Suns fall as Sharks grab first win
By Matthew McNamara
Port Melbourne snatched a 2-1 victory over Goulburn Valley Suns in Shepparton on Saturday evening after an Alessandro Venezia strike in the 85th minute.
The Sharks had taken the lead right on halftime when Nick Tzoulis smashed home a spectacular volley.
The Suns hit back through the experienced Craig Carley before Venezia snatched the points in the dying stages to leave the Suns without a point after the opening four rounds of the NPL.
The opening period was a dull affair, with neither side creating too many chances until Tzoulis found himself free at the back post and hit home a wonderful volley.
The Suns dominated large periods of the second half, with Port Melbourne dropping deeper and regularly sitting off the home side, much to the dismay of Sharks coach Eric Vassiliadis.
With captain Kristian Sarkies controlling the midfield, the Suns were also dangerous on the counter.
Sarkies was regularly linking well with Carley and the partnership almost paid dividends when Carley was played through. After rounding Adam Hrehoresin, Carley's strike went agonisingly wide after clipping the outside of the post.
But soon after the Sarkies-Carley connection was at it again, and this time Carley made no mistake after rounding Hrehoresin once again and levelling the game with 25 minutes of regulation time to go.
The home side looked the more likely to find a winner but were left heartbroken late on as Venezia's stroke ensured a Sharks victory.
Port Melbourne coach Eric Vassiliadis was happy to back down the highway with the three points.
"We've been playing well but we've really been struggling to keep a lead to be honest,” Vassiliadis said.
“Scoring late in that first half was kind of bad for us in a counter-intuitive kind of way as we sat deep and let them play but we absolutely got out of jail in the end and I'll take it."
Suns keeper' Phil Petrovski was disappointed that his side couldn't hold on near the end.
"To be fair we played really well in the second half and I thought we had almost done enough to win it - yet we concede late and go away with nothing,” Petrovski said.
“I think it's clear we are getting better every week and we need to look to get our first points next Saturday night against Werribee.”
Goulburn Valley Suns 1 (Carley 66’) lost to Port Melbourne Sharks 2 (Tzoulis 45’, Venezia 85’) at McEwen Reserve [HT: 0-1]
Goulburn Valley Suns: Petrovski, Selwood, Paraskevas, Sekulovski, Kalafatis, Lagana (Alghazaly 62'), Clarke (Espindola 69'), Chaabani, Carley, Sarkies (Saglam 89'), Andrijasevic
Unused subs: Hogarty, Keating
Yellow Card: Kalafatis 62'
Port Melbourne Sharks: Hrehoresin, Ibrahim, Honos, Baniff, Milicevic, Krousouratis (Venezia 66'), Lazaridis, P. Riccobene (Viola 13'), Grossman, J. Riccobene, Tzoulis (Kweifio-Okai 73')
Unused subs: Paz, Connell
Yellow Cards: Nil