Bentleigh shocks Bergers in top-of-the-table win
By DAMIR KULAS (@DamirKulas)
Photo SEAN ELLICOTT (@SeanEllicott)
The Bentleigh Greens have produced their best performance of the season in a commanding 4-0 victory over Heidelberg United in Friday’s top-of-the-table clash at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex.
First-half strikes to Daniel Visevic and Tyson Holmes gave the Greens a comfortable lead at the break which was extended in the second half thanks to a Chris Lucas brace.
Heidelberg came into the contest without injured pair Griffin McMaster and Kaine Sheppard, while Andreas Govas to a bench spot, also due to injury.
The hosts were presented with a perfect opportunity to open the scoring when Holmes found himself free and in space just outside the six-yard box but managed to blast his effort over goal.
Chances were few and far between after that as both sides collected a booking each in a tense opening half hour to the contest.
The Greens then managed to open their account for the night as Visevic unleashed from distance and saw his hit bounce in front and over the Warriors stand-in goalkeeper Jason Koutsadontis.
That lead was doubled four minutes later when an elegant team move from John Anastasiadis’ men saw Lucas square the ball back to Liam McCormick, who set up Holmes for a well-taken second from the edge of the box.
Two almost became three minutes later when Kiwi international Ryan de Vries saw his spectacular long-range effort well saved by Koutsadontis.
Kosta Kanarakis nearly got one back for the visitors before the break but his shot deflect just wide off Alastair Bray’s post in what was a frustrating half for George Katsakis’ side.
Bentleigh came out of the interval as the better of the two sides, extendeing their lead as Lucas outpaced Steven Pace before slotting in past the stranded Koutsadontis.
Heidelberg’s night went from bad-to-worse as star striker Heffernan injured his back in a collision with Bray and had to be stretchered off the field before being taken to hospital by ambulance.
Lucas almost got his second but spurned the one-on-one opening as Koutsadontis made himself big and thwarted the Queenslander.
A sublime run out from defence by Greens defender Steven Topalovic almost saw the former Dandenong City man score a goal-of-the-season contender as his slick shot hit the crossbar.
But Lucas was not to be denied his second as he sealed a comprehensive victory for the undefeated Greens in stoppage time with a great perseverance goal to move into double figures for the season.
The Greens look to continue their scintillating form next week with a mouth-watering match-up away to South Melbourne while the depleted Heidelberg have a mid-week FFA Cup tie at home to Goulburn Valley Suns.
Bentleigh Greens 4 (Visevic 31', Holmes 35', Lucas 55', 90') defeated Heidelberg United 0 at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex
BG: 21. Alastair Bray (GK), 4. Troy Ruthven (8. Wayne Wallace 85’), 5. Jack Webster, 6. Liam McCormick, 9. Chris Lucas, 10. Tyson Holmes, 11. Dion Kirk, 19. Daniel Visevic, 23. Ryan de Vries (7. Jamie de Abreu 74’), 24. Luke Pilkington (17. Ryan Love 46’), 36. Steven Topalovic
Unused Subs: 1. Ryan Scott (GK), 16. Luke O’Dea
Yellow Card(s): Lucas 21'
Red Card(s): None
HU: 23. Jason Koutsadontis (GK), 2. Jamie Cumming, 3. Les Doumbalis, 7. Reuben Way, 9. Kosta Kanakaris, 10. Jack Petrie, 12. Kenny Athiu (21. Andreas Govas 46’), 13. Luke Byles, 14. Dan Heffernan (11. Mark McGough 61’), 17. Steven Pace, 20. Nejc Kolman (24. Andrew Cartanos 69’)
Unused Subs: 1. Evan Markogiannakis (GK), 8. Mitchell Walsh
Yellow Card(s): Petrie 14', Kanakaris 51', Cumming 63'
Red Card(s): None