Fernhill have secured a pivotal come-from-behind victory away to Balgownie in the District League on Tuesday night to push into the top five for the first time this season.
The Foxes trailed early on through a breakaway goal by Rangers forward Sebastian Dallas.
However, the match turned on its head when Balgownie defender Anthony Stefanelli picked up two yellow cards with the visitors fighting back to record a 4-1 win.
Fernhill had the first genuine opportunity of the match when Kyle Del cut the ball back for Nelson McLeod in the sixth minute.
The diminutive Foxes attacker tried to finish past Damien Bedwell, however, the Rangers no.1 pulled off a brave block.
The Rangers built up some momentum in the following throes of the match, hitting the post as well as the side netting, before scoring the opener in the 17th minute.
Bedwell pumped a goal kick forward which Fernhill failed to deal with, allowing Dallas to run through and poke the ball past Kiel Zerner.
The hosts should have made it two-nil a couple of minutes later when Dallas broke through again, but an act of unselfishness undone him as he squared it to strike-parter Chris Hollingshead who was in an offside position – the young striker blasting the ball over the ball in any event.
The match flipped in the 25th minute when Balgownie were reduced to 10 players after Stefanelli was booked for the second time in 10 minutes for breaking up an attack.
Fernhill capitalised straight away with Mitchell Turner netting a strange goal with his low cross from the right side of the box fading into the bottom left corner in the 28th minute.
Bedwell produced a top double save shortly after, blocking Del’s strike before stopping another effort from McLeod.
Hollingshead had a half-chance on the cusp of half-time when he chased down a bouncing ball before attempting to lob an onrushing Zerner, but the ball sailed over the goal.
Balgownie fought to stay in the match and had a great chance to score their second in the 55th minute when a mishit cross from Hollingshead found an unmarked Dallas who couldn’t make the most of the opportunity – blazing the ball high and wide.
Fernhill pulled ahead on the hour mark when they were awarded a penalty just inside the area with marksman Daniel Djukic stepping up and tucking the ball into the bottom right corner.
The match was put beyond the Rangers’ reach with 15 minutes remaining with a quick counter-attack seeing Djukic cross into Turner to tuck away his second of the evening.
In the dying embers of the match, a mix-up at the back for Balgownie allowed Fernhill’s Jordan Hughes to get a shot away with the substitute producing a tidy half volley into the bottom right corner from inside the area.
The 4-1 win moves Fernhill into the top five at the expense of Oak Flats who have an inferior goal difference.
The situation hasn’t changed dramatically for the Rangers who are still a win outside the finals placings with a game in hand on both Fernhill and the Falcons.
Both sides return to action on Saturday with the Foxes welcoming Berkeley to Ray Robinson Field and Balgownie hosting Thirroul.
Balgownie Rangers 1 (Sebastian Dallas 17′)
Fernhill Foxes 4 (Mitchell Turner 28′ 74′, Daniel Djukic 60′, Jordan Hughes 86′)
Balgownie Rangers: 1. BEDWELL Damien, 2. BUBB Mathew, 3. STEFANELLI Anthony, 4. WYATT Brendan, 5. BELLINATO Nathan, 6. SHANNON Tom, 7. WAEGER Branden, 8. BESNARD Peter, 9. HOLLINGSHEAD Chirs, 10. BRUCE Lucas, 11. DALLAS Sebastian
Substitutes: 12. DUGGAN Kieren (WEAGER), 12. JARRET Riley, COHEN Lachlan, 15. DUMMETT Jackson (SHANNON), 22. BARHNERT Hugh
Fernhill Foxes: 1. ZERNER Kiel, 2. CALDER Lachlan, 4. THOMPSON Kurt, 5. OLIVER Anthony, 6. DJUKIC Dejan, 7. MCLEOD Nelson, 8. GALANTI Matthew, 9. DJUKIC Daniel, 10. TURNER Mitchell, 11. DEL Kyle
Substitutes: 12. PASSLACK Mattias (DJUKIC Dejan), 13. KOTRC Dave (DJUKIC Daniel), 14. JORGE Daniel, HUGHES Jordan (DEL), 21. HADAYA Yacoub
Date: 30 August 2022
Venue: Judy Masters Oval, Balgownie
Referee: Nathan Alterator
Assistant Referees: Stuart Bell and Hallie Reid
Report by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela
Photos courtesy of Graham Brown