SALE United began its Gippsland Soccer League season with a solid 5-0 win against a rebuilding Traralgon City.
The home side, which led 3-0 by half-time, shared the goals among five individual scorers – captain Ash Ross, Jacob Patterson, David Simpson, Adam Buchanan and substitute Trevor Irwin.
This Sunday, Sale United will head to Morwell to meet Fortuna.
FORTUNA was held to a 1-1 draw after Olympians scored a last gasp penalty at Traralgon.
There were few chances of note during lacklustre opening exchanges, but the visitor could have broken the deadlock in the 20th minute when Ivan Vekic came close with a chip from 20 yards. Aaron Daniels had a chance at the other end when a cross came in from the left only to be headed over the bar.
Fortuna soon opened the scoring when Robbie Cusworth swung in a corner, Olympians failed to clear and Matt Ross punished them.
Despite getting the ball stuck under his feet 15 yards from goal, Ross recovered to bundle his shot into the back of the net.
The host grew into the game and poured forward but in the face of an experienced Fortuna defence found it hard to create clear chances.
With time drawing short for Olympians, Daniels was brought down in the box by Ross in the 89th minute, and Heydan Cook smashed the resultant penalty into the top corner to get a share of the points.
A NEW look Churchill United side travelled to Monash, but a familiar result as the Rams won 4-2.
With an array of new faces for both teams making their senior debuts, the Rams settled first and Taylor Jackson forced 16 year-old goalkeeper Jamie Kent into a fine save early on.
The visitors soon took the lead from a corner when Paul Riess leaped highest to power his header into the net.
The lead was doubled soon after, with Ray Myers ghosting in and prodding the ball home from a low cross into the box.
Monash clawed back into the game and reduced the deficit before the break. Wally Noppert was fouled 20 yards from goal and Chad Shelley curled a sublime free kick into the bottom corner to make it 1-2 at half-time.
The game adopted a more even feel after the break as both teams created and squandered chances.
The Wolves then drew level from the penalty spot when Noppert was again brought down and Shelley applied the finish.
The stalemate lasted less than five minutes as Jackson breached the Monash rearguard and drove the ball into the bottom corner.
The result was sealed with 15 minutes remaining, in a near identical circumstance to the previous goal when Jackson again burst past the Monash defence to power home.
FALCONS defeated central league debutant Trafalgar Victory 8-0.
With a settled line-up and a strong pre-season behind it, Falcons was off to a cracking start and opened the scoring early when coach Nick D’Alessandro provided a tidy finish inside the 18-yard box.
To its credit, Trafalgar continued to battle away but within the space of 10 minutes Jesse Kennedy and D’Alessandro put the home side 3-0 ahead before the break and it looked to be game over.
The onslaught continued in the second half as D’Alessandro and Kennedy completed their hat-tricks with Sam Amaira and Tom D’Alia rounding out the scoring in a convincing victory.
A NEW season brought no respite for Tyers as Moe United hammered 13 unanswered goals past the Lightning at home.
A hat-trick to Ash Birrell, doubles to Luke Bathgate, Joel Baldwin and Sam Gatpan, supplemented by goals to Lachlan McKenzie, Brent Charleston, Ty Georgiou and Matt Shearing completed a baker’s dozen for the Red Devils.
Tyers will hope the only way from here is up in the wake of the 13-0 scoreline, after conceding nine in the first 45 minutes.
EAST Gippsland United showed no signs of nerves on its central division debut, defeating Morwell Pegasus 4-2 away.
Ben Gillard scored a hat-trick for the young Bairnsdale side, while Josh Perry chimed in with one.
The visitor took a 1-0 lead early when Pegasus was caught napping at the back, before Alradi Ismail levelled the ledger at 1-1.
Ismail created several chances for himself in the final third but failed to convert, before East Gippsland nabbed another two by the break.
The East Gippslanders absorbed early pressure in the second half before going 4-1 ahead, with Ismail’s second coming moments before the final whistle.
IN other matches this Sunday, Newborough-Yallourn will host Pegasus, Moe will head to Churchill, Trafalgar will host Monash, Tyers will be at home against Olympians, while East Gippsland will play its first home game at this level against Falcons. Traralgon City will have the bye.