South Coast United celebrated player-coach Greg Valic’s 20-year association with the club prior to the kick-off but that is where the party would end for the home side as Valic’s opposite number, Cringila coach Paul Michlmayr, guided the Lions to victory in his first game in charge.
Despite scoring three goals themselves, South Coast were outplayed by Michlmayr’s side whose five goals came via braces for Nick High and Nuno Pires as well as a single goal for Tobias Norval.
Most of the Ian McLennan crowd were only a few bites into their cevapi when Cringila scored their first goal in the second minute courtesy of Nick High who was played in behind the United defence and superbly tucked the ball into the bottom right corner.
Eleven minutes later Cringila were in on goal again when Todd Sparkes dispossessed United’s left fullback, Brooklan Frkovic, and played through High. His shot was parried by goalkeeper Jason Bleakley straight into the path of Nuno Pires who tapped in his first of the night.
Down 2-0 United looked to their experienced players for inspiration and it was Ricky Bertakis who stepped up to bring his side back into the contest, expertly placing a ball cut back to him on the penalty spot into the bottom left corner in the 18th minute.
The 42nd minute was a true turning point in the match. South Coast’s central midfielder, Kolan Hmda found himself in an unfamiliar territory when he was played in behind Cringila’s defence to be one-on-one with goalkeeper Nikola Ristevski. Hmda turned as Ristevski went to ground in an attempt to pluck the ball from his feet, which gave Hmda a great opportunity to equalise with the Cringila defence scrambling to cover the goal. However, Hmda’s attempt to hit it past the defenders sliced wide and out for a goal-kick. This would prove to be costly as the Lions immediately broke into United’s box with Tobias Norval firing a shot at Bleakley whose save looped into the air and was met with Nick High’s head to score Cringila’s third.
Cringila carried their momentum from the end of the first half into the second period and scored their fourth just after the hour mark when Pires ran onto a Trent Alexander-Arnold- esque cross from Cringila’s right back, Jake Webster, and powerfully headed it into the back of the net.
In the 82nd minute, High looked set to cap of his stellar night with a hattrick when he dribbled his way past the South Coast defence and unleased a shot only to be denied by the woodwork. This would set off a counter for South Coast which culminated in a cross from the right-wing that smashed into the back of the net by Anthony Pedavoli to give his side an outside chance of pulling off a comeback.
However, a 90th minute goal from Norval put the contest to bed as the forward coolly dinked a chip shot over Bleakley on the back of a lightning break.
A stoppage time consolation for United substitute, Keiran Brodnik rounded out the high scoring fixture which marked Cringila’s first win of the season.
The Lion’s will look to continue their winning ways under Michlmayr next week at home against Corrimal.
Meanwhile, South Coast United remain winless this season and will need to win their final two fixtures to have any chance of avoiding the wooden spoon.
South Coast United: 3 (Bertakis 18’, Pedavoli 82’, Brodnik 90+2’)
Cringila: 5 (High 2’ 42’, Pires 13’ 62’, Norval 90’)
South Coast United: 1. BLEAKLEY Jason, 5. FRKOVIC Brooklan, 6. POLLARD Jarrod, 7. PEDAVOLI Anthony, 8. HAWKER Zac, 9. WAKELING Jamie, 10. BRATJANSCAK Ivan, 11. BERTAKIS Ricky, 17. HMDA Kolan, 22. AHMAD Usamah, 24. CHO Byungkuk.
Substitutes: 3. YOUSSEF Peter (Ahmad), 4. VALIC Greg, 30. ROUFOGALIS Nicholas (Wakeling), 23. BRODNIK Kieran (Bertakis), 21. VALIC David.
Cringila: 1. RISTEVSKI Nikola, 2. BROOKS Jackson, 3. BAILEY Jake, 20. MOBBS William, 15. WEBSTER Jake, 17. PRENTOSKI Aleksander, 8. SPARKS Todd, 19. NORVAL Tobias, 12. UGRINOVSKI Steven, 9. PIRES Nuno, 18. HIGH Nick.
Substitutes: 10. MOJSOSKI Alex (Ugrinovski), 44. CAKIC Luka (Pires), 33. CALLAWAY Reid (Prentoski).
Date: 19 September 2020
Venue: Ian McLennan Park
Referee: Caleb Blanch
Assistant Referees: Demi Goddard and Steven Payne
Report by Nic Wilson, on Twitter @_nicwilson
Photos courtesy of Graham Brown