North power away in CoGG Cup
North Geelong secured a place in the 2012 City of Greater Geelong Cup final with its third win in succession in this year’s tournament at Bell Park Sports Club. Rangers started brightly and might have gone ahead through Andrew Husband whose shot was saved by David Zilic. The Dark Blues did take the lead in the 33rd minute. David Valys rose at the far post among a ruck of players and forced the ball past the North keeper. North’s equaliser came in the last minute of the first half. Michael Anderson seemed to be a metre offside but he was allowed to play on and his lobbed effort was covered by keeper Jacob Mills. However the ball squirmed away from him and went into the net off the post.
David Valys had been struggling with an injury in the first half and he eventually come off after 40 minutes to be replaced by Nathan Drazinic. Just after the hour mark Rangers’ midfielder Husband was sent off for a foul on Reha Kurul and that changed the balance of the game. With its extra man North dominated the closing stages and with four minutes left Nathan Long put away the rebound after the Rangers’ defence had blocked his first shot.
In the early game Corio defeated host club Bell Park by a single goal scored by Dusko Novakovic with a free kick from 25 metres in the 16th minute which beat Angelo di Mauro. Corio had Vedran Stojanovic sent off for abusive language but Bell Park was unable to capitalise on its numerical advantage. Mark Gstalter and Ibi Matjara were solid in defence for Park, while Elton Savice caused problems for them on the flanks for Corio.
On Friday night, North overcame a plucky Bell Park side by two goals to nil. In miserable conditions for the players with strong wind and heavy showers North scored two goals late in the first half through Nathan Long and Damian Morell. They came after Park’s Joshua Berta was sent for a bad tackle. Long’s was at the end of a goal-mouth scramble, but Morell’s was another long range strike of considerable power. On opening night he had a similar goal as he timed his run on to a driven cross from the wing. There were no goals in the second half.
In the early game on Friday, both Surfcoast and Geelong fielded half-a-dozen under-18s in the spirit of the pre-season competition and the match was tightly contested. Alan Dower, playing his first game for Surfcoast pressurised the Geelong defence after a throw in and won the ball, then ran through to score. Geelong got its equaliser with a free kick with five minutes left to play scored by Ivica Praiz.