PS4 NPL Victoria Round 10 Review

South Melbourne maintained their status at the top of the table with a 2-0 victory over Avondale FC on Friday night at Knights Stadium.

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Avondale FC 0 South Melbourne FC 2 (Epifano pen 25’, Lujic 90+3’)

With both sides in hot form coming into the contest, Avondale coach Anthony Barberi elected not to change a winning side meaning star playmakers Massimo Murdocca and Jonathan Germano both had to contend for a spot on the bench.

In an even start to the contest both sides had chances early with Avondale enjoying territorial dominance in a positive start to the match for the hosts.

That positivity soon evaporated though as a clear handball from centre back Baki Efe saw South Melbourne go to the spot in the 25th minute with star winger Nick Epifano making no mistake, driving the ball low past May to make it 1-0.

Avondale responded well though and could've had a goal themselves when veteran striker Matthew Sanders got on the end of a great cross from the impressive Omar Ammache but his volley sailed high and wide of Nikola Roganovic’s goal.

They didn't stop there though and had a number of great chances to equalise in the second half with Oleksy Khrapko and Sanders both denied by outstanding saves from Roganovic who showcased the type of form which earned him an A-League contract with the Melbourne Heart back in 2011.

Those saves proved to be the difference as Avondale simply couldn't find an equaliser before Milos Lujic sealed the points in stoppage time with a composed finish as Avondale pushed forward in search of a goal to finish the game at 2-0 South Melbourne.


Richmond SC 2 (Kokolakis 6’, Armenian 22’) Northcote City 3 (Rizk 9’, Crowley 29’, Bounas 38’Pen)

Northcote City’s resurrection under returning coach Goran Lozanovski has continued with a massive 3-2 victory against Richmond at Kevin Bartlett Reserve on Friday night.

With both sides in desperate need of a victory it was the hosts who took an early lead though former Northcote man Nick Kokolakis who drove home a sensational finish into the top corner in the 6th minute to make it 1-0.

That lead lasted barley three minutes though as Anthony Rizk levelled the scoring following a good pass from Aaron Ward to make it 1-1.

Hamlets Armenian then restored the hosts lead with a sensational diving header to make it 2-1 in the 22nd minute before new Northcote signing Brayden Crowley levelled the scoring with a clinical finish past Chris Davies to make it 2-2 just seven minutes later.

A foul in the box by Brian Bran meant City had a chance to take the lead from the spot which was duly taken by Jonathan Bounas who slotted home, sending the keeper the wrong way to make it 3-2.

Richmond fought back in the second half but were unlucky not to get a share of the spoils with Alex Caniglia hitting the crossbar and a header from Bran went just wide.

They couldn't find an equaliser though with the final score seeing Northcote record their first win of the campaign.


Melbourne Victory 1 (Nigro 73’) Melbourne Knights 2 (Brekalo 35’, Hicks 90’)

The Melbourne Knights made it two stoppage time victories in a row this week with another last gasp winner securing the three points this time against the Melbourne Victory at Epping Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Following their dramatic FFA Cup qualifying victory over Oakleigh on Tuesday night, the Knights went into the match full of confidence against a Victory side who impressed in their 1-0 loss against South Melbourne last week.

Goal scoring hero from that Oakleigh game Josh Brekalo opened the scoring in the 35th minute before Stefan Nigro equalised just over 15 minutes from full time for the hosts.

And just as it was looking like a draw, former Wellington Pheonix playmaker Jason Hicks scored a stoppage time winner to seal another vital win for the visitors with the final score 2-1 in favour of Knights.


Green Gully SC 1 (Lambadaridis 65') Bentleigh Greens Soccer Club 2 (Pilkington 21' Lucas 24')

A Bentleigh quick-fire double was enough to secure the points in a wind-affected scrap at Green Gully Reserve.

Gully held their own through first 20 minutes but were ultimately punished by Bentleigh's movement at cutting edge.

Luke Pilkington, back from injury after missing two games, showed no sign of the hamstring strain that had hampered him as he split the Gully midfield and finished after a one-two with Matt Thurtell that played him into the area.

Minutes later it was Ryan Paczkowski stretching the Gully defence, his cross from wide on the left tapped in by Chris Lucas on an angle beyond the right-hand post.

Gully battled back into the contest but couldn't manufacture enough clear-cut chances for an equaliser after George Lambadaridis had scored in the 65th minute.

Lambadaridis picked out the bottom left corner with his shot from the top of the box after a cut-back from the left by Nick Krousoratis.


Hume City F.C. 3 (Rexhepi 44' Harris 61' Clark 88') Heidelberg United FC 2 (Noon 2' Sheppard 77')

Heidelberg United lost vital ground in the title race after Daniel Clark's late winner claimed all three points for Hume City at ABD Stadium.

Heidelberg had caught Hume cold in just the second minute when Harry Noon tapped in at the back post after Sean Ellis' cross from the left.

The Bergers then enjoyed control of the contest, denied by Chris Oldfield on a couple of occasions as they sought a second goal.

Hume's equaliser came against the run of play when Shane Rexhepi knocked in an off-target attempt through the area by Kym Harris.

Harris was then the scorer in the 61st minute when he knocked in a ball from the right by Nick Hegarty.

Heidelberg sparked up, Kaine Sheppard making up for a miss in shooting range by scoring after controlling a ball from the left by Reuben Way.

But Hume had the final say, Clark heading in unmarked from close range as he connected with Hegarty's cross from the left two minutes from time.


FC Bulleen Lions 1 (Romas 67') Port Melbourne Sharks 1 (Zahra 76')

Bulleen's lead mid-way through the second half as Adrian Zahra ensured Port Melbourne would leave the Veneto Club with a point.

Billy Romas opened the scoring when his drive form a tight angle on the left side of the area was able to beat Stjepan Gal in the Port Melbourne goal.

But Bulleen would concede the advantage when a Port Melbourne ball over the top sat up kindly on the synthetic for Zahra to run onto. After riding a challenge, Zahra held his balance to finish past Bulleen 'keeper Griffin McMaster.


Oakleigh Cannons 1 (Frame 26') Pascoe Vale 1 (Prelevic 90+2')

It was late Oakleigh agony for the second straight game at Jack Edwards Reserve as Luka Prelevic's goal gave Port Melbourne a share of the spoils.

Oakleigh had taken a first-half lead when Ross Frame's sweeping left-footed shot caught out a static Pascoe Vale defence.

But Prelevic produced a moment of individual brilliance to save Pascoe Vale a point, shooting with the outside of his right foot at the top of the area to curl the ball into the bottom left corner.


CLICK HERE for the match reports from PS4 NPL Victoria Women's and PS4 NPL 2 Victoria.