No mercy: Strikers pound wounded Brookvale

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Collaroy Cromer Strikers have gone equal top of the Premier League ladder after an emphatic 3-1 win over previously unbeaten Brookvale at St Matthews Farm Reserve on Saturday.

A first half double to Rhys Vorillas was followed by a 70th minute own goal (from Vorillas’ cross) before Josh Ciabatti scored a consolation goal for Brookvale.

“It was a great performance from the guys,” Strikers coach Ryan Butcher said. “And we needed it – a loss would’ve put us six points adrift [of Brookvale]. So it was a non-negotiable for us and that’s how we played.

“It was probably the first time this year we really played for the full 90 minutes. We were relentless and everyone from the starting 11 to the bench played a part in keeping it going. We created a heap of chances and we were miserly at the back. There wasn’t much from the game that we would change. If anything we should’ve iced the game earlier.

“Brookie weren’t at full strength and had a bit of a casualty ward from the mid-week game. So we had to cash in. And we did.”

At a post-match function at Dee Why’s famous Time and Tide Hotel Vorillas was adjudged man-of-the-match by his team-mates. But Butcher said his team had contributors across the park.

Jim van Weeren and Will Martin kept it very tight at the back and our midfield of Josh Cotton, Ryan Berry and Brody Strachan were on song. But it’s hard to single anyone out. To see the playing group hit their straps in a top-of-the-table clash at home in front of a big crowd was very rewarding. We also won 3-0 in reserves,” Butcher said.

Brookvale coach Mark Hunt praised his squad’s “collective team spirit” following a tough week which included a 120 min FFA Cup loss against NPL 4 side Prospect United.

“The players that stepped up from reserves or played out of position gave great accounts of themselves,” Hunt said. “It was a gruelling FFA Cup tie and I can’t emphasise enough how proud I was of our team spirit.

“Credit to Strikers, they were well-organised and their key men stepped up and played very well. The link-up play of their front three in particular was exceptional and they deserved the win.”

Elsewhere Narrabeen joined Brookvale and CC Strikers on top of the table after beating BTH Raiders 3-1 at Wyatt Reserve, Saint Augustine’s defeated Manly Vale 4-0 at Grahams Reserve and Curl Curl knocked over Wakehurst 2-1 at Lionel Watts.

By Matt Cleary.


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