UNITED CONTINUE FRAT CUP DOMINANCE
The Fraternity Club Cup final which was four months in the making was a fast-paced affair with Wollongong United beating Coniston 2-0. United took the lead in the first half through Billy Tsovolos before victory was sealed late on through a great counter-attack capped off by Jeremy Flanagan.
Coniston were unlucky not to find the back of the net themselves with defender Takayuki Kayano having the headers on goal through the match, including one which came off the bar.
Coniston had the first big chance of the match after United were pinned for goalkeeper Jordan Nikolovski handling a back pass. Brett Wilson was on the end of the indirect free kick but his effort from six yards out blasted into the wall.
After being on the backfoot for the first 15 minutes, United slowly started to gain momentum back, earning for consecutive corners.
On the fourth corner, the ball was headed out by the Coniston defence and landed perfectly to Seiji Kawakami who hit the ball a touch too hard and saw his shot just sail over the bar.
In the 26th minute, United took the lead with a bit of luck after Blake Horton’s save landed perfectly for Tsovolos who made no mistake from close range.
Coniston almost responded in three minutes later when a corner found the head of Kayano, but ended up rattling against the crossbar before going out for a goal kick
In the 34th minute, Kayano found himself in a very similar situation when another corner found him perfectly but yet again his header narrowly missed skimming the bar on the way out.
The rest of the half was very even with both sides playing back and forth but neither side had any clear cut chances for the remainder of the half, United led 1-0 going into the break.
The second half kicked off in similar fashion to the first as Coniston had the majority of possession and chances.
In the 48th minute, they had two consecutive free kicks followed by two consecutive corners, the last of which resulted in an effort from the edge of the area from Tyren Maclou that flew over Nikolovski’s goal.
In the 58th minute, Coniston had a free kick inside the centre circle which found Kayano for another great opportunity where he rifled a shot at goal but narrowly missed to the side.
Wollongong began to find their feet around the hour mark as a deflected corner found the feet of Andre Dias who dribbled his way past the defence and got his shot off forcing the hand of Horton into a great save.
In the 70th minute, Kayano found himself yet again in goal scoring territory as Mani Hondroudakis’ free kick picked out the defender at the back post but his header missed into the side netting.
In the dying stages of the game, Coniston continued their pressure on the United defence but this was to their detriment as they were caught out on the counter-attack and a perfectly weighted cross found Flanagan at the back post to tuck the ball away and finish the match off.
The win continues United’s recent dominance of the Fraternity Cup with the club winning four of the last five editions of the preseason competition.
Oliver Vrtkovski’s side face rivals Wollongong Olympic in next Saturday in round one of the Illawarra Premier League while Coniston go to South Coast United.
Wollongong United 2 (TSOVLOS 26’, FLANAGAN 89’)
Wollongong United: 60. NIKOLOVSKI Jordan (GK), 19. BROOKS Ben, 42. DIAS Andre, 11. KAWASAKIYA Hikaru, 51. KAWAKAMI Seiji, 5. LAZAREVSKI Danny, 44. MCLAREN Zac, 17. O’ROURKE James, 4. THOMAS Sean, 8. TSOVOLOS Billy, 23. YAMADA Mitsuo
Substitutes: 10. ARDITTI CJ, 41. MENDES Michael, 52. SEKUTKOSKI Klime, 45. CORREIA Josh, 14. FLANAGAN Jeremy
Coniston: 1. HORTON Blake (GK), 3. KAYANO Takayuki, 4. MACLOU Tyren, 5. EVANS Rory, 7. FUJIEDA Tomohito, 8. PIERRO FRANC, 9. WILSON Brett, 11. TSCHENTSCHER Matt, 16. ALLPORT Boden, 18. ONIELL Connor, 33. ANDERSON Travis
Substitutes: 19. CAVILL Tomas, 21. POPOSKI Matt, 23. RADMANOVIC Branislav, 10. STERJOVSKI Dion, 13. HONDROUDAKIS Mani
NOTE unlimited interchange for Fraternity Club Cup
Date: 19 July 2020
Venue: Memorial Park, Corrimal
Referee: Bobby Mazevski
Assistant Referees: John Ruscica and Brendon Fotheringham
Fourth Official: Greg Reid
Report by Dominic Criniti, on Twitter @DCrintini
Photo by Pedro Garcia