WOONONA v TARRAWANNA | IPL R10 | MATCH REPORT
Woonona ground out a 1-0 win over Tarrawanna on Saturday to secure a spot in the Illawarra Premier League finals for the first time in the club’s history.
Tomohiro Ishii was the matchwinner for the Sharks with the Japanese netting the only goal on a windy afternoon at Ocean Park before making a crucial block late on.
Tarrawanna were first to get a shot away when Tyson Black crossed the ball into Zac Mazevski in the fourth minute with the forward doing well to control it before blasting it over.
Robbie Gaudiosi had the Sharks’ first attempt soon after when he nodded a tight whip from skipper Tyler Bromham-Fuller just wide of the near post.
On the half-hour mark, a nice bit of link-up play led to Black having a shot which was well blocked by Taro Reagan-Williams and a minute later the Sharks hit the lead.
Brendan Pattman stood over a free kick on the left wing with the wideman flinging in a cross to the far post for Ishii to meet and guide the ball back across Adam Rodriguez and into the bottom left corner.
The Blueys had a couple of half-chances to equalise late in the first half through Mazevski and Kyle Kirkland but neither player was able to test Jair Fernandez.
Tarrawanna were on top in the second half, however, the blustery conditions and determined opposition made it difficult for the visitors to capitalise.
Nic Tomasiello squandered two one-on-one opportunities early in the second half with the first scuffed wide and the second colliding with the crossbar.
With an hour played a goalkeeping error nearly squared the ledger when Black’s free kick was spilt over by Fernandez while at the other end, Jesse French had a flash across goal in what proved to be Woonona’s best chance of the second period.
The Blueys continued to push for a leveller and with 10 minutes remaining substitute Omi Uchendu nearly set one up with the youngster making a determined run into the area before cutting the ball back to Black on the edge of the six-yard box. Black beat Fernandez with a first-time effort, however, Ishii was on the line to keep the shot out.
Uchendu was in the thick of it a couple of minutes later when he played in Darren Stone but the veteran’s finishing let him down with his shot also failing to hit the target on a frustrating day for Blueys.
The Sharks have done it. They're in the finals.
— Dylan Arvela (@dylanarvela) September 26, 2020
Dan McGoldrick was delighted to come away with the win after an attritional 90 minutes with the Woonona boss revealing he was relieved to make amends for falling short last season.
“When you thought about the heartbreak last season at Tarra when we missed out [on the top five] by a hair’s breadth, it’s fantastic – we’ve made it,” he said.
“It was a tough game and I thought the odd goal was going to win it in these conditions.
“We got a bit of luck, Tarra had some decent chances and I think it was very much a tale of the wind, in the first half it gave us an advantage and in the second half it gave them the advantage but what I was most please about was that we kept our shape, we fought hard and we won ugly.”
Along with finals football, the Sharks have also confirmed a top-three finish ahead of their round 11 clash with bottom of the table South Coast United.
Woonona still have a slim chance of claiming the league championship, however, they would need to beat South Coast, hope Coniston can upset league leaders Wollongong United and there be a three-goal swing in their favour.
“Having watched the teams playing down the bottom of the competition recently, they’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose,” McGoldrick explained.
“South Coast play four up high and they play high-risk football but it can also be high reward so we have to be very mindful of doing the same things that we have been doing [up until this point], in the last round as we lead into the finals.
Tarrawanna drop to sixth with the defeat, however, their finals fate rests in their hands with the Blueys hosting fifth-placed Wollongong Olympic with the sides separated by a single point.
Woonona 1 (Tomohiro Ishii 31’)
Woonona: 1. FERNANDEZ Jair, 2. BESGROVE Cameron, 3. BURKE Thomas, 4. REGAN-WILLIAMS Taro, 5. ISHII Tomohiro, 6. TOOHEY Luke, 7. PATTMAN Brendan, 8. BROMHAM-FULLER Tyler, 9. FRENCH Jesse, 10. GAUDIOSI Robbie, 11. MELLOR Jai
Substitutes: 12. GREW Damien (FRENCH), 13. MCCALL Eden, 14. SMITH Cooper (GAUDIOSI), 15. CHILTON Liam, 20. CHURCHWARD Jack
Tarrawanna: 1. RODRIGUEZ Adam, 2. NAYLOR Matt, 3. PAGE Brody, 5. STONE Darren, 14. FERRARO Mitchell, 7. MAZEVSKI Zac, 8. KIRKLAND Kyle, 9. TOMASIELLO Nic, 10. LEARMONTH Ben, 11. BLACK Tyson
Substitutes: 12. UCHENDU Omi (MAZEVSKI), 16. LLOYD Haydyn, 6. ARAI Shuhei, 15. DRAIN Toby, 21. GENUA Luke
Date: 26 September 2020
Venue: Ocean Park
Referee: Caleb Blanch
Assistant Referees: Damien Dennelly and Helmut Lux
Report by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela
Photos by Graham Brown