2023 NPL MENS 1 ROUND 8
WOLLONGONG WOLVES V CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
WOLVES RETURN TO THE WINNERS’ CIRCLE
The Wollongong Wolves have achieved their third win of the season with a 3 -0 result against the young Central Coast Mariners side. A well-taken brace to striker Jake Trew set the ball rolling and substitute midfielder Takumi Ofuka scored his team’s third goal. This was the Wolves’ thirty-first 3-0 result in the league in the club’s history from 1981.
The Central Coast Mariners kicked off the proceedings, while the Wolves were facing towards the southern stand.
The Mariners got into stride quickly and Nicholas Duarte had an early shot. The ball took a deflection and went upwards only for recalled custodian Tomas Butkovic, to leap high and grab safely.
Trew forced a corner kick after Joshua Macdonald had twisted and turned in the box to elude two defenders but could not get a shot in and sent the ball back to a support.
The Mariners had their fair share of corner kicks in the space of three minutes. Jordan Segreto took one from the left with the Wolves Chris McStay beating Lachlan Bayliss to the ball but conceding another corner kick in the process. The same player as before swung in the ball again but a touch by a Mariner went over for a goal kick to relieve a bit of pressure.
Each team mounted attacking forays with good passing manouvres but could not bring up the desired outcome. Trew looked to add to his tally of two goals when he produced a shot in the twenty-sixth minute. Samuel Riak, dynamic in the midfield, squared the ball from the left to the striker. From just outside the penalty area his effort zoomed into the vicinity of the far post. However, a diving Anthony Pavlesic managed to take and thwart the attack.
Four minutes later, as a Mariners attack broke down, a long ball was pushed forward for Trew to run onto. Pavlesic saw the danger and came off his line and out of his area to race the striker to the ball. Pavlesic was content to block Trew to the ball but was forced to touch over the goal line for a Wolves’ corner kick. Walter Scott rushed over to take the kick from the right side. He swung the ball to the near post vicinity. A Mariner player tried to clear but the ball but went close to the goal. Pavlesic pushed it away. The Wolves’ striker Mirza Muratovic tried to head in as Cameron Windust attempted to head away. The Mariners custodian again pushed the ball away only this time Trew got his head to the ball and sent it powerfully into the goal. The Wolves had gained the advantage.
A corner kick to each team kept each team’s defence on their guard. However, a good passing movement by the Mariners with Duarte and Bayliss involved saw Segreto finally striking the ball strongly from outside the box. Unfortunately for him and his team, the ball flew went straight into Butkovic’s arms. This eventuated four minutes before the regulation forty-five minutes. In time added saw the Wolves mounting an offense. In the forty-five plus two minutes, the Wolves’ Alex Masciovecchio, who was on the scorer’s list in the previous round, pushed a pass to Muratovic. As he shot a Mariner tried to block but touch a slight touch as the ball flew past the goal frame. Macdonald from the right corner sent the ball over to the far side. Windust back headed out but McStay got the ball off Bayliss and it ran towards to the goal line. McStay scooped the ball in before it went out. Trew received a pass and tried to turn but was blocked but still won another corner kick. This time it was from the left. However, nothing of any consequence happened.
At half time the Wolves had kept a clean sheet and were on top.
Two minutes in the second half, the Wolves attacked with Masciovecchio bring the ball down the right at pace. He passed to Muratovic but he could gain possession and then Joshua Hong cleared over the ball for a corner kick. Scott sent it in to reach the head of Harrison Buesnell. Alas he could not direct it on target.
However, two minutes before the hour mark the Wolves doubled their advantage. Prior Miguel Di Pizio got the Wolves by line and dispatched a cross. It traversed over to the other side where substitute Marcus Beattie took control. He checked to deceive a marker before sending the ball to Riak. He placed a pinpoint pass into the path of Trew on the left. He met up with Windust but produced a rocket of a shot flew in at the near post, eluding a diving Pavlesic.
The Mariners looked to claw one back through Hong, who was in an optimum position. However, he dispatched his header over the bar.
More corner kicks ensued, five to be exact with neither team able to profit from these set pieces.
The Wolves did not have wait too long for their third goal. On eighty- two minutes, Ofuka took the ball from the left of centre. He played a one-two with Trew before skirting the defence. He went to the right before cutting in a little. With space to himself, near the top junction of the goal area, he let fly. His low angled right-footed shot advanced to the far post hitting it then going into the goal.
The Mariners had a couple of late shots in an effort to get on the score sheet both through Bayliss, but these were in vain.
The Mariners had enough of the play but lacked clinical finishing. The Wolves with their three goal win equalled the number of goals scored in Round 2, the biggest winning margin in 2023 and their attacking movements jelled. The defence held firm.
WOLLONGONG WOLVES ………………….3
Jake Trew 31’, 57’ Takumi Ofuka 82’
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS…………..…0
Sunday 25th March 2023
3.00 p.m. kick off
Coach: David Carney
13.Tomas Butkovic 3.Harrison Buesnel 21.Ethan Beaven 5.Banri Kanaizumi 8.Samuel Riak 10.Mirza Muratovic (9.Takumi Ofuka 58’) 23.Walter Scott 14.Jake Trew 88.Chris McStay 99.Joshua MacDonald (Senna Stevenson 77’) 25.Alex Masciovecchio (7.Marcus Beattie 51’)
Subs not used: 1.Nenad Vekic 11.Nav Darjani 29. Ben Giason
Yellow Cards: Chris McStay 43’
Red Cards: Nil
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
Coach: Abbas Saad
20.Anthony Pavlesic (GK) 3.Joshua Hong (Max Middleby 64’) 4. Dean Larson (c), 5.Cameron Windust (capt.) 7.Maksim Kasalovic (12. Olayinka Sunmola 46’) 8.Lachlan Bayliss 9.Miguel Di Pizio (16.William Arnold 76’) 10.Nicolas Duarte 15.Jordan Segreto 17.George Daniel (14.Aydan Hammond 64’)
Substitutes not used: 30. Dylan Peraic-Cullen (GK) 32.Matelj Busek
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Referee – Jake Rose
Assistant Referees – Ethan Zvargulis and Hayden Michlmayr
Fourth Official – Lucy Nothrop
By Malcolm Rowney