In the only Illawarra Premier League match on Sunday, Port Kembla came from a goal down to share the points with Coniston in a 1-1 draw at Wetherall Park.
Coniston captain Takayuki Kayano put the visitors in front later in the first half, before Jordan Nikolovski equalised for Port Kembla midway through the second period.
The home side got off to a fast start in the match with Oli Carrasco coming close to scoring twice in the first 10 minutes.
Six minutes in, the ball fell to the forward centrally on the edge of the box; prodding a shot towards goal that bounced off the left post with Coniston keeper Kaydin Harrison unmoved.
Three minutes later, an accurate long kick from Port Kembla goalkeeper Bryce Daenell found Jordan Nikolovski in the right channel.
The winger played the ball into the middle of the box for Carrasco who clipped his first-time effort over the bar.
In the 11th minute, Port was awarded a freekick left of the box as Harrison Anagnostopoulos looped an in-swinging ball wide of the right post.
With 25 minutes played, the side conjured up another opportunity as Jordan Nikolovski lobbed the ball onto the right edge of the box for Anagnostopoulos who volleyed over the bar.
Nikolovski was involved again in the 37th minute, driving a shot from the right of the box straight into Harrison’s gloves.
The hosts would be left to rue missed chances as six minutes before the break, Coniston opened the scoring through captain Kayano.
The defender calmly sliding a left-footed effort from inside the box into the bottom left corner.
With a minute to go, Carrasco nearly put the scores level with a powerful strike from the edge of the box missing the right post.
Despite creating several chances in the opening half of the game, Port Kembla found themselves a goal down against Coniston at the break.
The away side looked to double the advantage early in the second period with Gian Sacco and Tobias Norval both sending shots over the crossbar inside the opening 10 minutes.
Just before the hour mark a Port Kembla freekick on the left was delivered towards the back post for Jayden Nikolovski who blasted the ball into the side netting for a goalkick.
The visitors almost added a second 63 minutes in as Matthew Floro drove to goal in space on the left curling a shot towards the far corner that forced Daenell to make a save.
However, the ball fell into the middle for Tyson Black who facing a keeperless goal saw his header cleared off the line.
A couple of minutes later, Port Kembla restored parity in the match with Jordan Nikolovski arrowing a sharp right-footed shot into the bottom right corner from the left edge of the box.
The concession of an equaliser encouraged Coniston forward with the side hoping to get back in front, and Van Elia had two chances in the first 10 minutes after the goal.
In the 68th minute, Black delicately slid a ball into the right channel of the box for Elia who drew a save from Daenell with the keeper batting the ball away.
Five minutes after this, Daniel Loe’s right-sided cross along the ground came all the way through to Elia in the middle, but the attacker sent the ball over the bar.
With 77 minutes played, the home side almost went in front as a ball from the left fell to substitute Rocky Lavalle at the back post whose shot required Harrison to parry the ball away.
Seven minutes later, Jordan Nikolovski hooked a bouncing effort centrally outside the box narrowly wide of the left post.
In the dying embers of the match, Coniston looked to nick all three points.
In the final minute of regular time, Elia shifted the ball onto his left foot inside the box and powered a strike just over the crossbar.
Two minutes into stoppage time Coniston’s substitutes combined as Matthew Tschentscher delivered a cross into the box from the left for Adam Voloder who headed over the bar.
The match finished with the sides unable to be separated in a 1-1 draw at Wetherall Park.
The result keeps both teams level on points with Coniston ahead on goal difference in third, although Port have a game in hand which they will play against Bellambi this Saturday.
After this week off, Coniston will host the Rosellas next Saturday.
Port Kembla FC 1 (Jordan Nikolovski 65’)
Coniston FC 1 (Takayuki Kayano 39’)
Port Kembla FC: 1. DAENELL Bryce, 2. DI PIETRO Mitch, 3. DANZO Lucas, 4. PAPALIA Luca, 5. PRANDALOS Peter, 6. CHICHARO Daniel, 7. NIKOLOVSKI Jayden, 8. ANAGNOSTOPOULOS Harrison, 9. CARRASCO Oli, 10. NIKOLOVSKI Jordan, 11. CARELLA Daniel
Substitutes: 12. LAVALLE Rocky (CARELLA 64’), 13. CRAPIS Josh (Jayden NIKOLOVSKI 85’), 14. GEORGES Sam, 15. SAFFIOTI Christian, 21. GENUA Luke
Yellow Cards: Peter Prandalos 34’, Mitch Di Pietro 51’, Stuart Beedie 52’, Oli Carrasco 90+2’
Red Cards: Nil
Coniston FC: 1. HARRISON Kaydin, 3. KAYANO Takayuki, 4. BLACK Tyson, 5. LOE Daniel, 10. ELIA Van, 14. SACCO Gian, 6. ZUFIC Jason, 19. NORVAL Tobias, 16. D’ALMEIDA Ekoue, 15. FLORO Matthew. 2. STERN Daniel
Substitutes: 7. VOLODER Adam (NORVAL 64’), 9. TSCHENTSCHER Matthew (FLORO 80’), 20. MATIAS Harrison, 11. DUCKINOSKI Aleksandar, 8. SKURTEVSKI Payton (SACCO 90’)
Yellow Cards: Tyson Black 54’, Jason Zufic 85’, Takayuki Kayano 90+4’
Red Cards: Nil
Date: 26 June 2022
Venue: Wetherall Park, Primbee
Referee: Bobby Mazevski
Assistant Referees: Mick Agim and Hayden Michlmayr
Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_
Photos courtesy of Graham Brown