Fresh off defeat at the hands of Coniston, Woonona were desperate to get back to winning ways and did so emphatically with a 6-2 victory over South Coast United who are now bottom of the Premier League.

It was the first time the two sides have met since the final round of last season when Woonona secured their maiden league title.

The match was evenly poised until Woonona opened the scoring in the 35th minute.

In what would be the first goal of a hat-trick, Corey Haines-Grose curled the ball from the top of the 18-yard box into the bottom left corner which left South Coast goalkeeper David Valic rooted to the spot.

Haines-Grose would net his second five minutes later, smartly flicking on a cross with the back of his head past Valic.

Woonona were storming into half time with a wet sail Max Ashton pulling off a superb finish across the goalkeeper with the last kick of the opening period with the three-goal deficit leaving South Coast starring down the barrel of their fourth consecutive defeat.

However, United got themselves back into the contest five minutes after the interval when Kieren Brodnik capitalised on a goalkeeper error – gratefully passing David Booth’s poor clearance into an empty net.

South Coast’s unlikely comeback was put to bed on the hour mark when Haines-Grose’s well-timed run left him free in United’s box and on the end of a long free-kick, sealing his hattrick with another clever flicked on finish – this time with the outside of his boot.

It was déjà vu in the 70th minute when once more an aerial cross breached South Coast’s defence with Taro Regan Williams hammering a free header from close to the penalty spot into the back of the net.

The goal-fest continued in the 80th minute when South Coast’s Jamie Wakeling stood over a free-kick to the left of the penalty area.

The striker curled the ball with his right foot with the shot evading the swinging legs of both Sharks and United players before nestling in the bottom right corner.

Sharks substitute Richard Lee completed the demolition job with a firm finish from a ball that was cut back from the byline in the second minute of stoppage time.

The resounding victory is the Shark’s first of the season and one that allows them to get their top five aspirations back on track.

They can go level on points with those in the finals spots with a win over Bellambi tomorrow in their round one catch-up match.

As for South Coast United, they are now the only side in the competition without a point after Cringila drew 1-1 with Wollongong United.

South Coast have a tough test at home next Saturday night when they host rivals Albion Park White Eagles.

Woonona: 6 (Haines-Grose 35’ 40’ 58’, Ashton 45’, Regan Williams 65’, Lee 90+2’)

South Coast United: 2 (K. Brodnik 50’, Wakeling 80’)

Woonona: 20. BOOTH David, 22. BESGROVE Cameron, 23. HAINES-GROSE Corey, 4. REGAN WILLIAMS Taro, 35. ISHII Tomohiro, 6. TOOHEY Luke, 15. ASHTON Max, 8. BROMHAM-FULLER Tyler, 33. GAUDIOSI Robbie, 10. PATTMAN Brendan, 13. LOPEZ Jeremy.

Substitutes: 7. GREW Damien (ASHTON), 36. LEE Richard (BROMHAM-FULLER), 2. SWEENEY Hayden, 14. SMITH Cooper (HAINES-GROSE), 1. GROOM Brandon.

South Coast United: 21. VALIC David, 6. POLLARD Jarrod, 7. MUSUMECI Antonio, 8. ANAGNOSTIADIS Nicholas, 9. WAKELING Jamie, 11. BERTAKIS Ricky, 15. MONHEM Simon, 17. HMDA Kolan, 18. ROUFOGALIS Nicholas, 23. BRODNIK Kieren, 40. LONCAR Lucas.

Substitutes: 30. ANIC Antoni (ROUFOGALIS), 27. BRODNIK James, 12. WARREN Jordan (ANAGNOTIADIS), 42. MCKAY Andrew (K. BRODNIK).

Date: 17th April 2021

Venue: Ocean Park

Referee: Bobby Mazevski

Assistant Referees: Nathan Alterator and Lauren Leung

Report by Nic Wilson, on Twitter @_nicwilson

Photo by Edmund Esterbauer

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