Port scores first win in two months
By David Manuca (@davidmanuca)
Port Melbourne Sharks secured its first win in over two months thanks to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Dandenong Thunder at JL Murphy Reserve on Friday night.
The hero of the night was Nicholas Krousoratis courtesy of a first-half brace, with James Riccobene scoring early in the second period to seal a valuable three points.
It was all Port Melbourne throughout the match and it could have been a bigger score-line if Thunder goalkeeper Zaim Zeneli was not on the top of his game.
Krousoratis scored the first of his two goals in just the seventh minute, tapping home from close-range completely unmarked following a great cross from Kamal Ibrahim.
Zeneli made the first of his many saves from Adrian Zahra on 22 minutes, and produced an even better one to deny Shaun Kelly minutes later.
Dandenong came close to equalising just 60 seconds after that, but a handball appeal was denied by the referee before Nelson Salvatore hit a shot that fizzed just centimetres past the post.
But Port gave itself a decent cushion for the second-half, with Krousoratis finishing off a great run to double the home side’s advantage.
Thunder were sure to come out in the second-half and look to get an early goal to get themselves back into the contest, but Riccobene quashed the visitors’ hopes with an early goal.
A corner was taken short to the defender, and he lined up a shot before drilling a low strike into the bottom corner of Zeneli’s goal.
Port’s dominance continued for most of the second-half, but some great saves from Zeneli kept the score at a respectable number.
The win see’s Port Melbourne move from 11th up to eighth on the PlayStation 4 National Premier League’s Victoria table, equal on points and games played with Green Gully.
However, Dandenong Thunder continues to disappoint in 2015 and the threat of relegation next season becomes a more serious reality as the weeks go by.
Port Melbourne 3 (Krousoratis 7’, 45’, Riccobene 49’) defeated Dandenong Thunder 0 at JL Murphy Reserve. [HT: 2-0]
Port Melbourne XI: 25. Michael STARK, 19. Shaun KELLY, 2. Andrew VIOLA, 16. Alan KEARNEY (6. Chris GROSSMAN 70’), 4. Alan MULCAHY, 7. Adrian ZAHRA, 14. Kamal IBRAHIM (15. Kristopher KIOUSISS 77’), 20. Julius DAVIES (10. Andrew MILICEVIC 55’), 3. James RICCOBENE, 11. Nicholas KROUSORATIS, 5. George KROMMIDAS.
Substitutes: 8. Brent FISHER, 1. Ben MORELLA.
Yellow cards: Mulcahy 27’
Red cards: Nil
Dandenong Thunder XI: 21. Zaim ZENELI, 24. Viktor MUJEDINOVSKI, 3. Ramazan TAVSANGIOUGLU, 2. Jarryd BARNES, 17. Fitim IBRAIMI, 11. Timmy PURCELL, 12. Brendan ELMAZOVSKI, 17. Yusuf AHMED (5. Faisal SAKHIZADA 64’), 16. Brodie PATERSON, 8. Nelson SALVATORE (23. Jarod BLACKBURN 55’), 9. Veton KORCARI (10. Feston AZIZI 55’).
Un-used substitutes: 4. Adam PETKO, 20. Anthony SARIC.
Yellow cards: Paterson 53’, Barnes 90’
Red cards: Nil