At the halfway stage of the season, questions have been asked of some of the youngsters in green and white. A response was needed after a couple of disappointing results and coach Ted Latomanski left the squad under no illusion that this was the case. Senior players were included to bolster the ranks in the form of Mitchell Graham, Nicholas Georgopoulos and Ethan Brooks.
Gully looked composed from the start and were able to maintain possession far better than in previous weeks. Chances were coming and both Georgopoulos and Brooks were unable to find the target from promising positions. Indeed, Georgopoulos was displaying his class in the centre of the park in the absence of regular Nick Giarizzo, due to illness.
The back four looked more assured than in recent weeks too, with a steely resolve that the coaching staff had been asking for. Graham was dealing with the Oakleigh attack and setting the foundation from the back when in possession.
Gully could have gone in ahead with a little more composure shown in the box. On the balance of play the home youngsters were unlucky not to have the advantage.
HALF TIME 0 – 0
Gully once again came out looking to attack, creating chances without taking them. Oakleigh were, however, pressing higher and looking to stifle the Gully defence from playing out from the back. The away team were looking to assert their authority on the game, although Gully were holding firm.
Disaster struck around the hour-mark with Oakleigh cutting through the Gully defence with too much ease after a cheap turnover near the halfway line. It was disappointing to see, given the renewed effort and intensity that the home team had displayed so far.
Gully continued to push forward searching for an equaliser and again were able to create opportunities without finding the back of the net. Substitute and Under 18 product Esrom Paulos was showing glimpses of brilliance off the bench and looked a handful in attack.
As Gully pushed forward there were gaps appearing and Oakleigh capitalised, forcing a second goal in similar fashion with the Gully defence allowing runners through with too much ease. It was a devastating blow for the home side who deserved so much better for their efforts.
The home team continued to huff and puff, but to no avail and were unable to claw a goal back, despite a couple more half chances. It was a disappointing day at the office for Green Gully, who will now look to gain points over Altona Magic this week.
FINAL SCORE 0 – 2
Report by Asst. Coach Ian Burke
Photo by Mark Avellino Photography