Kariong defeat Southern and Ettalong 'against the odds'
Against all odds, Kariong picked up their first Premier League win in the history of the club in front of a home crowd, when they defeated Southern and Ettalong United 2-1 on Sunday, May 8.
Southern and Ettalong got a lesson in the importance of hunger and desire when they went down to a 10-man Kariong side in Round 5.
The first 20 minutes of the fixture started much of the same as the first two rounds for the Lions, creating multiple chances but not being able to capitalize and turn any of these chances into goals.
However, for the third week in a row, a long throw from their captain Todd Balneaves led to Southern's opening goal when Jack Ellwood headed home for his side to take a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes after conceding, Kariong's Chris Lennon was shown a red card, taking Kariong's comeback chances to near impossible.
A precise ball from Kariong's captain Nick Trengrove found James Draper who popped up with a neat finish into the bottom corner which allowed the Cougars to draw level heading into the break.
Southern would start the second half in a strong manner and threw everything at Kariong and their defence.
Kariong was determined and committed as they dealt with an impatient Southern attack and looked to capitalise and catch Southern out on the counterattack.
Midway through the second half, Kariong would defy the odds and take the lead after a handling error by the Southern keeper allowed James Draper to cooly slot home for his second of the match and give his side the lead.
Looking to restore the deficit, Southern continued to attack with everything they had but the 10-men Kariong side held strong.
In the 90th minute, it looked like Southern would finally find their equaliser through the almighty Keith Gumbs only for him to be denied by a superb clearance off the line by Brad Bowers which ultimately led to Kariong picking up their first Premier League win after a year in the competition.
Southern and Ettalong coach Dale Eggleton congratulated the Kariong side after the game.
"We had enough possession and territorial dominance to comfortably win the game," he said.
"But full credit goes to Kariong for taking their opportunities and desperately wanting the victory more than us.
"Belief and hunger are two important factors in a side's desire, and we need to find that in our attitude before we regret it and realise you consistently need those aspects in your game each week."
Website, 9 May 2022
Central Coast Football