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Gavin Knight scores from the spot to put Swan United in front

Swan edge Dianella despite lapse

Report and Photos by Peter Simcox

Swan United will take a slender 3-2 lead into the second leg of their Promotion & Relegation Play Off  Semi Final against Dianella White Eagles on Wednesday night, although it could have been much better.

It looked like the home side were cruising after a penalty from Gavin Knight and a John Monterosso brace had them 3-0 up going into stoppage time at Swan Italian Club on Saturday afternoon.

However a late Reece Frank strike and an own goal from Swan defender Chris Marshall put the visitors back in the tie.

Despite the late lapse, Swan United coach Paul Dundo said they will go into the second leg confident they can get the job done.

“I thought we controlled the game for large periods today, although Dianella had a good period in the first half but we didn’t help ourselves by giving the ball away,” he said.

“But at the end of the day it’s a win which we take a lead into the second leg.

“We’re disappointed to concede two late goals but that happens in football, it was a hot day and we lost a little concentration late. But fair play to them, they punished us.

“It sets up a good game on Wednesday night, Dianella is never an easy place to go but we’re ready for it.”

Dianella coach Graham Normanton, in charge of his first game for the club, was pleased the way his side hit back late on.

“The game is never over till it’s finished and we’ve got a lifeline for the second leg,” he said.

“It’s difficult for me as I’ve only had one session with the players but I will get two more in before the next game.

“But the boys were inspired to get a result today and two away goals is good, We know Swan are a hard side to play against but we feel we’re good enough to get the job done.”

Normanton’s day was soured, however, when he was sent off on the final whistle for an incident on the touchline.

The home side started brightly with Knight and Marshall heading over early, but it was Dianella with the best chance on 20 minutes.

Jose Zuniga wasn’t closed down and his long-range shot looked destined for the top corner until United keeper Joey Smith produced a stunning save to deny him.

Smith was at it again three minutes later, this time turning Jimmy Taban’s shot around the post.

United also looked dangerous going forward with Knight and Monterosso a handful and the pair combined on the half hour. Knight crossed from the left found Monterosso, whose volley was superbly saved by Mackenzie Ferguson.

On 34 minutes it was United who hit the front when Rory Mouttet was brought down in the box and referee Brendan Skinner pointed straight to the spot, and Knight stepped up to score.

Both sides had chances late in the first half. First Zuniga’s shot on the run flashed just wide for Dianella, before Marshall’s header was cleared off the line by Dianella’s Sotiris Theodosiades.

The home side opened the second half well and had Dianella on the back foot and it wasn’t a surprise when they doubled their lead on 62 minutes. The lively Monterosso was sent clear by Knight’s pass and he finished clinically past Ferguson.

The United faithful were on their feet again two minutes later when they added a third. Knight’s corner was cleared to Jay Lang on the edge of the box, his shot was deflected into the path of Monterosso and he fired home.

It looked game over, with United tight at the back while Dianella were struggling in the final third.

Bbut in the final minute the visitors pulled one back. A free kick from former Swan defender Spiro Nenadic found Frank, whose header was well saved by Smith. However Frank was quickest to the rebound to score.

Dianella pressed forward and should have scored again moments later, Dhamion Kalamaris firing wide when in on goal.

But in the fourth minute of stoppage time Dianella did find a crucial second goal. A long ball into the box caused confusion and Marshall didn’t hear the call from his keeper and headed the ball into his own net, to set up an enthralling second leg at Dianella Reserve on Wednesday evening.

State League Play Off First Leg

Swan United 3 (Knight pen 34 min, Monterosso 62, 65)
Dianella White Eagles 2 (Frank 90, Marshall og 90+4)
Saturday September 22
Swan Italian Club, Middle Swan
Referee: Brendan Skinner
Assistant referees: Arvin Shanmuganathan, Adrien Liehti

Swan United: GK Joey SMITH, 4 Brennan BORZECKI (3 Dom ANDO 84’), 5 Chris MARSHALL, 8 Aaron COLLI (6 Nicolas TATTSICIORE 67’), 9 James SHAMIM, 10 Gavin KNIGHT, 11 John MONTEROSSO (20 James BURNS 78’), 12 Luke COLLI, 15 Rory MOUTTET, 16 Jay LANG, 17 Tom BLACK
Substitutes not used: RGK Cory HUGO, 14 Cillian FAGAN
Yellow cards: Lang 69’

Dianella White Eagles: GK Mackenzie FERGUSON, 2 Sotiris THEODOSIADES (7 Yves MWILLA 54’), 5 Spiro NENADIC, 9 Scott NEWLAND (16 James OWEN 76’), 10 Jose ZUNIGA, 11 Jimmy TABAN (3 Nikola ZMUKIC 72’), 12 Isaac NEHEMIE, 13 Reece FRANK, 14 Bojan RADINOVIC,15 Dhamion KALAMARIS, 18 Ibrahim HAMAD
Substitutes not used: 4 Philip ANGELO, 23 Skye DOYLE
Yellow cards: Nehemie 39’, Hamad 89’