On Saturday 15th March 2014 UOWFC hosted Wests Illawarra at Kooloobong Oval for round two. After a great round one with seven points against Kemblawarra it was vital to carry this form through and get some good results again.
YOUTH GRADE: Lost 1-3
The youth grade squad has some real talent however are still trying to find some consistency on the park. They fought well and could have had some more luck early in the first half after a great first goal by Norwegian import Emil Totland. However defensive lapses meant that they conceded three goals either side of half time and that was the end of that. Coaches Luke Vandenburgh and Jesse Howard have some work to do to get some belief into the squad as they certainly have the depth to get better results throughout the season however need to value some early season points to set the year up. Man of the match was Craig Wilkinson with another solid effort in trying to shore up a leaky defence.
RESERVE GRADE: Won 2-1
Reserve grade were flying high after a dominate performance against Kemblawarra the week before, and this confidence showed from kick off. The ressies squad looked at home with a new “21st century” formation as described by player/coach Brendon Fotheringham. Andy Le and Ricardo Martinez had some great link play between midfield and attack and the defensive line of Matthew Baker, el Presidente, Matt Dunstan and Tim Dohnt was quite comfortable in dealing with the sporadic Wests attacks. A dominate display in the first half and the boys were unlucky to go into the sheds at half time without much to show for it. A couple of changes at half time meant that the right side of the park had two new faces in Luke Vandenburgh and David Dovenor. It didn’t take long for this to pay off with Vandenburgh screaming through the defence and drilling the ball into the net with a superbly taken shot. Not long after that Matt Dunstan pushed forward from defence and his low cross was met by Brendon Fotheringham, being at the back post where ever winger is supposed to be. Wests did manage to pull one back with a soft penalty however the result was never in doubt and ressies remain equal top of the table after two rounds and are in great shape for the season. Man of the match was Matt Dunstan with a great defensive effort and dominate display.
FIRST GRADE: Won 2-1
First grade were in a similar position to reserve grade in that they were coming off a great start in round one and looking to follow on with this. However for the first half of the game it seemed like a different team was playing with some panicking on the ball and general lack of intensity. Wests had some first half chances and ultimately a through ball to their striker and a neat finish had them 1-0 up. Wests were then awarded an extremely soft penalty however justice prevailed with the Wests player putting his shot wide of the goals. Goalkeeper Liam Stevenson pulled off a great one on one save to keep it to 1-0 down and the boys went into the sheds with some questions to answer.
The second half was distinctly different and the first graders clearly had a spring in their step. Coach David Watts was pacing on the sideline and willing his team to keep to the game plan and they delivered. Suddenly passes were sticking and the front three of Tobias Williams, Marc Lee and Scott Muilwyk were running rings around the Wests defence. A goal was always coming and there should have been one after a clear handball from a Wests player in saving a certain goal. Everyone in the ground saw it as a penalty except for the referee. The boys didn’t let the frustration get on top of them however with Scott Muilwyk ripping around his marker. His stinging shot was well saved by the Wests goalkeeper however Marc Lee was on hand at the back post to bury it and make it 1-1.
Marc Lee wasn’t satisfied with that however and decided that he would turn and hit a 30 yard screamer soon after to make it 2-1. UOWFC really could have had a few more and dominated the Wests team in the second half. It was a great turn around after a lacklustre first half and credit must be paid to the team who dug in and kept fighting. Man of the match was Ross Graham with special mention to David Cahill who came off the bench and ran Wests ragged in the second half.
Corrimal Rangers are next up in round three and are also undefeated in First and Reserve grade, so clearly this is a vital round to set the season up. Youth grade and First grade play on Friday night at 6pm and 8pm respectively at Memorial Park, Corrimal, with Reserve grade playing at the normal time of 1pm Saturday so get down and support the teams!