Spring Hills came away with one point in tricky conditions in the opening round of the FFV state league 4 west season.

The Stallions and Balmoral faced off under lights and had to deal with rain and thunder and lightning in the background.

The Stallions came from behind in the second half, to seal a 2-2 draw.

Stallions team manager Joe Febbraio said they were happy to come away with the draw.

“It was a tough game, it always is when you play Balmoral,” he said.

“The rain was coming down hard for part of the game. We had majority of the possession, 60 to 70 per cent of the time, but didn’t have that killer instinct in the front half. Their first goal was quite scrappy, before the second one our goalkeeper couldn’t hold onto the slippery ball.

“We pushed hard to get the equaliser and got it with 15 minutes to go.”

Charlie Nash and Jarrod Febbraio were the goalscorers for the Stallions.

Febbraio said they would take a lot of positives out of the game, their first game back up in state league 4.

“There are a lot of positives and some areas to do some work on,” he said. “We know it is a step up and we go in with our eyes wide open. Every game we will have a fight on our hands to get every point and win.”

Febbraio said they entered the season on the back of a strong pre-season, including good performances against higher ranked teams.

The Stallions defeated Sunbury United in the FFA Cup, before falling in extra time against Whitehorse United.

“We played a practice match against Williamstown and the first 45 minutes we played really well.

“We then changed things around a bit to give some extra time to some guys. We lost 4-2 but we weren’t unhappy with how we played.

“Overall we’re happy with the pre-season, the positives outweighed the negatives.”

Spring Hills reserves lost to Balmoral 5-2.

The Stallions have this week off for the Easter bye, before facing Newmarket in round two.

It wasn’t an ideal start for Melton Phoenix in state league 5 west, going down to Gisborne 7-1.

Gisborne scored three times in the first 12 minutes to set up the win and the Phoenix never recovered.

Westside Strikers have had to wait another week to make their state league 5 west debut.

The Strikers were due to face Kensington on Saturday, but with their ground not ready, the match was postponed to this weekend.

 

Tara Murray