Every Sunshine George Cross' supporter worst fears were realised on the final day of the 2006 V.P.L. season, when the Georgies lost 1-0 to another relegation threatened team Fawkner / Whittlesea, at the fine surrounds of the Epping Stadium. The narrow loss and two other unfavourable results from other grounds meant the end of our two year stay in the Victorian Premier League.
FAWKNER/WHITTLESEA 1 ( TSIORLAS 63' )
SUNSHINE GEORGE CROSS 0
LINE UP: John (GK), Erdogan (Napoli 70), Azzopardi, Rocco, Muscat, Gilmour, Trpcevski, Tsirtsakis, Richards, Draycott, Alghazaly (Falzon 70) SUB NOT USED: Fiorenza (GK), Soares, Gauci-Seddon
The tension and mixed emotions in the final half hour of the season was too much to bear as supporters watched and encouraged our team, while at the same time trying keep in touch with what was going on at Preston, as well as at Kingston. The final results from these grounds left the large number Georgie fans stunned in disbelief. Most were stranded to the spot and things were even worse in the team's change room were players and coaches sat in disbelief with their heads buried in their hands.
The Georgies went into this match needing a draw to stay up, and looked very capable of doing this after dominating the opening half of the game. The Georgie faithful were in full voice appealing for a penalty after 11 minutes when a Fawkner defender blocked a shot with his arm high above his head. Vasko Trpcevski was a constant thorn in his former club's side, with his well taken free kicks and corner kicks as well as his tantalising passes. After 12 minutes he sent shivers in the Fawkner defence when his corner eluded everyone to hit the top corner of the post.
The Georgies reintroduced Fidell Richards after his time off with an arm injury, but the time out of the game saw Richards a little bit rusty and off the boil. He had a great opportunity to open the scoring after 17 minutes when Fahed Alghazaly set him up, but the effort on goal was feeble and straight at the goalie. It was Trpcevski who went closest when his powerful drive produced a great save by the home team's keeper. While Trpcevski was doing his bit against his former club, former Georgie big John Markovski was also proving a handful to our back men with his powerful frame. Though he was kept scoreless, he was always the focus of Fawkner's attacking forays. The Georgies provided the best opening of the first half, when another superbly hit long pass from Trpcevski found the hard running Isyan Erdogan on the right wing. Erdogan quickly set up Fidell Richards inside the penalty area, but his shot towards goal sailed well over the cross bar.
The second half was not noted for any great football with both sides unable to set their minds to the game. The players too must have been wondering what the scores were at the other grounds. Fawkner fired a warning shot across the Georgie bow when Mark Tsiorlas saw his shot beat Martin John but go just wide of the post. The lesson was not heeded by the George Cross players as after 63 minutes, Fawkner midfield Jurica Siljanoski waltzed unchallenged into the left of the penalty area and delivered a low cross to the far post that eluded Martin John and found Tsiorlas who made no mistake from 2 yards out.
Coach Pepe Montemurro reshuffled his pack by bringing on Jonathon Falzon for Fahed Alghazaly and Ralph Napoli for Isyan Erdogan. Falzon injected a lot of drive on the right wing with his pace. More players should have been pushed forward to try and break down the Fawkner defence who were intent on keeping it at 1-0 by dropping players back. Much to the disappointment of the red and white supporters, there appeared to be no urgency in trying to grab an equaliser. The final whistle saw the Blues celebrating in the middle of the park, while our lads walked off to end our short to year stay in the V.P.L.
The team will play 2007 in the first division, but all is not bleak news at the club. The situation is far better than when the Georgies last were relegated. At that time the club had no finances, no players and there appeared to be no future. Currently the club has a good crop of youngster who have performed very well in the under 21 competition this season. Many of these youngsters will step up next season. All that is required is for some of the experienced players to be retained as well as recruiting other experienced players to help these kids along. The team may be down, but the club will overcome this minor hiccup and get better and bigger for the experience.
Keep your chin up you Georgie fans.
|SHOTS ON TARGET:
|SHOTS OFF TARGET:
YELLOW CARDS: MUSCAT 28', TRPCEVSKI 55'