After being three goals down, Bellambi Rosellas completed one of the greatest comebacks in IPL history to overcome Coniston 4-3 at JJ Kelly Park on Saturday.

Matt Tschentscher opened the scoring for the hosts on the half hour before doubling the lead for his side in the 53rd minute after capitalising on an defensive error. Tomohito Fujieda added his sides third and final goal on the hour after catching Bryce Daenell off guard at his front post.

Bellambi answered instantly off the kickoff when Liam Unicomb followed up on a deflected save from Blake Horton. Brad Watts netted the second goal for the visitors in the 77th minute before Vaughan Patterson’s header had the Rosellas back on level terms with four minutes of regulation remaining. Substitute Cody Cuthbertson completed the miraculous comeback for Bellambi after finishing off a counterattack in the last minute of the game.

The action started in the fourth minute when Mitch Young sent Unicomb in on goal for a one on one with Blake Horton. He managed to get his legs to Unicomb’s shot and cleared it out of danger.

In the 18th minute, a deflected clearance gave Tschentscher a golden opportunity to open the scoring. Tschentscher’s header forced Bryce Daenell into a brilliant acrobatic save.

Daenell was called into action just minutes later when Tyren Maclou’s shot from nearly 30 yards out forced the Bellambi keeper into another incredible save. His save fell to Tschentscher whose follow up shot narrowly missed, hitting the side netting.

Bellambi responded on the following counterattack with Unicomb sending a perfect through ball into Brad Watts who managed to get his shot past the outcoming Blake Horton, but his shot was desperately stopped on the line by Rory Evans.

The scoring was finally opened by the hosts in the 33rd minute by Tschentscher. He began his run from the halfway line running through Bellambi’s defence and finishing his solo run with a neat toe-poke in the bottom corner.

This concluded the first half highlights.

One sensed we could be for a treat as the second half continued in a similar fashion. In the 53rd minute, an error in Bellambi’s defence proved to be costly. Tschentscher who appeared to be in the thick of it, pounced on this mistake in the opposition box and neatly tucked away his sides second goal of the afternoon.

Fujieda tripled his sides lead in the 61st minute when his shot from side on caught Daenell off guard as it deflected into the net to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.

Bellambi instantly responded off the kick-off. Their pace worked in their favour after Mitch Turner’s shot was impressively pushed away by Horton which ultimately fell into the feet of Unicomb, who smashed the ball into an empty net for his sides first goal.

In the 77th minute, Bellambi were in good space down the left side of the field and whipped a cross into the box. This cross pinballed around the Coniston defence after multiple failed clearances and eventually fell to Brad Watts who hammered the ball into the back of the net cutting his sides deficit to one goal with plenty of time to spare. Those contemplating leaving early starting to settle back into their seats.

Bellambi pushed aggressively in the final minutes of play and their pressure paid off in the 86th minute. Young’s corner found Turner at the back post. He headed the ball straight into the path of Vaughan Patterson who effortlessly headed the ball into the roof of the goal levelling the score with four minutes to play. Coniston players and fans all looked on in disbelief.

The Rosellas weren’t finished there though as they completed their unprecedented comeback in time added on, on the back of a counterattack. Turner sent a ball down the line to Unicomb who outpaced his defender and found his way into the box. He cut the ball back across goal to substitute Cody Cuthbertson who made no mistake and powerfully put the ball into the bottom corner, capping off an incredible comeback for Bellambi.

Bellambi continue their impressive return to the topflight as the win sent them top of the league with a game in hand. They remain undefeated after this unbelievable comeback victory. Meanwhile, Coniston will look back at this as the one that got away as they sit mid-table with just one win from their opening four.


Coniston FC 3 (Matt TSCHENTSCHER 33’ 53’, Tomohito FUJIEDA 61’

Bellambi 4 (Liam UNICOMB 62’, Brad WATTS 77’, Vaughan PATTERSON 86’, Cody CUTHBERTSON 90’)


Coniston FC: 1. HORTON Blake, 4. MACLOU Tyren, 7. FUJIEDA Tomohito, 9. WILSON Brett, 10. STERJOVSKI Dion, 11. TSCHENTSCHER Matt, 16. ALLPORT Boden, 18.O’NEILL Connort, 33. ANDERSON Travis, 5. EVANS Rory, 3. KAYANO Takayuki

Substitutes: 12. ALGAWARI Ahmed, 19. CAVILL Thomas, 29. PONTAROLO Connor, 6. CIMINO Michael, 13. HONDROUDAKIS Emmanuel


Bellambi: 1. DAENELL Bryce, 9. ZANNY Grant, 4. YOUNG Mitch, 7. MUCCI Joel, 2. POULTON Sean, 8. PATTERSON Vaughan, 6. O’BRIEN Tim, 13. MORGAN Nick, 10. WATTS Brad, 14. TURNER Mitch, 17. UNICOMB Liam

Substitutes: 11. CUTHBERTSON Cody, 5. PASSLACK Matt, 12. SIMPSON Todd, 3. HUNTER Ryan, CRANE Jazz (GK)


Date: 22nd August, 2020

Venue: JJ Kelly Park


Referee: Greg Reid

Assistant Referees: Jacob Zipporo and Josh Reid


Report by Dominic Criniti

Photo courtesy of Noel Wynn

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