Shell Cove move into the top five for the first time in 2020 thanks to a 2-0 win against Warilla in the round four catch-up game of the PeopleCare District League at Barrack Heights Sportsfield on Sunday.
With both sides backing up from the day prior, it was Warilla firing out of the blocks early on, controlling the ball and dominating the game in the opening 45 minutes.
An in-swinging corner by Chad Keating on the right found the head of Marc Lee, however he couldn’t angle his shot on target as it bounced wide.
In the 10th minute, Adrian Montalbano’s cross picked out Nick Tortorella in the box. The striker did well to leap above the Cove defenders but a miraculous diving save from Vasko Petkucevski denied the Wanderers the opener.
Warilla showed no signs of their recent performances going forward in the match, and again looked towards the wings to whip in more crosses as the game went on. This time it was Lee setting up Tortorella but his volleyed attempt rose over the crossbar.
Shell Cove’s first real opportunity of the half was through Hristijan Trajkoski when his long ranged effort powered goal wards but was saved comfortably by Blake Pusell.
The Wanderers had probably wished the first half didn’t end as in the second 45 the game shifted the way of Shell Cove.
Two minutes into the new half, Aleksandar Najdoski ran onto a ball from the Cove defensive line. An onrushing Pusell forced a hurried shot out of the winger as the ball went wide of the far post.
Warilla again opted for opportunities from the sideline as Lee’s flick on was on target but it was another easy pick-up by Petkucevski.
As the game hit the hour mark, Shell Cove had two quick-fire chances in the space of one minute where they took the lead. Hayden Soper went through one-on-one but dragged a shot wide. Then, 30 seconds later, Soper ran onto yet another ball from Josh Young where he out-paced the retrieving Warilla defence to blast the home side into the lead.
Shell Cove continued their dominant display in the second stanza, almost doubling their lead in the 70th minute when Soper threatened the Warilla goal again but a last-ditch touch by Pussel forced a corner.
Soper wouldn’t be denied for long however as he added his second of the afternoon in the 76th minute. A desperate effort to keep the ball in the corner by Young saw him beat several players on a run towards goal. A simple square across the face of the box allowed Soper to tap in from close range, all but confirming the three points for the Cove.
With no other threatening chances on goal for either side in the final 10 minutes, Shell Cove held on to the 2-0 lead which takes their unbeaten run out to five games.
Shell Cove now move up to fourth spot thanks to a four-point weekend. They are back at home next Sunday to take on Fernhill.
As for Warilla, the search for their first win continues, sitting at the foot of the table after six games. They travel to Kiama on Saturday.
Shell Cove FC: 2 (Soper 61’ 76’)
Warilla Wanderers: 0
Shell Cove: 1. PETKUCEVSKI Vasko, 2. STEWART Mason, 3. HAMILTON Jack, 4. RUSIC Nikola, 5. BESCOS David, 6. TRAJKOSKI Hristijan (VANDENBERG), 7. NAJDOSKI Aleksandar (SPEIRS), 8. MARJONOVIC Stefan (KOLONJA), 9. SOPER Hayden, 10. TOSKOVSKI Daniel, 11. YOUNG Josh.
Substitutes: 23. SPEIRS Joel, 24. KOLONJA Dusan, 25. VANDENBERG Matt, 36. Nate MATHEIN.
Warilla: 1. PUSSEL Blake, 2. ROBERSTON Stewart, 3. FOWLER Jack, 4. GERIBO Brenton, 5. CASTELLI Martin, 6. MCINTOSH Reece (WALKER), 7. MONTALBANO Adrian, 8. LEE Marc, 9. TORTORELLA Nick (ANDERSON), 10. KEATING Chad, 16. ATKINS Daniel (CASTELLI).
Substitutes: 11. CASTELLI Eric, 12. WALKER Chris, 13. ANDERSON Tate, 14. NORONHA Ryan.
Date: 30 August 2020
Venue: Barrack Heights Sportsfield
Referee: Brendan Fotheringham
Assistant Referees: Steven Payne & Club
Report by Nathan Turner, on Twitter @nathanturner23_
Photo Courtesy of Pedro Garcia