PS4 NPL Review Men's Round 14 / Women's Round 12
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PS4 NPL Victoria
By Jordan Kounelis
Port Melbourne 1 (Stirton 90+2’) Oakleigh Cannons 4 (Hatztimouratis 23’, 47’, Bosnjak 76’, 83’)
Oakleigh Cannons have lifted themselves in fourth place on the NPL Victoria ladder with a comfortable four goal game against Port Melbourne on Friday night.
Defensive lapses cost the Sharks dearly in conceding their goals, with their centre backs overcommitting on too many occasions in attempts to close down the ball-carrier, in-turn leaving gaping holes on their back four for DimitriHatzimouratis and DusanBosnjak to run into.
Hatzimouratis opened the scoring in the 23rd minute to give Oakleigh a 1-0 lead at the break, before a mistimed clearance from James Karvelis allowed him to double his money just after the break.
Tired midfield coverage allowed the Cannons to play into space for their third via the in-form DusanBosnjak, and then he went on to score his ninth goal of the season in the 83rd minute.
A wonderfully struck free-kick from David Stirton in the 92nd minute was the sole consolation for the Sharks.
Richmond 1 (Kokolakis 43’) Hume City 1 (Cahill 37’)
Hume City will look back on this match as a missed opportunity for three points after they drew 1-1 with Richmond on Friday evening.
The away team went into this match full of confidence after their 3-0 win in the opening round of the season, and looked likely to follow through with that confidence when they peppered Richmond in the opening half hour of the game.
Tom Cahill struck in the 37th minute with a strike from close range to put Hume up 1-0 against his former side, but that lead was soon undone when Nick Kokolakis hit back before half-time with a lovely turn and strike to level the scores.
Both teams sought an equaliser in the second half, but neither side came close to being able to find it, meaning the points were shared.
Heidelberg United 5 (Pace 30’, Athiu 43’, Noon 45’, 51’, Petrie 59’) South Melbourne 0
An equally remarkable result to match the first fixture of the season, Heidelberg hit South Melbourne hard with a heavy 5-0 win on Sunday evening to undo the damage of the 6-0 loss back in round one at the Lakeside.
On a chilly night at the Olympic Village, Heidelberg rattled South exceptionally well to earn themselves a massive confidence boosting win, and the romp began on the half-hour mark when Steven Pace collected a poorly dealt-with clearance off Jack Petrie’s free kick to make it 1-0.
Kenny Athiu put himself atop the scorers tally with his tenth goal of the campaign after he rose highest to nod home yet another Petrie free-kick from the left, making it 2-0.
The lead was extended to three goals in very quick succession when Athiu was played in one-on-one with Nikola Roganovic, who made the intial save but couldn’t recover for Harry Noon’s follow up on the rebound.
Heidelberg went in 3-0 up at half-time, and it quickly became 4-0 in the 51st minute when Noon scored his second after being allowed too much space around the penalty area to hit home another goal.
It was similar circumstances for the final goal. Petrie, who’d helped set-up two, scored one of his own when he was given enough time to tee up Heidelberg’s fifth goal at the top of the area.
Nick Epifano had the chance to make it 5-1 when South Melbourne awarded a penalty, but the prolific spot-kick taker had a moment to forget after blazing his shot over the bar.
Bulleen Lions 1 (Barresi 63’) Bentleigh Greens 1 (Ruthven 8’)
Bentleigh missed out on the opportunity to knock South Melbourne off their perch in first position after only mustering a draw with Bulleen Lions on Monday.
Bentleigh got off to a fast start when Troy Ruthven capitalised upon the chance to quickly take a free kick and caught Lions ‘keeper Griffin McMaster off guard to make it 1-0 after only eight minutes.
Chances from Wayne Wallace and Tyson Holmes followed in the first half, but the Greens couldn’t quite find the back of the net again before half-time.
Josh Barresi squared the accounts after the hour mark when he knocked in his second goal of the season, bringing the scores into 1-1.
