WHITES EAGLES WIN IN THE WET
The Albion Park White Eagles secured their first win of the season with a 2-1 victory over South Coast United on Saturday night.
Albion Park netted the opening two goals in the second half before a late Jamie Wakeling effort kept the visitors on edge until the final whistle at a rain-soaked Ian McLennan Park.
The White Eagles had the bulk of the chances in the opening half with Joel Beattie the first to test United goalkeeper Jason Bleakley.
Beattie was played into the right of the box where the forward looked to beat Bleakley at his near post only for the stand-in skipper to make a tidy save.
Cameron Morgan had two big opportunities to score his second goal of the season in the middle stages of the half.
The first came in the 20th minute when South Coast defender Brooklan Frkovic failed to control a long ball which Morgan sprinted on to before dragging his shot wide, and then in the 33rd minute, Jake Leighton picked out the striker who controlled the ball with his chest before his snapshot forced another good save from Bleakley.
The sides would go into halftime goalless but not before White Eagles defender Kyle Senior nearly scrambled home a corner late in the piece.
The White Eagles would get their opener shortly after the resumption off a Cody Waller corner with the winger finding an unmarked Brendan Fordham at the back post who thudded his header into the net despite the efforts of the South Coast number one.
Albion Park nearly doubled their advantage on the hour mark after Abdul Okla’s shot turned into a counter-attack which forced Byung-kuk Cho into a crucial interception.
The hosts had a gilt-edged chance to draw level with 15 minutes remaining through Wakeling, who started from the bench due to a niggling injury.
Wakeling managed to roll his defender to get on to a pass in the right of the area but the striker blasted his shot across the goal without troubling former teammate Blake Coad.
The missed opportunity was compounded a couple of minutes later when substitute Jordan Nikolovski all but sealed the result with the young gun leaving Bleakley rooted to the ground as he slammed the ball into the bottom left corner from the edge of the box.
The White Eagles could have made it three with five minutes remaining had it not been for another save from Bleakley and his exploits were capitalised on at the other end when United pulled a goal back through Wakeling whose deflected strike found the top left corner.
South Coast tried to mount the pressure on their rivals in the closing stages, however, Albion Park managed to hold out and bag the three points.
The match was the only fixture playing in round three due to the big wet and the result lifts the White Eagles above United and into fifth spot while Greg Valic’s side slip to ninth.
South Coast take on Tarrawanna at Ian McLennan Park next Saturday evening while the White Eagles will be looking for back-to-back away wins when they take on Port Kembla next Sunday.
South Coast United 1 (Jamie Wakeling 87’)
Albion Park White Eagles (Brendan Fordham 53’, Jordan Nikolovski 78’)
South Coast United: 1. BLEAKLEY Jason, 2. MENA Dylan, 3. YOUSSEF Peter, 5. FRKOVIC Brooklan, 7. PEDAVOLI Anthony, 8. HAWKER Zac, 11. BERTAKIS Ricky, 14. AL OKLA Abdul 17. HMDA Kolan, 22. AHMAD Usamah, 24. CHO Byung-kuk
Substitutes: 9. WAKELING Jamie (ROUFOGALIS), 16. BOVA Andrew, 30. ROUFOGALIS Nick (BERTAKIS), 12. WARREN Jordan, 21. VALIC David
Albion Park White Eagles: 1. COAD Blake, 5. LEIGHTON Jake, 2. ARAKI Naomichi, 3. SENIOR Kyle, 13. NATHANIEL Chris, 4. SUZAKI Kohei, 21. FORDHAM Brendan, 9. MERXHUSHI Valentino, 7. MORGAN Cameron, 6. BEATTIE Joel, 11. WALLER Cody
Substitutes: 10. NIKOLOVSKI Jordan (MERXHUSHI), WEHMEYER Cody, MITROVSKI Brendan (WALLER), 14. BIMBILOBSKI Marcos (MORGAN), 31. ARMAND Nick
Date: 8 August 2020
Venue: Ian McLennan Park
Referee: Jay Walpole
Assistant Referees: Harrison Fisher and Tony Naumovski
Report by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela
Photo courtesy of Edmund Esterbauer