Big wins for hosts and holders in Geelong Cup
There were big wins for host club, Geelong Rangers, and cup holder Bell Park in the Geelong Community Cup on Sunday night. After Golden Plains upsetting Geelong on Friday, the expected order of things was re-established as Rangers beat Deakin Ducks four-one and Bell Park hammered Surfcoast five-nil. Park ended the evening with a positive goal difference having started the evening at minus-four and second place in the Group A table. All the teams in the Cup this year seem to have rediscovered the spirit of the tournament and have given numerous youngsters a chance to see what they can do.
Surfcoast was caught out in the first few minutes giving the ball away as it tried to break out of defence and was punished twice. Daniel Grozdanovski took advantage in the third minute and though his shot was blocked Antony Del Guidice followed up to score. Then another turn over in the 9th minute allowed Liam Page a chance to stroll through unchallenged for a second goal. Surfcoast’s task was made more difficult when Ryan Boardman crashed to the ground damaging his shoulder and he took no further part in the game. His team held out till the interval, but another turnover allowed Grozdanovski to make it three in 49 minutes. Five minutes later a cross from the right was converted by Joshua Berta. Then Berta chased a hopeful lob into the box and beat keeper Joel Gawne for the fifth and final goal.
Geelong Rangers was expected to have no trouble with Deakin Ducks. When Matthew Humphries was brought down for a penalty kick in the 13th minute and Matt Long buried the kick it all seemed to be going by the script. But Deakin hit back ten minutes later. Troy Harrison’s initial effort was blocked but Nick Mussara followed up to equalise. That set the pattern with Rangers having the majority of possession but looking vulnerable when Deakin mounted the odd quick counter-attack. Just on the stroke of half-time Rangers charged down the right and Matt Long was credited with a goal thanks to a sharp eyed assistant referee who spotted the ball had just crossed the line.
Both teams made several changes in the second half and Rangers were eventually able to turn their greater share of possession into goals as the Deakin lads ran out of legs. Substitute Colin Rankin got the bye-line and cut the ball back for Jak Banks to score his third goal of the competition. Jordan Swaney thumped in an unstoppable shot from ‘Willy Muir distance’. Older fans will remember Willy’s goal that won the Advertiser Cup for Rangers in 1987 from a distance that increases every time the story is told. Deakin almost had a consolation when Tom Back hit a high ball from even further out but keeper Sam Stoneley scrambled back and diverted the effort for a corner kick.
Next Friday night Deakin Ducks take on Bell Park at 6 pm, followed by Geelong Rangers against Surfcoast at 7.20 pm and on Sunday it is Golden Plains against Corio and then Lara United versus Geelong.