United hits demolition button
Shepparton United issued a major warning to rival clubs with a 9-0 demolition of Hanwood in the inaugural round of Regional Premier League soccer on Saturday.
After a bright opening 15 minutes from the visitors, United broke through and raced to a 4-0 lead by half-time.
The domination continued after the break with five more goals sealing the comprehensive victory.
Jamie Gosling, Ben Clarke and Luke Harrop were all on target twice, while Phil Doran, Adam Turner and Aaron Westervelt also found the net at Central Park.
United coach Westervelt said after a few ‘‘anxious’’ early moments it proved to be ‘‘one of those days where everything we hit went in’’.
‘‘They were probably on top for the first 15 to 20 minutes or so and had a few chances,’’ Westervelt said.
‘‘They had a one-on-one chance and our keeper managed to pull off a save and it seemed to flick a switch in our heads, we cleared the corner and took control of the game after that.’’
Phil Doran and Shaun Kelly led an even team performance from United.
The match was also Westervelt’s first look at Hanwood, which joined the RPL as the undefeated reigning premier of Griffith District Amateur Football Association, and he said despite the scoreline they were ‘‘pretty good’’.
‘‘They’re a young side and they’ve got a lot of quality, so they’re going to get better,’’ he said.
‘‘It might just have been a bit of a wake-up call to how good the competition will be down here in Shepparton.’’
Hanwood was not alone in struggling through its first match against GNEFA opposition.
Fellow 2011 GDAFA finalist West Griffith was humbled 5-0 at home to Shepparton on Saturday.
Hanwood was missing experienced pair Joe Catanzariti and Jonathan Favero and coach Anthony Agresta said while there was a ‘‘difference in class’’ it was only round one and there was no need to panic just yet.
‘‘We had a good period at the start of the game, but we just lacked consistency for longer periods and when we conceded a few goals the boys lost their heads a bit,’’ Agresta said.
In other matches, reigning GNEFA premier Tatura slumped to a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Cobram Victory, courtesy of four goals from Billy Marshall.
A Stuart Vance equaliser salvaged a point for Cobram against Shepparton South, while Yoogali Football Club fought back from two goals down at half-time to draw with fierce rival Yoogali Soccer Club.
Shepparton United will travel to Wodonga to take on Twin City Wanderers in the State Knockout Cup tomorrow night.