Pascoe Cup leaders Henwood Park Hawks easily defeated Tolland 4-1 at Kessler Park on Sunday.
Five minutes in, Tolland scored, when a Nick Young shot deflected off a Hawks defender into goals.
Tolland’s Brett Wendt, goal assist, created a few chances in the first half, lifting off, and outpacing Henwood’s last men, connecting with balls crossed-in by co-coach Kyle Harrison, putting Hawks’ keeper Nathan Trinder under pressure.
But it was Henwood Park’s day in the sun, the Hawks created more chances, had 10 corner-kicks to Tolland’s three, and kept possession, with the ball in Tolland’s half for most of the match.
“We started pretty slow, but 4-1 is pretty good, they’re not a bad team, happy to put four goals in,” Henwood coach Matt Menser said.
“It’s definitely a team effort, the guys in the middle worked really hard, Tommo (Sam Thompson) and Chris (Ozckowski) controlled the tempo of the game.
“They (Tolland) didn’t create a lot of chances today.”
Carl Pideski scored Henwood’s first goal 20 minutes in, streaking forward on the counter-attack after Wendt threatened to score.
With a gap in the field, Trinder booted the ball to Pideski, who beat two defenders and scored.
Next, Menser scored off a penalty kick, placing it in the bottom left-hand corner.
Tolland’s Bruno Andre and Henry Brind worked off one another to bring the ball forward, but Brind went off injured in the second half.
Henwood Park came out firing in the second half and, less than a minute in, Isaac Tancredi took a shot, it hit the post, and Menser swept it in for a goal.
Hawks striker Jake Ploenges looked dangerous, and made several breaks, failing to score, outnumbered by defenders, with no support.
President Ryan Smith encouraged Ploenges from the sideline, saying it was only a matter of time, and Smith was right.
Ploenges, involved in a collision with Tolland’s keeper and last man, won a free kick, and placed it in, burying Tolland’s chances of winning the game.
“Jake creates a heap of chances, we’re doing pretty well upfront," Menser said.
“The hard thing is when Jake breaks away one-on-one he’s so quick, so getting someone up there to support him straight away is hard, the longer the season goes on and we get fitter, there’ll be someone there.”
Tolland’s challenging run continues, as the squad confronts fourth-placed Cootamundra in round seven.
With one point separating first-placed Henwood Park and runners-up Lake Albert, teams will play off for first place in round seven.