Capital Football has sent in this weekend’s action:
Loop Premier League
Belconnen United ensured that they would stay top of the loop Premier League after thirteen Rounds with a come from behind 3-1 win over Canberra Olympic on Saturday afternoon at McKellar Park. The Blue Devils increased their lead at the top to six points ahead of Cooma Tigers trip to Canberra FC 24 hours later. Olympic, who had stunned Canberra FC last weekend, had taken the lead in the match after only fourteen minutes when Robbie Schroder bagged his third goal of the season. It was a lead that the visitors were to hold until after the hour before Belconnen began their recovery.
The experienced Matt Valeri pulled his team back on terms in the 64th minute as his strike made it 1-1 and the score stayed that way until late into the second stanza. A goal from Taylor Beaton seven minutes from time ensured that the home team would go ahead 2-1 and, as Olympic pushed forward in an attempt to draw level and get a point the Blue Devils hit them on the break late on. Dustin Wells ensured the league leaders secured all three points with his twelfth goal of the season deep into stoppage time to break Olympic hearts and keep Belconnen on course for the title.
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Sunday’s matches saw Canberra FC knock over Cooma Tigers 3-2 at Deakin Stadium to re-ignite their championship challenge. It looked for a while that the Tigers would be the ones celebrating victory after Stephen Domenici gave the visitors the lead nicking in at the front post to stab the ball past Ben Klug and into the net in the 23rd minute. The lead lasted for only three minutes though as the champions levelled when Nathan Evans chested a pass into the path of Michael Spaleta who side-footed past Francis Bangweni from close range.
Canberra FC led at the interval after Nathan Evans swept home an Ivan Pavlak cross to the delight of the home support. A 2-1 lead was precarious though so it was with some relief that Adam Spaleta broke to round Bangweni and score the third in the 61st minute. Pavlak wasted a glorious chance to make it four before Alex Castro reduced the lead to set up a nervy final few minutes but Canberra FC held on.
At Woden Park a goal in each half from the home side’s American duo Nick Hamilton and Peter Marlette gave Woden Valley a 2-0 win over Tuggeranong United. Hamilton struck inside the opening fifteen minutes to put Woden ahead but the game was very even after that and could have gone either way until Marlette struck three minutes from time to secure a vital victory.
Monaro Panthers saw a rare win stolen away in the final five minutes as Canberra City rescued a point when Sam McDonald netted five minutes from time to break Panthers hearts. It was what the visitors deserved at the Riverside Stadium though as City knocked on the door for large parts of the afternoon only to be frustrated by some poor luck and bad finishing as Monaro held on to the lead given to them in the 25th minute by young Cameron Dalzell. City though did break through eventually to claim a point and keep the Panthers at arm’s length.
Belconnen United 3 (Matt Valeri 64’, Taylor Beaton 83’, Dustin Wells 93’) Canberra Olympic 1 (Robbie Schroder 14’)
Canberra FC 3 (Michael Spaleta 26’, Nathan Evans 42’, Adam Spaleta 61’) Cooma Tigers 2 (Stephen Domenici 23’, Alex Castro 73’)
Monaro Panthers 1 (Cameron Dalzell 25’) Canberra City 1 (Sam McDonald 85’)
Woden Valley 2 (Nick Hamilton 14’, Peter Marlette 87’) Tuggeranong United 0