Sale United takes step toward GSL finals

SALE United and Traralgon City have firmed to make to the remaining spots in the Gippsland Soccer League finals series after solid wins on the weekend.

Sale defeated Tyers 3-1 and City trounced neighbour Traralgon Olympians 5-1.

Despite going down to Churchill United 4-0, Moe United is still a shot of making it with just one round to play.

AN injury cloud hanging over Sale midfield dynamo Tommy Nguyen didn’t stop him on Sunday as he scored a double in his side’s 3-1 win over Tyers.

Nguyen was joined on the scorer’s sheet by Callum Clancy for the Swans, while prolific goal scorer Jake Budija registered Tyers’ goal.

TRARALGON City was electric in the first half of its match against Olympians and took an extraordinary 5-0 lead to the break with goals from John Koul, Adam Batt and a hat-trick from striker Mark Fairbrother.

A half-time baking from coach Anthony Collins got the Olympians back on track to win the second half after Clayton Bell got on the board, but the damage was done with the Roosters crowing to take the Traralgon derby 5-1.

CHURCHILL United made short work of Moe as the league champion ran out a 4-0 victor at home.

The match was just 36 seconds old when Churchill took the lead when attacking winger Taylor Jackson took his season tally to 13 goals.Midway through the first half, Churchill made it 2-0 when striker Jesse Kennedy found room to pick his spot.

In the second half Churchill skipped to a 4-0 lead when Luke Cheney staked his claim for the golden boot with a brace, taking his season tally to 22 goals, six clear of second-placed Josh Tanti of Fortuna.

Moe will be with-out the services of Nick Dastey next week against Olympians after he received his marching orders late in the match for his second bookable offence.

IN the Crinigan Rd derby, Falcons couldn’t break a league hoodoo stretching back more than 10 years when it lost to Fortuna 4-2, ending the Birds’ finals hopes.Falcons have only one win and a draw since 2000 to show from its 26 encounters with its biggest rival and neighbour.

A cagey start saw Fortuna take the early lead through a looping Hayden Tanti header and as the Lions continued to press they found a second within minutes through Jason Collins. Falcons showed resilience to lift a gear and found a goal with a wonderful finish from winger Jerry Daniels and the Birds looked a good chance at half-time.

In the second half Falcons continued to press, but spurned several good chances. It was made to pay as Fortuna counter attacked and broke the spirits of the Birds to make it 3-1 through late season transfer Dragan Milesevic.

Falcons continued to push but then conceded a fourth goal as Collins claimed a double, but the Birds eventually earned themselves a consolation goal through Mauro Deluca.

MONASH had a comprehensive 4-1 win over cross town rival Newborough-Yallourn United.NYU controlled possession for the first 20 minutes but lacked composure in the final third of the park to score. Monash made the Combine pay at the other end when Ash Birrell’s 40 yard cross from the touchline sailed over NYU keeper Damian Gilbert into the goal.

The visitor’s lead was doubled minutes later when a Matt Amaira volley from outside the penalty area cannoned into the crossbar with the rebound falling at the feet of Eric Sostak, who tucked the ball into the bottom corner.

Monash added a third goal through Daryn Cummings in the second half to seeming put the game beyond doubt, however a Heydan Cook strike gave NYU a glimmer of hope.

On the counter attack, Monash youngster Ethan Lawrence’s first senior goal wrapped up the win for the Wolves.

MOE United will be hoping Falcons can do it a favour by upsetting Sale at the Baldwin Reserve this Sunday.

Last time Falcons was too good for Sale, winning 2-1 in Morwell, and with the Battle of Britain Cup final next weekend against Churchill, will need to build some consistency in the lead-up.A win for Sale assures it of third place, while a loss could see it miss finals altogether.

With the aim of sneaking into the finals, Moe will come out all guns blazing when it travels to Olympians on Sunday.

Traralgon City is in the same position as Sale, needing a win to assure a finals berth when it meets Newborough-Yallourn. City is hitting its straps at the right time of the season with impressive showings in recent weeks, including handing out lessons to both Fortuna and Olympians, and should be way too good for the Combine.

Tyers is aiming to avoid the wooden spoon and the tight confines of Monash’s home pitch would suit its counter attacking play.

In a rare 3pm Saturday kick-off, Fortuna will be keen to spoil Churchill’s party with the Rams to be officially crowned champions at the end of the match.