IT WAS meant to be a battle of the top sides, but in the end Pakenham United delivered a strict lesson to Monash University in FFV Metropolitan South East 2.
One versus two turned into a football education for the scholars as the Cougars showed them just how to play the round ball game in a 6-1 drubbing.
Monash’s Liam King found a consolation goal late in the clash, but by then the Cougars were already four ahead and University was waiting for the bell to ring so they could go home.
Keegan Bloomfield (23’, 78’) – one of the Cougars’ remaining inaugural players – was creative as usual up forward and broke open the game early as he found the net and broke the deadlock.
Pakenham worked on negating the Monash drive through pack defence and it showed on the scoreboard as the home side struggled to break the clean-sheet until late in the clash.
With Wellington Teles, Wayne Schembri and Liam McCafferty pummelling the Monash midfield with well-weighted passes or the outright speed to burn right past them, it was only a matter of time before Pakenham United stole the show.
Bloomfield went one better after half-time – as he managed the rare feat of cramping up mid-strike while kicking a goal.
Patrick Nolan (66’) headed home the third to leave little doubt as to who was on top before Jayden Wright (55’, 80’, 86’) pounced on the fading Monash defence to slam home a second-half hat-trick and make sure it wasn’t just a comfortable win, but a complete blowout.
Coach Mario Hilli could not be more thrilled with his side’s prospects in the first two months of the FFV season.
“We worked on the fact that being a university team, they would be super-fit and if we let them play their way, they would rip us to shreds,” Hilli said. “But we worked on training on Thursday to close them down in packs … and the boys did tremendously well.”
With a 5-1 record and a plus-14 goal difference, all signs are trending upwards for the Cougars in the first season as a unified side following last year’s senior/junior merger.
“This is more about the pathway for our juniors – to get up as high as they can and get them to stay at the club instead of going away to higher teams,” Hilli said. “If we can provide that and head into State League within the next two or three years, they’ve got something to strive for.”
The Cougars’ first grade side faces Elwood City at Lakeside Reserve from 3pm Sunday.
The second and third sides didn’t fare as well as the seniors, with Metro 4 downed 3-6 by St Kilda SC while it was an extremely trying day for the Metro 7 Cougars, downed 0-16 by Old Trinity.
Pakenham United SC is seeking sponsorship ahead of a hopeful FFV State Leagues debut in 2016. Get in contact with Jarrod Reynolds on 0400 043 249 for more information.
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