Unanderra eventually stormed into the Peoplecare District League Grand Final with a 7-3 victory over a significantly depleted and brave Picton side after extra time at JJ Kelly Park on a very wet Saturday afternoon.
Unanderra took the lead midway through the first half when Daniel Saverino fired home before in the final minutes of the first half, Picton equalised through Matthew Tesoriero but, from the resulting kick off, Mark Picciolini headed home to put the Hearts back into the lead at the break. Lachlan Newman scored just before the hour mark to equalise for the Rangers before 11 minutes later when Christian Cevenini put Picton into the lead for the first time in the match. With nine minutes to play in the game, Dominic Magill nodded home from a corner to restore parity for the Hearts and send the match into extra time. It was all Unanderra in extra time with Picciolini claiming two more goals to earn a hattrick and Save Treneski getting a brace off the bench.
Unanderra showed a sign of things to come when in the 12th minute Mark Picciolini dragged a shot wide of the left-hand upright from the edge of the box. Seven minutes later, Picton were awarded a freekick on the right-hand edge of the box. Aurin Jones took responsibility from the set piece and curled an effort just over the bar. Two minutes later, the Hearts had their first goal of the game. Daniel Saverino shifting the ball inside on the left-hand side and sending a right-footed shot into the near side of the goal. With just three minutes to play in the half, the Rangers pulled the scores level. Matthew Tosoriero going face-to-face with Hearts’ shot-stopper Brandon Groom and rounding the keeper to tap the ball into a vacant net. However, from the kick off, Unanderra retook the lead. A cross in from the right-hand side finding the head of Picciolini who guided the ball into the net seeing the Hearts into the lead heading into the break.
It was a reserved start to the second period with the first real action of the half coming three minutes before the hour mark in the form of the Bush Pigs’ second equaliser of the match. Lachlan Newman sending a fantastic header into the net following a cross in from the right-hand side. It got better for the Rangers as four minutes later, the side hit the front for the first time in the match. Christian Cevenini reacting fastest to a parried shot from Groom inside the box and firing the ball into the roof of the net.
In response to going behind, Unanderra had a flurry of chances with Picciolini having several great opportunities to restore parity – most notably in the 64th minute when he saw his effort cleared off the line. Three minutes later, a cross in from the right-hand side from Daniel Jorge found the head of Picciolini at the back post who headed wide of the target. In the 81st minute, the pressure told on the Rangers’ defence when Domonic Magill flicked on a corner from the left-hand side at the near post seeing his header find the far corner and send the game into extra time.
The Hearts found the net four times in extra time the first coming in the 100th minute when Picciolini got on the end of a ball in from the left-hand side and drilled an effort into the left-hand bottom corner of the net. Five minutes later, substitute Save Treneski doubled Unanderra’s lead. A good turn centrally allowed the forward to run in on goal and send an assured finish into the right-hand bottom corner of the net. Picciolini secured his hattrick in the second period of extra time in the 112th minute reacting fastest to a ball that dropped to him in the box following a corner before Treneski earned a brace three minutes later rounding the keeper and powering a finish into the bottom right-hand corner past the Picton defender on the line.
Unanderra’s strong showing in extra time secured the Hearts a place in the grand final where they will face League Champions Oak Flats Falcons next Saturday at Ian McLennan Park.
Hearts’ coach Rod Williams was pleased with the result and the impact of super-sub Save Treneski.
“We’ve got depth in the squad and we come good at the right time”, Williams said.
“At the end of the day, the score says 7-3 you’ve got to take it.
“Save [Treneski] has done well, credit to him coming off the bench and scoring a couple.”
Unanderra Hearts 7 (Daniel Saverino 21’, Mark Picciolini 42’ 100’ 112’, Domonic Magill 80’, Save Treneski 105’ 115’)
Picton Rangers 3 (Matthew Tesoriero 41’, Lachlan Newman 57’, Christian Cevenini 68’)
Unanderra Hearts: 1. GROOM Brandon, 2. JORGE Daniel, 16. PERRY Joel, 6. MOREIRA Bradley, 10. MANFREDI Lori, 9. SAVERINO Daniel,17. MAGILL Dominic, 7. PLAKIAS Christian, 12. NANOS Andrew, 13. PICCIOLINI Mark, 4. MARTIN Lachlan
Substitutes: 3. PERINICH Michael (NANOS), 50. BUSSOLETTI Luke (PLAKIAS), 48. TRENESKI Save (SAVERINO), 8. OSBORNE Lachlan (PERRY), 11. D’ALESSIO Claude
Picton Rangers: 1. WHITTINGHAM Aaron, 11. MACLEOD William, 5. DURRANT Bradley, 3. O’NEIL Connor, 2. DYMOND Conner, 4. NELSON Daniel, 9. TESORIERO Matthew, 13. TASESKI Jack, 8. JONES Aurin, 10. NEWMAN Lachlan, 7. CEVENINI Christian
Substitutes: 12. LEE Brandon (DYMOND), 14. ROBERTS Benjamin (CEVENINI), 6. STIFFLE Shane (TESORIERO), 15. STEWART Daniel (MACLEOD), 16. SKANDARI Mohammad
Date: 24 October 2020
Venue: JJ Kelly Park
Referee: Andrew Naylor
Assistant Referees: Caleb Blanch and Reece Edwards
Fourth Official: Bobby Mazevski
Report by Timothy Gibson
Photo courtesy of Graham Brown