Gerringong vs Shoalhaven (169)

Gerringong Breakers and Shoalhaven could not be separated in a 0-0 draw on Sunday afternoon at Ian McLennan Park.

The match could have gone either way, with opportunities for both teams, yet it ended without a goal.

The fixture got off to a scrappy start with neither team able to get consistent control of the ball.

Three minutes in, a Shoalhaven clearance was picked off by Gerringong’s Fraser MacQueen, allowing him to race into the right of the box. The winger drove the ball into the danger area, across the box but none of his teammates got on the end of it.

After this, Shoalhaven were able to hold the ball effectively in wide areas, but their delivery into the box did not materialise a shooting chance.

In the battle for control of the game, the Breakers got a shot off midway through the half. Joshua Hawker burst into a central position in the box and poked an effort goalwards, but Shoalhaven goalkeeper Joel Janszen was equal to it.

Gerringong pulled together one of the best passages of play in the 38th minute. The Breakers moved the ball from back to front, with Hawker finding Jake Packham on the right. Packham laid the ball back to Hawker centrally outside the box, who sent a shot over the bar.

Two minutes later, the side got off another shot when they were awarded a free-kick on the left. Hawker’s original effort squirmed under the wall and to Packham, where the attacker’s quickly-taken shot was comfortably saved by Janszen.

The first half ended with the match firmly in the balance at Ian McLennan Park between the Men’s Premiership’s two most southern teams.

The introduction of Tyler Cooper and Gavin Dostal into the match at halftime for Shoalhaven helped engineer a purposeful start to the match for the side. And they nearly took the lead five minutes in. Brodie Chapman received the ball outside the box on the right and lined up a shot that took a deflection, bouncing just wide of the left post.

Gerringong began to find their groove after this Shoalhaven pressure as they put together some good combinations to get them further up the field.

In the 67th minute, Packham moved the ball out to the left for substitute Richard Kessling whose shot from the edge of the box sailed over.

The team were in again three minutes later, when a left-sided cross found Packham in the middle, and he bounced it to left of the area for Hawker. Hawker rifled a shot from the narrow angle where he received the ball, however, he could only find the side-netting as it went behind for a goal kick.

Shoalhaven remained a threat, though, still getting shots away, but the Breakers’ pressure was growing.

With one regular minute to play, Gerringong were centimetres away from the winner. Hawker’s central free-kick looked to graze the crossbar on its way over.

Hawker went close two minutes later when he successfully battled for the ball on the right edge of the box, setting up a left-footed shot for the attacker, however, Janszen caught it.

There was one last chance for last season’s Illawarra District League player of the season. Jason Baxter curled the ball out to the left for Hawker who shifted the ball inside and lashed a strike goalwards that flew narrowly over again.

Despite the waves of attack Shoalhaven had endured at times, they had remained resolute at the back and kept a clean sheet to earn a point against the Breakers, despite playing out an exhilarating 3-3 draw with Berkeley the day before.

Shoalhaven will travel to Warilla Wanderers on Saturday, while Gerringong host Berkeley at the same time.

Match Stats

Report by Tim Gibson

Photos courtesy of Richie Wagner

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