Port Kembla picked up an important three points after clawing their way back from a two-goal deficit last night at Ian McLennan Park in what was the only men’s premiership fixture in a rain soaked round.

Advin Trebincevic and Mark Moric put South Coast United ahead before a Oliver Carrasco pulled Port level with a brace. Dane Corolla completed the comeback late in the game to hand Port Kembla a 3-2 win.

Port Kembla looked sharp early and were moving the ball around nicely. It didn’t take long for Port to muster up their first real opportunity. The busy Nick Tomasiello slid through Marco Pennisi in behind the defensive line however his shot went straight at Jason Bleakley.

Tomasiello was looking threatening and on 13 minutes, he created a little bit of space for himself before firing a snapshot at goal. It just didn’t quite have enough purchase to trouble Bleakly who saved it comfortably.

Perhaps against the grain, South Coast United took the lead just two minutes later. Some nifty footwork from Trebincevic saw him chip the ball between two defenders before chasing down the ball and calmly curling a shot with the outside of his right foot into the corner from just inside the box.

This seemed to spark the home side as they started to get a share of possession with both midfields busy in the conditions.

On 32 minutes, Dario Borovickic tried his luck from range and forced Adam Rodriguez into a flying save.

Just a minute later, a South Coast United freekick was floated into the box from out wide. There appeared to be a tug on the shirt on Borovickic as he was felled and the referee pointed to the spot. Moric stepped up and calmly dispatched the penalty kick to put the home side two goals up.

Port would have felt the scoreline didn’t reflect the game however on 42 minutes, they were handed a lifeline when Tomasiello burst onto a through ball and was pushed whilst shooting. He was also felled and again, the referee pointed to the spot. Bleakley got a strong hand to Carrasco’s penalty however it squeezed past him as it bounced up and into the net with the deficit halved just before half time.

Port did have one last opportunity moments before the break when a dazzling run by Pennisi out wide saw him cut and and square the ball for Carrasco however the forward’s first time effort from just eight yards out went wide.

The game was nicely in the balance at the break and both teams has all to play for in the second half.

Just five minutes after the restart, Port found themselves level. A freekick was whipped in from the right and into the penalty area. Bleakley came for it and missed it as Kyle Kirkland got a firm header in towards goal. The ball was looping goal bound with attackers and defenders all converging on the ball. It was Carrasco that got there first as he bundled the ball over the line.

Port Kembla had their tails up at this point and it was looking likely they would finish the job.

On 58 minutes, another long ball into the box saw Carrasco get a firm header away which forced Bleakley into a fine save.

Just two minutes later, Pennisi was adjudged to have been brought down inside the box and Port Kembla were given a second penalty (third in the match). Carrasco given the opportunity to score a hat trick inside 17 minutes. Carrasco was perhaps a little lucky with his first penalty and he fired a similar shot which Bleakley, this time saved down to his right.

On 72 minutes, Kirkland got a strong header away that was destined for the roof of the net only to see him denied with a solid one-handed save tipping it over the bar.

It was an important save and it appeared to give some inspiration to his team mates. Two minutes later, Trebincevic ran across the top of the penalty area before firing a shot that whisked just the wrong side of the post.

As we edged inside the last ten minutes, we saw an incredible volley from Moric from all of 30 yards strike the cross bar. Rodriguez taking every inch of his stretch to get a finger to the ball deflecting it in what was a top drawer save.

It proved decisive as five minutes later, a long ball over the top saw Corolla chip the ball over Bleakley who initially came for it but retreated, only to find the chip had the momentum to beat him to the goal. Port Kembla hitting the lead for the first time in the match.

Port weren’t content to sit as they pushed for a fourth. Some fine work from Corolla on the right saw him square to Tomasiello who forced another strong save.

A free kick in the dying minutes of the game from Pennisi also needed to be dealt with as Port Kembla finished strong running out 3-2 winners on the night.


Report by Bobby Mazevski

Photos courtesy of Edmund Esterbauer

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