John Anastasiadis responded immediately, making three substitutes within six minutes of each other after the goal, but it didn’t seem to help the Greens as Bulleen pushed hard at the end.
They were aided by the sending off of the goal scorer, Ruthven, in the 85th minute, but desperate late goalkeeper from McMaster and Ryan Scott kept any further goals out, the game ending 1-1.
By Ahmed Yussuf
Northcote City 3 (Ramzy 18’, Wilkes 41’, Lombardo 47’) Melbourne Victory 0
Northcote City thrashed a youthful Melbourne Victory 3-0 on chilly Saturday afternoon at John Cain Memorial.
Northcote began the game with urgency attacking quickly from wide areas.
Full back Ryan Go from wide played it centrally to Keenan Gibson in midfield. Gibson was looking for a ball in behind, and saw the run of Braedyn Crowley. Gibson cleverly slips in Crowley in on goal but the front man fails to beat Wyatt Chant with his lobbed effort.
But the home side was on the offensive again.
The former Feyenoord youth product Go ran down the left from deep to swing in a neatly floated ball into wide-man Anthony Ramzy, who rushed into the penalty area to beat goalkeeper Wyatt Chant with a first time volley.
Victory tried to find claw their way back into the game after a tidy passage of play started in midfield by Josh Hope. The ball was played wide and then squared to forward Joey Katebian whose strike on goal is just over the crossbar.
Northcote begin to look a bit shaky in defense. Defender Jordan Wilkes dallies on the ball and is displaced by Christian Theoharas. But the Victory attacker tries to slip in Katebian on his right but before he could Wilkes made up for his previous error and intercepts the pass at the vital moment.
In no time Wilkes finds himself at the other end attacking a corner played in by goal scorer Ramzy, who’s swinging ball finds Wilkes who heads home to double Northcote’s lead.
In the restart of the second half, almost immediately Northcote are awarded another corner.
Ramzy goes up to whip in from the corner flag, it hits the deck and the ball is scrambled left and right until Northcote captain Greg Lombardo bundles the ball over the line to put Northcote three goals to the good.
John Maclean running down the right cuts in a dangerous ball that just needs a touch to steer it goal side. But goal scorer Wilkes is adamant on persevering his clean sheet. He slides in to mop up the danger with a timely intervention.
Victory has a corner to test Northcote’s defensive rearguard with a set piece. Maclean heads the cross in on goal but Nicholas Bauka is on the goalmouth to clear it from danger.
With on of the final chances on goal Victory substitute Andre McNamara has a go one on one with Northcote ‘keeper Phillip Petrovski, but the largely untested gloveman comes out big to save with his feet.
Avondale Heights 2 (Yango 68’, Germano 73’) Pascoe Vale 1 (Kitade 45+1’)
Avondale Heights come away with a vital three points defeating Pascoe Vale 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Pascoe Vale started the brighter with forward Davey van't Schip receiving the ball on the edge of the box, to turn and shoot but his effort flies just over the crossbar.
But at the end of the first period, Paco were rewarded. Yusei Kitade who was found from Adrian Talarico's first time pass buries the chance to put Paco in front.
Avondale were pressing midway through the second half to get back into the game.
Right after the hour mark, Abrahim Yango finds himself with a chance on goal. He is calm with the finish steering his shot low into the back of the net.
Former Melbourne City man Jonatan Germano finds room in the area and neatly lobs the ball over Paco ‘keeper Dennys Marin to put Avondale in the lead.
Late on in the game, Paco try for an equalizer.
Matthew Lazarides finds himself in on goal, but the linesman adjudges him to be offside.
Green Gully 0 Melbourne Knights 2 (Colosimo 41’, Andrijasevic 90’)
Melbourne Knights defeated Green Gully 2-0 on Saturday afternoon at Green Gully Reserve.
Early on Knights troubled the Gully defence.
