Comets spoil Cutters anniversary celebrations

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Southside Comets keeper Jacson Riley rises to the ball ahead of Innisfail’s Leonardo Di Carlo

Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)

Southside Comets have cemented third place on the FNQ Premier Men’s ladder after a comprehensive 5-0 defeat of Innisfail Cutters on Saturday afternoon.

On a day where the Cutters were celebrating their 30th anniversary, the Comets ran riot with four first-half goals dashing any hopes of Innisfail claiming three points.

Innisfail started brightly though when Josh Taylor was able to evade a high Comets defensive line and played himself into a one-on-one opportunity with keeper Jacson Riley. Riley had to be accurate coming off his line, saving the scoring attempt at Taylor’s feet.

From there, Comets took the ascendency as Kirito Higuchi and Mattia Olivetto both had shots that fell off target.

That would only sounds warning shots to the Cutters as Olivetto scored stunningly from a free kick into the far post from just outside the box.

Comets would almost make it another minutes later as Matt Barnes provided for Olivetto and with Di Carlo advancing, he did enough to cut down the angle to ensure an attempted lob fell over the crossbar.

Taylor was able again to foil the Comets high line in another solo attempt with Riley forced to come outside his box to clear in time.

A blunder from Riley almost saw Innisfail take full toll. After playing a poor back pass to the Cutters Chris Steptoe, the Innisfail midfielder played through for Taylor with Riley atoning for his mistake saving at Taylor’s feet.

Defender come striker James Price finally ensured that Southside’s possession and territory advantage was used to good intent. Comets went from end-to-end with the lanky American providing the final touch for a 2-0 lead.

That lead would extend out to 3-0 just a minute later from the restart. After being teed up by Higuchi, Messervy launched a rocket from 30 metres out that gave Di Carlo no chance of saving.

Price then played provider for Olivetto who from close range had the best of chances but blazed his effort over the cross bar when it was there to be finished into a virtually open net.

No matter as three minutes before the break, Barnes played a pass through the channel for Price whose shot was blocked by Di Carlo but unable to hold onto it, rebounded for Olivetto who from a tight angle was able to squeeze the ball into the back of the net and a 4-0 Southside Comets lead at halftime.

Hope came for Innisfail early in the second half when Luke Paron handballed in the box. Damien Musumeci stood up to take the resulting penalty but that went straight to Riley who spilled the ball back into Musumeci’s path but the resulting shot was scuffed allowing an easier save for Riley second time round,

Adding further salt into the wounds for Innisfail, Olivetto brought up his hat-trick and his side’s fifth goal within the next five minutes. From 25 yards out, he launched an effort that Di Carlo misjudged as he was confronted with plenty of bodies around him.

Despite being out of the contest, Innisfail continued to search for a goal buoyed on by a vocal home crowd. Musumeci again figuring but unable to control a shot towards the target.

A late free kick in good attacking territory to Innisfail also was unable to find a way through for a consolation.

The win sees Southside Comets go five points ahead of fourth placed Leichhardt but still three points adrift of second Mareeba and nine points behind top-place Stratford.

In the earlier Women’s Premier League match, the same two clubs played out a 0-0 draw.

Innisfail 0 v Southside Comets 5 (Mattia Olivetto 11’, 42’, 51’, James Price 28’, Ben Messervy 29’)

Innisfail: Ginetto Di Carlo, Kellen Briggs, Max Darveniza, Leonard Di Carlo, Kevin Lutsokert, Lorenzo Sipi, Christopher Steptoe, Josh Taylor, Jimmy Vue, George Yagi, Ben Zecchinati. Subs: Kevin Daniells, Bailey Favero, Damien Galea, Jordan Lizzio, Damien Musumeci.

Southside Comets: Jacson Riley, Matt Barnes, Ben Collins, Jack Glover, Kirito Huguchi, Daniel Kennedy, Ben Messervy, Mattia Olivetto, Luke Paron, James Price, Andrei Rachita. Subs: Rhian Docherty, Auna Fujitani, Luke Mlikota, Elia Olivetto.

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