In a tale of two talismans, Bulli claimed the three points in the final minutes of their Friday night round 14 Illawarra Premier League clash with Coniston at Ian McLennan Park.

Coniston were the superior side in the first half with a cracking goal from Van Elia proving the difference at halftime, however, two goals from Bulli striker Ben McDonald in the final 10 minutes settled the contest.

Elia was causing concern even before his 30th-minute goal with the attacker having a couple of free-kicks going close to the mark as well as a header he failed to hit the target with.

The goal was an excellent piece of play with the New Zealander dribbling towards the box, exploiting the backing-off defenders, before placing his strike into the top left corner from 20 metres out.

Coniston, notionally the visitors, were close to going into the sheds with a two-goal advantage with Toby Norval’s low cross skied by the usually clinical Adam Voloder.

In the early stages of the second half, Voloder squandered another chance when he slashed a poor clearance wide of the mark.

In the 54th minute, Lewis Grimshaw came close to scoring a top-notch equaliser when the wideman dribbled around a couple of defenders before setting up for a shot from the edge of the arc – but the effort failed to hit the target.

Bulli were in the ascendancy from that point, but they were struggling to really test Kaydin Harrison in the Consiton goal.

That changed in the 83rd minute when Ian Clarino won a penalty after it was judged substitute Tyson Black had brought the defender down.

Bulli talisman Ben McDonald.

McDonald took responsibility for the penalty kick and confidently dispatched the ball into the top right corner.

Four minutes later, Bulli were ahead with Coniston fortunate to keep 11 players on the park.

Tomohiro Ishii managed to scramble the ball to Deakin Brownlee before he was collected by Coniston defender Jake Morlando who was already on a yellow card.

An advantage was played with Brownlee finding McDonald who was able to stretch and toe-poke the ball past Harrison for what proved to be the winner.

The win moves Bulli into third and three points behind Tarrawanna who have played three more games.

The ‘I are set to play Cringila at Crehan Park next Sunday, while Consiton, who would have moved into third had they won, will take on the Blueys.

Bulli 2 (Ben McDonald 83’ PEN 87’)

Coniston 1 (Van Elia 30’)

Bulli: 21. MIYAMOTO Seiya, 9. MCDONALD Ben, 2. JACKSON Kyle, 16. ROOKE Alex, 27. STARR Joel, 11. BROWNLEE Deakin, 5. ISHII Tomohiro, 6. DAVIES Sam, 33. EMERTON Ryan, 10. GRIMSHAW Lewis, 19. Clarino Ian

Substitutes: 23. BROOKES Josh (STARR), 25. ADNUM Sam (GRIMSHAW), 22. BRYCE Lachlan (ROOKE), 7. PATERSON Jarvis, 1. KLUDASS Braeden

Coniston: 1. HARRISON Kaydin, 2. MATTHEWS Sam, 3. KAYANO Takayuki, 5. LOE Danial, 7. Voloder Adam, 10. ELIA Van, 11. MORLANDO Jake, 17. ZUFIC Jason, 19. NORVAL Toby, 34. D’Almeida Ekoue, 77. FLORO Matt

Substitutes: 4. BLACK Tyson (FLORO), 6. STERGIOU Lukas (NORVAL), 9. TSCHENTSCHER Matt (MORLANDO), 20. MATIAS Harrison

Date: 27 May 2020

Venue: Ian McLennan Park, Kembla Grange

Referee: Caleb Blanch

Assistant Referees: Bobby Mazevski and Nathan Alterator

Report by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela

Photos courtesy of Edmund Esterbauer

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