Green Gully continued their drive into the top six with a strong display against a Melbourne Victory side who simply collapsed in the second half at Epping Stadium on Saturday.
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Richmond SC 1 (Caniglia 75’) FC Bulleen Lions 0
With neither side having won in over a month of league football leading up to the clash, the first half was an even contest with both goalkeepers Griffin McMaster and Gian Tapia relatively untested in the opening period of action.
The second half though saw the hosts create a number of chances which saw Mc Master step into make a few critical interventions which kept his side level as Richmond pushed for an opening goal.
One constant thorn in the visitors side was the pace of Alex Caniglia with the Richmond number 10 often beating his opponent and was generally dangerous as the game went on.
That danger was confirmed as the winger opened the scoring with fifteen minutes to play, striding in at the back post before volleying home an excellent cross from the right to make it 1-0 Richmond.
Bulleen pushed for an equaliser with the introduction of Gianni De Nittis an attempt from manager Dom Barba to get his side back into the contest but his side was clearly lacking the flair of missing winger Sami Nour and despite forcing Tapia into a late save at his near post, the Lions were unable to find an equaliser with the final score 1-0 for the home side.
Bentleigh Greens 5 (Holmes 24’, Thurtell 26’ Bavcar 52OG’, Lucas 85’, 90Pen) Northcote City 0
Bentleigh Greens continued to heap pressure on South Melbourne at the top of the table with a resounding 5-0 victory over cellar dwellers Northcote City on Friday night.
Tyson Holmes opened the scoring with a thumping header in the 24th minute before Matt Thurtell made it two in two minutes just moments later.
An unfortunate own goal from Nicholas Bavcar early in the second period made the points safe for the hosts at 3-0 before a late double from Chris Lucas sealed what was another important three points for John Anastasiadis' men.
Melbourne Victory 2 (Katebian 45’, Reid O.G 46’) Green Gully 5 (Boland 27’, Jones 65’, Krousoratis 77’, 85’, Christodoulou 90’)
Having opened the scoring in the 27th minute through Liam Boland, the visitors looked to be going into the break with the lead but for a late goal for Victory skipper Joey Katebian.
An own goal from Matthew Reid then saw the Victory take the lead just moments into he second period before Gully skipper Daniel Jones leveled the scores again just after the hour mark.
The introduction of former Port Melbourne man Nick Krousoratis by coach Arthur Pappas was the major turning point though with the striker grabbing two goals in the space of seven minutes to give Gully a seemingly unassailable lead before a late goal from Evan Christodoulou secured a vital three points for the visitors with the final score 5-2 Green Gully.
Hume City 4 (Harris 29’, Kearny OG 34’, Markelis 74’, Cahill 87’) Port Melbourne 1 (De Abreau 59’)
In a battle between two top six contenders it was Hume City who took home an important three points with a resounding 4-1 victory over Port Melbourne at ABD Stadium on Saturday night.
South Australian striker Kym Harris opened the scoring for the hosts before an own goal for Irish midfielder Alan Kearney made it 2-0 for the hosts going into the break.
Jamie De Abreu got one back for the visitors fifteen minutes into the second period but Port simply didn't have the quality to break down a resolute Hume defence with late goals for Theo Markelis and Debutant Tom Cahill who finally made his first appearance for the club following a wait for international clearance finally coming through early last week.
The result means Hume jump Heidelberg United into 4th place with Port Melbourne sitting just outside the top six in seventh place.
Melbourne Knights 1 (Hicks 1') Avondale FC 3 (Ammache 69', Symeoy 71', 78')
by Damir Kulas
A fantastic nine minute second half spell saw Avondale overcome the Melbourne Knights in the battle of Somers Street on Friday night with two goals from right-back Nick Symeoy doing the damage.
The home side made the perfect start to proceedings when Kiwi international midfielder Jason Hicks scored his third goal of the campaign inside the opening minute by lobbing the ball over former Knights shot-stopper Chris May.
