Trafalgar Victory played Traralgon City Gems as their round 16 opponent at Harold Preston Park, Traralgon. On paper the match should have been a comfortable result for the Trafalgar team. However, games of sport seldom follow the expected script.
The first half of the game wasn’t the best of the Trafalgar boy’s season. The team failed to execute basic skills and didn’t provide great service for one another. Whilst they tried their best and gave their all, the lads simply weren’t playing a great game of football. What opportunities were generated were quickly nullified by the Traralgon linesman, who was extremely keen to call “offside” at every available opportunity.
One Trafalgar player who did play a great first half was mid fielder Jacob Holmes. Jacob carved his way along the left wing and provided good service to his forwards. His ball skill and evasiveness was exceptional and a real highlight for what was otherwise a rather lacklustre first half of football. Aedan Rothmeier also played a very reliable match in the backline, clearing the left wing on numerous occasions. When released to the forward line, Aedan also did his best for the team.
Eventually Trafalgar got a score on the board late in the first half when dependable midfielder Michael Judd set up his good mate Jack O’Connor in the box. The goal provided much relief to the team and supporters alike. The half time score was Trafalgar 1 – Traralgon City 0.
In the second half Trafalgar seemed to click into gear and move the ball much better. Passes were hitting the mark and the team had much more structured. The inclusion of Darcy Lewis into the midfield added some much needed speed and grunt. Darcy, who had played in goals for the first half of the match, in the absence of regular keeper Luke Ibbotson who was given some well-deserved time on the ball, played a great game of the right wing.
Haylea Porter also joined the starting eleven in the second half and thrived with the opportunity to play against some of her squad team mates who played for Traralgon. Haylea always provides a real contest and gives her all for the entire duration of the match.
Michael Judd extended the lead early in the second half with a lovely baseline run into the box. He calmly smacked the ball into the back of the net to make the score 2-0. For the following twenty minutes or so the match went into a holding pattern with Trafalgar making promising attacking moves and Traralgon defending grandly. The Traralgon players forced a few scoring opportunities of their own, only to be denied by second half goal keeper Flynn George. Flynn advised his coach at half time that he hadn’t played goalie since Under 10s. However, despite the lack of recent experience, he did a great job keeping a clean sheet for the team.
With the time clock counting down and Trafalgar earning corner after corner without scoring it was time for someone wearing red and white to stand up. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Enter Jackson Clerks.
Coach Mark had instructed both Jackson Clerks and Luke Ibbotson to get in the box and make a header on one of Michael Judd’s awesome corner kicks. So the big units were set in the box as instructed. The ball was delivered with pin point accuracy, but yet again not a header in sight. However, Jackson made the most of his opportunity and sneaked a quick kick in past the goalie to score his first of the day.
The second of Jackson’s pair of goals can from a solo run all the way from the backline, where he juggled the ball for half the length of the pitch, somersaulted over two opponents and scored a bicycle goal on his left which ripped the goal net in two! Well, that’s how Jackson recalled the unfolding events leading up to his second “cherry picked” on the line goal. He certainly enjoyed his two goals and I am sure all his team mates will hear all about them both this week at training. And the story, no “legend” of Jackson’s goals will grow.
For the first time this season Luke Ibbotson played the entire match on the pitch out of goals. He was a creative player who generated great supply to his team mates. He proved to be a most creative striker and a reliable midfielder when called upon. Great game Luke.
Nic Tammes also worked hard to generate scoring changes throughout the match. Whilst the ball didn’t quite roll his way so to speak this game, Nic stuck to his role well and played a very team orientated match, setting up numerous scoring opportunities for his less experienced team mates. Another good game from Nic.
All in all a 4-0 result was pleasing and a good reward for the days play. Coach Mark was impressed by how the team improved in the second half and managed to get on the scoreboard.
This week’s BK’s team awards were presented to Flynn George for keeping when no one else would do so and to Connor Ibbotson for coming and supporting his brother and team mates whilst injured.
Whilst the team has the bye next weekend, families are reminded of training this week and of course the team picture which is scheduled for 5:45pm on Thursday the 18th of August.