Brookvale rolls over Pittwater RSL in rain-soaked grand final replay 

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Photo by Jeremy Denham Photography

Brookvale FC ran over the top of Pittwater RSL FC on Sunday evening to claim a 2-0 victory in the grand final replay at Cromer Park.

After a scoreless first half on a rain-soaked night, goals to Mattias “Mossy” Zervas and Josh Ciabatti iced a dominant second-half performance by the men in blue.

Indeed such was Brookvale’s control of the fixture, by the end there didn’t appear much Pittwater could do about it.

Brookvale opened their account in the 55th minute when Zervas latched onto a free-kick by Ash Rycroft that rebounded off goal-keeper Tom Freemantle.

Ten minutes later there was uproar in the Pittwater RSL box when Zervas was brought down and the referee pointed straight to the spot.

Brookvale right wing Ciabatti coolly slotted the penalty into the bottom left corner of the net.

The first half had been an arm wrestle with neither side gaining ascendancy in rain that was heavy at kick-off and didn’t let up all night.

Yet after Pittwater RSL captain Mitch Macedo was forced off with a hamstring injury, Brookvale took control.

Pittwater RSL coach Adam Israel said losing Macedo was a turning point for his team.

“We had to re-jig; as a coach you worry if you got the substitution right.

“We were well in the game until Mitch went off.  It halted our momentum and we kind of imploded from there.”

In the 54th minute Pittwater’s Jonny Walker was sent off for a second yellow card, his foul leading to Zervas’s goal.

And from there Pittwater could not find a way back into the game.

“We were ill-disciplined,” Israel said.

“The game plan went out the window and Brookvale took advantage.

“They kept the ball, played with it and controlled the game.

“There were a lot of things that weren’t pleasant about it.

“It was pretty disappointing.”

Things were different in the BFC shed.

“Our dressing room afterwards was a positive one, as you’d expect,” Ciabatti said.

“Everyone was happy with the effort we’d put in and the result that came from it.

“We didn’t really have a standout player.

“Everyone did what they needed to do.”

Ciabatti said the team – which sits on the top of the Premier League following last week’s 5-0 win over Seaforth – can improve their intensity at the start of games.

“We were a bit slow to start,” Ciabatti said.

“But after our half-time team-talk we executed our individual roles, played up-beat football and increased movement of the ball.

“And it paid off with a very good win over quality opposition.”

By Matt Cleary

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