Knights take on new soccer side
THE Leongatha Knights hosted the new Warragul United team on Sunday.
In goal for the Warragul team was former Knights’ player Shem Murphy.
The Leongatha team was without Ethan Bath, Blake Moscript and Braydan Moscript, but had Brian Gannon and Sean Villasevil stepping up from the Reserves.
The game started with both teams losing possession whenever they went forward until Warragul was able to win a corner. With a plan in mind the corner was taken and the ball passed to the front of goal where a United player was able to get a shot off unmarked and score the first goal.
With Patrick O’Meara, John Stephen and Pierre Cohignac starting up forward, the Knights were looking at attacking the Warragul side and trying to get the advantage.
Warragul played a controlled game with plenty of passing.
This kept the Knights players guessing where the ball was going.
With deft passing, it wasn’t long before the ball was passed forwards behind the defence and when the Warragul player was able to get there before keeper Charlie Dougherty he found a player in support and they were able to score their second goal. The Knights defence in Curtis Rintoule, Tom Barker, Tom Rycks and David Simon was finding things tough with a Warragul side intent on breaking through and beating any offside trap that was set.
The finish of the first half came when Warragul again played the ball forwards and Leongatha was unable to defend the cross, only for a defender to kick the clearance and score an own goal.
The Knights had set up with Fergus Warren pushing into the midfield along with Jack Bainbridge and Stefano Viano and Brian Gannon, a solid midfield that was finding it tough to keep chasing down the elusive Warragul players.
A first half the Leongatha side was glad had finished and for the chance to collect its thoughts on the sidelines and plan a comeback.
The second half proved better for the Knights and they were able to score two goals through placing pressure on the ball carriers and forcing the untied team into quick choices.
When the defence looked to make a back pass to Shem it was PJ who struck and was able to chase the ball down and get a toe onto the ball and score.
The second came from the Knights best passage all match when a free kick was taken and the ball sent down the right wing where Pierre Cohignac was able to send in a cross for an unmarked Fergus Warren to head the Knights back into the match.
Alas all the hard work fell down when the Warragul side sent a clearance forward which was controlled best by its attacker and with a turn of speed put himself into the clear and with only Charlie to beat was able to score.
When Sean Villasevil came on he was able to apply some pressure with his speed but in an unlucky tussle for a ball he received a head knock and wasn’t his usual self.
Alas, Warragul wasn’t finished and when its midfield had sufficient time it was able to play its attack into the clear and allow the final goal to be scored.
The game ended with a score of two to five.
Warragul was the better team on the day and with a number of players playing down from its higher teams its quality showed.
Leongatha now has a Seniors’ bye next week as Drouin only field Reserves.
The next Senior game is in three weeks against Inverloch.
Leongatha Lady Knights welcomed Warragul in its debut season.
Missing their core starting players, the Lady Knights approached the game with trepidation but enthusiasm.
A quick play up the wing resulted in a confident shot in from the always quick footed Evie Bath, who went on to get her name on the score sheet five more times including a stellar cross shot that found the net in the opposite top corner.
Warragul players went well against a tight Leongatha defence scoring a goal off two corners and one free kick, though struggling to persist through midfield plays.
Leongatha’s Kim Kirkus stepped up and took on a midfield role for the first half of the game, sending a lovely chip into the goals.
Leongatha women’s team’s second youngest player Xanthe Brunning was on first this round with two epic goals and continuously winning possession along the right wing.
Jordan Rintoule was also a star stepping up into the forward line and scoring a powerful cross shot and a second chip in during the game.
New recruits Bree Endres and Brielle Cox were instrumental in Leongatha’s offensive attacks, supported continuously by Izzie Kennedy, Paige Biggs and Julie Cato.
Pauline Graewe put in a clean sheet effort in goals in the second half.
The Leongatha Lady Knights would like to congratulate long term player Cassie Barker on her last game before she takes maternity leave from her sporting endeavours to focus on the impending arrival of baby number two.
Well done to the Lady Knights on a convincing win and some season best play.
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