South Coast United and Bellambi were unable to be separated in a 2-2 draw at Ian McLennan Park on Saturday night.
It took until early in the second half for the deadlock to be broken, with United’s Jamie Wakeling converting a penalty.
Not long after, Bellambi equalised through a spot-kick of their own as Luke Boersma found the bottom left corner.
Nicholas Valjak gave the visitors the lead with just over 10 minutes to play, but in the final six minutes, Tony Musumeci scored for South Coast to see the match finish a draw.
The game took a face-paced tone in the opening moments and within the first minute Bellambi captain Brett Wilson was unable to convert from a tight angle on the right.
South Coast went down the other end as both Musumeci and James Brodnik took on shots but couldn’t find the net with either attempt.
The away side created several chances over the next 10 minutes and looked intent on taking the lead.
In the fifth minute, a corner from the right found Steven Hristovski at back post whose header back across goal was cleared off the line and away from danger.
Five minutes later, Rosellas’ attacker Chris Gomez shifted the ball inside from the right and curled a shot towards goal that dropped wide of the far corner.
15 minutes in, Boersma drilled a freekick from the right towards the edge of the box where Reo Hirose took a touch and bent a right-footed shot onto the right post.
With half-an-hour gone, United forward Wakeling skipped past a couple of challenges in central position just outside the box but sent his volley wide of the left post.
In the final minute of the half, Wakeling took aim from a similar position again, but it bounced past the same post.
At halftime, the scores remained level in an important clash for both sides given neither had accumulated a point yet this season.
A minute into the second half, Bellambi’s Wilson drove into the right channel of the box and moved the ball inside on his left foot, though he skewed his shot wide of the far post.
Only a couple of minutes later, Jamie Wakeling picked the ball up in space centrally and slipped a pass to James Brodnik on the right who powered a shot goalward that was saved by Nathan Cupitt in the Rosellas goal.
Moments later, the hosts were awarded a penalty that Wakeling stepped up for and found the right side of the goal with Cupitt diving the other way.
Only seven minutes after this, the away side was given a penalty as well and Boersma took responsibility as the midfielder shot towards the bottom left corner beating the dive of United keeper Jason Bleakley.
Just after the hour mark, Tatsuma Nakasone nearly put the home side back in front as he shot from the left of the box; however, the ball ended up wide of the near post.
The Rosellas once again began to step up their attacking intent over the next 20 minutes.
In the 73rd minute, Bellambi substitute Sean Molloy dragged a shot wide of the right post after he found space in the left channel of the box.
A couple of minutes later, Shohei Nagasawa was released in behind on the right and was able to round the keeper, but he ran out of room and couldn’t prevent the ball from running over the by line.
The visitors eventually took the lead as Valjak, who had only come on minutes earlier, rifled a shot towards the bottom right corner in the 78th minute.
The forward’s shot bounced off the inside of the right post and rolled into the goal.
The side was unable to hold onto their lead for long as six minutes later, United’s Ricky Bertakis played a deft ball through the middle of the pitch to Musumeci who powered home from inside the box.
A couple of minutes into injury time, Bellambi had a chance to win the match as Valjak went through face-to-face with Bleakley, but the shot rolled into the gloves of the South Coast shot stopper.
Four minutes into added time, the home side was awarded a freekick from close range in a central position.
Marco Pennisi stood over the ball but struck the wall with his shot and meant the points were shared at Ian McLennan Park in a 2-2 draw.
Next weekend, South Coast United will travel to Tarrawanna Oval to take on Tarrawanna Blueys who currently sit in second position.
As for the Rosellas, they are scheduled to host Albion Park White Eagles at Elizabeth Park next Saturday.
South Coast United 2 (Jamie Wakeling PENALTY 49’, Tony Musmueci 84’)
Bellambi Rosellas 2 (Luke Boersma PENALTY 56’, Nicholas Valjak 78’)
South Coast United: 1. BLEAKLEY Jason, 2. MENA Dylan, 4. VALIC Greg, 6. LONCAR Lucas, 7. MUSUMECI Tony, 9. WAKELING Jamie, 14. BRODNIK James, 15. HAYASHI Kodai, 17. HMDA Kolan, 18. NAKASONE Tatsuma, 23. BRODNIK Kieren
Substitutes: 10. PENNISI Marco (J. BRODNIK 60’), 11. BERTAKIS Ricky (WAKELING 74’), 16. ANIC Antoni (MENA 69’), 8. LUCAS Ben, 31. BYRNES Harry
Bellambi Rosellas: 1. CUPITT Nathan, 2. FRIEDRICH Blake, 4. HRISTOVSKI Steven, 3. KOLIOPOULOS Daniel, 5. KOTEVSKI Kayne, 6. BOERSMA Luke, 8. HIROSE Reo, 17. HAJITTOFI Angelo, 9. WILSON Brett, 10. GOMEZ Chris, 11. NAGASAWA Shohei
Substitutes: 7. VALJAK Nicholas (GOMEZ 71’), 12. MOLLOY Sean (HAJITTOFI 71’), 14. SOUROUDIS Marcus, 15. CRAMPTON Shane (WILSON 90+1’), 31. GUDEN Volkan
Date: Saturday 7 May 2022
Venue: Ian McLennan Park
Referee: Greg Reid
Assistant Referees: Bobby Mazevski and Club
Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_
Photos courtesy of Graham Brown