A battle that was fought up until the final whistle, Oak Flats Falcons shared the points with new kids on the block – Gerringong Breakers on a hot Saturday afternoon at Keith Bond Oval. Gerringong, earning their first point(s) of the new campaign in their debut season in District League. Based on their performance, this will be the first of many more.
With just one goal scored in the first half of the match by Breakers forward Joshua Hawker, it was the second half that featured most of the action.
Gerringong’s 1-0 lead evaporated after an unfortunate own goal saw the Falcons draw level. They would however later regain their lead with a double from Hawker in the 59th minute.
Just as Gerringong was appeared headed for an incredible start to their campaign, Breakers goalkeeper Joel Lockard made an uncharacteristic error in the 93rd minute gifting Justin Beregshasy a goal that secured a 2-2 at the full-time whistle.
It was a back and fourth possession game between the two sides in the first 10 minutes of the match, with both teams struggling to find their first attacking chance.
Gerringong would soon become the first side to have a chance at goal when Alexander Boardman broke through the centre of the park before his long-range shot flew over the cross bar.
Minutes later, Joshua Hawker began to cause problems upfront for the Oak Flats defence line with a shot at goal that would test the Falcons goalkeeper, Jacob Hufton.
In the 21st minute, Hawker continued causing havoc for the home side when he would soon receive the ball in the centre of the park before taking a touch past his defender and neatly slotting the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead over Oak Flats.
The away side created another close opportunity at goal when a wide long-range ball would soon find the head of Daniel Lucas in the centre of the box but was unable to make the connection.
A well structured play between midfielder Jarryd Vinton and Fabian Iacovelli saw the pair maze through their defenders, before a wide-high ball met the head of Dominic Giustiniani but was denied at close-range by the hands of Joel Lockard.
One last chance for the visitors came just minutes before the half-time blow when Boardman would once again set off into the middle of the pitch before sending Joshua Hawker in behind the Falcons defence but was soon taken down, receiving a penalty in the 42nd minute.
The penalty was struck by Joshua Hawker who had a chance for a double before half-time but was shortly denied.
The visitors headed into the break with a 1-0 lead over the home side.
The second half commenced and it was Gerringong who would kick off with the first attacking chance.
Richard Kessling flew down the line before cutting in and taking a low-range shot at goal, forcing goalkeeper Hufton to make a brilliant save.
The field was full of energy and the Falcons were eager to get one back when Jamie Stevenson hit a low free-kick towards the far post, before Gerringong’s defender Kasey Kulcsar would attempt to clear the ball but instead scores an own-goal for the home side, evening the score at 1-1 in the 51st minute.
Oak Flat’s persistence continued with a rebound ball falling into the feet of Vinton who would later take a first-time powerful shot at goal but would fall just left off the post.
An opportunity for the away side came around in the 57th minute when a precise corner ball from Joshua Hawker flew into the feet of Fraser Macqueen who would later see his first-time strike go wide off the near post.
Hawker was involved again two minutes later, intercepting the ball at the half-way line and travelling towards the goal before bending his shot past Hufton and into the top-right corner, scoring his second for the day.
The home side did not stop pushing for the equaliser when a corner ball from Boden Allport skimmed the top of the cross-bar for a chance in the 83rd minute of the match, but would fall just short.
The match wasn’t over just yet, when a mistake was forced onto the feet of Lockard who would soon send his miss kick into the feet of the Falcon’s substitute Justin Beregshasy who effortlessly tapped the ball into the back of the net to find the equaliser in the 93rd minute.
The full-time whistle would blow just one minute later, seeing both sides settling for a point each.
Oak Flats Falcons 2
Gerringong Breakers FC 2
Oak Flats Falcons: 1. HUFTON Jacob, 2. OKAMOTO Kenya, 3. ALLPORT Boden, 4. STEVENSON Jamie, 5. THOMPSON Trent, 6. EAGLETON Joshua, 7. IACOVELLI Fabian, 8. SPARKS Todd, 9. GIUSTINIANI Dominic, 10. VINTON Jarryd, 13. CAPPETTA Vince V-Jai
Substitutes: 11. AHEARN Dylan, 12. VANDENBERG Matthew, 20. JARMAN Chris, 15. BEREGSHASY Justin, 14. FERNANDEZ Chad, 16. CRANDELL Blake
Gerringong Breakers FC: 1. LOCKARD Joel, 3. BOARDMAN Alexander, 4. LUCAS Daniel, 5. KULCSAR Kasey, 6. BAXTER Jason, 8. HAWKER Zac, 9. HAWKER Joshua, 12. KESSLING Richard, 14. MCLEAN Conor, 15. MACQUEEN Fraser, 19. LOCKARD Andrew
Substitutes: 11. FOENANDER Rhyley, 2. GILLESPIE Daniel, 7. GRIMES Joel, 28. GONZALEZ Alex, 21. MARANESI Joshua, 23. MCDONALD Dylan
Date: Saturday, 4 March 2023, 3:00 PM
Venue: Keith Bond Oval 1
Referee: Reece Edwards
Assistant Referees: Warwick Davidson and Brooklyn Faucett
Report by Alison Dinh, on Twitter @alisondinh_