2022-4-2 1 Grade vs SCU (34)


Wollongong United strolled to success in their first match of the season, with a comprehensive 4-0 win over South Coast United at Ian McLennan Park on Saturday afternoon. 

Mason Versi opened the scoring for the visitors inside the opening 10 minutes before Kodai Hayashi put the ball into the back of his own net just after the half-hour mark. 

Versi scored his second midway through the second half and Klime Sekutkoski added a fourth with 15 minutes to play earning Wollongong United all three points on Super Saturday. 

South Coast made a bright start to the match with Tony Musumeci coming close on two occasions in the first five minutes running in behind the Wollongong United defence. 

Both sides nearly found the opening goal in the coming minutes. 

Wollongong United’s Versi sent a shot from outside the box off the crossbar seven minutes in.

Four minutes later, South Coast United’s Jamie Wakeling saw his effort bounce off the far post following his effort from the left corner of the box. 

In the 19th minute, Wollongong United broke the deadlock with Versi bringing down the ball skillfully inside the right-hand channel of the box before burying the ball into the goal. 

The away side began to push on in the next 10 minutes with South Coast keeper Jason Bleakley called into action on a couple of occasions to produce some important saves.

With 32 minutes played, Wollongong United had their second goal of the game as Hayashi headed the ball into the back of his own net after a corner from the left. 

The reigning Illawarra Premier League grand final champions went into the sheds with a two-goal advantage.

The side carried on in the second half striking the woodwork once more just after the hour mark with substitute Jeremy Flanagan skying the follow-up from inside the box. 

In the 64th minute, Flanagan forced another impressive save from Bleakley with the keeper diving to his right to parry the ball away for a corner. 

Four minutes after this, Wollongong United added a third through Versi’s second of the match.

A dipping and curling effort from outside the box on the right-hand side found the top-left corner.

Not long after Versi struck another attempt off the woodwork with a shot from a similar range cannoning back off the left post as Bleakley watched on. 

Klime Sekutkoski scored the fourth goal for Wollongong United in the 75th minute sending a left-footed shot into the right side of the goal.

The hosts nearly pulled a goal back late in the second half with Lachlan Cook taking aim from a narrow angle on the right, but Wollongong United keeper Jacob Madden was equal to it.  

Wollongong United went on to secure a win in their first match of the season getting up 4-0.

Coach Billy Tsvolos was pleased with the performance of his side noting the display of Versi who picked up two goals in the match.

“It was a pretty professional effort, we just saw it out,” he said. 

“He [Versi] was excellent and that’s what he’s capable of. He’s an unbelievable player.”

Wollongong United are to host Bulli on Saturday in a match that has seen plenty of drama-filled moments over the years, but first, they will face Southern Ettalong in the Australia Cup on Tuesday night.

South Coast United coach Greg Valic saw some positives but acknowledged the poor run of form that sees the side winless in its opening four matches conceding four goals in each. 

“When you play against a team like Wollongong United, they’ve got quality all over the pitch,” he said. 

“The scoreline I think it hurts but some parts of the performance I can be satisfied with.”

South Coast are scheduled to travel to Albion Park White Eagles on Saturday. 

South Coast United 0

Wollongong United 4 (Mason Versi 9’ 68’, Kodai Hayashi OWN GOAL 31’, Klime Sekutkoski 75’)

South Coast United: 1. BLEAKLEY Jason, 4. VALIC Greg, 6. LONCAR Lucas, 7. MUSUMECI Tony, 9. WAKELING Jamie, 11. BERTAKIS Ricky, 14. BRODNIK James, 15. HAYASHI Kodai, 16. ANIC Antoni, 17. HMDA Kolan, 23. BRODNIK Kieren

Substitutes: 2. MENA Dylan, 8. LUCAS Ben (WAKELING), 12. COOK Lachlan (BERTAKIS), 18. NAKASONE Tatsuma (K.BRODNIK)

Wollongong United: 60. MADDEN Jacob, 27. BARBAROVSKI Bailey, 19. BROOKS Ben, 7. CORREIA Josh, 26. KAWAKAMI Seiji, 5. LAZAREVSKI Danny, 29. SEKUTKOSKI Klime, 32. STOJANOVSKI James, 10. TERZIC Dinko, 23. YAMADA Mitsuo, 11. VERSI Mason


Date: 2 April 2022

Venue: Ian McLennan Park

Referee: Caleb Blanch

Assistant Referees: John Ruscica and Warwick Davidson

Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @timg123_

Photo by Richie Wagner

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