Much to everyone’s surprise RiotACT finds itself sponsoring the Tuggeranong United Football Club in the ACT Football Federation’s LOOP Premier League.
We have this report in of how our brave lads went in round one:
Champions Canberra FC claimed all three points in their season opener with a routine 4-0 win over Monaro Panthers at Seiffert Oval. The 2011 treble winners, who have already scooped the loop Federation Cup this season, were never in serious danger of losing to the Panthers once Ryan Keir had headed them in front on fourteen minutes. A second goal, slotted home from the penalty spot by Michael Spaleta made it 2-0 before half-time as Canberra FC assumed control of the fixture. Victor Yanes added the third in the second half before the goal of the game, a 30 metre thunderbolt from Adam Spaleta sealed the result that sends Robbie Graham’s team to the summit of the table after Round 1.
Woden Valley fought off a spirited challenge from ten-man Canberra City to get their LOOP Premier League campaign off to a winning start claiming the points in a 3-2 win in the first match of the season played at Hawker Football Centre on Saturday evening. The dismissal of Matt Phillips for a perceived reckless tackle `in the 55th minute tipped the match Woden’s way after City had recovered from an early Woden double-blast to level the match at 2-2. Woden were by far the more potent of the two teams in the opening half and led 2-0 heading into first half stoppage time thanks to a brace of similar goals netted by Nick Humphries in the 6th and 7th minutes. The youngster pounced on a scuffed clearance to slam Woden ahead early on, after an effort from Sean Murphy was hacked away. And, amazingly, the same thing happened sixty seconds later as Woden extended their lead.
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Soft goals appeared to be the order of the day though and City hit back in time added on at the end of the first half. A long throw from Marc O’Neill deceived the Woden defence and fell kindly for an unmarked David Dexter on the back post who prodded the ball into the net from close range. It was a similar scenario six minutes into the second period as Matt Moore’s team drew level. O’Neill again launched a bomb into the box and Ben Doyle rose highest to head home for 2-2. City was looking good at this stage but the sending off of Phillips swung the momentum back to Woden who snagged the winner twenty minutes from the end. Murphy made the goal, ghosting past his marker and reaching the bye-line where he cut back the perfect pass for substitute Stephen Lee who slotted home on his league debut for the club to seal the points.
At Hawker Football Centre on Sunday, Belconnen United were made to work hard for all three points in their clash with Tuggeranong United, finally prevailing 3-2. Chances were aplenty for both teams during the game with the Blue Devils taking the lead in the 35th minute when Michael Taurasi met a Taylor Beaton cross with a firm header. Tuggeranong were level by the interval though as Sam Griffiths and Mark Shields combined for the latter to square for Matt Menser who had the easiest of tasks to slot home. Dustin Wells restored Belconnen’s lead just before the hour with a tap-in after Taurasi had been sent free and drew Matt McDonald for his strike partner to do the honours. Taurasi nailed the third himself in the 77thn minute advancing before clipping a superb finish over McDonald. A stoppage time free-kick from Griffiths, blasted in with venom from range, reduced the arrears but Belconnen did just enough to win.
And at Nijong Oval Cooma Tigers impressed in a 7-4 win over Canberra Olympic.
Woden Valley 3 (Nick Humphries 6’, 7’, Stephen Lee 69’) Canberra City 2 (David Dexter 45’, Ben Doyle 51’)
Tuggeranong United 2 (Matt Menser 44’, Sam Griffiths 93’) Belconnen United 3 (Michael Taurasi 35’, 77’, Dustin Wells 59’)
Cooma Tigers 7 Canberra Olympic 4
Monaro Panthers 0 Canberra FC 4 (Ryan Keir 14’, Michael Spaleta 34’ (pen), Victor Yanes 67’, Adam Spaleta 73’)