A precise header from veteran Mark Piccionlini proved to be the decisive goal in Unanderra Heart’s 1-0 victory over a fit Thirroul side at Unananderra Oval on Thursday evening.
It was a very strong start from the Hearts with Dinko Terzic squaring a ball into the centre of the park where Mark Picciolini would soon send his powerful shot just right off the near post.
Minutes later, Luke Picciolini was involved in a play out wide where his long range shot would soon be denied.
A dominant Unanderra Hearts side continued to search for the opening goal, however, it was the away team that would soon have their first chance at goal.
Bradley Strudwick sent his free-kick over the top and into the head of Daniel Bond who’s chance to find the opening goal was soon denied by the hands of goal keeper Kenji Sawada.
Strucwick was involved once more, when a defensive error from the Hearts led Strudwick to intercept the ball, before sending a low shot through the legs of Sawada but would be just short off the far post in the 24th minute.
The Hearts would instantly retaliate back with Terzic taking space towards the byline, before sending a diagonal ball into the feet of Mark Picciolini who smashed his shot into the near post.
It wasn’t long however, until the home side’s first half dominance was rewarded with the opening goal of the match.
Right-back Daniel Jorge sent an accurate long-ball into the box, where he would later find the head of Mark Picciolini who buries his header into the top-right corner of the net for the opening goal of the fixture in the 35th minute.
Thirroul would look threatening once more with Bond playing a straight ball into Strudwick before lining up a vicious shot from 20 metres out, forcing another save from Sawada.
The final piece of action in the first half came from Unanderra when a brother combination would fly through the attacking third, before Luke Picciolini would send a high ball from the right side into the head of Mark who would again, effortlessly send the ball into the back of the net off his head but would later be denied by an offside call.
With a strong start from both teams, the away side would go into the break at half-time 1-0 down to the Hearts.
Just seven minutes into the second half, a ball out wide from Strudwick would meet the head of Bond who would send the ball flying over the cross bar.
In the 58th minute, the ball fell into the path of Luke Picciolini who fed the ball into Mark before his shot was denied at close range by the gloves of Joshua Williams.
Not long after, a dominant Bond picked up the ball on the right and dropped it into Strudwick who was again, unable to get his shot past Sawada.
Goal scorer Mark Picciolini would be involved one final time when a corner ball came towards his head once more, but failed to bring it down.
Although the home side looked to be the most dominant on the pitch, the Thirroul side however, did not give up and had a few last minute attacking chances involving Robert Gyngell and Dean Morosin but would all be denied at finding the equaliser.
The final whistle blew, and it was the home side that would take away the three points against a well fought Thirroul side on Thursday evening at Unanderra Oval.
Unanderra Hearts 1 (Mark Picciolini 35’)
Unanderra Hearts: 1. SAWADA Kenji, 2. JORGE Daniel, 4. CALDER Lachlan, 5. PRENTOSKI Aleksander, 6. RICHMOND Thomas, 7. PLAKIA Christian, 9. PICCIOLINI Luke, 10. TERZIC Dinko, 13. MARK Picciolini, 14. BORD Reice, 17. MAGILL Dominic
Substitutes: 3. NORITAKE Shugo (M PICCIOLINI), 8. POLIDORO David (MAGILL), 15. MANFREDI Lorri, 16. STEVANOVSKI Christopher (RICHMOND), 49, JORGE Damian (L PICCIOLINI)
Thirroul: 18. WILLIAMS Joshua, 2. BOND Daniel, 4. BRINDLE Cooper, 5. FERGUSON Stuart, 6. MOROSIN Trent, 7. BALL Tyler, 8. DAVIDSON Todd, 9. STRUDWICK Bradley, 10. MOROSIN Dean, 11. GYNGELL Robert, 13. NICOL Angus,
Substitutes: 1. HARRIS Liam, 3. SATO Tatsuya (NICOL), 12. ADAMS Tyler (MOROSIN), 14. HARRISON Jeremy (TATSUYA), 15. JONES Mitchell, 16. SPARGO Thomas
Venue: Unanderra Oval 1
Date: Thursday, 16 March 2023
Referee: Brendon Fotheringham
Assistant Referees: Stuart Bell and Brooklyn Faucett
Report by Alison Dinh on Twitter @alisondinh_