Coniston set their standards high with a 3-2 win over Corrimal in the opening match of the Illawarra Premier League on Friday night.

The two teams scrambled to capitalise on an abundance of chances throughout both halves, but it was an error in defence that gave Coniston the winning penalty in to grab the round-one points.

The action started almost as soon as the whistle blew with Steven Ugrinovski opening up the scoring for Coniston with a well-placed header from an Anthony Krsteski cross in the 4th minute.

Corrimal began to feel their way into the game and seven minutes later they found the back of the net through Sandy Lowcock; the striker hitting a powerful shot from just outside the box to equalise in the 11th minute.

A fiery approach from both sides led to numerous fouls and yellow cards, with Corrimal creating a few more scoring opportunities again through Lowcock – who was linking up well with Daniel Carreno.

In the 17th minute, Coniston defender Takayuki Kayano had a defensive lapse to give away a penalty which Ranger Rick Goodchild made more mistake with by perfectly placing it past Kaydin Harrison.

The last 10 minutes of the half was frustrating for both teams as they struggled to find the back of the net.

Lukas Stergiou was having an exceptional night with his passing and one of his through balls gave Tomohito Fujieda a golden goal-scoring opportunity as the Japanese found space in the area before sending his shot wide due to the pressure of goalkeeper Ryan Norval.

The Rangers went into the half-time break holding on to their 2-1 lead.

A fast-paced second half saw Coniston dominate the opening 10 minutes with captain Stergiou sending a perfectly weighted ball through to Jake Morlando made a superb run to the corner post before whipping it into the six-yard box where Matthew Tschentscher collected the rebound and neatly placed the ball in the corner of the net to equalise.

Corrimal’s Toby Norval was able to conjure up an opportunity soon with the attacker hitting a powerful striker which Harrison did well to keep out.

Corrimal were hungry to find the winner, but it was Coniston who would have another chance to go ahead after an ill-judged tackle from centre back Nathan Belsito led to a penalty which Morlando powerful dispatched against his former club.

Both teams continued to fight to the very end, but the home side, buoyed by the support of the crowd, held on to secure the first-round win.

After the match Corrimal-turned-Coniston coach, Rob Jonovski believed that the first half was extremely even but was exceptionally happy with the performance from his team in the second half.

“I definitely think we lifted intensity in the second half, we played some great football and that was shown in the first 20 minutes,” Jonovski said.

“The whole team played well tonight, and I think Zander Regan and Connor O’Neil who came off the bench were outstanding.

“I am hoping to get back into training two days next week after this rain we’ve had so we can continue on the momentum and prepare for South Coast United next Saturday.”

Coniston will take on South Coast United next Saturday at Ian McLennan Park in a late-night fixture whilst Corrimal will host Wollongong United on Good Friday.

Coniston: 3 (Steven Ugrinovski 4’, Matthew Tschentscher 54’, Jake Morlando 61’)

Corrimal: 2 (Sandy Lowcock 11’, Ricky Goodchild 18’)

Coniston: 1. HARRISON Kaydin, 2. MATTHEWS Samuel, 3. KAYANO Takayuki, 4. GROZDANOV Nicholas, 5. PERLOWSKI Dylan, 6. STERGIOU Lukas, 7. FUJIEDA Tomohito, 9. TSCHENTSCHER Matthew, 11. MORLANDO Jake, 18. KRSTESKI Anthony, 19. UGRINOVSKI Steven

Substitutes: 8. O’NEILL Connor (DAVIES), 10. REGAN Zander (UGRINOVSKI), 12. ZUFIC David, 15. KYRIAKOUDES Peter (GROZDANOV), 50. DUCKINOSKI Aleksander

Corrimal: 1. NORVAL Ryan, 2. SKURTEVSKI Taylan, 13. CARRENO Daniel, 4. GUIDO Paul, 5. BELSITO Nathan, 6. YOUSEEF Peter, 7. LACOVELLI Fabian, 8. NORVAL Tobias, 9. LOWCOCK Sandy, 10. GOODCHILD Rick, 11. KELLY Daniel

Substitutes: 12. GALANTI Matt, 14. JOCOME LARA Rafael (CARRENO), 15. ACEV Brad (SKURTEVSKI), 16. CALLOWAY Reid, 99. HARRIS Liam

Date: 26 March 2021

Venue: JJ Kelly Park

Referee: Peter Ilcevski

Assistant Referees: Harrison Fisher and Hayden Michlmayer

Report by Alison Dinh, on Twitter @alisondinh_

Photo by Pedro Garcia


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