South Melbourne earned derby bragging rights and continued its winning streak with what was in the end a comfortable 5-2 defeat of Melbourne Knights at Somers Street.
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Melbourne Knights 2 (Colosimo 3’, McGarry 21’) South Melbourne 5 (Lujic 8’, 43’, Millar 12’, 80’, Adams 79’)
It certainly wasn’t easy going for Chris Taylor’s men the whole way through, as the Knights took the lead with just two minutes on the clock when Jacob Colosimo got on the end of a beautiful left-foot cross from Stipo Andrijasevic to head in at the back post on his 100 th appearance for the club.
But South hit back quickly with Milos Lujic providing a trademark header of his own five minutes later to make it 13 goals in all competitions this year.
The visitors turned the game on its head in the 12 th minute when Marcus Schroen’s strike fizzed into the base of the upright and Matt Millar was perfectly positioned to tuck in the rebound.
In an open first half Andrew Marth’s men hit back with 20 minutes played, Andrijasevic again the provider with another sumptuous cross. James McGarry had more work to do with his header but stooped and glanced it right into the bottom corner across Nikola Roganovic.
South got back on top in the latter part of the first half, with Knights keeper Michael O’Farrell making two strong saves, the most impressive to deny Nick Epifano one-on-one. But they were rewarded two minutes before the break as Brad Norton’s low ball between goalkeeper and defence was met by an unmarked Lujic who tapped in his second.
The home side’s task became all the more difficult when debutant Damien Miskulin was sent off for a last-man challenge on Epifano in the 60 th minute despite fans insisting the attack was offside in the build-up.
A Luke Adams header and Millar’s second rounded out a win which saw South retain their lead at the top of the table.
Port Melbourne 7 (Mulcahy 7’, 63’, 90’, Honos 19’, Goodwin 54’, Koutroulis 80’, De Abreu 89’) Richmond 0
It was a night to forget for Richmond SC who were coming off a costly defeat to bottom-placed Northcote City a week prior.
Port Melbourne were 2-0 ahead at half time thanks to an Alan Mulcahy free kick and a Lambros Honos lob. Hopes of a Richmond comeback were damaged early in the second half when Jordan Seeto received a straight red card for kicking a ball in frustration.
Apart from Stjepan Gal making a couple of saves for Port, it was one-way traffic from there as Mulcahy completed his hat-trick and three more Sharks players got on the scoresheet to put their side back in the top six.
Pascoe Vale 1 (Vakirtzis OG 50’) Melbourne Victory 3 (Maclean 82’, Katebian 87’, 90’)
Both sides entered this one at CB Smith Reserve in poor form and needing a win, languishing just above the drop zone.
After a quiet first half ended scoreless, Paco took the lead via an unlucky Jonathan Vakirtzis deflection on Victory’s behalf.
The youth side continued to boss the ball but it took a special strike from John Maclean to equalise eight minutes from time. Maclean was then instrumental in the go-ahead goal, winning a penalty for Joey Katebian to convert in the 87 th minute before Katebian added a third to give Victory a much-needed boost and leave Paco in a rut.
Northcote City 0 Hume City 5 (Clark 50’, 90+1’, Harris 66’, 73’ Markelis 71’)
Having secured four points in the two matches since Goran Lozanovski’s return as coach, Northcote took it to Hume in the first half. Swapping blue for pink in support of Breast Cancer fundraising, the home side were inches from going ahead after five minutes with Todd Dekker’s shot flying just wide.
Having been frustrated in their first half attacks, Hume broke the deadlock five minutes into the second period with Daniel Clark turning in an impressive volley to notch his fourth goal in as many matches.
A deflected Kym Harris strike saw Lou Acevski’s side go 2-0 ahead and from there the floodgates opened with Northcote capitulating at the back, unable to contain the likes of Clark, Theo Markelis and company as Hume picked up an emphatic win.
Green Gully 5 (Taseski 30' Boland 38' Christdoulou 40' Krousoratis 60' Ragusa 88') Oakleigh Cannons 0
It was one-way traffic from the half-hour mark as Green Gully broke Oakleigh's resistance in emphatic style at Green Gully Reserve.
Oakleigh had an early double-chance foiled by two good saves from Gully goalkeeper Rani Dowisha.
However with a powerful wind at their backs, Gully broke the game open with three goals in 30 minutes. Liam Boland's curling free-kick the pick of the first-half strikes.
Nick Krousoratis and Anthony Ragusa added second goals to give Gully a handy boost to the goal-difference and fourth place on the table.
Heidelberg United 1 (Noon 88') Bentleigh Greens 1 (Wallace 66')
Harry Noon's late equaliser salvaged a point for the home side after Wayne Wallace's header had put Bentleigh into the lead.
The match started with end-to-end action for the first 10 minutes with both sides, with Sean Ellis hitting the post and Chris Lucas forcing a sharp save from Chris Theodoridis.
But the chances had dried up by the 66th minute when Wallace finally broke the stalemate, heading in Ryan Paczkowski's corner.
Kosta Kanakaris skied a golden opportunity for an equaliser, but Noon would save his blushes. Goalkeeper Ryan Scott fumbled a corner which fell kindly for Noon, who volleyed through a pack of players to score.
FC Bulleen Lions 0 Avondale FC 0
A point proved valuable for both sides as a stalemate ensued on Monday night.
Both teams improved to 11 points in ninth and 10th respectively, now two ahead of Pascoe Vale in the relegation play-off position and five clear of Richmond SC in the relegation zone.
Avondale's best chances fell to Jeff Fleming and Abraham Yango.
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