A fast-paced affair between Coniston and Bulli took place at JJ Kelly Park where four goals were separated evenly between the two teams.

For what was both teams’ first game of the season, the match was played at a high tempo throughout the entire 90 minutes.

The home side Coniston, started off well by testing the Bulli defence with some shots and runs into the box but did not convert until they were awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute.

Adam Voloder was brought down in the box after he was surrounded by Bulli defenders just before he was about to shoot.

Tobias Norval stepped up from the spot for Cono and placed it down the right-hand side with precision to give his team the first goal of the match.

Three minutes later, the home side were once again on the attack; this time with Matthew Floro dribbling down the right wing. He attempted a cross into the on running Norval, but it ended up skimming the crossbar and out for the goal kick.

Bulli started to get themselves back into the game. In the 37th minute, a Bulli corner saw Jarvis Paterson get his foot to a loose ball, but it was well saved by Cono’s keeper, Kaydin Harrison.

Coniston had multiple chances in the first half to double their lead with Voloder doing a lot of the work upfront.

Most notably, in the 26th minute, he had received the ball from Norval who had touched it over the last line of Bulli’s defence for Voloder to run onto. Voloder touched it round the goalkeeper and was ready to fire but three Bulli defenders just did enough to deny him.

Floro was playing exceptional football down that left-hand side, putting in some great crosses and making some darting runs to try to get his team a more comfortable lead before the half.

However, by halftime, the hosts were looking slightly stronger both in attack and possession.

After half time, Bulli were pushing more and more for that equaliser, when it eventually came in the 58th minute thanks to an incredible curling goal from midfielder Sam Davies. He collected the ball on the edge of the box after and after a scrappy clearance he swung his left foot and made a perfect connection as it spun into the top left-hand corner far from the goalkeeper’s reach for 1-1.

Now all square, the final half-hour was filled with more intensity and a more head-on like approach.

Coniston’s next big chances came at the 60th and 63rd minutes. The first chance was a blocked shot after Samuel Matthews brought down the ball from a cross and had a crack.

The next chance came just seconds later where a goal-line clearance ensued after a cross was put in by Norval in which Voloder attempted to touch it into the goal, but the ball was quickly dealt with as it was slowly rolling over the line.

Just after halftime, Floro was replaced by Van Elia as Cono were looking to create more chances.

Right at the 69th minute, Van Elia was one on one with a defender on the left wing. He used three fake shots, turning his body left and right to lose the defender and ultimately isolating himself with the keeper to slot it down the right-hand side to go up 2-1 in fantastic style.

With 20 minutes left, Bulli were trying to squeeze in one more goal to tie the game.

Joshua Brooks ended up tying the game up at the 72nd minute with a clean shot from just inside the box on the far left. Lewis Grimshaw originally put in a cross intended for Ben McDonald, but it flew over to Brooks on the left where he made it 2-2.

With seven minutes left, the away side had a chance to potentially win the game, but it was squandered as Ian Clarino rushed over to help the attack and found himself volleying the ball inside the box but knocked it over the bar as the ball was too high to gain proper control over.

As the final minutes ticked on, the game became nervier and feistier with a couple of yellow cards handed out late on. There were no huge chances in the final couple of minutes, but it got scrappy as both teams were desperate for a winner.

The full-time whistle blew, and the teams had to settle for the draw. A point each in their first game of the season isn’t a bad start at all but there is, of course, some aspects to improve upon for their next games.

Coniston FC 2

Bulli FC 2

Coniston FC: 1. HARRISON Kaydin, 2. MATTHEWS Samuel, 3. KAYANO Takayuki, 4. BLACK Tyson, 6. STERGIOU Lukas, 7. VOLODER Adam, 11. MORLANDO Jake, 17. ZUFIC Jason, 19. NORVAL Tobias, 50. FLORO Matthew, 35. STERN Daniel

Substitutes: 10. ELIA Van (FLORO), 14. SACCO Gian (NORVAL), 15. DUCKINOSKI Aleksandar (BLACK), 34. D’ALMEIDA Ekoue, 20. MATIAS Harrison

Bulli FC: 21. MIYANOTO Seiya, 22. BRYCE Lachlan, 19. CLARINO Ian, 5. ISHII Tonohiro, 16. ROOKE Alex, 2. JACKSON Kyle, 6. DAVIES SAM, 7. PATERSON Jarvis, 10. GRIMSHAW Lewis, 9. MCDONALD Ben, 11. BROWNLEE Deakin

Substitutes: 23. BROOKES Joshua (BROWNLEE), 33. EMERTON Ryan (GRIMSHAW), 8. BIRRELL Lochie (CLARINO), 25. ADNUM Samuel, 1. KLUDASS Braeden

Date: 12th March 2022

Venue: JJ Kelly Park

Referee: Greg Reid

Assistant Referees: Demi Goddard and Stuart Bell.

Report by Solomon Beddow.

Photo courtesy of Dana Walker

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