Shellharbour FC left it late to overcome a dogged South Coast United 2-1 in the only Men’s Premiership match over the weekend. After Mark Moric put the home side in front, an own goal and tap in from Matthew Floro inside the last five minutes sealed an important win for the visitors.

Shellharbour started the brighter of the two sides and their combinations in the front half had the South Coast United defence on high alert.

The first real opportunity fell to Shellhatbour livewire Woon Sub Sim on eight minutes. With South Coast United looking to play it out from the back, Sim swooped on a loose ball and headed straight for goal however he pushed it narrowly the wrong side of the post.

South Coast United showed great resolute keeping Shellharbour at arm’s length. Sim was linking well with the experienced Tommy Markovski and Taylor McDonald was making some intelligent runs down the right looking to swing in dangerous balls.

South Coast United for the first 30 minutes were looking to catch Shellharbour on the counter with Antun Lucic and Andrew Mckay causing most concern.

South Coast United gradually brought themselves back into the game having withstood the pressure and as often happens, they got rewarded for hanging in there.

On 35 minutes, a long ball over the top saw Moric get to the ball ahead of the advancing Cristofer Fuentes and he rounded him to the left and pushed the ball into goal to give the home side the lead.

Just a few minutes later and in an amazing passage of play, Shellharbour almost drew level right away. A corner from the left was swung deep to the far post. Taylor headed the ball down and towards goal however Jason Bleakley anticipated the header spreading himself wide and smothering the opportunity from just two yards out.

From the clearance, South Coast United moved swiftly upfield and Lucic was presented with an opportunity from 10 yards out on a slight angle however his left foot drive just went over the bar. Golden chances for both teams to really change the game just before half time.

It was a subdued start to the second half, and it wasn’t till the 56th minute before an opportunity was crafted out.

Chang Yoo put in a delightful cross into a dangerous area and it was not dealt with well by Shellharbour. It was Advin Trebincevic who pulled the trigger from ten yards out forcing Fuentes into a diving low save to his left.

Just a couple of minutes later, Sim had a string free kick saved by Bleakley.

Time was running out and Shellharbour looked to be getting frustrated. On 75 minutes, Jayden Branovski showed some neat footwork to beat a defender out wide. He advanced into a good position before letting loose a shot destined for the bottom corner however Bleakley was equal to it.

Just a minute later, Branovski had an even better chance after a cut back pass found him lurking open on the penalty spot. His snap shot was wasted as it sailed over the bar.

Branovski was in the thick of it as just a few minutes later, the youngster had his third straight chance in the space of a few minutes. Some good combinations through the middle led to a switch and cross which saw Branovski head straight at Bleakley from just six yards out.

South Coast United were holding on they nearly doubled their lead on 80 minutes after a sneaky attack saw Moric tee up Trebincevic however he couldn’t keep his volley down from just ten yards out.

Shellharbour drew level somewhat fortuitously on 87 minutes when a Zac Mazevski cross floated long however the ball was cut back across goal and took a wicked deflection of Mckay and into goal.

With the game into stoppage time, a cross into the box found Robbie Delbanco. His header looped over Bleakley and bounced off the cross bar and back out into the field of play. Floro was there to tap it home breaking the hearts of the South Coast United players and fans for what turned out to be the winner.

Shellharbour host Helensburgh Thistle next week whilst South Coast United will be looking for redemption as they visit Corrimal Rangers.

Match Stats

Report by Bobby Mazevski

Photos by Gragrapix.

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