Bellambi have missed the chance to take the outright lead in the Illawarra Premier League after a 1-1 draw with Cringila on Tuesday Night at John Crehan Park.

Bellambi opened the scoring in the 6th minute through an incredible free kick from Vaughan Patterson and continued to dominate the remainder of the half. It was a tale of two halves as Cringila looked the better of the two in the second and their pressure on Bellambi paid off in the 87th minute when Peter Simonoski scored the equaliser for the hosts.

The action began with Bellambi dominating a large amount of attacking chances. In the 6th minute, Bellambi was awarded a free kick just outside the box. Patterson lined the shot up and got it up over the wall and past Nikola Ristevski into the corner of the net giving Bellambi an early lead and a goal to remember for the Bellambi midfielder.

It took Cringila fifteen minutes to register their first shot on target. Bryce Daenell made an acrobatic save from Tobias Norval’s shot however the ball fell into the lap of Nick High whose shot from the 6 yard box forced another great save out of the Bellambi shot stopper keeping the hosts goalless for the time being.

In the 18th minute, Patterson found Liam Unicomb at the edge of the box from a corner. He had a shot on the half volley which narrowly sailed over the cross bar.

Patterson continued to make his presence felt on the game when his corner found Ryan Hunter whose header rattled the crossbar. He managed to re-gather the rebound and laid it off to Nick Morgan but his shot didn’t trouble Ristevski.

Bellambi continued to dominate the first half but simply struggled to find the finishing touch.

Cringila came out of the half-time break with something to prove, dominating the opening thirty minutes but they failed to capitalise on their possession and half chances.

Bellambi had a golden opportunity in the 80th minute to extend their lead when Mitch Turner skinned his defender down the line and sent in across to Brad Watts who beat his defender but his touch was too heavy and it cost him an opportunity at a one-on-one with Ristevski.

The Rosellas continued to sit back and play on the counterattack for the reminder of the game. With seven minutes left, substitute Cody Cuthbertson made a run from deep in his own half weaving through Cringila’s defence. Just before getting his shot off in front of goal,  James Ralston made a desperate lunge from behind and made an incredible goal-saving tackle denying Bellambi and spoiling what would have been one of the best solo goals of the season.

Cringila’s perseverance was rewarded though in the 86th minute when a deflected pass gave Simonoski a clear path on goal and strikers of his calibre don’t often need a second chance. Daenell did his best to get his finger tips to the ball but it wasn’t enough and Simonoski’s shot was on target equalising for the hosts.

Simonoski had a final chance in the dying stages of the game to complete the comeback from a free kick however his shot whistled just wide of the post.

Bellambi will perhaps feel like they dropped points as they just couldn’t find the fluency we have come to expect from them throughout the match. Cringila on the other hand recovered from a disappointing first half and will take some confidence going into their weekend match up against Bulli.

Cringila 1 (Peter SIMONOSKI 87’)

Bellambi 1 (Vaughan PATTERSON 7’)


Cringila: 1.RISTEVSKI Nikola, 20. MOBBS William, 3. BAILEY Jake, 5. RALSTON James, 7. BRBEVSKI Alexander, 6. POLIDORO David, 8. SPARKS Todd, 10. MOJSOSKI Alex, 18. HIGH Nick, 19. NORVAC Tobias, 16. SIMONOSKI Peter.

Substitutes: 15.WEBSTER Jake, 17. PRENTOSKI Aleksandar, 2. BROOKS Jackson, 41. GUDEN Volkan


Bellambi: 1. DAENELL Bryce, 2. POULTON Sean, 9. ZANNI Grant, 3. HUNTER Ryan, 13. MORGAN Nick, 8. PATTERSON Vaughan, 4. YOUNG Mitch, 5. PASSLACK Matt, 10.WATTS Brad, 14. TURNER Mitch, 17. UNICOMB Liam.

Substitutes: 11. CODY Cuthbertson, 12. SIMPSON Todd, 7. MUCCI Joel, CRANE Jazz (GK)


Date: 25th August 2020

Venue: John Crehan Park


Referee: Andrew Naylor

Assistant Referees: Brodie Merchant


Report by Dominic Criniti, on Twitter @DCriniti

Photo courtesy of Graham Brown

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