Tarrawanna Blueys picked up a 3-1 victory against Port Kembla on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Wetherall Park.
The visitors opened the scoring early through Jacob Gjorsevski before Stefano Di Marino doubled this advantage, giving the side a two-goal lead at the break.
Harry Lloyd’s own goal just before the hour mark gave Port Kembla a lifeline; however, Takumi Ofuka’s goal in the final five minutes sealed the win for the Blueys.
Just two minutes into the game, Tarrawanna took the lead.
Ofuka displaying great footwork in the left channel of the box before setting the ball back to Gjorsevski centrally, who powered an effort into the roof of the net.
After the Blueys’ early goal, Port Kembla had a spell of good chances.
In the fifth minute, James Anagnostopoulos had a shot from the left side of the box saved by Tarrawanna goalkeeper Adam Rodriguez at the near post.
Five minutes later, Oli Carrasco poked a shot from inside the box just wide of the right post, and a few minutes later, he had another one blocked from a similar position.
In the 17th minute, Daniel Chicharo had a first-time shot from the right of the box batted away by Rodriguez.
The Blueys had a couple of opportunities midway through the half, with Gjorsevski seeing his first-time shot from the right of the box saved and Ofuka having a shot blocked.
Twenty-five minutes in, Zac Mazevski rolled his defender in the box, prompting a left-footed shot that Bryce Daenell was equal to it in the hosts’ goal.
Only four minutes after, the away side doubled their advantage.
Stefano Di Marino curling a left-footed freekick from the right edge of the box into the top right corner.
Tarrawanna continued to look for more goals before the break to add to their lead.
Just after the half-hour mark, Mazevski slipped Ofuka into the left channel of the box face-to-face with Daenell, but the keeper made another save.
A couple of wayward efforts from Mazevski and Ofuka in the final four minutes of the half meant the Blueys did not add to the scoreline by halftime, going into the sheds 2-0 up.
Ofuka had been a constant threat for the side, looking to take on players at every opportunity.
At the start of the second period, the home side had an attacking spell, with Chicharo’s header from a left-sided cross, held onto by Rodriguez and Jordan Nikolovski’s shot from range the same.
However, in the 57th minute, the side halved the deficit as Tarrawanna forward Lloyd – who had only come onto the pitch moments earlier converted a cross from the right into the back of his own net.
Port Kembla pursued a parity-restoring goal, and in the 70th minute, Jordan Nikolovski picked up the ball on the left and drove inside, but his shot did not have enough power to trouble Rodriguez.
Two minutes later, Tarrawanna’s Lloyd found space on the right and dribbled into the box, forcing Daenell to make a save at his near post.
With 14 minutes to go, Jordan Nikolovski had another shot from the left that looked to have hit a combination of the left post and Rodriguez on its way out for a corner.
In the final 10 minutes of the game, the Blueys looked to seal the three points, and in the 80th minute, Daenell produced a couple of saves in quick succession.
Gjorsevski turning well on the ball in the left of the box, looking to pass it into the far corner; however, Daenell got down low to his left.
Seconds later, Gjorsevski had another shot from inside the box that Daenell was able to save again.
In the 85th minute, the away side found their third goal of the game.
Darren Stone bursting through the middle of the pitch towards the box and passing the ball to his right for Ofuka whole original shot was saved, but the forward scored the rebound.
Tarrawanna saw out the match to go to the table’s summit, albeit with the sides below having multiple games in hand on them.
The Blueys host Wollongong United this Saturday at Tarrawanna Oval, who most recently lost their first match of the season with a defeat to Coniston last Friday night.
Port Kembla is scheduled to travel to Elizabeth Park to face Bellambi this Saturday, with the Rosellas seeking their first win of the campaign.
Port Kembla 1 (Harry Lloyd OWN GOAL 57’)
Tarrawanna Blueys 3 (Jacob Gjorsevski 2’, Stefano Di Marino 29’, Takumi Ofuka 85’)
Port Kembla: 1. DAENELL Bryce, 2. DI PIETRO Mitch, 3. MOBBS Will, 4. PAPPALIA Luca, 5. PRANDALOS Peter, 6. CHICHARO Daniel, 7. NIKOLOVSKI Jayden, 8. ANAGNOSTOPOULOS James, 9. CARRASCO Oli, 10. NIKOLOVSKI Jordan, 11. CARELLA Daniel
Substitutes: 12. LAVALLE Rocky (Jayden NIKOLOVSKI 75’), 13. SAFFIOTI Christian (CARRASCO 55’), 4. DONNELLY Lachlan, 15. ANAGNOSTOPOULOS Harrison (J. ANAGNOSTOPOULOS 86’), 21. GENUA Luke
Tarrawanna Blueys: 1. RODRIGUEZ Adam, 2. NAYLOR Mat, 3. STONE Darren, 4. MORGAN Nicolas, 5. YOUNG Mitch, 6. DI MARINO Stefano, 7. TOMASIELLO Nicolas, 8. KIRKLAND Kyle, 9. MAZEVSKI Zac, 10. GJORSEVSKI Jacob, 11. OFUKA Takumi
Substitutes: 12. CHAPMAN Dan, 13. LLOYD Harry (MAZEVSKI 55’), 14. KELLY Dan (TOMASIELLO 80’), 15. DRAIN Toby, 21. CRACKNELL Jackson
Date: 22 May 2022
Venue: Wetherall Park, Primbee
Referee: Brendon Fotheringham
Assistant Referees: Demi Goddard and Steven Payne
Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_
Photos courtesy of Graham Brown