Sunshine George Cross Football Club
Sunshine George Cross Football Club
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Monday, 24 July 2006

In a game where the first half resembled more of a water polo match rather than a football match Sunshine George Cross' relegation fears worsened with a 4-1 home loss to league leaders Oakleigh Cannons.


OAKLEIGH CANNONS 4 ( NILO 10', 61' PELIKAN 59', 81')

Heavy rain, accompanied by hail stones and claps of thunder and lightning, began to fall 30 minutes before kick off and continued throughout the first half. The heavy rain saturated Chaplin Reserve and many thought this would force the abondament of the game.
Referee Damir Basic inspected the ground and gave the go ahead much to the amazement of most spectators.
From start to finish ball skill went out the window as players slipped, skidded and slogged their way through 90 minutes of what can be described as anything but a football match. Oakleigh settled best earlier on, playing a brand much better suited to the conditions. They went ahead after 10 minutes when a harmless centre, which stopped dead in a puddled of water 12 yards from goal, was misjuged by Manny Muscat and Juan Nilo was on hand to push the ball past Martin John.
The Georgies then came into the game with Trent Waterson causing problems to the Oalkeigh defence. Waterson brilliantly worked his way past two defenders on the right wing. His perfectly flighted ball found the high flying Fidell Richards who could not direct his header on target. Martin John was once again called into action after 21 minutes following a free kick that was acrobatically kicked towards goal by Anthony Pelikan. The Georgies were beginning to take control and should have been on level terms after 26 minutes following another through ball from Waterson to Vasko Trpcevski. Trpcevski's hard low shot was fumbled by Stuart Webster with the ball falling nicely to Mark Draycott all by himself in front of an open goal. To the amazement of all the striker missed the target completely.
Chances against teams of the calibre of Oakleigh are not presented very often and when they are they have to be taken. Within a minute the Georgies were level when the effervecent Waterson landed a ball just outside the penalty area. The ball deceived defender Felix Rosman and goalkeeper Stuart Webster to present Manny Muscat with the easiest of chances to find the net.
Just before the break the Cross could have been in front when a Manny Muscat shot was brilliantly turned around for a corner by Cannons keeper Stuart Webster. From the resultant corner Mark Draycott headed narrowly over the bar when he should have hit the target.
The rain eased for the second half and the game swung in Oakleigh's favour after 59 minutes when Arthur Tsirtsakis misjuged his tackle on George Goutzoulis in the area to present Oakleigh with a penalty kick.
Anthony Pelikan made no mistake to put the Cannons ahead. Within two minutes the Cannons increased their lead to 3-1 after Juan Nilo finished off a move involving Esala Masi and Con Boutsianis.
The Georgies tried to get something out of the game by pushing Daniel Rocco into midfield and bringing on Eddie Soares and Fahed Alghazaly, but the visitors tightened up at the back and chances for the Georgies were not as frequent as they were in the first half. Manny Muscat brought out a good save from Webster with a long range drive and a few half chances were not taken advantage of as Oakleigh went further ahead after 81 minutes. Following a rare Oakleigh attack, the visitors forced a corner that saw the ball played to Pelikan just outside the penalty area. Pelikan took aim and his effort was rewarded when Martin John could only parry the ball against the post and into the net.
The main difference between the two sides on the day, was the visitors ability to penetrate from the few chances they had, whereas the Cross who had just as many if not more, didn't. In the under 21's Sunshine and Oakleigh put on a grand brand of football to earn a point each in a 1-1 draw. Goal scorer for the Georgies was Michael Esposito.

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