March 20, 2024





The Wollongong Wolves for the first time played Hills United at WIN Stadium. In this Round 6 encounter, the home team came away with a victory, winning 4-0, with a well taken hat trick achieved with scintillating play by Takumi Ofuka with a sublime header in the centre by Banri Kanaizumi in his trademark style. The Hills United side was not without their chances but good defence and wonderful saves from Vedran Janjetovic assisted to claim the clean sheet.


The Wolves commenced the match running towards the southern end. However, It did not take long before Hills United gained possession. The Wolves’ central defender Harrison Buesnel headed away and in scant time Hills’ Glen Kelshaw tried a speculator from distance that flew narrowly over. Alex Masciovecchio tracked back to intercept a lax Hills pass when the opposition was attacking.


In the Hills United territory, Ofuka made inroads with deft play into the penalty area but alas, his goal attempt traversed with a high trajectory. A through ball was put on a plate for strike Jake Trew. He feigned to put a marker off but with a good view of the goal, he unfortunately stuck the ball high and wide. This was a gilt-edged opportunity.


With good passing movement, the Wolves put the Hills United defence under pressure during the match with Hills United endeavouring to mount attacks in retaliation. Chris McStay produced a left footed shot that was on target. However, the Hills United custodian Ryan Wood, was equal to the task and saved.


On twenty-five minutes, Hills United came close to attaining the opening goal. From close vicinity, Yu Okubo tried to lift the ball over Janjetovic but the custodian blocked this audacious attempt.


However, the opening goal emanated two minutes later. Captain Lachlan Scott came in from the left side and was on the goal line. He eluded a marker before slotting the ball back to Ofuka.  He subsequently swept the ball in for his third one of the campaign.


The Hills midfielder Nicolai Muller tried to set passes to put his teammates through, but the Wolves stood firm. Muller with a pedigree of Eintracht Frankfurt, Mainz 05, Hamburger FC, Western Sydney Wanderers showed that he could pick a pass.


Ten minutes before half time, Samuel Riak, who was winning the ball in midfield and showing good vision with his passing, set up Scott. From outside the penalty area, with four goals to his credit this season, Scott  let fly with a powerful shot. Wood produced a fine diving save to thwart.


The Wolves did not have to wait long for their second achievement. McStay produced a corner kick to the centre of the goal area.  Kanaizumi arrived then rose high to power the ball home.


At half time the Wolves were a comfortable two goals to the advantage, but in football, this not altogether a safe score line but it was to be this time.


The second half began with Hills on the front foot and before long Thomas Makko sent the ball on target only for Janjetovic to block. Anthony Frangie came on looking to change things around. He put the ball into the centre of the penalty area only for Kanaizumi to intercept. A minute later, Kelshaw had a dig which Janjetovic went low to grasp. Riak interceded to change the Hills momentum and a little later anticipated before Caleb Jackson-Brown could take possession. He then set the Wolves attack in progress.


McStay was assisted by Ofuka to take a shot which was saved by Wood though a corner kick was conceded.  Later, Buesnell in attacking mode, headed over from close vicinity. Mustafa kept up the Wolves pressure by charging in and when in close, he could not breach Wood with his attempt.


In the seventy-eighth minute, Mustafa provided a switched pass which went from the left to the right. He picked out Ofuka. The midfielder then set sail for the goal with Sebastian Hernandez to his right taking a defender with him to allow space. With thew ball at his feet, Ofuka accelerated and when in the penalty arc, he pushed the ball low into the goal with his left foot.  Wood was beaten.  After Hernandez got the better of Jackson-Brown on the by line before venturing back to get better vision on goal. He shot with his effort going into the side netting.


With ten minutes to go, McStay flighted the ball into the box, Buesnell met it but could not direct his header on target.  At the other end, Dylan Ryan shadowed Mitch Smith as he tried to make inroads, before taking the ball off him thereby negating the threat.


With scant time remaining, Ofuka attained his treble. McStay provided a pinpointed pass between Daniel Petkovski and Rainer Smahel. Ofuka ran around Petkovski to gather the ball to subsequently clip an angled shot into the goal.


This 4-0 victory is the second time this score line has been achieved this season.


Coach David Carney – ‘football was excellent.  It was good to come to WIN Stadium and we pretty much controlled the whole game.  Everyone was on song and everyone knows what they are doing. Ofuka missed training on Tuesday and I joked with him that he would have to get a hat trick. And he did! .. We will have to keep the momentum going.’


Hat trick hero Takumi Ofuka – ‘happy to score three goals and help the team. Carney told me I had to score three and I did.’


Impressive midfielder, Samuel Riak – ‘coming into the game we were going to give it our best shot and get the win. Obviously, Hills are a good team but our quality was there…. We wanted to keep a clean sheet and we did with good defence and we kept it tight at the back and our attack did brilliantly…. I think I do my best for the team and do my job…. We have to keep rolling. We are not looking at the table and taking it game by game and obviously any team can beat any team.’





WOLLONGONG WOLVES F.C……… 4                     


Takumi Ofuka 27’ 78’ 89’ Banri Kanaizumi 37’


HILLS UNITED…………..………,,……0



@ WIN Stadium




7.30 p.m. kick off





Coach: David Carney


  1. Vedran Janjetovic GK 2. Harrison Buesnel 4. Dylan Ryan 5. Banri Kanaizumi 6. Samuel Riak 7. Takumi Ofuka, 8. Andre Takami 9. Jake Trew (11. Sebastian Hernandez 61’) 25. Alex Masciovecchio (10. Yagoub Mustafa 55’) 24. Lachlan Scott (Capt.) (27. Damon Gray 90’)
  2. Christopher McStay


Substitutes Not Used: 13. Oliver Yates RGK  15. Dax Kelly 29. Thomas Dunn


Yellow Cards: Harrison Buesnel 53’


Red Cards: nil




Coach: Luke Casserly


1.Ryan Wood 4. Brian Jamba 20, Thomas Lopez (26. Thomas Makko 26’) 5. Daniel  Petkovski  6. Isaac Hovar  8. Eion Montford 9. Yu Okubo  13. Cameron Philip (11. Anthony Frangie 46’) 17 .Caleb Jackson-Brown 8. Eoin Montford 18. Mitchell Smith 19. Glen Kelshaw (Capt.) (2. Rainer Smahel 78’) 24. Sunday Yona  27. Nicolai Muller (10. Jamal Belkadi 65)


Subs. not used: 21. Emlyn Cross.


Yellow Cards: nil


Red Cards: nil



Referee: Karl Davies


Assistant Referees: Matthew Harris and Arinath Gobinath


Fourth Official: Ethan Zvargulis


By Malcolm Rowney