Cringila Lions showed no mercy in their 7-0 thumping of Bellambi Rosellas in the Illawarra Premier League on Friday night at Crehan Park.
A blistering first half had the side 3-0 up going into halftime before adding a further four goals in the second despite going down to ten men.
Cringila came out of the blocks flying, almost finding the opening goal within a minute through Peter Simonoski, whose shot from close range was blocked.
The Rosellas held out this early pressure, but the chances continued to flow for the Lions. A scuffed clearance from Bellambi goalkeeper Blake Horton presented Stefan Dimoski with a shot from the edge of the box 11 minutes in, Horton getting down low to parry the ball away.
The hosts kept finding space in wide areas allowing them to deliver dangerous crosses into the box, however, they weren’t finding a player on the end to finish them off.
Simonoski fired off another strike a quarter-of-an-hour in, this time the ball hitting the underside of the crossbar and bouncing down, but not over the line. After this, the Rosellas began to work their way into the game, moving the ball into the opposition’s half and having a few efforts on goal.
Despite this resurgence, the home side bagged a quickfire double before the half-hour mark to surge in front. In the 24th minute, a persistent Anthony Krsteski nudged the ball home from inside the box. Then, three minutes later, he had his second – finishing off a move from the right, tucking a first-time finish through the legs of Horton.
Cringila had another flurry of chances in the final five minutes of the first half with Krsteski and Dimoski both seeing efforts go close. The side found their third goal with a minute of regular time to play as Ben Zucco’s right-sided corner was confidently nodded in by Dimoski.
Krsteski was denied his hat-trick in stoppage time. His long-range strike thundering back off the crossbar.
After a dominant first-half display, the Lions went into halftime with a commanding lead.
It was a high-intensity first five minutes from Bellambi after the break, picking up a run set pieces that looked to threaten, although they remained three down.
From there, the action took off. In the 57th minute, another right-sided Zucco corner found Simonoski at the back post, whose header bounced into the roof of the net. Cringila scored again three minutes later, as Zucco’s corner – this time from the left was fumbled into his own goal by Horton.
However, Zucco went from hero to zero, given his marching orders in the 63rd minute for a rough challenge in the middle of the park.
The reduced numbers had no effect on the Lions’ attacking impetus scoring another two goals by the 72nd minute.
Seventy minutes in, a ball from the left found Dimoski in plenty of space inside the right of the box, allowing the forward to wind up and smash in his side’s sixth. Two minutes later, Cringila were awarded a penalty that Simonoski stepped up for and buried into the right side of the goal.
Bellambi midfielder David Au looked to find a consolation for the visitors with seven minutes to play, his shot from the edge of the box flying just over the crossbar.
Ultimately, Cringila proved far too strong seeing the game out as 7-0 winners.
The Lions face a tough challenge against the high-flying Albion Park White Eagles next week, while Bellambi take on reigning premiers Wollongong United.
Cringila Lions FC 7 (Anthony Krsteski 24’ 27’, Stefan Dimoski 44’ 70’, Peter Simonoski 57’ pen 72′, Blake Horton own goal 60′)
Bellambi Rosellas FC 0
Cringila Lions FC: 1. RISTEVSKI Nikola, 2. CARLI James, 6. TARANTO Harrison, 34. D’ALMEDIA Ekoue, 17. DIMOSKI Stefan, 99. SIMONOSKI Peter, 7. MENDES Michael, 47. KRSTESKI Anthony, 16. ZUCCO Ben, 4. KOTEVSKI Kayne, 22. KALMANIDIS Jonah
Substitutes: 24. AKHURST Ryan (TARANTO 77’), 3. DIAS Andre (D’ALMEIDA 72’), 28. GRUJEVSKI Cassander (KRSTESKI 84’), 33. HONDROUDAKIS Emanuel (MENDES 77’), 51. MANEVSKI Benjamin, 77. SEKULOSKI James (SIMONOSKI 84’)
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Ben Zucco 63’
Bellambi Rosellas FC: 1. HORTON Blake, 5. AL OKLA Abdalla, 14. ALOEGNINOU Maurice, 8. AU David, 9. BROWNSEA Michael, 17. HAJITTOFI Angelo, 7. HIROSE Reo, 10. NIKASONE Tatsuma, 11. OLIVEIRA Brandon, 12. SAVERINO Dean, 6. WEBSTER Jake
Substitutes: 2. WOOD Aiden (BROWNSEA 46’), 4. ZOUROUDIS Marcus (HAJITTOFI 69’), 3. PIERCY Aaron, 16. MURTAGH Zenon (SAVERINO 60’), 13. KAMEYA Orlando (OLIVEIRA 84’)
Yellow Cards: Dean Saverino 44’, Angelo Hajittofi 51’, Reo Hirose 64’, Jake Webster 68’, Aiden Wood 77’, Zenon Murtagh 82’
Red Cards: Nil
Date: Friday, 31 March 2023
Venue: Crehan Park, Cringila
Referee: Reece Edwards
Assistant Referees: Caleb Blanch and Brooklyn Faucett
Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter@Timg123_
Photos courtesy of Edmund Esterbauer