Two second-half goals from Wollongong United secured the side a 2-0 win over Woonona Sharks at Ian McLennan Park in a rematch from the Illawarra Premier League 2020 Grand Final. 

The Sharks kept the scores level in the first half, but goals to Mistuo Yamada and substitute Jeremy Flanagan in the second period ensured United’s perfect record in the competition remained intact. 

United’s Klime Sekutkoski saw a shot from close range tipped over the bar within the first two minutes. 

10 minutes later, Yamada brought the ball down well in the left of the box but narrowly dragged his effort wide of the far post. 

Eight minutes later, Mason Versi took aim from outside the box but it sailed over the bar. 

With 10 minutes to go in the half, a corner from the left found Sean Thomas at the back post, whose header fell just wide.

Despite a series of opportunities for United, the scores were level at the break.

Sharks’ shot-stopper Brandon Groom was called into action throughout the half, producing many top-quality saves to keep his side in the match. 

United came out of the blocks quickly for the second period, and a minute in Versi’s cross from the right found Sekutkoski at the back post, which drew another save from Groom. 

Four minutes later, Versi shifted the ball inside from the right and released a dipping, serving strike that drifted just wide of the left post. 

Not long after, Yamada’s shot from inside the box was saved.

In the 54th minute, Wollongong United took the lead. 

Seiji Kawakami passed the ball across to Yamada on the edge of the box, driving a shot under Groom to give United the lead. 

The side continued to push on for more goals in the game. 

Sixty-three minutes in, a well-weighted pass from Versi slipped Flanagan in behind the Woonona defence but the forward could not find the target. 

Just a couple of minutes later, Wollongong United added their second of the match. 

Sean Thomas took on a shot from the right of the box which cannoned off the crossbar but dropped to Flanagan on the other side who bundled the ball in. 

United did not look to be done there with Versi twisting up a defender in the 66th minute but his shot lacked the necessary power to trouble Groom.

A minute later, Flanagan was played in one-on-one with Groom, but the Woonona keeper prevented the goal.

Kyah Jovanovski’s shot towards the bottom left corner forced Groom into action again with another fine save with five minutes to play.

The game finished with Wollongong United running out 2-0 winners against Woonona Sharks. 

Next Sunday it’s an important game for United when they take on Wollongong Olympic at PCYC – who currently sit top of the league. 

It is now three out of four defeats for the Sharks to start the season, although the side has faced three of the abandoned 2021 season’s top five in those matches.

Ian Connelly’s men will be hoping for better fortunes against Port Kembla next Saturday.


Wollongong United 2 (Mitsuo Yamada 54’, Jeremy Flanagan 65’)

Woonona Sharks 0 


Wollongong United: 62. MADDEN Jacob, 27. BARBAROVSKI Bailey, 26. KAWAKAMI Seiji, 5. LAZAREVSKI Danny, 29. SEKUTKOSKI Klime, 32. STOJANOVSKI James, 10. TERZIC Dinko, 2. THOMAS Sean, 4. VESCIO Rene, YAMADA Mitsuo, 11. VERSI Mason

Substitutes: 19. BROOKS Ben, 7. CORREIA Josh (TERZIC), 14. FLANAGAN Jeremy (SEKUTKOSKI), 9. DARJANI Thomas, 8. JOVANOVSKI Kyah (VERSI)


Woonona Sharks: 1. GROOM Brandon, 2. WILTON Wade, 7. FRENCH Jesse, 10. PATTMAN Brendan, 12. ABUDAREB Hassan, 13. RICHMOND Thomas, 16. JENKINS Henry, 17. MACKEN-WALSH Seamus, 24. TAKAHASHI Shin, 25. ASHTON Max, 33. GAUDIOSI Robbie

Substitutes: 5. BRESLIN Aidan (WILTON), 8. LEE Richard (ABUDAREB), 11. LOZENKOVSKI Jordan, 22. TANAKA Junya (ASHTON), 21. CHURCHWARD Jack


Date: Saturday 30 April 2022

Venue: Ian McLennan Park


Referee: Bobby Mazevski

Assistant Referees: Jay Walpole and Damien Dennelly


Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_

Photo courtesy of Richie Wagner

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