Falcons rule roost at half-way mark

Fortuna sit in fourth spot on the LVSL ladder heading into round 12. file photograph

Fortuna sit in fourth spot on the LVSL ladder heading into round 12. file photograph

SOCCER

LVSL

The second half of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League season kicks off this weekend and heading into round 12 Falcons sit on top with 24 points but Newborough/Yallourn are pressing just two points behind.

The battle for the next three spots has Olympians in third on 19 with three teams, Fortuna, Traralgon City and Moe, sitting on 18 all vying for a place in the final five.

Churchill are yet to win a match and have stretched their losing streak to 14 matches with their last win coming over East Gippsland in July of last year.

Fortuna v Monash

This is an important match for both sides as Fortuna sit unsteadily in fourth while Monash are in seventh.

The Lions have put in some impressive matches but still need to upset teams higher on the ladder to fortify their position.

David O'Dowd is a strong leader for Fortuna and has talented players around him with Kuku Mahmoud and Brandon Scott playing well in the striker's role.

In defence Liam McCluskey, Nathan Pace and Harvey Bates have been good support for keeper Andrew Hayden.

Kieran Coltman has been good in the midfield.

Monash have relied heavily on Braden Paulett in the main striker role but good support has come from Chad Shelley and Ryan Semple.

Other players to show out have been Jonathan Cook, Chris Oulton and James McHallam from an enthusiastic list.

Ethan Lawrence has put eight goals away to join the leaders.

Last time they met: Fortuna 3, Monash 0

Sale v Traralgon Olympians

Third-placed Olympians will present eighth-placed Sale a difficult match this weekend.

So far this season Olympians have had six wins with Sale, Newborough/Yallourn and league leaders Falcons some of their victims.

Coach George Fkarias has his team playing well and they are expected to fire up against Sale.

The Swans have scored just as many goals as Olympians but they haven't won as many games.

This second round should see an improvement by Sale as they make a big effort to qualify for the finals.

Last time they met: Olympians 2, Sale 1.

Newborough/Yallourn v Moe

In the match of the round, great rivals Newborough/Yallourn and Moe will battle it out this weekend.

Newborough/Yallourn are sitting nicely in second position and are a real challenge to Falcons on top.

They have two players in the top five goal scorers with Alex Van Vliet and Mark Fairbrother with eight goals so far.

Coach Clinton Bell is experienced enough to know that he can't give Moe any chances as the Red Devils have beaten league leaders Falcons twice in the last two weeks – once in league and the second time in a cup match.

Moe's Duach Duach and Sam Gatpan have given the Devils some real spark up front and veteran keeper Peter Albanese just keeps on keeping on for Moe.

Last time they met: Newborough/Yallourn 2, Moe 0.

Traralgon City v East Gippsland

The Roosters are sitting in fifth position but there is pressure coming from Moe, Monash and Sale.

Strikers Jake Budija and DJ Matar need to put away more goals for the Roosters and could be in line to do just that against East Gippsland this weekend.

Last time they met: Traralgon City 1, East Gippsland 0.

Falcons v Trafalgar

Falcons, with two losses from their last two games, will be intent on regrouping and firing against Trafalgar in round 12.

Injuries have been crucial to the Falcons in the first half of the season but they could be back to full strength soon.

Jesse Kennedy has scored eight goals for the season to date and is capable of ripping apart opposition players with his skill and accuracy.

Falcons have had great service from keeper Charles Simon but he has been tested lately by opposition teams.

The strength lies in Falcons sweepers in the back with Joe Auciello, Andrew Carbone and Isaac Abas, who is back from injury.

Last time they met: Falcons 3, Trafalgar 0.

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