Friday 26 May 2017

Corio book place in finals as Golden Plains upsets Geelong

Lara on the attack against Corio

Corio book place in finals as Golden Plains upsets Geelong

Roy Hay

Corio is through to the finals of this season’s Geelong Community Cup after a comfortable three-nil win over a tiring Lara United, while Golden Plains upset a very young Geelong side by a single goal in the second half. Both matches were in Group B of the competition.

In the early game in Myers Reserve, Corio dominated possession but almost found themselves behind when keeper Simon Smyth handled a high pass back giving away a free kick. But his wall did its job blocking Kristian Edwards’ drive. At the other end Elton Savice troubled Harley Marsden but the ball was eventually cleared and Nathan Cook’s effort was saved after a good run by Jasmin Ikanovic.

Ethan Cook of Corio and Corey Houston of Lara (15, in blue) in action in the Geelong Community Cup.

In the final minute of the first half two Lara attackers could not put the ball in the net after Smyth’s miskick left them clear in front of goal. So the first half ended goalless and it was not till the 40th minute that Corio got the breakthrough. Billy Argyros found Ikanovic with a delicious through ball and the striker gave Savice an easy finish. Argyros had a hand in the second goal on the hour mark when his cross from the right set up Ikanovic in close range. As time ran out Ikanovic got his second goal as a tiring Lara defence was breached for the third time. Lara coach Lindsay Falzon was not downhearted. ‘All but one of the lads we fielded tonight was playing with the reserves last season and before kick off we were unsure if we would be able to field eleven players. They did well until they tired at the end.

Midfield action from Geelong in orange and Golden Plains

The second game might have been expected to be a walk over for Geelong, who won promotion last season and so will be three divisions above Golden Plains this coming winter. But the club decided to field a team of youngsters and it was the newcomers from Bannockburn who dominated the game for all but a ten-minute spell after half-time. Neither side could score in the first half despite a number of defensive mistakes. In the 44th minute, Lucas Bonifacio of Golden Plains had a great chance to score but shot straight at keeper Alex Kitanovski. Seven minutes later Jayden Kinces crossed and Alesandro Stefano could not miss from directly in front of goal to put Golden Plains ahead. There were chances at both ends in the dying stages. Geelong’s Tony Tassone tested keeper Hamish Flavell who palmed the ball away for a fruitless corner kick and with almost the last touch Jake Knilcic of Golden Plains hit the Geelong cross-bar, but there was no further score.

The Hon John Eren, Victorian Minister for Sport, fresh from launching the Cadel Evans bicycle race, was a keen spectator at Friday night’s games.

On Sunday night, Bell Park plays Surfcoast at 6 pm and Geelong Rangers takes on Deakin Ducks at 7.20 pm in Group A.

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