Woodside Soccer Club hosted Immanuel at Woodside Oval last Saturday in both A Grade and B Grade senior men’s soccer. The ‘Woodies’ First XI, coming off an outstanding 3-0 win at league leaders, Pembroke, the previous Saturday were in confidant mood going into the game. However, the Reserves faced a tough proposition in the form of a fine Immanuel side that leads their league competition.
Kicking off at 1pm, the A Grade started with Brad Bateman in goal behind a back four of Damien Sheridan, Harvey Watson, David Grant and skipper, Tully Challen. With the best defensive record in the league, the home side were keen to retain a clean sheet but treated Immanuel with respect, in the knowledge that the visitors have an impressive scoring record this season.
In midfield, coach Neil Williams had all options available – Diederik Polman, Tom Yeardley, Thomas Morgan, Liam Bucco and Will Pashley. However, after the “Battle of Pembroke” the previous week, four of his starting eleven were carrying injuries.
Matt Thoday was the Hills’ side’s lone striker.
Immanuel started the stronger of the two sides and dominated the opening 10 minutes. The visitors would have therefore have been disappointed to concede the opening goal when Liam Bucco stole his way past the defence and put Woodside into a 1-0 lead. However, just a few minutes later, parity was restored when Immanuel levelled on the counter attack following a Woodside corner.
Continuing to soak up the pressure, Woodside then steadied and began a dominance that would last the game. They added to their ledger when Diederik Polman, hit the net with a cool finish to score his first goal of the season - the young Dutchman flying in to score with ease. Just 10 minutes later, Tom Yeardley then made it 3-1 when he converted and the Woodside team took that lead to the halftime break.
Woodside continued to assert their dominance in the second half as the visitors tired. Matt Thoday scored a fourth for the home side in a similar manner to Polman and Liam Bucco scored his second, the team’s fifth, with around 15 minutes remaining.
Morgan and Grant were both taken off as the game drew towards its conclusion with the aim of protecting them from injury. Neil Harnett and Billy Hyder were the introduced substitutes but the disruption, always unsettling for a team, allowed Immanuel to score a consolation goal in the dying minutes of the game which ended 5-2 in Woodside’s favour.
Woodside’s Reserves were up against a strong Immanuel side, sitting top of the B-Grade ladder. The side started with Brad Bateman in goal, playing his second game of the afternoon, and Lee Maker commanding the defence. Maker was accompanied by Alex Aloisi, Gary Miller and Luke Beltrame at the back.
In midfield Neil Harnett, Jake Howe, Billy Hyder, Harry Saleeba and Zac Ferguson were deployed and Jake Howe completed the starting eleven.
The Woodside team showed signs of promise but the visitors were simply too strong, too often. The full complement of substitutes were utilised with Sam Farley, Matt Thoday, Nathan Langford, Neil Williams and Tully Challen all getting a run but Immanuel ran the game out comfortably with a 5-1 win.
Challen scored Woodside’s solitary goal and also collected a nasty cut above his eye during the tie.
Next Saturday, 1st July, both Woodside teams are away from home playing concurrent matches – at 1pm. The First XI are at Sacred Heart, in Somerton Park, whilst the Reserves play at Pulteney. in the Adelaide Parklands.