Trafalgar Victory played Traralgon City Black at Harold Preston Park in Traralgon for its LVSL under 14 round 15 encounter. With only a handful of points separating the two team, who sit 5th and 6th on the ladder, it was always going to be an entertaining and fiercely fought match.
After a month of cold and miserable weather it was a real delight to take to the well kept Traralgon City pitch on a pleasant Saturday afternoon. With no wind or rain to be found, all players had the opportunity to display their talents in front of an appreciative and very enthusiastic supporters group.
Trafalgar started the game well with some quick ball movement and accurate passing. Both teams were switched on and the ball was moving from both ends of the ground rapidly, via good play. It took only 5 minutes for Trafalgar to take the lead courtesy of a lovely long range free kick from Michael Judd. His sublime kick was brilliantly positioned between the City back line and their keeper. Striker Nic Tammes timed his run beautifully and took full advantage of his one on one with the keeper, and kept his cool to convert with as classy finish.
This high quality first goal certainly ignited all players and supporters and the game was most definitely on. Whilst Trafalgar held our Traralgon City in the early stage of the half the lads in black and white certainly looked threatening. Unfortunately from a Trafalgar perspective, in a rampant six minute period the home team piled on three unanswered goals. The Trafalgar back four were exposed severely by the speedy Traralgon strikers on each occasions and try as they may were not able to cover their opponents. The half time score was Traralgon 3 – Trafalgar 1
I the second half Haylea Porter and Hardy Kenny played back and added considerable speed to the defensive unit. In fact Traralgon didn’t score for the remainder of the match. Trafalgar in the other hand really rallied and took it up to the home team. Michael Judd in the mid field dominated the pitch and in the 47th minute once again set up a superb chip over the backline for Nic Tammes to run onto and score. Nic was playing a blinder of a game and met every challenge and contest head on. His heart and amazing skill set were on display for all to see.
Meanwhile Jackson Clerks, who was moved to the left wing during the second half was playing out of his skin. Despite extremely physical “attention” form his opponent (which was the theme of the day at Traralgon) Jackson was able to win more than his fair share of the ball and offered considerable assistance to Nic up front. Jack O’Connor also worked hard all day and provided a good carry option upon the right wing. Jack made one run along the wing which set up a beautiful cut back pass to the top of the box a glorious run indeed.
Connor Ibbotson was most reliable in the backline and made many clearing saves. Whilst his brother and keeper Luke was once again very impressive with the gloves saving many shots on goal. Midfielders Darcy Lewis and Jacob Holmes both played great games and worked hard within their roles for the team. Both boys have great skills, never say die and are extremely dangerous given an inch of space.
During the last ten minutes of play Trafalgar pushed to try and find the equaliser. They generated several scoring opportunities, but were unable to find the much needed and I might add deserved goal.
The final score was very respectable 3-2 defeat. Despite losing the match coach Mark was delighted with his chargers work rate and commitment to the match. The team played out the full match and never looked out of the contest. For the vast majority of the game Trafalgar certainly played the better football and it was only a six minute period of the game that cost the team the match. Traralgon City coach Noel Murray also acknowledged the great play of the Trafalgar team at the end of the match.
It was a great game played by the boys and coach Mark was delighted with how his players dealt with what was at times “excessive” and at times illegal physical pressure. As the boys climb the age groups and progress towards senior football the physical aspect of the game is something they will need to deal with and indeed introduce to their own game.
This weeks’ BK’s Award recipient was Jackson Clerks for his excellent second half.