Albion Park White Eagles continued their Illawarra Premier League title push with a narrow 1-0 victory against Coniston FC on Sunday afternoon at JJ Kelly Park.
Liam Wille’s spectacular long-range goal was the difference in a result that extended the White Eagles’ lead at the top of the table.
It was a cagey opening 10 minutes to the game with neither side able to put a consistent run of passes together.
It took until the 13th minute for the first shot of the match when Coniston’s Tobias Norval fired a central free-kick straight at Albion Park goalkeeper Hayden Durose.
Four minutes later, the hosts had another chance when attacker Matthew Floro almost snatched the ball from Durose inside the box, but the goalkeeper survived the scare.
Just seconds later, the White Eagles hit the front. Wille powering a sensational effort from outside the box high beyond Tomislav Arcaba in the Coniston goal.
Albion Park were presented with a great opportunity to double their advantage when they were awarded a central free-kick just outside the box half an hour in. Cameron Morgan saw his original effort hit the wall before his follow-up bounced past the left post.
The side went close again from a free-kick seven minutes later. This time Tory Musumeci’s dipping strike was expertly palmed away by Arcaba.
Four minutes before halftime, Coniston also nearly scored when Nic Tomasiello’s scuffed shot rolled to Jake Morlando in the left of the box who poked wide of the left post.
However, Albion Park took their slim advantage into halftime, with it still all to play for in the second half.
The visitors made a bright start to the second period with Musumeci’s curling shot from the right edge of the box sailing wide inside two minutes.
Coniston had their best chance of the game in the 62nd minute when Floro raced in on goal down the right and drove a low shot that Durose repelled well.
Morgan took aim for the White Eagles three minutes later with his shot from outside the box held onto by Arcaba.
Wille should have had his brace as Morgan burst in behind down the right in the 70th minute. The striker played it first time for Wille on the other side of the box who could only blast it into the side netting.
As the game dragged into the final 10 minutes, the home side started to push more numbers forward, leaving space for Albion Park on the counter.
With seven minutes to go, Tyler Fuller’s cross found Ethan Kambisios in the middle who volleyed narrowly over the bar.
Albion Park saw out the remaining minutes, however, after the final whistle, Jason Zufic received a red card to add further insult to injury for Coniston.
It was another vital three points that pushes the White Eagles further away from the chasing pack.
Coniston FC 0
Albion Park White Eagles FC 1 (Liam Wille 17’)
Coniston FC: 20. ARCABA Tomislav (GK), 7. FLORO Matthew, 3. KAYANO Takayuki, 5. LOE Daniel, 11. MORLANDO Jake, 19. NORVAL Tobias, 6. Lukas Stergiou (C), 13. Cassidy Tanddo, 9. Nic Tomasiello, 22. Matthew Tschentscher, 17. Jason Zufic
Substitutes: 4. BLACK Tyson (TOMASIELLO 61’), 28. BOOTH David (GK), 32. MATTHEWS Dane, 23. PRENTOSKI Jordan, 18. SKURTEVSKI Payton
Yellow Cards: Matthew Floro 18’, Jake Morlando 53’, Jason Zufic 72’, Daniel Loe 90+4’
Red Cards: Jason Zufic 90+4’
Albion Park White Eagles FC: 1. DUROSE Hayden (GK) (C), 17. FULLER Tyler, 6. KAMBISIOS Ethan, 4. KEATING Jack, 9. KITAJIMA Taiga, 13. KYRIAKOUDES Michael, 8. LAVALLE Joey, 7. MORGAN Cameron, 14. MUSUMECI Tory, 15. SHIMIZU Renji, 11. WILLE Liam
Substitutes: 50. SOUTHERN Deakin (GK), 2. COOPER Mitchell (MORGAN 90+2’), 16. LAVALLE Rocky, 5. MAVRIDIS Mason (MUSUMECI 78’), 19. MINUTILLO Julian (WILLE 86’), 12. STRONG Reagan
Yellow Cards: Anthony Guido 29’
Red Cards: Nil
Date: Sunday 14 May 2023
Venue: JJ Kelly Park, Coniston
Referee: Caleb Blanch
Assistant Referees: Damien Dennelly and Mick Agim
Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_
Photos courtesy of Kiah Hufton