Balgownie Rangers secured a 2-1 victory in an intense match against Berkeley Sports on Wednesday night at Judy Masters Oval, in what was a well-overdue catch up fixture.
A first half goal from Goats’ Nuno Pires wasn’t enough to secure the points, as the Rangers managed a brace through Jesse French and an unlucky own-goal to nick the win.
The home side kicked off the first ten minutes of the match with some well-structured rapid possession, but all potential chances at goal were quickly denied by Berkeley’s stable defensive line.
The first real attacking opportunity fell to the Goats’ right-back Massimo Maccioni on 11 minutes. He caused concern by sending a centred ball into Pires, turning his defenders inside out before sending his effort just right off the far post.
The visitors struck first just two minutes later, scoring the opening goal for the fixture. Luke Boersma picked up the ball in a central position outside the box and sent his shot towards goal that would later rebound into the feet of Pires who made no mistake with his strike, sending it straight into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.
Shortly after, Mondo Kagami immediately put the pressure on for the home side, but his strike would head out wide for a goal-kick.
The Rangers would once more combine well in the front third, but their most notable effort at goal came in the 30th minute when Alexei Rosser sent a high ball into Anthony Vardareff who powered his shot striaght into the hands of Claude D’Alessio.
A continuous amount of attempts from Pires would flow, but it was Boersma who came the closest in the 42nd minute when a well-struck corner ball from Ryosuke Matsuoka ended up infront of Boersma who’s effort flew just inches away from the top corner.
The visitors proved to have the majority attacking chances in the first 45 minutes of the match, sending the Rangers into the sheds 1-0 down at half-time.
The second half saw both sides’ discipline tested with numerous cautions issued as the match heat up.
In the 50th minute, Pires made room for a shot just outside the box but would later be denied at goal, with his effort being his last for the match after picking up his second yellow card just minutes later, forcing Berkeley to try and see out the game with 10 players.
The match continued to ebb and flow, and with the player advantage, the home side would soon have a flood of chances at goal.
The first came when Anthony Oliver’s close-range shot was denied by D’Alessio before the ball rebounded back out and into the feet of French who’s effort forced D’Alessio to make an outstanding double save in the 66th minute.
French would be involved once more and this time made it count, when a high cross from Anthony Stefanelli flew straight into French where his free header attempt was sent into the back of the net, finding the equaliser in the 82nd minute of the match.
With just four minutes left, Balgownie completed their comeback when Rosser’s free-kick from outside the 18-yard box floated into the centre of the box where D’Alessio’s attempt at making a save from a rebound ball was instead sent backwards off the tip of his hands, scoring the home side’s winning goal for the evening.
To make matters worse for Berkeley, their playmaker Ryosuke Matsuoka also saw red after picking his second caution of the match in the dying embers.
The ill-tempered match came finally came to a conclusion, and it was the Balgownie Rangers who defeated Berkeley Sports 2-1, whose run of runs came to an abrupt holt.
Balgownie Rangers: 2 (Jesse French 82’, OG 86’)
Berkeley Sports: 1 (Nuno Pires 13’)
Balgownie Rangers: 1. BEDWELL Damian, 2. VENEY Lachlan, 3. OLIVER Anthony, 4. STEFANELLI Anthony, 5. RIXON Michael, 6. HOLLAND Jamie, 7. FRENCH Jesse, 9. WAEGER Branden, 10. ANWER CHIPPA Abdullah, 11. VARDAREFF Anthony, 17. ROSSER Alexei
Substitutes: 12. WALKERDEN Mitchell, 13. BESNARD Peter, 14. MILLER Jacob, 15. DUNCAN Callum, 16. APPLEBY Liam, 22. BAHNERT Hugh
Berkeley Sports: 1. D’ALESSIO Claude, 2. WILSON-TYRRELL Rayner, 3. TREVISI Aaron, 4. MACCIONI Massimo, 5. CROUCH Ryan, 6. BOERSMA Luke, 7. KAGAMI Mondo, 8. JONES Aurion, 9. PIRES Nuno, 10. CHICHARO David, 11. MATSUOKA Ryosuke
Substitutes: 12. MOON Greg, 13. CARELLA Adrian, 14. TYSSEN Jeremy, 15. YILMAZ Melih, 16. WAGEMANS Harry, 21. ONEILL Mitchell
Date: 8 June 2023
Venue: Judy Masters Oval, Balgownie
Report by Alison Dinh, on Twitter @alisondinh_
Photos Courtesy of Gragrapix