Warriors make it two in a row
By Tonci Prusac
North Geelong Warriors made it two wins on the trot, following what could well be a season defining 1-0 victory over Northcote City at Elcho Park on Saturday.
The win - only the side's second at home this season and scored courtesy of a 72nd minute goal by Michael Anderson - has thrust the Warriors into third-last spot on the ladder.
Just over a week ago, they occupied bottom spot.
The Warriors went into this vital Round 22 clash with Northcote City without the services of last week's two goal hero, Gareth Richards, who has returned to the UK for a holiday, which was booked well before he completed his mid-season transfer to Elcho Park.
Nevertheless, it was the home side which started the better of the two combatants, with playmaker Vito Cichello having the first shot on goal within the opening 60 seconds.
The early effort, however, hardly troubled City custodian Christopher Theodoridis.
Theodoridis was called into action on several occasions in the opening half, most notably in the 37th minute when North striker, Mark Paleka, turned on a sixpence at the top of the box and unleashed a powerful goalbound shot.
Theordoridis, however, managed to parry the ball into the side netting for a corner.
Up the other end of the pitch, Northcote's best effort occured in the 13th minute when striker Calvin Mbarga poked a high back-pass past oncoming Warriors' keeper Daniel Zilic, only to see the ball dribble to the right of the empty goal.
In the opening stages of the second half, it was all North as the newfound confidence amongst Micky Colina’s men was evident for all to see.
Despite their dominance in possession, the only thing missing for the Warriors was a goal.
That finally arrived in the 72nd minute when a delightful through ball saw attacker Michael Anderson slam his shot past Theodoridis from close range to give the home side a deserved lead.
The Warriors could quite easily have doubled their lead, via their late substitute Yusuf Yusuf in the 85th minute, but they would have been nonetheless ecstatic with the 1-0 scoreline, when referee Bruno D’Aniello blew for full time after almost four tense minutes of stoppage time.
North Geelong 1 (Anderson 72’) defeated Northcote City 0 at Elcho Park
North Geelong: 1 Daniel ZILIC, 2 Darren LEWIS, 3 Matt TOWNLEY, 17 Nicholas JURCIC, 16 Michael GRGIC, 6 Josh PUGH, 7 Reardo LUKA, 8 Vito CICHELLO, 23 Michael ANDERSON, 11 Juso JULARDZIJA (80’ 10 Yusuf YUSUF), 14 Mark PALEKA.
Subs not used: 5 Anthony BANOVAC, 9 Rudi SAGLAM, 19 Matija DRAGOVIC, 31 Tonio BARESIC
Yellow Cards: Pugh 36'
Red Cards: None
Northcote City: 22 Christopher THEODORIDIS, 4 Jacob ELIOPOULOS, 19 Ryan GO (86’ 18 Nikola MARKOVSKI), 8 James KALIFATIDIS, 12 Jordan WILKES, 6 Aaron WARD (67’ 23 Jonathan BOUNAS), 7 Bonel OBRADOVIC, 5 Gregory LOMBARDO, 11 Evan KOUNAVELIS, 9 Calvin MBARGA, 10 Marino GASPARIS (75’ 17 Aron HANDAKIS).
Subs not used: 30 Jordan GIFKINS.
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None