Football South Coast
Illawarra District League
Youth Grade
Grand final
16 September 2023

Thirroul Thunder came from behind to beat Picton Rangers 3-1 at Thomas Gibson Park on Saturday afternoon.

Inside the first 10 minutes, Joshua Seniuk put Picton in front, but Thirroul responded through Stuart Forbes not long after.

Two goals close together from Ryan Sutcliffe and Tyler Ball later in the second half saw the home side run out as winners.

The hosts should have been in front within three minutes. Bradley Strudwick’s left-sided corner curled onto Daniel Bond’s head at the far post, who headed wide with his golden chance.

Three minutes later, Picton made the most of their set piece. A right-sided delivery found Seniuk centrally, with the midfielder accurately nodding past Thirroul goalkeeper Joshua Williams.

The Thunder were not behind for long, restoring parity a couple of minutes after going behind. A persistent Forbes got on the end of Sutcliffe’s cross from the left, battling to bundle home from close range at the near post.

Thirroul kept up the pressure and almost took the lead seconds later when Tyler Ball raced in behind down the right but rolled the ball past the right post.

Ball had another chance in the 19th minute, heading a right-sided cross just over the bar. Six minutes later, Strudwick took aim from outside the box, the ball bouncing just past the left post.

Despite Thirroul dominating the chances in the first period, the teams went into the sheds level.

Thirroul had an early opportunity two minutes after the break when Noah Biddulph met Strudwick’s in-swinging corner at the back post, however, he headed wide.

The Thunder remained a threat and almost scored twice just after the hour mark courtesy of Strudwick free-kicks.

Firstly, the attacking midfielder curled one narrowly past the left post from the left edge of the box. He then saw another free-kick, from further out, parried into the path of Todd Davidson in the right of the area, who scooped the ball over the bar.

The side finally broke Picton’s resilience 77 minutes in. Sutcliffe found space in the box following a ball in from the right, before rifling his shot in off the crossbar.

They added another two minutes later when Ball latched onto the ball in the right of the box, getting a fortunate rebound and then slotting it into the far left of the goal.

Thirroul could have grabbed a fourth when Jake Matiuscenko was released down the right and played it across to Sutcliffe, who Picton goalkeeper Harrison Walker denied from close in.

The visitors took the ball down the other end through Seniuk, who managed to get into the left of the box and, from a tight angle, forced Williams into a strong save.

Picton struck the woodwork in stoppage time, but it did not matter in the end as Thirroul maintained their good start to the season with a 3-1 victory.

Thirroul travel to a struggling University next Saturday, while Picton take on Warilla away in the Bert Bampton Cup on Friday.

Match Stats

Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_

File Photo




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