Bulli demonstrated their offensive might by defeating Coniston 5-1 at JJ Kelly Park on Saturday afternoon. 

The visitors led the round two fixture 2-0 at half-time before Coniston forward Matt Tschentscher netted within 30 seconds of the restart.

Bulli managed to quell any comeback by knocking three more goals past Blake Horton with two coming from the penalty spot.

The first true sight on goal came in the 28th minute when a Coniston corner was cleared to Boden Allport on the edge of the area with the centreback lacing the ball into the crossbar.

A couple of minutes later, Bulli hit the front when Takumu Tsujimura’s shot was deflected into the path of Kyle Jackson to tap the ball into an empty net. 

Bulli pushed for a second with stand-in captain Horton scuppering a close-range effort from Ben McDonald while Allport also made a last-ditch challenge to deny Ryan Emerton a clear run on goal.

Goal number two came in the shadow of half-time via a blasting finish by former Helensburgh attacker Luke Van Zyl from inside the area.

In the opening play of the second half, Coniston were back in the contest through Tscehntscher with the effort the youngster’s second goal of the season.

The goal led to a mini resurgence for the hosts, with the side pressuring the Bulli backline without really asking questions of goalkeeper Ben McGinnes.

The fightback was blunted in the 54th minute when Tsujimura forced a clumsy challenge out of Tyren Maclou which resulted in a penalty. 

Tsujimura opted to take the spot-kick with the Japanese sending Horton the wrong way before passing the ball into the left of the goal.

The competition points were all but secured in the 73rd minute when Bulli were awarded another penalty and Coniston were reduced to 10 players after Kayano saw red for handling the ball on the goal line. 

McDonald stepped up for the second penalty, and like Tsujimura, he confidently placed the ball into the back of the net.

Brett Wilson shifted from the flank to centreback as Coniston looked to restrict any further damage, however, Bulli managed to finish off the convincing win with a late fifth through substitute Eddy English.

The commanding victory has Bulli leading the Illawarra Premier League for the first time since clinching the league title in 2018. 

Julio Miranda said there are still patches to work on with the Bulli coach dissatisfied with his side momentarily letting their opponents back into the contest.

“That first 10 to 15 minutes [of the second half] we need to sort out,” Miranda said.

“We sort of let it go a bit which was disappointing because it was similar against Woonona.

“We had a 10 to 15 minute period where we stopped believing in what we were doing and what we did in the first half. It’s a bit of a concern for me but I’ll get that fixed.

Bulli return to Balls Paddock to take on Port Kembla next Saturday which leads into a midweek Bert Bampton Cup semi-final against Cringila and a crunch match with Wollongong Olympic in round four. 

Miranda intimated he wants his players to be on the ball, no matter who the opposition is.

“I’m not expecting the boys to take their foot off the pedal,” he said.

“Whether we’re playing Olympic, whether we are playing United or whether we are playing Port Kembla next weekend, I think the attitude needs to be the same.”

The defeat finishes off a tough week for Coniston after losing to Wollongong United in the Cup quarter-final on Wednesday night. 

Jeff Allport’s side will look to bounce back at home to Tarrawanna next Sunday.

Coniston 1 (Matt Tschentscher 46’)

Bulli 5 (Kyle Jackson 32’, Luke Van Zyl 44’, Takumu Tsujmura 54’ pen, Ben McDonald 73’ pen, Eddy English 88’)

Coniston: 1. HORTON Blake, 3. KAYANO Takayuki, 4. MACLOU Tyren, 5. EVANS Rory, 7. FUJIEDA Tomohito, 9. WILSON Brett, 11. TSCHENTSCHER Matt, 16. ALLPORT Boden, 18. O’NEILL Connor, 13. HONDROUDAKIS Mani, 33. ANDERSON Travis


Bulli: 1. MCGINNES Ben, 30. KAMBAYASHI Seiya, 3. HARRIS Jack, 27. CLARINO Ian, 5. FOSTER Luke, 2. JACKSON Kyle, 6. DAVIES Sam, 31. EMERTON Ryan, 7. VAN ZYL Luke, 9. MCDONALD Ben, 26. TSUJIMURA Takumu

Substitutes: 4. BAKER Aaron (VAN ZYL), 8. HEWSON Blake (EMERTON), 1. FARINA Daniel, ENGLISH Eddy (TSUJIMURA), 19. MIRANDA Sam

Date: 1 August 2020

Venue: JJ Kelly Park

Referee: Andrew Naylor

Assistant Referees: Nathan Alterator and Bryce Dreghorn

Report and photo by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela

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