Crehan Park was the setting as South Coast United grabbed their first win of the Illawarra Premier League season with a 2-1 victory against Cringila on Friday night.

All the goals came in the first 45 minutes with Kieren Brodnik giving United the lead before Toni Musumeci doubled their advantage midway through.

Jordan Prentoski scored the Lions just before the break but it wouldn’t be enough to deny South Coast their first win since the penultimate round of last season.

It was a frantic first five minutes in the match with Cringila creating numerous chances through Prentoski and Marcus Grbevski, but neither were able to hit the target.

In the 6th minute, South Coast pushed ahead for the first time this season.

A turnover in the middle of the pitch saw an incisive ball played into the path of Kieren Brodnik who, face-to-face with Nikola Ristevski, placed a calm finish to the goalkeeper’s right.

In response to going behind, Cringila went in search of an equaliser with Stephen Grbevski coming close on a couple of occasions.

In the 17th minute, the visitors nearly added a second when a fast counter-attacked ended with Kolan Hmda centrally on the edge of the box with the veteran shovelling his shot over the crossbar.

Four minutes later, South Coast did secure their second as an audacious effort from Toni Musumeci, from deep on the left flank, managed to find the frame of the goal on the way into the back of the net.

South Coast began to sit in as the Lions looked to get back into the match.

Prentoski was the main threat, with the striker forcing an impressive save from Jason Bleakley and hitting the post with another chance a few minutes later.

Prentoski’s persistence would be rewarded with a minute left in the half when he found himself behind the United defence before sliding his finish past Bleakley.

The second half wasn’t as invigorating as the first, despite Cringila having a lion’s share of possession.

Cringila would have snatched a point at the death had it not been for a miracle bloke from Berkay Eskin with a vacant goal behind him – his intervention sealing the three points for South Coast.

The win sees United gain their first points of the season, and despite remaining pegged to the bottom they’re now a point behind Cringila and Bellambi.

United’s Greg Valic was delighted with the victory, with the player-coach explaining how important it was to get the first goal.

“It’s a good feeling to go ahead, it’s been a long time coming,” he said. 

“In a lot of the games this year we’ve tried to hold on for as long as possible or have gone down and it’s an uphill battle. But to score first is really positive and it’s a reward for the positive things we’ve been doing. 

“It was a tough game, we saw it out – really really top defending at the end there.”

His team travels to Bellambi in the last round of the first half of the season knowing a win would see them leapfrog the 10th-placed Rosellas.

For Cringila, this result compounded a difficult two weeks after the side’s 8-0 drubbing to Coniston in round nine. 

This drags the Lions back into a relegation scrap and in need of a result away to Woonona next weekend.

After round 11 next weekend, Michael Grbevski’s team have a tough run of fixtures including back-to-back matches against the Albion Park White Eagles and Wollongong Olympic.

Cringila Lions 1 (Jordan Prentoski 44’)

South Coast United 2 (Kieren Brodnik 6’, Toni Musumeci 21’)

Cringila Lions: 1. RISTEVSKI Nikola, 18. BIRRELL Lochie, 5. RALSTON James, 3. GRBEVSKI Marcus, 7. LEON Mauro, 13. MITROVSKI Brendan, 4. MORENA Alessio, 34. SUZAKI Kohei, 9. GRBEVSKI Stephen, 19. PRENTOSKI Jordan, 32. MERXHUSHI Valentino

Substitutes: 10. DI MARINO Stefano (MORENA), 11. STEVANOVSKI Chris (PRENTOSKI), 6. MORGAN Nick, 12. KUZMANOSKI James (SUZAKI), 25. PRESILSKI Mitchell

South Coast United: 1. BLEAKLEY Jason, 4. VALIC Greg, 7. MUSUMECI Toni, 11. BERTAKIS Ricky, 17. HMDA Kolan, 20. ESKIN Berkay, 9. WAKELING Jamie, 15. MONHEM Simon, 23. BRODNICK Kieren, 38. KENNEDY Lochlan, 40. LONCAR Lucas

Substitutes: 14. SADAMORI Hayato (BRODNIK), 18. ROUFOGALIS Nicholas (BERTAKIS), 30. ANIC ANTONI, 42. MACKAY Andrew, 21. VALIC David

Date: 28 May 2021

Venue: Crehan Park

Referee: Bobby Mazevski

Assistant Referees: Caleb Blanch and Joel Nees

Report by Timothy Gibson

Photo by Denis Ivaneza / Inner Visions Photography


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