 thanks to goals from Chase Huxtable, Nathan Baxter, and Blake Silvers as the Terriers claimed an important three points in a straight-forward victory.

“It was a pleasing result, where we took our chances, which in previous weeks we have not been able to,” voiced an ecstatic Chris Ackerley.

“It was good to have Andy Klijn & Ryan Gibson back from injury to lead the frontline, as they combined really well, & troubled the Woy Woy defence, throughout the first half before they were both taken off after an hour.”

“Great to see young Chase Huxtable come on as a sub and score his first goal in first grade. Onto next week against Kanwal, which will be an extremely hard game as they try to avenge their defeat against Berkeley.”

Match Official – Damien Bury

Budgewoi 2 – 2 East Gosford

As Budgewoi were forced to give up their home advantage once again as Budgewoi Oval didn’t stand the test of the wet weather, these two teams met at Pluim Park where they shared the points in an intense back-and-forth contest.

The game got off to an even start with Budgewoi getting the early chance in the 5th minute when the East Gosford keeper made a save and parried the ball out to an advancing Jose Atayde who hit a low shot under the Rams keeper for the opening goal of the game.

For the next 20 minutes, the game was evenly poised with both teams having some good possession. In the 27th minute, a perfectly executed through ball from Lachy Gunn found Oliver Vanderslot who made a great run and beat his defender to the ball.

Vanderslot continued towards goal as he found himself one-on-one with the keeper and placed his shot into the side netting for East Gosford’s first goal as the game was back on level terms.

The game continued at a frantic pace with most of the game played in a midfield battle between the two sides who looked to gain the upper hand.

East Gosford were unlucky not to go ahead in the 46th minute when a well-placed cross found Joel Dickey who buried the ball into the top corner from the head only to be dubiously denied for alleged offside as the game remained locked at 1-1 at halftime.

The way the game was being played both teams knew the other would want to come out firing in the second half and that’s exactly what happened.

In the 52nd minute, Oliver Vanderslot was brought down in the opposition’s box and was awarded a penalty which he made no mistake converting to secure his second goal of the day and put East Gosford up 2-1.

East Gosford learning from previous weeks knew they couldn’t take the foot off the gas as Budgewoi rallied trying to find an equaliser. The game continued end to end with some fantastic football being played by both teams.

In the 79th minute, East Gosford were unlucky to not receive another penalty when Lachy Gunn was brought down in the penalty area by a certain foul from behind, but the official waved it away.

With all to play for still, Budgewoi threw everything at East Gosford, but the Rams were digging deep and throwing themselves at every shot, blocking all they could to protect their lead.

Eight minutes of stoppage time was found and with tired legs and bodies, both teams continued to push each other to the limits.

With time running out in the 96th minute, Budgewoi would find an equaliser through their prolific goal scorer Ty Warby.

With only a whisker left on the clock East Gosford pushed in one final attack only to hit the side net of the goal and the game finished 2-2.

“What a frantic game of football that was,” stated Troy Ward. “An absolute war for the full 98mins. For the neutral spectator that would’ve been some game to watch. It had everything and was thrilling to watch.”

“Budgewoi are a good side who will fight all the way to the end and today that paid off for them. Best of luck for the rest of the year.”

“Today I was so proud of the boys. They were asked to stand up and show what we’ve been working towards, and they did that tenfold. A game I feel we deserved to have won but the decisions didn’t go our way. I just feel for them cos they deserved so much more from that performance.”

Match Official – Trent Dickeson

 Golden Boot Standings –

11Jacob Lepre (Southern & Ettalong). Logan Moore (Kanwal)
7Ashley Henderson (Woongarrah), Ty Warby (Budgewoi),
6Jack Ellwood (Southern), Jakeb Brownlow (Berkeley Vale), Oliver Vanderslot (East Gosford)

Points Table –

Club Championship –

Division 1

Round 12 Results –

Points Table –

Club Championship –