Port Kembla continued their solid season with a gutsy 1-0 win against Cringila in a dour affair at Wetherall Park on Sunday afternoon.
A goalkeeping error was the difference between the two sides in the contest with a misread cross from Lions no.1 Nikola Ristevski presenting Port forward Daniel Carella with an open goal to fire into.
The Zebras had a couple of efforts in the opening exchanges with youngster Harrison Anagnostopoulos having a low drive blocked while Oli Carrasco also scooped an effort over the bar.
In the 20th minute, Cringila’s Keegan Matias curled in the corner which goalkeeper Bryce Daenell just managed to push away to an opponent who teed up Michael Mendes on the edge of the box, however, the young winger pumped his shot high and wide.
The only goal of the game came in the 27th minute when Anagnstopoulos launched a long ball into the box.
Ristevski charged out to punch the ball, but the goalkeeper missed while taking out his own man and an opponent.
The ball fell for Carella just to the left of the goal where he composed himself before slotting it into an empty net.
Carella had an effort a couple of minutes later which curled over the top right corner, while Cringila captain James Ralston also had a crack from distance after the defender won the ball high up the park, however, his strike didn’t trouble Daenell.
The Lions had their best chance of the match just after the hour mark after Mendes was at the centre of an excellent piece of link-up play which led to him bursting into the box.
However, when Mendes went to size up the situation he messed up his cross-come-shot with the ball going out for a goal kick.
Cringila had the ball for a majority of the second half, but they were unable to produce the killer pass, including when Steven Ugrinovski was bearing down on goal in the 80th minute.
Ugrinovski had a teammate on either side of him, however, he failed to pick one of them out with Port Kembla managing to shut down the attack.
In the 86th minute, Port nearly put the final nail in the coffin when a long punt from Daenell was flicked through to Jordan Nikolovski to go through one-on-one with Ristevki, however, his attempted lob trailed left of the goal.
Port held on for their fourth win of the season which keeps them inside the top five, while Cringila drop down a place to eighth.
The Lions host Bellambi next Sunday, while Port Kembla will welcome Corrimal.
Port Kembla 1 (Daniel Carella 27’)
Cringila Lions 0
Port Kembla: 1. DAENELL Bryce, 2. DI PIETRO Mitch, 3. DANZO Lucas, 4. PAPALIA, 5. PRANDALOS Peter, 6. CHICHARO Danial, 7. ANAGNOSTOPOULOS Harrison, 8. NIKOLOVSKI Jayden, 9. CARRASCO Oli, 10. NIKOLOVSKI Jordan, 11. CARELLA Daniel
Substitutes: 12. GEORGES Sam, 13. SAFIOTTI Christian, 14. LAVALLE Rocky, 15. ANAGNOSTOPOULOS James, 21. GENUA Luke
Cringila Lions: 1. RISTEVSKI Nikola, 2. CARLI James, 3. DIAS Andre, 22. KALMANIDIS Jonah, 5. RALSTON James, 16. ZUCCO Ben, 47. KRISTESKI Anthony, 8. MATIAS Keegan, 10. UGRINOVSKI Steven, 21. LEVY Jake, 7. MENDES Michael
Substitutes: 11. STEVENOVSKI Christopher, 28. SAKASHITA Mitsuru, 33. HONDROUDAKIS Emanuel, 24. AKHURST Ryan, 20. TOLNAY Kurtis
Date: 12 June 2022
Venue: Wetherall Park
Referee: Brendon Fotheringham
Assistant Referees: John Ruscica and Damien Delovski
Report by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela
Photo courtesy of John Carusi