IN an exciting start to the Latrobe Valley Soccer League men’s season, all winning teams scored three goals, a record for the competition.
All matches were close and results could have been reversed in some games, but late goals sealed at least two victories.
TRARALGON Olympians defeated Sale United at home 3-1 on Sunday, inspired by Harry Crooker, who scored a brace for his new club.
All four goals were scored in a 12-minute period, with Olympians scoring first at 24 minutes then again at 34 minutes. The home team went further ahead at 36 minutes when James Sykes beat the keeper.
Sale clawed one back through Callum Campbell only two minutes later.
Neither team could score in a hotly-contested second half.
LAST year’s runner-up, Newborough-Yallourn United, defeated an improved Churchill United 3-2.
The Combine found early goals at nine minutes from Mark Fairbrother and only three minutes later brother Dylan put number two past the guardian.
It was looking to be a rout, but Churchill found some wind and forced many attacks, with Paul Reiss breaking through at 33 minutes.
With the change in wind direction in the second half, the Rams set about upsetting NYU. Riesss busted through the defence to score his second for the Rams, which brought the tally to 2-2.
NYU was being outplayed, but Mark Fairbrother’s second goal in the 77th minute was enough to seal the match for the home side.
MONASH defeated local rival Moe United 3-1.
The Red Devils surprised the Wolves with their early pace, and against the run of play, Ty Georgiou scored at the nine-minute mark, the only goal for the first half.
After a spray from coach Andreas Nilo, the Wolves looked sharper in the second half, with Braden Paulett producing two gems at 52 and 73 minutes to give them the lead.
It was left to Nilo to seal the match with a goal with two minutes to play.
TRARALGON City had a 3-0 away victory over Trafalgar Victory, which showed promise, despite being the only side not to score during the opening round.
City, through new striker Keiran Coltman, from Fortuna, scored the opener after 10 minutes of to and fro soccer.
Another recruit, former Sale player Ray Allred, doubled the Roosters’ lead at 32 minutes.
After the break, Traralgon City nullified the Trafalgar strikers, limiting them to only a couple of full drives towards goal. The sealer for the game came from James Sykes with only a minute to play.
FALCONS began its premiership defence with a 3-2 victory over Fortuna on Saturday night.
Fortuna drew the first blood when Heydan Cook beat the keeper to give them the lead at eight minutes.
Ryan McAuley, making his senior debut for Falcons, gave the Birds some joy when he equalised 20 minutes in.
Former Fortuna coach David O’Dowd swung the match towards the Lions with a cracker at 38 minutes, but his good work was annulled by Ryan McAuley who equalised only two minutes later.
The stalemate continued in the second half until former Falcons coach Nick D’Allessandro beat the keeper to put his side 3-2 up with three minutes to play.
It was only Falcons’ 12th win over the Lions.