PS4 NPL Victoria Review: Round 1

There was action aplenty as the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria 2015 season commenced with 21 goals scored across the opening six games.

Bentleigh Greens 2

North Geelong Warriors 0

Bentleigh Greens has kept early pace with last season’s champion South Melbourne after a convincing 2-0 win over North Geelong Warriors at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex.

Debutant Matt Thurtell opened the scoring in the first-half with a well-taken effort, before he turned provider for substitute Jamie De Abreu late in the game.

It was an end-to-end first half at Kingston Heath as both sides looked to make the perfect start to the NPL season.

The first chance fell the regional side’s way, as Juso Julardzija spotted Alastair Bray fractionally off his line, and it took a brilliant save from the young shot-stopper to deny the North Geelong forward’s chipped effort from the wing.

From there on, it was all Bentleigh with only the heroics of Warriors ‘keeper Daniel Zilic keeping the promoted outfit in the contest.

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Melbourne Knights 3

Avondale FC 1

Melbourne Knights has defeated NPL newcomers Avondale FC in a come-from-behind 3-1 victory at Knights Stadium.

Avondale debutant Chris Irwin pounced on a defensive howler by Knights keeper Chris May, before the home side struck back through Josh Brekalo and Andrew Barisic, but were lucky to go into half time only a goal down.

With former Croatian international and Knights prodigy Josip Simunic in attendance, the visitors put in an abject defensive display in the first period.

Avondale seemed unperturbed by the top tier early on, keeping possession and winning a series of dangerous free kicks around the Knights area.

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Hume City 1

Port Melbourne 3

Port Melbourne has made a flying start to its PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria campaign with a resounding 3-1 victory over Hume City at ABD Stadium on Sunday night.

A double from new signing Trent Rixon was the highlight for the visitors who made the most of their chances, despite being on the back foot for the majority of the second half.

It was the hosts who had the first real chance of the match as a fantastic cross from Marcus Schroen found Issy Erdogan free at the back post but the midfielder put his header over the cross bar from close range.

Port Melbourne then had their best chance to open the scoring as Nick Krousoratis picked the pocket of Shaun Timmins before finding himself clean through on goal, but Chris Oldfield stood his ground to make a strong save.

They didn’t have to wait much longer for the opener as former Melbourne Heart winger Kamal Ibrahim worked some magic to open the scoring.

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Heidelberg United 3

Pascoe Vale 0

A Daniel Vasilevski double has led Heidelberg United to an impressive 3-0 win over Pascoe Vale at Epping Stadium.

Former A-League player and Young Socceroo Vasilevski broke the deadlock after a howler from Pascoe Vale goalkeeper Stefaan Sardelic, before a Kaine Sheppard header doubled the lead. Vasilevski completed the rout with 21 minutes to play.

Heidelberg, looking to build on a third-placed finish last term, was without star striker Dan Heffernan due to an ankle problem.

Heffernan bagged 18 goals for George Katsakis' side in 2014, but his injury paved the way for new signing Kenny Athiu to be involved from the start.

Both sides begun fiercely at Epping - being used because Olympic Village was unavailable due to ground works - and Davey Van 't Schip was lively for Pascoe Vale, twice missing the target from good areas.

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Werribee City 1

Dandenong Thunder 2

Dandenong Thunder has started their PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria campaign by defeating Werribee City 2-1 at Galvin Park on Sunday.

Goals to Yusef Ahmed and Michael Gerace either half of the break sealed Thunder’s well-deserved three points on opening day.

Werribee’s new target man Josh Jokic bagged a home goal on debut to equal the scores for his new side midway through the second half, but it proved to be the only highlight in a disappointing day for the Bees.

It was a match that started in intense heat and sensationally ended in torrential rain as a heavy downpour and thunderstorms hampered the second half.

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Green Gully 4

Northcote City 1

Green Gully has opened its PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria 2015 account in style, putting away a 10-man Northcote City 4-1 at Green Gully Reserve on Monday night.

Nikola Markovski nabbed a brace, while the two Matthews – Sanders and Breeze – added goals of their own, with James Kalifatidis scoring a consolation penalty for the visitors.

Kieran Gonzalez was the first keeper called into action in the fifth minute, stretching to deny Marino Gasparis’ curling effort towards the top right corner.

At the other end, Chris Theodoridis’ first task was to pick the ball out of the net, with new Gully signing Nikola Markovski latching onto a swift counter-attack and calmly slotting home.

Despite showing glimpses of mounting a comeback through miscued efforts on goal from Webb and Bissinger, Northcote’s night was made all the more difficult when Jason Hayne was sent off in the 35th minute after needlessly throwing the ball at Berkan Yurdakul’s face in frustration following a tussle during play.

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Image courtesy of Anita Milas