Round 14 – vs. Wests Illawarra

YOUTH – Lost 1-2: The youthies went down early from a deep Wests free kick. Uni got a head to it but it dropped straight to a Wests player. His shot was well saved by in form keeper Damien Clark but the rebound went straight to another Wests player who passed it into the net. Damien made a great one handed save to his left off another cross to keep it at one. Unfortunately a short time later a spilt save from Damien went straight to the Wests striker and it was 2-0 down. Thomas Langfield had a good chance cutting inside into his right but put it wide. The boys started off the second half in style to get back to 2-1. Captain Matt Shannon ripped down the right with a great nutty and whipped in a cross for Anismis Bakini who buried the volley into the net. The boys couldn’t find the net again and it finished up a 1-2 loss.

RESERVE GRADE – Lost 2-4: The boys started well and knocked the ball around. Returning first grader Tobias Williams was causing issues down the left and crossed for the first goal. David Cahill was unselfish and laid it back from the 6 yard box for johnny on the spot Brendon Fotheringham to bundle it into the net. Wests soon levelled it up when Uni didn’t clear the ball and it was bundled in past Damien Clark in goals. There was a moment of controversy when Damien Clark seemed to have saved a bobbling ball legitimately, and it wasn’t called a goal by the referee. Uni started a counter attack and then the ref stopped the game to confer with the assistant referee who then said it was a goal. 1-2 down at half time. Early in the second half Tobias Williams showed great tenacity to beat players into the Wests box and slot calmly into the corner. 2-2 and all to play for. Then another moment of controversy and another assistant referee decision. The West striker ran onto a through ball and looked well offside. However it wasn’t called and Wests ran through and scored the one on one. 3-2. Shortly afterwards Wests got another break and a slight deflection took the ball over Damien Clark in goals to make it 4-2 and a loss for Uni.

Tom Shannon up for a header in first grade

Tom Shannon up for a header in first grade

FIRST GRADE – Lost 0-2: First grade were looking to rack up three points against a side below them on the table however it started as a scrappy first period with some chances to both sides. Scott Mawbey ran down a Wests through ball but tried to cut back inside as last man and kicked straight into the trailing striker. The Wests striker ran through and slotted under goalkeeper Liam Stevenson. 1-0 Wests. A bicycle kick from Abdul Lawal went close at the other end, as did a good volley from Lochlan Ryan that was deflected and should have been a penalty to UOWFC for handball. Wests went 2-0 up after some soft defending let the ball be flicked over to their player running through. 2-0 down at half time for Uni. The boys got one back via a great backpost header from Lochlan Ryan that looped back across and into the goal. 2-1 and the boys were pushing forward but ultimately lacked that last bit of quality in the final third. Lachlan Ryan should have won a penalty after being bundled over inside the box a few minutes from time following a wonder save from the Wests goalkeeper, but again the referees didn’t favour Uni and it wasn’t called. A 2-1 loss and vital points lost by all grades.

Round 5 catchup game – vs. Berkeley FC

YOUTH – Won 3-1: The youth boys were coming off a loss the day before but started the double header well. Martyn Moran ran onto a through ball and had a great first touch to set up the shot which was buried into the roof of the net. 1-0. Matt Shannon showed great tenacity to run in front of the keeper and towards the sideline. The goalkeeper slid in and cleaned up Shannon and the penalty was correctly given. Shannon backed up and put memories of Corrimal behind him to slot and make it 2-0. Just after half time Nicholas Croke ran onto a through ball and had a crack from range. It was always on target but a slight deflection took it away from the keeper and it was 3-0.¬†Damien Clark pulled off another great save this season with a great one handed stop to keep Berkeley scoreless. Berkeley followed up with a period of attacking play, but two more solid saves from Clark held them out. It was only a matter of time and a pin point through ball and a well timed run let the Berkeley striker slot a one on one into the corner. 3-1. Berkeley pushed hard and Clark saved well from another Berkeley attack that was belted at him. A few late chances to each team wern’t taken and it finished up a 3-1 win.

