Score: 3 - 2
Goals: Oliver 2, Alsree
Match report by Miles Rodriquez
The newly refurbished Monash Sports Oval has seen a ten-man Monash University hold off a youthful and spirited Warragul United.
Playing their first match at home for the season, Monash shocked their second-placed guests by scoring within 10 minutes of the kick-off. Motivated in his return to the side after exams, Mohammad Alsree dribbled down the left flank then cut in and crossed perfectly for Simon Oliver to chest down and finish, continuing his recent goal-scoring form.
Monash looked to be dominating Warragul in midfield with Nick Malios, Peter Sugija and Miles Rodriquez working in a triangle. This partnership was broken when Malios, venting his frustration at being yellow carded was given a straight red card for swearing at the referee.
The extra player meant Warragul had more space to press forward and pressure Monash for long periods of time.
Oliver, who again started as a makeshift forward after a 5 goal haul against White Star Dandenong the week previous, assisted Alsree in doubling his season goal tally by heading down Andrew Mariadason’s corner for the 24 year-old to strike into the back of the net on the stroke of half time.
Possession was the focal point of de la Torre’s half time speech, highlighting that the young opposition would become increasingly more agitated if they didn’t have the ball.
The second half started much like the first as Monash extended its lead further. Alsree again dribbled past two defenders then shot 10 yards outside the area, the ball rebounded off the crossbar for Oliver to score yet another goal.
Hungry for goals, Warragul pressed forward once more maintaining its pressure. This eventually resulted in a goal which Monash were unlucky not to keep out.
Monash looked as though they would get to the finish line comfortably with 5 minutes left in the match. However, goalkeeper Messner saved and threw the ball out towards an opposition forward who pounced on the opportunity and kept Warragul’s hopes alive.
The mistake did not prove to be costly as the Monash defence dealt with two last-minute attacks and held on to christen their newly laid pitch.
If Monash win next week at home against Old Melburnians then they will move within 10 points of 1st placed Lyndale United.