Bees secure vital win
By Tomasz Ng
Image: Bruno Silverii
Werribee City broke its nine-game losing streak with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Northcote City at Galvin Park.
Bobby Vidanoski opened the scoring for the hosts with an opportunistic strike in the first half, which was subsequently cancelled out by Calvin Mbarga just five minutes later.
Northcote had looked set to score at any moment to take the lead, but got caught on the sucker punch when Milan Savic dispossesed Chris Theodoridis to tap into an empty net.
Faced with a genuine threat of relegation, the hosts knew they had to win following Dandenong Thunder's win the previous night.
While Northcote had control of proceedings, the Bees counter attacked with intent and should've hit the front 12 minutes in when Vidanoski volleyed well wide despite having space in the box.
Northcote also wasted a gilt-edged chance of its own just three minutes later, when James Kalifatidis couldn't hit the back of the net after a nice exchange by Mbarga and Marino Gasparis had set him up.
Vidanoski then made Northcote pay in the 24th minute, smashing home a loose ball in the box after the visitors failed to deal with an inswinging free kick from the right flank.
The goal stung Northcote into action, and the side equalised soon after when Marino Gasparis laid the ball on a plate in the six-yard box for Mbarga to tap home.
Werribee custodian Frano Saric hadn't even had a save to make up to that point, but he was called into action a couple of minutes later when Mbarga looked set to score from Kalifatidis' cut back.
Northcote failed to trouble Saric for the rest of the half, though the side did have a couple more long-ranged attempts that flew over the bar.
The visitors continued where they left off after the break and had a relentless spell of pressure for the first 20 minutes of the second period.
Kalifatidis had the best chance just past the hour, blazing an effort narrowly wide at the near post.
But completely against the run of play, Werribee took the lead in the 71st minute.
Theodoridis received a backpass just outside the six-yard box and attempted to skip around Savic, but the attacker read the move and collected the ball off the 'keeper, duly slotting it into the empty net.
The goal allowed the hosts to settle, and they could've gone further ahead after a sweeping team move found Deang Aguek free on the edge of the box, but the attacker took a heavy touch and it was saved by Theodoridis.
Northcote couldn't muster up any more opportunities, and Werribee rejoiced at the sound of the final whistle.
Werribee City 2 (Vidanoski 24', Savic 71') defeated Northcote City 1 (Mbarga 29') at Galvin Park. [HT: 1-1]
Werribee City: 1. Frano Saric, 7. Simon Zappia, 8. Kobbie Boahene, 9. Evan Batsis (27. Angus Martin 17'), 11. Bobby Vidanoski (14. Julien Cassano 77'), 13. Milan Savic, 19. Rob Naumoski, 20. Festim Elmazi (17. Deang Aguek 61'), 23. Steven Cudrig, 30. Anil Muharemovic, 31. Lirim Elmazi
Unused subs: 10. Chris Galea, 24. Djordje Aleksic
Yellow cards: Cassano 90', Aguek 90'
Northcote City: 22. Christopher Theodoridis, 6. Aaron Ward, 12. Jordan Wilkes, 7. Bonel Obradovic, 4. Jacob Eliopoulos, 19. Ryan Go, 10. Marino Gasparis, 11. Evan Kounavelis (18. Nikola Markovski 72'), 23. Jonathan Bounas (14. Anthony Ramzy 70'), 9. Calvin Mbarga, 8. James Kalifatidis
Unused subs: 30. Jordan Gifkins, 5. Andrew Paraskevas