A dominant University FC side ground out a solid 3-1 win over the Thirroul Thunder on Saturday morning at Ian McLennan Park in the opening game of the District League Super Saturday.
The students took the lead through a well-placed goal by Matheus Scapin before Thunder came firing back late in the second half, evening up the scores.
It was however, a neatly finished goal from substitute Chris Twigg and a double from Scapin that secured the three points for the University side.
Thirroul looked to be the most threatening in the opening ten minutes of the match, creating the majority of the chances with attacking combinations mainly between Tyler Adams and Corey Haines-Grose.
It didn’t take long though before the University side came firing back with Scapin taking control of the midfield before sending the ball into the feet of Joshua Martin who took a high shot over the cross bar.
Just minutes later, Scapin was once again involved in a superb passage of play with a flick back ball into Cameron Hanson who saw himself in a one-on-one position with goalkeeper Liam Harris, but he could not find the back of the net.
Thirroul with the quick counter punch reacted with a long ball over the top from Bradley Strudwick finding the head of Todd Davidson, but he struggled to place it past goalkeeper Jordan Kipps.
In the 28th minute, Scapin intercepted the ball and was unstoppable in the centre of the park before taking a long-range shot outside of the 18-yard box, finding the bottom corner for the opening goal.
Just minutes later, Strudwick took aim from outside the box but his effort failed to test Kipps.
The students would have the last attacking chance of the half with Pruks getting on the end of a loose ball just meters from goal before uncharacteristically shanking his shot wide.
University probably on the balance of play perhaps deservedly went into the break with a 1-0 advantage over the Thirroul Thunder.
We saw a fast-paced and fiery second half with several yellow cards being issued alongside a flood of attacking chances from both sides.
Thirroul nearly drew level early in the second half when a nice little exchange between Dean Morosin and Daniel Arthur saw Morosin send an effort from significant range just over the bar.
Scapin was starting to dictate play again for the students and in the 65th minute, he drove through the centre of the park sending Pruks in behind the defensive line creating a scoring opportunity however Harris kept Thunder in the game with a fine save.
Just as it looked like University were getting on top, Thirroul levelled the scores on 75 minutes. Joshua Hutton getting on the end of a corner kick striking a volley into the back of the net.
Just eight minutes later, University fired back when Pruks turned the defensive line inside out before laying off to substitute Chris Twigg who made no mistake in giving the students the lead back.
University sealed the win with a penalty goal in injury time. Scapin, who was perhaps best on ground grabbing his second after neatly tucking the ball away to secure the points as the students rounded out a 3-1 win.
Depending on the weather, the students will host the Warilla Wanderers at Kooloobong Oval next week on Good Friday whilst Thirroul Thunder look to host the Unanderra Hearts at Thomas Gibson Park.
University FC: 3 (Scapin 28’ 90+2’, Twigg 83’)
Thirroul Thunder: 1 (Hutton 75’)
University FC: 1. KIPPS Jordan, 2. MORGAN Lachlan, 3. HAWKES Ashley, 6. MARTIN Joshua, 9. PRUKS Oskar, 12. HANSON Cameron, 16. GIGLIOTTI Anthony, 17. WILSON Nicholas, 19. COETZER Alex, 30. INGLIS Luke, 33. SCAPIN Matheus
Substitutes: 11. TURNER Nathan (PRUKS), 13. O’BRIEN Conor (HANSON), 15. KEARTON Alex, 22. TWIGG Chris (GIGLIOTTI), 31. JOYCE Ben
Thirroul Thunder: 1. HARRIS Liam, 2. SELMO Elijah, 3. SWEENEY Hayden, 4. HUTTON James, 5. BRINDLE Cooper, 6. MOROSIN Dean, 7. ADAMS Tyler, 8. DAVIDSON Todd, 9. HAINES-GROSE Corey, 10. STRUDWICK Bradley, 11. ARTHUR Daniel
Substitutes: 12. MUHAREM Ruben (SELMO), 13. HUTTON Joshua (SWEENEY), 14. BIDDULPH Zachary (HAINES-GROSE), 15. DARK Aaron
Date: 9 April 2022
Venue: Ian McLennan Park
Referee: Steven Payne
Assistant Referees: Warwick Davidson and Gareth Jenkins
Report by Alison Dinh
Photo courtesy of Pedro Garcia