SALE United began its Latrobe Valley Soccer League campaign with a 2-1 loss to defending premier Traralgon Olympians on Sunday.
It only took one minute before Olympians’ Germaine Otieno opened the scoring with a ripper which got past the Sale United keeper.
It was a hard slog for both sides in the windy conditions at Traralgon, but Olympians looked the better side in the conditions.
Sale battled without much success, as players became frustrated. Shots at goal went wide of the mark and recently returned Olympians keeper Aiden Reilly wasn’t really tested.
Olympians led at the break 1-0, but Peter Labros doubled the margin on the hour as Olympians took control.
Sale fought hard and its consolation goal came at 68 minutes through Ray Allred, but Olympians held on to win.
In the women’s match, Sale defeated Olympians 2-0. After an Olympians own goal in the 20th minute, Syenne Young scored for the Swans in the 72nd.
The Sale reserves also got the win 3-2, while second division lost 2-1.
FORTUNA made a big effort to atone for last season’s poor performances with a hard earned 3-0 win over Monash.
Fortuna kicked against a strong gusting wind and it was a difficult time for players in the unusual conditions.
New coach David O’Dowd set the pace for Fortuna, scoring a brace in a four-minute period to give his side a 2-0 lead going into half-time.
After the break, Monash tried valiantly to reduce the deficit, but Fortuna was strong in defence, not allowing the Wolves any chances. A strong crosswind made passing and ball judgement had to achieve.
Fortuna was allowed space at 77 minutes when Brandon Scott beat Leon Cook to post a third goal.
LEAGUE champion Falcons took revenge on Trafalgar Victory for a loss in the final round last season. The 3-0 scoreline didn’t reflect the way the game was played.
Windy conditions made it hard for both sides, but Falcons who shone through at the finish.
Falcons included Isaac Abbas, who has been playing Australian rules football with Morwell, and Kevin Carcerella, who was playing his 100th game.
It took Falcons 40 minutes to break the tight Trafalgar defence when Jesse Kennedy placed the penalty kick past the keeper.
Trafalgar were without the pacesetters in the Paredes brothers, but nevertheless took the game up to Falcons.
Just after half-time, Falcons’ Jamie Pistrin got himself on the sheet with a well-placed goal, and then added another at 78 minutes.
NEWBOROUGH-Yallourn United defeated Moe United 2-0.
Play was concentrated to the eastern side of Olympic Park because of a strong wind. Players had difficulty in passing the ball and often the ball was held up in the breeze.
NYU was nippy, and with signings in Shayne Pavich and Alex Van Vliet teaming well together, were able to give the Combine more chances around the 18 yard box. Two quick shots at 32 minutes were parried away by keeper Peter Albanese.
Moe lifted in the latter part of the term, with Sam Gatvan and Yuach Yuach almost converting corners, but Damien Gilbert had to punch the ball away on both occasions to deny the Red Devils.
NYU defenders Jamie Dunn, Alex Bowman and Stephen Birrell kept Moe’s strikers working hard for little reward. The Red Devils’ best chance for a goal came when Sam Gatvan’s free kick went over the wall but was stopped on the last line by Gilbert.
It was goose-eggs at the break (0-0), but Mark Fairbrother ensured NYU got the points when he scored a brace at 50 and 59 minutes, giving his side a hard-earned win.
TRARALGON City made the long trek to West Bairnsdale to battle it out against East Gippsland United, and came home with a 1-0 victory.
Jake Budija scored the only goal of the match after 24 minutes.
It was tough going for both teams as the wind played havoc on the dry surface. Neither team could adapt to the conditions, but as Traralgon City came close to adding to its score, but the wind helped bend the ball away from the net.