A single goal was all Wollongong United needed to down Bulli at Balls Paddock with the side recording their third Illawarra Premier League win in succession.
The winner came off the boot of young gun Kyah Jovonovski as the Macedonia Park club now turn their attention to their midweek Waratah Cup semi-final.
Bulli’s first big chance came in the 30th minute when Aaron Baker clipped a free-kick into the box for the rising Kyle Jackson who steered his header left of Jacob Madden’s goal.
Five minutes later, the visitors won a free-kick 25 metres out from goal which Mitsuo Yamada nicked off the wall before Seiya Miyamoto pulled off a fantastic fingertip save.
The Japanese no.1 couldn’t stop United in the 37th minute when Yamada played in Jovonovski who neatly flicked the ball into the bottom left corner.
Wollongong United take the lead with Mitsuo Yamada playing in Kyah Jovanovski who clips it past the goalkeeper.
Bulli 0 W United 1 pic.twitter.com/XT8kiopXw9
— Football South Coast (@FSC_Official) June 25, 2022
The Macedonia Park club finished the opening half on top with Jovonovski and Yamada both getting shots away while an adventurous run and cross from Bailey Barbarovski flared across the goal deep into added-on time.
United’s dominance continued into the second period, but efforts from Mason Versi and Rene Vescio failed to hit the target.
In the 65th minute, Versi cut in and had a shot blocked into the path of teammate Klime Sekutkoski whose shot went straight at Miyamoto.
Bulli striker Ben McDonald had a great chance to level the match five minutes later when fullback Tomohiro Ishii was able to swing a low cross into the no.9, however, he couldn’t guide his tap on target.
With 10 minutes remaining, Madden dropped a corner into the feet of Kyle Jackson facing away from goal, but the Bulli midfield couldn’t make a good connection with the ball with it eventually cleared.
Bulli came close to a moment of disaster in the final five minutes when Ian Clarino panicked a kicked the ball into Sekutkoski, however, the United substitute couldn’t control the ball with it popping up for the Miyamoto.
United held on for all three points with the side not a win outside the top five with two games in hand on fifth-placed Bulli.
Bulli have a week off before playing away for South Coast United, while Wollongong United have Tarrawanna next weekend.
Before that, however, United travel to Christie Park on Tuesday night to face North West Sydney Spirt in the final four of the Waratah Cup.
A win in that match would see United face the winner of Sydney United and Bonnyrigg White Eagles
Wollongong United 1 (Kyah Jovanovski 37′)
Bulli: 21. MIYAMOTO Seiya, 9. MCDONALD Ben, 2. JACKSON Kyle, BRYCE Lachlan, 7. PATERSON Jarvis, 5. ISHII Tomohiro, 6. DAVIES Sam, 10. GRIMSHAW Lewis, 19. CLARINO Ian, 27. STARR Joel, 4. BAKER Aaron
Substitutes: 25. ADNUM Sam (PATERSON), 3. BAULCH Alex, 1. KLUDASS Braeden, 23. BROOKES Josh, 26. LEWIS Mitch
Yellow Cards: Kyle Jackson, Lachlan Bryce, Tomohiro Ishii, Aaron Baker, Sam Adnum
Wollongong United: 60. MADDEN Jacob, 27. BARBAROVSKI Bailey, 19. BROOKS Ben, 7. CORREIA Josh, 26. KAWAKAMI Seiji, 5. LAZAREVSKI, 32. STOJANOVSKI James, 4. VESCIO Rene, 23. YAMADA Mitsuo, 11. VERSI Mason, 6. JOVANOVSKI Kyah
Substitutes: 14. FLANAGAN Jeremy (JOVANOVSKI), 29. SEKUTKOSKI Klime (CORREIA), 2. THOMAS Sean (BARBAROVSKI), 25. GUTIERREZ Jaime, 97. CHARLSTON Jake
Yellow Cards: Bailey Barbarovski
Date: 25 June 2022
Venue: Balls Paddock, Bulli
Referee: Greg Reid
Assistant Referees: Tony Roder and Club
Report by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela
Photos courtesy of Richie Wagner