Corio and North Geelong lead in Geelong pre-season Cup
Corio and North Geelong are locked on 8 points after each has played four out of five matches in the preliminary rounds. Corio tops the ladder with a superior goal difference. Geeong and Geelong Rangers follow with five points but Rangers has a game in hand, though that is against North Geelong.
On Sunday night Bell Park and Surfcoast drew two-all in the early game, while Corio and Geelong Rangers shared six goals in the later match. David Valys headed home a Scott Davison free kick to give Rangers a good start, but Corio hit back when Daniel Dragicevic streaked down the right and swept the ball across to Tawanda Madzikanda who finished with a flourish. Dusan Novakovic got a free kick roughly at the same point that Davison delivered for Rangers in the first half. The Corio playmaker did not need any assistance as his free kick sailed straight in. ‘Anything you can do’, sang Scott Davison and put another free kick for Rangers on to the head of Troy Hardy and the big man does not miss those. Dragicevic then set off on another blistering run down the right while Madzikanda and Vedran Stojanovic acted as decoys and the former Oakleigh man steered the ball past Hayden van der Chys. Rangers would not give up and Daniel Russell crossed for Hardy to slide the ball over the line in the gathering gloom.
Bell Park scored in the 16th minute when Ifeanyi Ianacheo crossed and Eric Lawrence slid the ball into the net. Surfocast hit back after the interval through Steve Russell, then Lars Halse set up Gavin Honey to put the Coasters ahead. Damian Hagebols equalised for Bell Park with five minutes left for play.
On Friday night, North Geelong had what turned out to be a regulation three-one win over Bell Park, but the all whites took an early lead through Damian Hagebols before North got going. Their goals came from Jackson Davis, Vito Ciciello and Nikola Brajdic. Corio were gifted an own goal early in the match against Geelong when Chris Balaburova inadvertently put the ball past his own keeper. But that was no excuse for the listless subsequent performance by the Geelong players thereafter as Corio strolled to a three-nil win. Andrew Palmieri with a pile driver and Tawanda Madzikanda with close range finish got Corio’s subsequent goals. Coach Kit Greechan was justifiably livid with the Geelong players after the match. Greechan sets high standards and these were not met.
Next Friday Corio should account for Surfcoast at 6 pm, but the North Geelong versus Geelong Rangers match which follows should be one of the games of the tournament. Then on Sunday Bell Park plays Geelongg and Rangers completes its program and possibly gains a grand final berth when it meets Surfcoast.
Caption for picture:
Elton Savice (centre in yellow for Corio) gets his cross in despite the attentions of three Rangers players, Scott Davison (23), Daniel Russell and Stuart Begg. Photo: Roy Hay.