Gully captain Daniel Jones gives the ball away directly to Colosimo who takes an additional touch instead of shooting first time. But in that time the chance is gone.
But minutes from half time, Rodrigo Vargas tries clear the ball away with his head, but was thought to have handled instead.
The referee pointed to the spot, and Knights man Colosimo steps up to the plate. He goes straight down the middle, beating Gully ‘keeper Rani Dowisha who dived early.
Midway through the second period, Gully tried to get back into it. They had a corner hurriedly cleared off the line, as Knights found away to preserve there lead.
Searching for second Knights began to push.
Youngster Luke Jurcic was close to doubling his sides lead with a shot on goal just narrowly missing the target.
Late on in injury time, Knights go on the counter.
James McGarry cuts a ball across goal finding Stipo Andrijasevic, who hit home his sides second of the afternoon.
PS4 NPL Victoria Women's
Geelong Galaxy United 0 FC Bulleen Lions 0
By Cheryl Downes
Bulleen Lions and close competitors Geelong Galaxy failed to deliver a winner but definitely highlighted how little separates these two teams.
Bulleen looked slightly more threatening in the early moments with Beattie Goad creating space and linking up nicely with an in form Jamie Pollock.
Plenty of smart overlapping play and fast use of the ball got them close to the three points, but desperate saves on the goal line from an organised Galaxy defence made for an entertaining contest.
Galaxy’s defence was a highlight, with Annabel Martin in particular getting the job done against a very dangerous attacking Goad. In the midfield, Mel Taranto displayed impressive vision, distributing the ball finely but Galaxy didn’t really have enough options in the final third with Caitlin Pickett running well but unable to get onto the ball.
Bulleen’s Liana Iaconis suffered a head injury in the match and although as able to walk from the ground, she was assisted by ambulance and taken to hospital just after half time
Southern United 3 (Eliadis 27' 65' Beddows 61') Heidelberg United 4 (Mihaloudis 7' Nicolaci pen 50' Gray 75' Panella 90')
A see-saw contest at Dallas Brooks Park in Mornington was won at the last by experienced striker Belinda Panella.
Panella's goal sealed a Heidelberg comeback from 3-2 down after a double from Tiff Eliadis had given Southern the lead with 25 minutes to play.
But prolific American striker Leigh Gray levelled 10 minutes later to prevent Southern snaring a second win of the season.
Earlier, Heidelberg had taken an early lead through Demi Mihaloudis before an exchange of goals between Julia Nicolaci, Eliadis and then Jess Beddows.
Box Hill United 0 Calder United 2 (Lay 34' Alonso 62')
Cindy Lay's tap-in had Calder in control of their match at Wembley Park and seemingly grinding to victory before a moment of magic from Rachel Alonso turned the day into a memorable one.
Alonso flipped mid-air for the perfect overhead kick as she scored from a Tyla-Jay Vlajnic cross driven in from the right flank just after the hour mark.
The goal will be hard pressed to be beaten for PS4 NPL Victoria goal of the season.
Box Hill worked their way back into the match in the last 10 minutes, but lacked the cutting edge to set up a nervous finish for their visitors.
Ellen Wines had a golden chance in the six-yard box but took one touch too many, while Kristina Hall was foiled by a save from close range by Calder goalkeeper Bethany Mason-Jones.
Bayside United 0 Alamein FC 0
Bayside had goalkeeper Ingrid Philippe to thank for a hard-earend point against a frustrated Alamein team.
Chances were few and far between, but Philippe was sharp to deny Alamein forward Melina Ayres with a save to the bottom left corner in the first half, and one-on-one against the oncoming striker in the second.
Bayside's Steph Parton was strong in the air and made a number of crucial interceptions alongside her equally hard-working centre back Marianna Anthony. Midfielder Jamie Brown also performed well at right back to block the attacking threats of Alamein's Brittany Thomas.
Bayside chances were rare, with only the odd shot fired off target.
