“Who are, who are, who are we? We are the girls and boys from SALE FC!”

The Sale United Football Club victory chant echoed the rooms at Traralgon City Soccer Club on Sunday, July 3, as the Swans sealed wins in the Women’s, Reserves and Senior games.

Sale United Women were the first to play against Traralgon City in Round 13 of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League.

The Swanettes took to the field hungry for goals, sitting third on the ladder behind Fortuna FC and Falcons FC with goal difference, creating the most significant margin between the top three teams.

It was goals they wanted; it was goals they got.

Sale United’s young gun striker Dani Wilson had an impressive game, putting away six goals, earning herself a double hat-trick and the title of SUFC’s current top goal scorer.

Sale United’s Dani Wilson scored six goals on the weekend. Photo Zoe Askew

Traralgon City was commendable in their fight, with defenders relentless in their efforts, never giving up, despite through balls from Sale’s defence, driving wingers Hollie Ryan and Jade DuVe forward, time after time, pressing them hard and fast.

Despite playing fantastic football and having countless shots on goal, DuVe struggled to find the back of the net.

Sale United’s 2021 Golden Boot winner, Hollie Ryan, also struggled to find the goal. Still, after innumerable attempts Ryan finally found the back of the net, scoring two consecutive goals for Sale United.

Sale Goalkeeper, Teagan Fairbrother, was lucky to touch the ball more than a handful of times throughout the game, with Traralgon City rarely in their attacking half.

The full-time whistle blew with Sale United Football Club securing an 8-0 victory over Traralgon City Soccer Club in the women’s competition.

Coach Madelaine Breakspear said the game against Traralgon was a great opportunity for the Sale girls to control the tempo of football and build their playing style as they face a run of tough opponents in the coming weeks.

“What a great day for SUFC! Nine points!” Breakspear said.

“The women had a solid game, 8-0 win; with Dani Wilson scoring six and Hollie Ryan scoring two, the combination between these two girls up front is lethal!

“Traralgon was a good young team that was tough on the ball, it challenged our girls, but we came away from that game happy with how we played.”

The Reserves were next to play in what would be a teeth-gritting ninety minutes for Sale United and Traralgon City supporters.

Traralgon City Reserve hit the ground running, with Robert Darby scoring for the home team in the first ten minutes of the match and sequentially turning up the heat.

Just five minutes after Traralgon City found the net, referee Kieran Dwyer flashed his yellow cards to one player from Traralgon City and two from Sale United.

Luke Wilson in action for Sale United. Photo Zoe Askew

The tension and physicality of the game grew, captivating spectators in a game of football that made one unable to turn away.

At twenty-seven minutes, roars from the crowd bellowed across the reserve as Hamish Wain sealed a goal for Sale United, evening the score.

Enter Christopher Kelsey.

Kelsey’s eyes locked on the ball as the teams reset at halfway. As the whistle blew, he was off, charging at Traralgon City, swooping in and stealing the ball before single-handedly taking on the entire team and scoring a remarkable goal.

Just minutes before halftime, Traralgon City’s Enrique Sbaglia used fast and fancy footwork, scoring himself a goal and equalising the score 2-2 before the break.

After the break, teams returned to the field, and tensions were hotter than ever.

As the clock ticked away, voices grew louder, language more colourful and bodies used at every chance.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, referee Kieren Dwyer issued two yellow cards, one to Traralgon City and one to Sale United. It was Sale United player Richard Kemp’s second yellow card in the game, which resulted in an automatic red, sending him off the field and leaving Sale United one man down.

Ten minutes later, Callum Hua was issued his second yellow card, leaving Sale United two men down with twenty minutes left of the clock.

Sale United held their ground against their hosts Traralgon City with goalkeeper Xavier Boughton denying the Roosters goals, making some impressive saves.

Pratyush Gaonkar stirred the pot, relentlessly pressing Traralgon City’s defence with speed and skilful play.

Pratyush Gaonkar fends off two Traralgon players. Photos: Zoe Askew Photo: Zoe Askew

Under pressure, the Rooster’s defence gave away a penalty, but firecracker goalie Liam McCluskey denied Gaonkar a goal.

Determined to put Sale back in the lead, Gaonkar was unyielding, and with eight minutes on the clock, the young gun Swan pulled out fancy footwork, beating four Traralgon City players and scoring a goal to put Sale in the lead 3-2.

Gaonkar didn’t stop there.

Stealing the ball seconds after the kick-off, Gaonkar ploughed toward the goal, once again pressuring the Rooster’s defence, forcing an illegal tackle and earning a penalty.

The entire reserve was silent as Gaonkar set up to take the kick.

A deafening roar arose from Sale United spectators as the ball belted passed McCluskey, furthering Sale’s lead 4-2.

Five minutes on the clock, with Sale United feeling the strain of playing two men down, Traralgon City’s Robert Darby scored his second goal, closing the score 4-3.

Digging deep, Sale United held off further advances from Traralgon City to take the win at the final whistle.

Coach Anouk Meereboer said it was a tough game for the boys, losing two players with an equal scoreboard, but the better team won.

“Reserves’ average age being 21, with 70 per cent of the players on the pitch being 21 or under, most of them 16 or 17 years old and going down to nine players when the score is two all made for a tough game,” Meereboer said.

“But then to score two goals to get the lead and being able to hold onto the lead, what an impressive effort of all the young guys!”

Sale United started strong in the seniors with a goal from Isaak Jondahl in the first two minutes.

Isaak Jondahl runs down the wing. Photo Zoe Askew.

After a quick wake-up call, Traralgon City stepped up, playing a solid defensive game.

At thirty-eight minutes, an own goal by Sale United levelled the scoreboard 1-1 before the teams headed for the halftime break.

Returning to the field for the second half, Jake Budija quickly hammered in a goal for Traralgon City, with the Roosters taking the lead 2-1.

In the game’s final ten minutes, Sale United Senior Men pulled out all the stops, with a goal from Alan Harris levelling the score 2-2.

Sixty seconds later, Round 13’s star Swan Cooper Coleman put Sale back in the lead with a ripper goal.

Traralgon City fought hard in the final minutes but was unsuccessful in their efforts to equalise the score.

The full-time whistle blew, sealing Sale United’s 3-2 victory against Traralgon City.

“The seniors had chance after chance to score during the game, but hadn’t been able to finish them,” Meereboer said.

“But in the end, the team did it!

“Young gun Cooper scoring a ripper with a wordy celebration after that! It was a great team performance.

“The guys might have almost given the coaching staff a heart attack, leaving the goals till late in the game, but they pulled it off and got the points they deserved!”

Sale United Senior Captain Solomon Nash said the boys knew they needed to win.

“We knew we needed to win the game, and scoring two goals was going to be a tall order,” Nash said.

“Anouk implemented some tactical changes at the beginning of the game, which eventually paid off. Alongside this, a couple of subs off the bench made a big impact.

“Alan (Harris) getting the goal and Mark (Mcloughlin) on the left was great. Above all, the perseverance the boys showed to get the comeback and win 3-2 was amazing.”

Sale United next play Falcons 2000 at the Godfrey Baldwin Reserve in Sale this Saturday, July 9.