Reserves Report

The Reserves were within 10 minutes of pulling off the upset of the season against undefeated Sunbury on the weekend.  Missing several players, coach Steve Gaitanis called up 14 year old Josh Talev for a starting position on the left side of midfield.  14 Year old Dylan Nikolovski occupied a spot on the bench together with his much older than 14 year old father, Mick.

A very uncompromising physical encounter unfolded in the early exchanges and keeper Alec Kitanoski was called upon to collect several high balls into his box.  Billy Fanraatree, Nick Ilievski and Gaitanis were in no mood to let Sunbury get anything easy.

The refereeing was very frustrating.  I am sure he was doing his best but the officious nature of the yellow cards given to our players yet bone crunching challenges and body checks from the opposition were not deemed to be worthy of caution.

With about 10 minutes before half time the deadlock was broken.  Alex Ilioski spotted the Sunbury defence square and lobbed the ball over their sweeper into space for the on rushing Michael Temelkovski who sped past their last defender and hit a sweet shot beyond their keeper from just inside the box.  Sunbury couldn’t believe it! Luckily this fixture was not played at Anfield, otherwise the badge kissing that followed could well have infuriated the crowd and even seen the young lad sent off.

The second half was fasten your seat belts stuff with Geelong holding on tenaciously to their slender lead and doubt starting to set into the Sunbury team.  Eventually the inevitable red card was given with about 25 minutes to go.  The previously cautioned Steve Gaitanis tried to prevent a corner but the ball crossed the touch line.  In frustration he kicked the ball at the side fence.  This was all the referee needed to wave the second yellow.  Very harsh indeed when a quiet word with the player would surely been enough.

With one player down the young Geelong side held on manfully but the last 10 minutes saw Sunbury equalise and scramble a very late winner.  Despite the loss it was fantastic to see our boys sow the seeds of doubt into the undefeated Sunbury and stand up to their zealous challenges.  It will never be known for sure, but one suspects that if the red card was not given Sunbury would have tasted defeat for the first time this season.