PS4 NPL 2 East
Box Hill United 2 (Muriqi 12' Godfrey 45+1') Kingston City FC 2 (Mitrovic 7' 63' Iaconis 25')
Kingston City extended the gap from the top two to the chasing pack with a 3-2 win away at Box Hill's Wembley Park.
Velibor Mitrovic connected with a Slaven Vranesevic free kick at the near post to glance in the opener after just seven minutes.
But Box Hill were level soon after as Rinor Muriqi smashed in among a penalty area scramble.
Mitrovic played through Damian Iaconis in the 25th minute for a one-on-one finish against Keegan Coulter.
But a defensive lapse on the stroke of half time left Box Hill centre back Michael Godfrey unmarked in the penalty area to score at close range.
Mitrovic decided the match when he was first to a ball that rebounded off the post in the 63rd minute. Vranesevic hit the woodwork with his free kick, Mitrovic reading the ball best in the spill to nod in before the Box Hill defence could react.
Dandenong City 3 (Gur 61' Freddi 84' 87') Murray United 1 (Lino 34')
Two late goals from Gonzalo Freddi ensured Dandenong Thunder would not fall further off the pace of second-placed Kingston City by dropping points against second-to-last Murray United.
Geoffrey Lino's goal had given Murray a half-time lead, only for Halil Gur to cancel out the advantage by the hour mark.
Freddi continued his good goal-scoring from by scoring twice in three minutes late to take the points.
Nunawading City 1 (Antoniadis 84') Dandenong Thunder 10 ((Barnes 36' 59' 60' 64' 66' 71' 81' 88' Korcari 47' Avice 78')
Nunawading's first win of the season became a distant memory as ladder leader Dandenong Thunder handed out an almighty thrashing.
Only one goal separated the sides at the break, but Nunawading's resistance was broken just before the hour mark as league-leading sharpshooter Brandon Barnes scored five goals in a 12-minute onslaught.
Barnes finished with an astounding eight for the match, while Veton Korarci and Patty Avice also netted.
Goulburn Valley Suns 1 (Alaraibi 9') Springvale White Eagles 0
Goulburn Valley's revival continued after an early goal and resolute defensive performance claimed victory at the expense of Springvale White Eagles.
Hakeem Alaraibi's early goal was enough to give the Suns victory, with Springvale falling to their second defeat in a row.
Eastern Lions 2 (Nyadzayo 3' Williams 59') Brunswick City 2 (Wright pen 24' Vithoulkas 50')
Defensive slips were the order of the day as both teams failed to hold the lead at Gardiners Reserve.
Munyaradzi Nyadzao put Eastern Lions into an early lead only for Adam Wright to level from the penalty spot.
Dimi Vithoulkas had Brunswick City in front briefly in the second half only for Andrew Williams to equalise within 10 minutes and earn a share of the points.
PS4 NPL 2 West
By Brandon Galgano
Moreland City 1 (Thomas 55’ Pen) Sunshine George Cross 1 (Turer 7’)
In the feature game for the round it was Moreland City who gained a point against a resilient Sunshine George Cross outfit at Campbell Reserve on Saturday.
Coming into the match off a fantastic derby win over Moreland Zebras last weekend, City were looking to get themselves back to back wins for the first time this season but ended up falling behind in the seventh minute as Ahmet Turer made the most of a slip at the back from Yianni Avramidis to slot home.
Sitting bottom of the table with just two points this season, Sunshine fielded a number of younger players and elected to sit back and defend their lead, with a great save off of an Apai Ukuno chance the only real opportunity of significance from Moreland for the rest of the opening period.
Moreland City coach Adrian Mathers elected to make a double change at the break, bringing on veteran striker Trent Rixon and defender Jack Reynolds in a system change, and it wielded the full benefit as Lisandro Paz was brought down in the box, resulting in a penalty kick for Moreland.
