Green Gully SC emphatically returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Manningham United Blues in their Round 3 NPL Victoria encounter. Following a disappointing defeat to Hume City, the team at Green Gully Reserve was eager to make amends and did so in spectacular fashion.
The match began on a level keel, with neither side able to assert dominance in the opening exchanges. However, as the first half progressed, Gully began to impose their game plan, seizing control of the match’s tempo.
The deadlock was broken in the 23rd minute in a moment of set-piece ingenuity. A short corner routine culminated in a floated ball to the back post, leading to a scrambled clearance from the Manningham defence. The ball eventually fell to Iradukunda, whose driven effort ricocheted off a tangle of bodies in the box, presenting Taylor Schrijvers with the opportunity to showcase his composure with a tidy finish.
Manningham sought an immediate response, forcing Gully’s Driscoll into a spectacular double save to deny Ben Everson and maintain the lead. The half-time whistle sounded with Gully leading by a slender one-goal margin.
Manningham’s attempt to change the tide with half-time substitutions brought on GOLDING and RAMIREZ, replacing HARDING and TURGUT, but Gully’s momentum was unperturbed.
Derrick‘s powerful header in the 54th minute, connecting with Iradukunda‘s cross, doubled Gully’s advantage and firmly placed the hosts in the driving seat. Subsequent tactical adjustments saw Mo Adam replace Iannucci, a move that paid dividends as Adam immediately tested the Manningham keeper with a sharp shot on goal.
As the hour mark passed, Adam once again breached the Manningham defence, though his effort only found the side netting. But it was Josh Hope, freshly returned from suspension, who truly put the game beyond reach with a beautifully crafted goal in the 77th minute, a testament to the team’s fluidity and precision in the final third.
Manningham’s Theodorakopoulos, continuing his scoring streak, snatched a goal back in the 80th minute, showcasing his poacher’s instinct. But it was a mere consolation, as Gully’s Tevere, exploiting the space afforded by Manningham’s forward press, scored a breakaway goal to seal a dominant 4-1 victory.
This result was a statement from Green Gully SC, not just in terms of the scoreline but also in the manner they bounced back from adversity. The team displayed a blend of tactical flexibility, individual brilliance, and collective spirit that bodes well for their ambitions this season. With a refreshed squad and the return of key players, Gully has sent a clear message to the rest of the league: they are here to contend.
Report by: Matt Galea
Photography by: Mark Avellino Photography