Pascoe Vale emerged a dark horse top six contender after denting Hume City’s run to the finals with a 2-1 win at CB Smith Reserve.
Players and coaches speak to the FFV Podcast presented by Sportsmart every week - Click Here to subscribe in iTunes. See media links to photo galleries, video and match reports via the NPL Victoria Facebook page.
Pascoe Vale 2 (Santili 16’, Lazarides 18’) Hume City 1 (Harris 78’)
Luca Santilli scored in just the 16th minute when he pounced on Chris Oldfield’s save off Matthew Lazarides’ shot. Lazarides then turned scorer when he connected with Marino Gasparis’ low cross following a throw in to double the lead.
Danny Dixon fired in the first warning shot, forcing a strong save out of Alex Pavlidis.
Kym Harris did pull one back for the visitors, but it acted as consolation only as the visitors couldn’t find another, while the hosts spurned a couple of opportunities to pull ahead further.
With the likes of Hume and Gully still juggling cup commitments, and Paco taking on many of the top six in their run homes, one of the dominoes may just tumble.
Melbourne Victory 0 Avondale FC 3 (Germano 2’ 3’, Crazia 15’)
Avondale FC created more space away from the relegation zone with a 3-0 win over Melbourne Victory at Epping Stadium, with all three goals coming early in the contest.
A good passing move involving Massimo Murdocca and Matt Sanders ended in Jonatan Germano sliding in the opener.
The Argentine had a second soon after, played in after a Victory error to chip the ball over Lucas Spinella into the net.
Michele Crazia added the team’s third after just 15 minutes, knocking the ball in from a set-piece.
Christian Theoharous and Michael Holden had a couple of chances up the other end which ultimately didn’t trouble the scorers.
Green Gully 1 (Lambadaridis 65’) Richmond SC 1 (Caniglia 21’)
Richmond and Green Gully shared the spoils in a result which didn’t necessarily suit either side, though it may prove an important point on the road for Richmond in the survival race.
Alex Caniglia, consistently one of his side’s best players this campaign, hit a long range curling effort to put the visitors ahead after 21 minutes.
He had another chance after half an hour, but Rani Dowisha was on hand to make the save.
A change fell to Gully when George Lambadaridis played in Kliment Taseski on the right, but Tony Foglia saved the shot. Lambadaridis turned scorer in the 65th minute, equalising for 1-1.
Liam Boland almost had the hosts in the lead in the 73rd minute, but his free kick crashed off the post, and the scores remained 1-1 for the 90.
Northcote City 3 (Crowley 27’ 33’ 67’) Port Melbourne Sharks 1 (Goulopoulos 79’)
Northcote City claimed a massive three points at home while dragging Port Melbourne into the unwanted race away from relegation with a 3-1 win at John Cain Memorial Reserve, the main protagonist being Braedyn Crowley with a hat-trick.
The forward had his first after 27 minutes when latching onto a through ball by James Papadimitriou, hitting the post but following in to score the rebound.
Just six minutes later it was 2-0 when a clearance from Luke Gavalas found its way back to Northcote players – Port invited pressure, which culminated in a ball into the box for Crowley to finish.
Matters got worse for the visitors in the 51st minute when an Adrian Zahra head-butt following a challenge by Papadimitriou led to a straight red – and possibly further sanctions via the tribunal.
Crowley had a third in the 67th minute when pouncing on a stray backpass.
James Goulopoulos got one back late for the 10-men Sharks, but that’s how the game ended at 3-1.
Melbourne Knights 0 Bentleigh Greens 4 (Paczkowski 3’, Lucas 16’, Thurtell 42’, Wallace 60’)
After the emotional rollercoaster of the Dockerty Cup semi between the two, Bentleigh emerged the stronger and secured a week’s double over Melbourne Knights with a resounding 4-0 win at Somers Street.
The hosts got off to the perfect start when Ryan Paczkowski smashed in a loose ball for the lead in just the third minute.
Chris Lucas made it 2-0 after just 16 minutes when a quality cross from Liam McCormick found the forward for the finish.
It was 3-0 before the break when another assist from McCormick led to Matt Thurtell’s seventh goal in as many consecutive games.
It was all wrapped up in the 60th minute when Wayne Wallace pounced in the box to make it 4-0.
Heidelberg United 4 (Athiu 20’ 84’, Ellis 46’, Way 61’) FC Bulleen Lions 1 (Nour 27’)
Heidelberg kept the pressure on South Melbourne in second spot with a resounding 4-1 win over the usually resolute Bulleen Lions.
Kenny Athiu opened the scoring after 20 minutes, heading past Griffin McMaster for 1-0.
Sami Nour quickly equalised with a bit of solo brilliance after 27 minutes.
However, Heidelberg once again had the advantage just before the break via a Sean Ellis lob.
The game was pretty much out of reach when a good combination between Athiu and Reuben Way led to the latter’s goal and a 3-1 scoreline.
Athiu then made it 4-1 to cap off a productive night for the hosts.
Oakleigh Cannons 4 (Bosnjak 14’ 62’, Hatzimouratis 45+2, Lovemore 65’) South Melbourne 3 (Pantelidis OG 23’, Minopoulos 30’, Lujic 72’)
Oakleigh Cannons triumphed 4-3 in a rollercoaster against South Melbourne, pushing up to fourth and doing South no favours in the title race.
Dusan Bosnjak played through Dean Piemonte, who was taken down by Kristian Konstantinidis when in on goal. Konstantinidis was sent off, while Bosnjak stepped up to take the free kick and blasted it past Nikola Roganovic in goals.
It didn’t deter South, and when Milos Lujic was played through, he was taken down by John Honos in goals – Steve Pantelidis bundled the ball over for an own goal, but the visitors were calling for a penalty and red card on the keeper.
South did however take the lead when an errant backpass – one of many – allowed Leigh Minopoulos clean through on goal – he converted his chance.
Yet it was all square at 2-2 before the break when a long ball from Perry Lambropoulos found Dimi Hatzimouratis for a header to equalise – essentially a goal out of nothing.
It got worse for South when Matt Foschini was subbed at half time with an injury, Iqi Jawadi coming on at left back with Amadu Koroma moving into the centre of defence.
After the break, a cutback found Bosnjak for his second of the night, once again giving the hosts the advantage. And it was essentially game over when a ball went through Amadu Koroma for Sean Lovemore to weave his way through on goal and add the finishing touches.
However, South had a final lifeline when Marcus Schroen found Lujic in the box who was felled by Steve Pantelidis for a penalty – he converted for 4-3, however that proved to be the final scoreline as neither side was able to add to that.
CLICK HERE for a full match reports from PS4 NPL Victoria Women's and PS4 NPL 2 Victoria.