Casey Thomas stepped up to slot home the spot kick, continuing his 100% penalty record since joining the club at the beginning of the 2015 season to bring his side level, with the goal his second in as many matches.
Sunshine continued to sit back and hold onto the point as Moreland did most of the attacking for the remainder of the match but were unable to find a way through with the match ending level at one a piece.
North Geelong Warriors 1 (Townley 86’ Pen) St Albans Saints (Grgic 24’, Barresi 51’)
St Albans Saints have prevailed in the second installment of the Croatian derby in NPL2 West this season with a 2-1 victory over top of the table North Geelong Warriors on Saturday afternoon.
With the home side high on form and confidence it was St Albans who took the lead in the 24th minute through former Warriors defender Michael Grgic with the defender having only joined Dynamo from the home side at the start of the season.
The match was a tense and physical affair with a number of yellow cards shown to both outfits throughout the match.
It wasn't long into the second half that the lead was doubled though as Adrian Barresi scored his first of the season to put the visitors well in the box seat.
There was late drama just five minutes from full time though as St Albans keeper Alex Baird was shown a red card after bringing down Nicholas Jurcic, the second time this season he has given away a penalty against North Geelong, with defender Matt Townley converting the resulting spot kick to set up a tense last few minutes at Elcho Park.
There was no equaliser for the hosts though as St Albans ran away 2-1 winners.
Whittlesea Ranges 1 (Ofli 38’) Werribee City FC 2 (Marafioti 57’, Naumovski 58’)
Werribee City have continued their mid season resurrection with a second consecutive victory, defeating high flying Whittlesea Ranges 2-1 at Epping Stadium on Saturday.
Coming off a victory against fellow strugglers Bendigo City last weekend, Werribee were up for a fight against one of the best teams in the competition this season, and it was one of the premier players who opened the scoring just before the break.
Atila Ofli has been Ranges most consistent source of goals this season, and he added his 18th of the season to take the hosts into the break up 1-0.
Things were looking relatively comfortable for the home side before two goals in two minutes saw a dramatic twist to the match as Domenico Marafioti and Robert Naumovski both scored to all of a sudden give the visitors the lead with just over half an hour to play.
And despite having numerous chances to equalise it was the visiting side who ran away 2-1 winners in a massive result which could have repercussions throughout the entire NPL2 West table.
Melbourne City 3 (Ahmed 56’, Nuttall 80’, Wong 87’) Bendigo City FC 1 (O’Keeffe 90+3’)
Melbourne City picked up a vital three points at La Trobe Lower Playing Fields on Saturday, defeating Bendigo City 3-1.
After both sides drew blanks in the opening period, the match livened up in the second half with Yusuf Ahmed opening the scoring just over ten minutes after the restart to give the home side the lead.
Bendigo City, who have seen some more encouraging performances in recent weeks continued to fight hard to stay in the contest but had any hopes of a comeback dashed with ten minutes to play as William Nuttall scored his first goal of the season to make it 2-0 City.
Another fantastic strike from former Bentleigh Greens midfielder Austin Wong added a third for the home side before a stoppage time goal from Carl O’Keeffe gave the visiting side at least a positive to think about on the long bus trip home with the final score 3-1 Melbourne City.
Moreland Zebras 1 (Yousif 89’) Ballarat Red Devils 0
Moreland Zebras recorded a massive result, defeating Ballarat Red Devils 1-0 at CB Smith Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
After going down in the derby against Moreland City last weekend, the Zebras were well up for a fight as the race for promotion in NPL2 West continues to tighten with the visiting Ballarat coming into the match off the back of consecutive draws against North Geelong and Whittlesea Ranges.
In what was a tense affair, it wasn't until the 89th minute where a winner was scored by who else but Zebras hitman Baggio Yousif who popped up to score his 11th goal of the season to date which ensures his side jumped Ballarat into 3rd spot on the table, just two points behind Melbourne City who have also moved to top spot following the weekends action.