Buoyed by the first-round win at Oakleigh, the Gully boys had trained well this week and were looking to assert their authority at home. A decent crowd was on hand to witness the match against
Altona Magic who were looking to get their first win of the season. Senior inclusions were welcomed again with Mitchell Graham, Brodie Paterson and Nicholas Georgopoulos.
The game started well with Gully forcing the play. Paterson and Georgopoulos were showing their class in the middle of the park. The wider expanses of Green Gully Reserve were providing plenty of opportunities to expose space behind the Magic defence. After a quarter of an hour, a Magic winger found his way into the box and rather fortuitously received a penalty. It was duly dispatched with keeper Tomas Josifovski unlucky to go the right way without saving and the away side taking the lead.
Gully continued to battle hard for the remainder of the half. Georgopoulos had more than one effort on goal go high and wide, whilst also having one rattle the post. Graham who was in the box for a set piece also managed to hit the ball into Brodie Sposato when it appeared the back of the net was going to rustle.
HALF TIME 0 – 1
Gully appeared for the second half after coach Ted Latomanski introduced Nicolas Valenzuela, with Jordan Vartuli forced on late in the first half for Garang Arou who had picked up a knock. Again it was Gully dominating open play, with Magic looking to sit deep and then counterattack. The reward came after a juicy cross from Paterson was expertly tucked away with a spectacular diving header from Georgopoulos to equalise.
This brought Magic to life, and they immediately went looking to take the lead again. Once again they benefited from a free kick, this time for handball. The cross came in and a header from an unmarked Magic player saw them go in front again.
It was now all to do for Gully and the boys once more pushed forward to get something out of the game. The introduction of Samuel De Los Santos Myles gave an extra bit of flair, and it was he who created an opportunity for striker Stafan Stojcevski, who smartly turned and rifled one into the bottom corner. Gully continued to make the running and from a long clearance, Paterson tried to chip the keeper, who pulled off a great save to tip it wide. Then with only minutes left Magic launched a counterattack and curled one beyond the reach of Josifovski to steal a result late in the game.
A very disappointing result that on another day may have seen the boys in green and white take the points.
Report by: Assistant Coach Ian Burke
Photo by: Paul Crossley