Traralgon City takes title

Laurie Williams

TRARALGON City won its second consecutive Battle of Britain Cup on Friday night, defeating Moe 2-1 in the last minute of the match.

Scores were locked in at 1-1 until a corner kick, taken by City’s Liam Johnson, landed in the box, and through a scramble of legs, the ball was forced in for a goal.

There was wild jubilation from the City faithful as thirty seconds later the final whistle blew to give City a well-earned win.

The match began in pouring rain and it never let up throughout the match.

Players had trouble plotting the ball, and long kicks were the prominent order.

Twice within the first five minutes, the Traralgon keeper Chris Hall was forced to defend as Moe went forward.

Moe was getting good possession, but fell down across the back as the City trio of Rob Spiers, Jack Lester and Moy Aliyu were solid defenders.

Sam Gatpan and teammate Duach Duach were ever busy for Moe, as Traralgon tried hard to shut them down.

Traralgon City got the big break at 22 minutes in, when leading scorer Jake Bujida got in behind a lob and easily popped it past Moe’s veteran keeper Peter Albanese.

The joy for Traralgon didn’t last long, as Moe’s Gatpan eluded his marker and shot truly, beating Chris Hall only seven minutes later.

The score stayed tied at half time at 1-1, but after the break Traralgon picked up their intensity to try to break the deadlock.

Twice within minutes they tested out Albanese, but the wily keeper was equal to whatever Traralgon could throw at him.

Moe received two free kicks and almost scored, but the ball was tipped over for corners.

It was a long ball game, with very little positional play, the wet conditions making the pitch slippery and harder to pass accurately.

Neither team could get a break, Traralgon City’s DJ Matar was busy setting up passes but constant turnovers robbed the Roosters of goals.

Matt Shearing and Riley Winkelman-Atkinson were good for Moe, but couldn’t get the breaks.

Time was ticking away, and at 91 minutes, a Daniel Holt shot was deflected, allowing City a corner, the resulting kick found space in the box and a goal resulted giving the Roosters a 2-1 back-to-back Battle of Britain Cup.

In the reserves, Fortuna and Churchill fought out a thriller, with Fortuna taking the Shopwell Trophy with a 3-2 victory.

Fortuna’s women had their revenge on Traralgon City to take the Browne-Huizer Cup, it was again an extra time goal that gave victory to Fortuna.

These two battled it out only five days previous in the LVSL top eight grand final which Traralgon City won.

Olympians defeated Fortuna in a penalty shootout to win the Nan Bosma Cup in the second division, with the Lions missing three penalties during the match and the shootout.