RESERVE GRADE – Lost 1-6: Despite everyone knowing about this double header game for ages, Reserve grade were very short on players and had more than half the team backing up from youth grade. Additionally returning goal keeper Nathan Williams was required for first grade and no other keepers were available so Brendon Fotheringham had to go into the sticks due to an ankle injury. Unfortunately Berkeley scored an early goal with a good curled finish that left Fotheringham with no chance. It certainly didn’t help that Berkeley was running with a strong wind at their back as well. A quick second was a goalkeeper error that slipped through Fotheringham’s hands and into the net. 0-2 down early wasn’t to script. Uni started playing some better passes and started to look ok, but a lucky bobbling rebound somehow stayed at the feet of the Berkeley striker and he coolly finished into the corner. 3-0 down.

Youth grader Martyn Moran had a great through run for a one on one but it was well saved by the Berkeley keeper. The flood gates started to open, and Berkeley grabbed a fourth with a cut back and good high finish into the net. A well deserved penalty to Uni was scored by David Cahill to make it 4-1.

The second half saw injuries begin to take effect with several Uni players obviously effected with all subs used. To their credit the boys kept running and trying to play football. Berkeley got another run away goal with a good chip over Fotheringham in goal and then another late runaway with Uni out on their feet. Fotheringham enjoyed himself in goals late on with a great one on one save and then a top draw one hander from the top corner. A 6-1 loss and some absent team mates that need to have a look at themselves.

FIRST GRADE – Lost 1-5: First grade were also down a few players, and smarting after a poor loss the previous day to Wests. Uni had numerous chances early on with a few shots and through balls however couldn’t find that quality finish to get on the board early. Berkeley made a good run through midfield and a stinging shot from their striker caught the hand of Scott Mawbey. Despite his body being turned and his hands tucked in against his sides the penalty was blown by the referee and calming slotted for 0-1. Uni never really got going after this point and a combination of lucky bounces and good finishing meant that Berkeley soon rattled in some more goals. Craig Hood got on the board late on but ultimately Berkeley were too good on the day and ran out 1-5 winners.

Round 15 – vs. Corrimal Rangers

YOUTH GRADE – Drew 3-3: The youthies were looking to get some points against a Corrimal side that dusted them up in round one. However Uni were up for this game from the first kick and looked dangerous with Anismis Bakini and Abdul Lawal up front. Corrimal also looked good with good outlets with ex uni player Pete Besnard on their right wing. As the first half unfolded both goalkeepers pulled out some world class saves and have obviously been watching some of the goalkeepers in the FIFA World Cup. Both teams were looking to try and get goals and it was a great game to watch. Corrimal got their noses in front with a well taken goal towards the end of the first half but right on the whistle Uni bounced on a loose ball from the Corrimal goalkeeper and levelled at 1-1. Just after half time Uni went down to a free kick that was misjudged by goalkeeper Damien Clark, who up until then had been excellent with a number of outstanding saves. Uni levelled soon after when substitute Tom Burke got in behind the Corrimal defence and blasted the ball home. 2-2. Inexplicably a Corrimal player was remarkable lucky to stay on the field after throwing some punches towards Shaun Sperring after a late tackle, and only received a yellow card. Soon after Corrimal rose higher for a header ¬†in the box and went ahead 3-2, but Uni came back against with Marty Moran scoring from close range to make it 3-3. The game went back and forward as both teams pushed for the winner but the two sides couldn’t be split. A very entertaining and hard fought 3-3 draw.

Marc Lee watching the ball sail past him

Marc Lee watching the ball sail past him

RESERVE GRADE – Lost 0-3: Reserve grade easily accounted for Corrimal in the first round of matches, however it was a different proposition this time. With only a handful of players from that starting lineup in the first game Uni never really found their cohesion in this game. Youth grader Matt Shannon brought down a Corrimal player with a silly tackle wide inside the box and Corrimal went 1-0 from the penalty. Uni never really recovered and Corrimal ran out 0-3 winners.

FIRST GRADE – Lost 0-2: A 0-0 scoreline at half time flattered Uni who could have copped a few goals in the first half. Corrimal had numerous chances in front of goal however couldn’t keep the ball down and on target. In the second half Corrimal grabbed their first with a through ball that was questionably offside but well finished. Uni had a couple of chances with substitute Tobias Williams looking threatening but when the ball was given away in midfield just outside the 18 yard box Corrimal ran through and sealed a comfortable 2-0 win.