Terrigal BPL squad made the trip over Central Coast Highway to the home of previous BPL heavyweights, East Gosford Rams FC.
With First Grade and Reserve Grade playing midweek catch-up matches against Berkeley Vale, there were some tired legs with further injuries and suspensions to deal with leaving the squad on the bare numbers for each grade. Fortunately, 21s were able to have the week off which gave a chance to some of the boys to help fill numbers in Ressies and Firsts.
In a day of mixed results, the squad were able to come away with 6 of the 9 points on offer, giving the squad a 15-point boost in the BPL Club Championship, still being led by Killarney.
Below are the match reports for each grade:
21s match report:
Coming into the round still sitting equal first but just short on goal difference, the boys knew a strong performance would give them a chance to stay top and potentially take over Killarney.
The match was unfortunately for us Judah Mills last this year, as he heads off overseas to (not confirmed) watch Liverpool retain their EPL title. After being handed the armband got has last match by JP, the boys were keen to send him out a winner.
It was an even opening exchanges where both teams tried to find their way into the match, Terrigal looking a little disjointed which could be attributed to the amount of changes in the starting XI or even the hot spring-like conditions.
The East Gosford opposition were doing well to find space behind our wide fullbacks as the Terrigal backline failed to adjust to their setup, continuously being pegged in our half by the opposition who were causing plenty of problems and were unlucky not to open the scoring with a few chances.
Terrigal’s opportunities were coming against the run of play and it took a pinpoint through ball from Matthew Roper to allow Billy Williams a clear run on goal. His first touch led him wide of the goal closing the angle up very tight which looked almost impossible to score from, but with a solid low right foot drive he pumped it into the far corner to put the boys 1 nil up.
That was about it for Terrigal highlights in the first half, the opposition kept coming at us and even after being awarded a penalty they still could not score.
The boys came into halftime feeling lucky they were still ahead but understanding where they needed to improve to put the game away.
The second half opened positively as Billy found the net once again after collecting the ball from some scrappy play after a corner to put the boys 2 nil up.
A clear change of intensity from the young Olads helped give us numerous chances to increase the lead with Spiros shooting just over the bar and Judah making a good run but also firing just over the bar.
Terrigal goalkeeper Owen Stefani can up with a host of top saves keeping the opposition scoreless and giving some strength to a Man of the Match performance.
Things then went very south for the Orange and Black, as Brayden Tait received his second yellow card of the match, and sent off with 20 mins remaining leaving the remainder of the match to be a very nervy affair as East Gosford were (finally) able to put one past Owen, albeit from the penalty spot. 2-1.
In a tense last 20 minutes, the lads did incredibly well to hold their nerve and with some late subs of veterans Mitch Jury and Scot Austin, the team were able to hold out for the 3 points keeping their unbeaten streak going.
Reserve Grade match report:
The Reserve Grade comp is the tightest of all the grades. Terrigal had the opportunity to go top midweek but could only grab a point from good opposition in Berkeley Vale. But that was not the end of their opportunity to go top, as a win against East Gosford would give them every chance to get first place by the end of the weekend.
However, it was not meant to be. The squad had been largely reshuffled due to injuries and suspensions, with Reserve Grade copping most of the flack missing some standout players and having to start with a bare XI using subs that were backing up from the 21s.
No excuses though, and the ‘ressies’ had multiple, numerous chances to score but were unfortunate not to. And after losing Striker Alex Ford to injury early in the first half, this did not help the cause as the boys needed to re-adjust and fight to get a result.
The boys fought hard all match, but they were unable to hit the back of the net which in the end proved the difference as East Gosford took a chance on goal to score.
Terrigal rallied for the entire second half, chance after chance, but were unable to get the ball in the net leaving them to taste defeat for the first time since the opening round. Terrigal 0, East Gosford 1.
First Grade match report:
Like the Reserve Grade team, First Grade were experiencing some disruption with injuries to key players Anthony Pace, Ben Flakus, Tion Gerasimou and a suspension for Lachlan Wilkinson further adding to Head Coach, Martyn Griffiths selection headaches.
Whilst there were a host of players out due to injuries and suspension, this left the door open to give former East Gosford BPL midfielder Angus Missen to make his First Grade debut against his former club. You could not write this stuff!!!
Unlike the past 2 weeks, the Olads were unable to score in the first minute however it was on the 7th minute mark when they were awarded a penalty in which Cameron Wilkinson converted to put us 1 up early after a push in the area.
15 mins until the break, Jack Rodger put the boys 2 up with a great header off a long throw by Jai McNamara catching the East Gosford defence by surprise.
With the half coming to an end, Terrigal were awarded another penalty for handball by the East Gosford defence which Cam stepped up confidently to slot home his second to give the Olads a 3 nil lead and take the orange and black to halftime with a commanding lead.
Like the previous few weeks, Frist Grade were able to do the damage in the First Half leaving their opposition deflated and really only fighting for pride in the Second Half.
This then left Terrigal to control the half and doing a comprehensive job to keep East Gosford out, who struggled to make any impact against the lads.
Gus Missen nearly put the icing on the cake when he struck a 25 yard shot which was heading into the top corner only for the EG keeper to make a tremendous save, and Cam Wilkinson missed a perfect opportunity to seal his hattrick only to squander from close range.
Terrigal take home a 6th straight victory keeping up the fight for the League Championship in which they are still 2 points off leaders Killarney.