The FFA Cup returned for another year, and with it, as always presents an opportunity of cup football. A whole new ball game. The ability for managers to tinker a little bit & fine tune certain areas.
Friday night was the perfect opportunity for Sharks players to play in a game against opposition from a division below, maybe try a few things. As the evening settled, and the players made their way onto the pitch at 25 past seven, no one could’ve predicted what was to come.
Three minutes in and the ‘this has Melbourne Knights written all over it’ began to cross the minds of a few Sharks supporters. A goal conceded from a set piece at the near post. Box Hill United up one nil.
Box Hill United barely had time to flinch, nor did so many spectators to be frank, as skipper Shaun Kelly headed in a goal from an Adrian Zahra free kick, to Box Hill United goal keeper Enes Unal’s right hand side. Back to normal we go. One all.
The Sharks have struggled to find goals from open play so far this season. The ability to create hasn’t been the problem, more converting these chances. So on the ascendancy the boys went with a brilliant counter attack in the middle stages of the first which saw Unal get to the six yard box just in the nick of time before Zahra coud tuck the ball away.
Then in half time stoppage time Jamie De Abreu pounced on a sloppy back pass from Box Hill United left back Jack Gow. De Abreu was able to react quickly, rounded Unal and tapped the ball into an open net. 2-1 at the break with the Sharks playing great when going forward.
The second half saw Port make their first change, with Alec Goodwin coming on for Erhan Yalaz. Goodwin made an immediate impression, scoring in the 68th minute. Unal let the ball slip through his hands from the corner kick, with Goodwin first to react to the lose ball and send the Sharks 3-1 up.
Set pieces were the norm in this game after James Riccobene scored in the 75th minute from a goal mouth scramble, from the result of a corner kick to put the Sharks 4-1 up.
With the game wrapped up, David Stirton was able to pounce on the rebound after Unal was only able to parry Dennis Koutroulis’ shot, which came as a result of another counter attack in the 87th minute.
The Sharks still had time for one more goal with Zahra being put through on goal by Ryan Oppermann who was in his own half. Zahra was able to chip the ball over Unal in the 91st minute to give the Sharks a 6-1 victory.
The Sharks now look towards Thursday night football on Good Friday Eve as they host Pascoe Vale at home in round five of the NPL.