It was an early kick off at Avenger Park as the Gully Under 21’s looked to take on one of the early season contenders in Avondale on their home turf. Adding to the degree of difficulty was the stifling heat, plus the addition of some quality senior players returning from injury for the home side.
The game started as expected with Avondale controlling possession, however without creating any clear-cut chances. Gully were desperate in defence and were getting plenty of bodies behind the ball. Unfortunately, the boys were unable to maintain possession of the ball for long enough to give the defence much of a rest. Midway through the first half Avondale were ahead after a good finish beyond the advancing Thomas Simic, who was deputising for Captain Tomas Josifovski again.
Coach Ted Latomanski urged the boys to continue their hard work in the humidity surrounding Avenger Park and the bench were hopeful of only going into the break one goal behind. It wasn’t to be, though, as Avondale continued their excellent movement through the midfield and pounced on a turnover to find the back of the net for the second time just before half time.
HALF TIME 2 – 0
The Gully youngsters had some fresh introductions for the second half, as Latomanski looked to get a goal back and put pressure on an Avondale side who had buckled the previous week. Unfortunately, the second half was much the same though, with Gully chasing the ball and then unable to find the energy or options to keep it.
At 2-0 and still in the game, further changes were made, with youngster Alexandar Cepiviroski making his debut from the bench. He instantly added energy to the midfield and within a minute had the first shot on target of any player in a white shirt. This provided some impetus and Gully rallied for a brief time, with another substitute Jordan Vartuli having his effort blocked. A goal now would have made the game very interesting. It wasn’t to be, however, with Avondale surging forward within a minute of the chance and making it 3-0 to close out the game.
A disappointing result for the young Gully side, but with many lessons to be learnt from playing against more experienced opponents.
FINAL SCORE 3 – 0
Report by Asst: Coach Ian Burke
Photo by: Mark Avellino Photography