Fernhill FC’s three late goals secured the side a crucial 4-0 victory against Berkeley FC on Sunday at Ray Robinson Oval in their battle to take out the Illawarra District League title.
Daniel Djukic put Fernhill in front heading into halftime before scoring twice more in the final 15 minutes of the second half to claim a hat-trick. Mitchell Turner picked up a goal himself in the 87th minute to round out an impressive performance.
It was a tense start to the match, as a series of fouls in the first 10 minutes meant a lot of stop-start football.
However, after this, the Goats conjured up a couple of opportunities through midfielder Luke Boersma. In the 10th minute, Boersma lined one up from outside the box that flew way over the bar.
Two minutes later, Boersma was involved down the right, crossing towards the back post for Aurin Jones, who just couldn’t make contact.
The Foxes returned fire just before the half-hour mark. In the 27th minute, Kyle Del slid the ball into the right of the box for Turner, however, Berkeley goalkeeper Claude D’Alessio repelled his effort.
A couple of minutes later, Turner took aim again, this time from the left edge of the box with D’Alessio getting down well to his right to make the save.
With 10 first-half minutes to play, the hosts took the lead. Djukic latched onto a ball into the left channel and cut inside before curling an accurate effort into the bottom right corner from the edge of the box.
It was a slower opening to the second period, with neither side getting into forward areas. However, the game started to heat up around an hour in as a couple of clashes between the players saw tempers flare.
Fernhill started taking control at the 65-minute mark, starting with Djukic firing wide of the left post. Seven minutes later, some more positive build-up resulted with Turner’s powerful strike from outside the box stinging the palms of D’Alessio.
Another wave of hosts’ pressure in the 79th minute earned the side a penalty. Djukic stepped up and slotted the ball down the middle as the goalkeeper dived to the left.
Just two minutes after, Fernhill had their third. A floated left-sided cross found Djukic centrally who executed an emphatic volley to notch his hat-trick.
A strong showing in the game’s final quarter from the home side had propelled them to a commanding position against the were league-leaders.
With three minutes to play, Fernhill added their fourth. Captain Jordan Hughes expertly plucked the ball from the sky on the left touchline and delicately clipped it over the top for Turner. The attacker ran in on goal and passed a smart finish past D’Alessio into the far-right corner.
The Foxes played out what remained to confirm a huge result at the top of the table in the District League.
Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_
Photos courtesy of Graham Brown