The hosts would retain that advantage going into the break as they looked to continue their march towards a top six placing.
However the game was turned on its head half way through the second half when Alex Khrapko teed the ball to Ammache who unleashed from outside the box and found the bottom left hand corner of the net for his first senior league goal.
Two minutes later and the Avengers took the lead when Symeoy latched onto a pass from Jonatan Germano 25 metres from goal and found the top corner of the net with his first goal for the club in what is surely to be a goal of the season contender from the 21 year-old.
The former Melbourne City defender then sealed the three points twelve minutes from time when he found himself in the six yard box to finish off a great team move and net an unlikely double to condemn Andrew Marth’s side to their second straight home defeat in the space of seven days as Avondale crept to within a point of the Knights who occupy eight place on the competition standings.
Oakleigh Cannons 1 (Bosnjak 81') Heidelberg United 0
The Oakleigh Cannons recorded a 1-0 victory over Heidelberg United at Jack Edwards Reserve on Friday night thanks to a splendid late strike from Dusan Bosnjak.
The visitors went into the contest without the services of injured attackers Kenny Athiu, Sean Ellis, Kaine Sheppard and Reuben Way and it was the hosts who had the better of the first interval with Goran Zoric seeing his effort saved by Chris Theodoridis while Dean Piemonte had his shot cleared off the line by Luke Byles.
Dimitri Hatzimouratis had a good opportunity to open the scoring but hit the ball straight into the arms of a grateful Theodoridis.
The two would then be involved in the game’s flashpoint shortly afterwards when the Bergers custodian was sent off for appearing to launch his knee into the chest of the former Sydney Olympic forward.
Theodoridis was given his marching orders for that incident – receiving his second red card of the season - prompting United to hand a league debut to teenager Pasquale Gioffre and make himself an immediate Heidelberg hero by guessing correctly to save Bosnjak’s penalty.
That save seemed to galvanise George Katsakis’ men with makeshift number nine Andreas Govas forcing John Honos into a one handed save. However Bosnjak eventually got his reward nine minutes from time with a brilliant turn and finish into the bottom right hand corner of the goal past Gioffre.
The hosts had Steven Topalovic sent off in the dying stages of the contest for a second yellow card before Kosta Kanakaris’ header struck the post as the Cannons were not to be denied last on this time around collecting a precious three points much to the disappointment of the dejected Warriors.
South Melbourne 0 Pascoe Vale 1 (Youssef 63')
A ten man Pascoe Vale outfit have avenged their 2015 semi-final defeat at the hands of South Melbourne with a sensational 1-0 triumph over the league leaders at Lakeside Stadium on Friday night.
The visitors were forced to work for the three points when goalkeeper Alex Pavlidis was adjudged to have collected a back pass.
The resulting free-kick just outside the six-yard box was tipped onto the post before eventually falling to Nick Epifano who’s goal-bound shot was diverted over the bar by the outstretched arms of Rams defender Tomislav Milardovic. Epifano took the resulting spot-kick but saw his attempt saved by Pavlidis who guessed right.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Vale tested South goalkeeper Nikola Roganovic on two separate occasions as Davey van’t Schip and Matthew Lazarides attempted to give Vitale Ferrante’s men an unlikely lead heading into the half-time break.
That moment did arrive just past the hour mark when former South midfielder Youssef found himself unmarked at the back post to give Paco the lead.
Brad Norton then skyed a good chance to net an equaliser before South Sudan international Peter Deng cleared off the line as the hosts struggled in their search to find a leveller.
Luca Santilli then almost netted a spectacular second when his effort from range was saved by Roganovic.
However despite launching countless attacks in search of an equaliser, South were to be denied by a heroic performance from the visitors who collected their first three points since Round 2 to move out of the relegation spots and into tenth while the hosts were left the rue a disappointing second defeat of the campaign.
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