Friday night football saw the Georgies travel to Oakleigh to produce a spirited display but ultimately go down 2-1 to what surely is the benchmark team in the Victorian Premier League.
OAKLEIGH CANNONS 2 ( DAMIANOS 42', PINO 51 )
SUNSHINE GEORGE CROSS ( TRPCEVSKI 38' )
LINE UP: John(GK),Muscat(c),Kovacevic,Azzopardi,Tsirtsakis,Waterson,Filipovic,Gilmour(Cvetanoski 67'),Trpcevski(Platt 75'),Neceski(Draycott 67'),Richards Subs not used: Coles(GK),Erdogan
Oakleigh Cannons showed the kind of form in this round 8 clash of the Vodafone Cup against the Sunshine George Cross to suggest they will be hard to beat for this season's championship. Many a time throughout this match they worked their way out of defence with slick one touch passes that created clear cut openings for their strike force. The only let down was in attack where the Cannons forwards wasted chances that kept the visitors in the game.
Oakleigh could have been in front as early as the first minute, when Pelikan was put through, but blasted the ball over the bar from just inside the penalty area.
The Georgies battled hard to match it with the star studded Oakleigh team and went close to opening the score, when newcomer Vasco Trpcevski's corner kick caused panic in the Cannons defence after it eluded Webster in goals for it to be eventually cleared off the line to safety.
It was a fairly even contest and when Ivan Filipovic was upended just outside the penalty area it provided the Cross with a chance from a set piece. Vasco Trpcevski's free kick dipped wickedly after ot cleared the wall and deceived Stuart Webster to give the visitors the lead after 38 minutes. A couple of minutes later the Georgie fans were in full voice apealing for a penalty for handball that was waved away by the referee, and within 35 seconds of this incident Oakleigh drew level. A cross from the left hand side of the park was partially punched clear by Martin John allowing the ball to fall invitingly for Bill Damianos who was on hand to smash home the equaliser. Sunshine Goalkeeper Martin John was in top form and pulled off two magnificent saves to keep the scores level. Oakleigh's striker Bill Kakos could not hide his blushes when he wasted the best opportunity of the match to give the Cannons a first half lead when he blasted well over the bar from close range.
Early in the second half Sunshine gave away two successive free kicks and were punished from the second one when Cameron Pino scored a world class free kick from 25 yards. The Georgies lifted their game and became more competitive forcing the home team on the defensive. Oakleigh was content to play counter attacking football, and when they broke they looked dangerous. However they were guilty of wasting opportunities that always gave the Georgies the opportunity to grab the equaliser.
This they almost did, when another wickedly struck corner kick once again caused confusion in the Cannons backline. At the other end Oakleigh's substitute Juan Nilo wasted another chance and the Georgies almost were on level terms, when substitute Mark Draycott's well struck header was brilliantly saved by Stuart Webster. Oakleigh almost sealed the match late in the game, but the Georgie's keeper Martin John once again came to the rescue with another super save. The final whistle saw Oakleigh take all 3 points, but the Georgies can heart from this performance losing 2-1 to one of the best teams in the V.P.L.
All at the game agreed it was a great advertisment for the Victorian Premier League.
|SHOTS ON TARGET:
|SHOTS OFF TARGET:
YELLOW CARDS: Trpcevski 27',Gilmour 35',Richards 42',Filipovic 63'