Wollongong United secured the Youth Grade title with a 2-0 win over rivals Wollongong Olympic on Friday evening at Ian McLennan Park.

Will Nattrass, who was named best on ground after the match, put United ahead in the 35th minute before James Sekuloski added a second on the stroke of half time.

United showed the incentive early on when six minutes in, Jason Naumovski saw his header from a corner from the left-hand side saved.

In the 26th minute, Olympic’s James Agno took on a shot from outside the box off his left foot which deflected kindly into the hands of Zak Bedelovski in the league champions’ goal.

Three minutes later, Agno had another opportunity when a corner from the right-hand side from Harrison Agno eventually fell the way of James inside the box who turned quickly and fired a shot goalwards which was saved.

Five minutes later, Wollongong United took the lead. A corner in from the right-hand side dropping at the feet of Will Nattrass who powered an effort into the roof of the net.

Olympic responded soon after when Nathan Ball lined up a volley from the edge of the box but it was straight at Bedelovski, who held on well.

As soon as United’s lead was threatened it was doubled as James Sekuloski tapped home from close range after some buildup play left-hand side forced a save from Olympic shot-stopper Harrison Matias, fell the way of Sekuloski on the right-hand side of the box who passed the ball into a virtually empty net.

United went into the break with a two-goal advantage. 

It was all United at the start of the second half creating three chances in the opening 15 minutes.

Three minutes in, a cross into the box from the left-hand side found the head of Michael Giraldi who – attempting to put the ball back across goal saw his effort bounce wide.

A minute later, some fantastic skill from Thomas Darjani on the right-hand side of the box allowed the forward to cut the ball back to the edge of the box for Sam Adnum who skied his first-time shot.

Nine minutes later, a Giraldi freekick from the left-hand side found Milos Radic in the middle who glanced his header wide of the far corner. 

Just after the hour mark, Olympic almost halved the deficit when a cross into the box dropped to the feet of defender Michael Kyriakoudes who saw his effort blocked from point-blank range.

Ten minutes later, Harrison Agno lined a right-footed shot up from a significant distance and saw it drop onto the right-hand post.

Olympic created one more opening which came in the final minute of the match when Tony Krstevski twisted and turned on the left-hand edge of the box eventually digging out a shot which narrowly missed the crossbar. 

United sealed the match 2-0 to complete an undefeated season which also included success in the Youth Cup.

Victorious co-coaches Yani Sekuloski and Steve Jovanovski hailed their side’s performance in the decider and throughout the season.

“The boys have had an outstanding season,” Sekuloski said. 

“We came out today, we kept a clean sheet, the backline was absolutely outstanding.”

“We were solid at the back,” Jovanovski added.

I thought our wingers played a really solid game as well.”

Wollongong United 2 (Will Nattrass 35’, James Sekuloski 45’)

Wollongong Olympic 0 

Player of the match: Will Nattrass

Wollongong United: 62. BEDELOVSKI Zak, 31. FOWLER Ben, 22. HANSEN Lee, 35. JOVONOVSKI Kyah, 16. NATTRASS Will, 45. NAUMOVSKI Jason, 40. PILIPOVIC Filip, 21. SEKULOSKI James, 5. ADNUM Sam, 12. GIRALDI Michael, 9. DARJANI Thomas

Substitutes: 34. RADIC Milos, 48. BROWN Curtis, 33. HATZIMANOLIS Victor, 13. OVERTON Sean, 51. SOUSA Andrew, 63. MACK Luke

Wollongong Olympic: 1. MATIAS Harrison, 2. MORPHETT Bailey, 4. KYRIAKOUDES Michael, 5. BAULCH Alexander, 6. AGNO James, 7. KRESTEVSKI Tony, 8. AGNO Harrison, 9. KIZI Jordan, 11. BALL Nathan, 13. KRSTESKI Gabriel, 17. GEORGES Samuel

Substitutes: 3. MAZMANIDIS Yianni, 10. NAUMOVSKI Julian, 16. NIKOLOVSKI Dominic, 22. RABABE Adam, 26. ALZAEIM Yazen

Date: 30 October 2020

Venue: Ian McLennan Park

Referee: Jay Walpole

Assistant Referees: Casey Flemming and Harrison Fisher

Fourth Official:  Martin Rowney

Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_

Photo by Pedro Garcia

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