Cobram Roar travelled to the mountains on Sunday to take on top-of-the-table Myrtleford, hoping to bounce back after last week’s disappointing loss to Albury United.
Cobram was dealt a blow before the match with star striker Bill Puckett ruled out with a knee injury, and the restructured line-up took time to kick in as Myrtleford dominated the opening stages of the match.
It took Myrtleford only eight minutes to break the deadlock when a corner failed to get clear and a goal-mouth scramble ended up in the back of the net.
The sub-standard pitch wasn’t helping Cobram play its game as Myrtleford’s more direct play was causing havoc.
Soon it was 2-0 when sloppy play resulted in Matt Park breaking through to double the lead.
Shortly after Cobram was dealt another massive blow as star midfielder Nathan Thomas had to be replaced with a hamstring injury and the boys came to the break two goals down after a very lacklustre first half.
In the second, Cobram came out a different team and dominated from the outset, scoring within two minutes when a Marshall corner was headed home by Adam Gatcum.
Cobram continued to pile on the pressure but was continually denied. The opening half hour was all Cobram but the players were unable to capitalise on their dominance and paid the price as Myrtleford scored its third against the run of play.
Cobram then threw everything forward in the hope of getting a goal back but again was caught out in the final minutes of the match, going down 4-1.
The loss sees Cobram drop to fourth spot and sets up a must-win match this weekend against fifth-placed Boomers FC.
Cobram will be happy to be returning home to the showgrounds having not played a match there since May.
Score: 1-4. Goal: A. Gatcum. Best: J. Smith, A. Gatcum, R. Diramacca.
The reserves got themselves back on the winner’s list with a convincing 4-1 win over Myrtleford.
Shaun Willis set up the win with two great goals in the first half before Myrtleford got one back just after the break.
Cobram finished them off midway through the half when Startari got his first before youngster Hamish Sweeny put the icing on the cake, lobbing the keeper from outside the box.
The win keeps Cobram in second spot.
Score: 4-1. Goals: S. Willis 2, M. Startari, H. Sweeny. Best: T. Tekan, N. Santoro, S. Willis.
Roar came up against second-placed Myrtleford.
The match went in waves of momentum with the Savoys putting pressure on Roar’s goal but a great counterattack and through ball to Jackson Koopman gave him a one-on-one with the goalie, easily slipping the ball past for Roar’s first goal.
Defenders Michaele Mustica and Kaleb Tanner held strong, allowing Zainul Alibraheem to carry the ball out of defence, feeding the midfielders Thomas Corso and Brock Churchin beautifully, putting the team ahead at half-time.
In the second half, the Roar stood up and Lachie Nolan added two goals to put the team in a comfortable position.
The Savoys answered with two quick goals and Ciaran O’Sullivan made many more saves to keep the opposition at bay.
Roar again counterattacked, giving Harry Paterson time to shoot and put the nail in the coffin for Myrtleford, Roar winning 4-2.
It was another fantastic team performance from Roar who will be putting pressure on the table’s top teams as the season draws closer to finals.
The under-11s came up against Myrtleford in a second v third (Cobram) clash.
Cobram started the better despite the icy conditions and piled continuous pressure on Myrtleford’s defence.
Mikael Artavilla-Bennett and Joseph Allen provided some great runs down the line and Adam Champagne ran himself ragged in the midfield.
Lachie Kelly, Sonny Rowe, Jake Brincat and Spencer Clark proved a formidable backline and stopped all of Myrtleford’s forward movements.
Adam Champagne then put a great through ball for striker Jake Kalz who used his speed to gather the ball and calmly place it past the keeper to hit the lead. The boys went into half-time 1-0 up.
Myrtleford lifted after the break and tested keeper Jordan Kelly, who made some great saves.
Leo Quinane defended well with some timely intercepts and Luke Goodin chased hard and applied pressure to his opponents.
An error in Roar’s backline, however, was enough for Myrtleford to pounce on and score an equaliser. Both teams pushed hard for a winner but the game ended in a draw.
Score: 1-1. Goal: Jake Kalz. Award: Jordan Kelly.
●Senior women: Myrtleford 1 d Cobram Roar 0.
●Division three men (under-18): Myrtleford 1 lost to Cobram Roar 2.
●Under-14: Myrtleford 2 lost to Cobram Roar 3.
■Under-13 girls: Myrtleford 4 d Cobram Roar 1.