Woonona took a massive step towards securing their first-ever Illawarra Premier League finals appearance on Sunday with a 2-1 win over Corrimal at Memorial Park.

Cameron Besgrove proved the unlikely matchwinner with the makeshift winger scoring twice as the Sharks came from behind to down the reigning premiers.

Corrimal hit the front in the second minute of the match when Rick Goodchild whipped in a freekick from the left which was glanced in by Takao Teramoto.

The lead was eradicated two minutes later when Woonona scored from an indirect freekick after Corrimal goalkeeper Kaydin Harrison handled a backpass. 

Jai Mellor laid off to skipper Tyler Bromham-Fuller who struggled to get a clean hit away after the ball took a bobble, however, it landed to Besgrove who managed to tuck it home.

In the 15th minute, Mellor had a shot from distance which was dealt with, though unconvincingly, by Harrison while in the 19th minute, Jair Fernandez pulled off a save from a Tim Wylie effort before Jake Morlando’s strike was blocked.

Woonona pushed ahead on the half-hour mark when the harrying Besgrove broke clear 30 metres from goal before cooly slotting the ball past the Rangers goalkeeper.

The home side had a chance to level the match five minutes later when Matt Galanti wriggled through on goal, however, the retreating Taro Regan-Williams was able to force the Ranger into a miscued hit.

Woonona were able to restrict Corrimal attacking raids throughout the second half with the Sharks the ones coming closest to scoring another.

Mellor was in the thick of Woonona’s two best second-half chances with the first seeing the forward tee up Brendan Pattman at close range with his shot saved low to Harrison’s left.

The second saw Mellor play Robbie Gaudiosi through on goal only for Nicholas Grozdanov to pull off a last-ditch tackle. 

The victory is Woonona’s fifth of the season, taking the Ocean Park club to second on the table and three points behind Wollongong United. 

Woonona coach Dan McGoldrick admitted he knew the enormity of the result, adding he just wanted his side to stick to their guns.

“The coaching staff knew how important [getting a win] was,” McGoldrick explained.

“We didn’t want to overplay it to the players though and we just tried as best as we could to just treat it like another game and play the way we have been playing for the last five weeks which is being solid in defence and we’re getting in behind teams and starting to create a few opportunities.”

The two goals from Besgrove, who is usually deployed along the backline, were his first in the top flight and McGoldrick 

“Cam was probably the least expected to do that,” McGoldrick said.

“In the game the week before he was playing in a similar position and he had two chances in about three seconds and fluffed his lines but he looks to have got used to the fact he’s getting over halfway.

“He’s such a versatile player, he’ll just do whatever you ask him to do and any team would like to have a player like him.”

Woonona face Coniston at home next Saturday while on the same day, Corrimal, who are now five points off fifth, will aim to keep their fading finals flame burning away to Bulli.

Corrimal 1 (Takao Teramoto 2’)

Woonona 2 (Cameron Besgrove 4’ 30’)

Corrimal: 1. HARRISON Kaydin, 2. ZUFIC Jason, 5. MORLANDO Jake, 6. STERGIOU Lukas, 7. GALANTI Matt, 8. GOODCHILD Rick, 9. MATTHEWS Sam, 11. WYLIE Tim, 12. GROZDANOV Nicholas, 13. TERAMOTO Takao, 14. TYSON Zack

Substitutes: 3. PENDER Dean (MORLANDO), 15. SAFFIOTI Christian (GALANTI), 16. PERLOWSKI Dylan (TERAMOTO), 99. ZUFIC David

Woonona: 21. FERNANDEZ Jair, 2. LOPEZ Jeremy, 3. BURKE Thomas, 4. REGAN-WILLIAMS Taro, 5. ISHII Tomohiro, 6. TOOHEY Luke, 7. PATTMAN Brendan, 8. BROMHAM-FULLER Tyler, 9. MELLOR Jai, 10. GAUDIOSI Robbie, 11. BESGROVE Cameron

Substitutes: 12. FRENCH Jesse, 13. SWEENEY Hayden, 14. GREW Damien (GAUDIOSI), 15. MCCALL Eden (MELLOR), 20. CHURCHWOOD Jack

Date: 13 September 2020

Venue: Memorial Park

Referee: Brodie Merchant

Assistant Referees: Brendon Fotheringham and Casey Fleming

Report by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela

Photo by Edmund Esterbauer 

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