Match reports from first round of competition below.
Unley (2A) v Pulteney (2A) – Matt Evans
Result: 0-1 Loss
After an extensive preseason, where the cobwebs had been sufficiently dusted off, there was a lot of excitement coming into the first game of the season. Made particularly so with quite a few players making their Unley and A grade debuts.
The conditions were perfect for soccer, mid 20s, sunny, not too windy and the first home game of the season with drums on the sidelines.
When the whistle commenced play, Unley were off showing some quick efficient passing in the first few moments. No doubt fired up from Captain Declan and Coach Oscar’s pre-game pump up. Pultney quickly got this under wraps though and started to control possession until about halfway through the 1st half where we kicked into gear and took control with a couple of shots from Bram and Jonny. Most of the first half was a bit of ping pong with the ball quickly changing from Pultney to Unley and vice versa.
Half time 0 – 0.
Sadly, shortly into the second half Pultney made an ugly cross into their attacking box where two Pultneys heads each hit the ball, sending it bumbling into the goal, narrowly out of Finns reach.
From this moment on, Unley started to play some better football with a few chances at goal most notably through a cross into Gary which was then headed into the top bar, oh so close!
Three substitutions around the 63rd and 70th minute mark provided fresh legs and good pace in Jason, Polacek and Tom, all creating chances from their positions.
We had majority of the possession and momentum for the 2nd half, just couldn’t find the back of the net.
With many moments of promise, it’s looking like a good season ahead. Onwards and upwards for next weekend!
Unley (2B) v Pulteney (2B) – Finn Birch
Result: 2-1 Win
Scorer(s): T. Theodoulou & D. HyltonAfter an inspiring team talk from Luke, the gaffer and Howie, the Captain, the first game of the season began fairly une
ventful with the game going into half-time at nil, nil. The second half was much more eventful with Thomas Theodoulou tucking in a cross from out wide early on. Pulteney hit back shortly after through a soft free kick and a goalkeeping howler. With the game tied at 1-1 and only a few minutes to go, substitute Daniel Hylton blasted in an outside of the box effort to seal the first victory of the season for the Rangers.
Unley (4) v Mercedes (4) – Ethan Hart
Result: 2-1 Win
Unley Scorer(s): R. Stor & J. Kharel
Mercedes Scorer(s): An offside bloke
Man of the Match: Austin Brandon (C)
Honourable Mentions – Simon Zollner (250 Game Milestone) – Austin Brandon (300 Game Milestone)
Weather: Conditions Hot & Dry
Bookings/Injuries – Bookings: No bookable offences – Injuries: Micah Sluzanowksi limped off late second half.
Fouls/Offsides – Fouls: Aplenty – Offsides: Debatable
A monumental matchday for the mighty Unley Rangers FC ended in a much deserved 2-1 victory. What appears to be a closely contested result was ultimately a dominative performance by the Rangers, who overcame periods of disorganization to show the league we truly mean business this season.
Goalscorers Ryan Stor and John Kharel produced some beautifully intricate footwork with impeccable finishing, leaving Mercedes completely amazed by the debatably Messi-esque calibre of our players. On the other hand, Mercedes took advantage of moments of breakdowns in communication and showed the ability to produce some rapid and composed football. Nonetheless, Unley managed to consistently rediscover their voices, pull-together and produce a solid defensive display led by captain, Austin Brandon.
Decision-making was somewhat questionable; however, the referee ultimately makes the final call which must be respected at the end of the day. Fairplay Mr. Referee man.
Overall, the game marked a new dawn for the 4’s, also providing a league debut opportunity to young Ethan Hart who they understandably describe as the next Nemanja Vidic. The Rangers performance and result was a culmination of communication, determination and ever-growing potential which is a testament to the hard work and effort put in at training thus far, in addition to what is still to come. The key takeaway is we can and will always and improve and put in our very best on the day.
We go again – Let’s go Rangers!
Unley (5) v Pulteney (5)
Result: 3-0 Win (Forfeit)
Clean sheet, three goals, three points!
Thank you to those players that came out and supported the Club and fellow Rangers.