SALE United began its Gippsland Soccer League season with a 3-1 loss to Monash at Newborough on Sunday.
The Wolves opened the scoring early with keeper Mark Heatherington punting the ball up field to Eric Sostak, who out-ran his opponent and slotted the ball under Sale keeper Chris Richardson.
The home side was dominant in the midfield with Sale’s star youngsters Tommy Nguyen and Ashley Ross starved of possession.
The lead was doubled midway through the first half when Ash Birrell beat five opponents on his run before squaring the ball to Sostak who slotted home from 10 yards.
Monash came out strong in the second half with Sostak denied his hat-trick when Richardson tipped his powerful header onto the crossbar. The woodwork soon again denied the veteran.
The third goal eventually came with young debutante Tom Bramstedt measured a pin-point cross to Daniel Abela, who saw his initial header well saved before powering in the follow up into the net.
The Swans gained a consolation goal late into injury time via an own goal after some good work from Nguyen put the Monash defence under pressure with the ball headed into the net.
The Swans’ reserves won 5-1 and women 1-0, while their youth side lost 3-0.
In round two, United will host Traralgon City this Sunday.
IN other results, champion Fortuna staged a stirring fight back to overcome Traralgon Olympians 2-1, Moe United defeated Newborough-Yallourn United 3-0, a seasoned Churchill United side easily disposed of a youthful Falcons outfit 6-1, and Traralgon City handed Tyers a soccer lesson with a 6-0 win.
For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.