Melbourne Knights bounced back to secure their first victory of the season, defeating a winless Northcote City 2-1 in Round 3 of Playstation 4 NPL Victoria.
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Melbourne Knights FC 2 (Andrijasevic 15' McGarry 34') Northcote City FC 1 (Bounas pen 48') | U20: 2-3
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Stipo Andrijasevic and James McGarry did the damage early, helping the home side to an early 2-0 lead, before Jonathan Bounas scored from the spot to make it an anxious finish for the hosts.
The Knights were threatening early from set pieces and it took just 15 minutes to register the first goal when Stipo Andrijasevic nodded home James McGarry’s free kick after Jacob Colosimo was felled on the edge of the area.
It was mostly one way traffic and could have been another to the Knights. McGarry’s run into the box ended with a backheel to Hicks, whose shot was well saved by Petrovski.
The two combined again to double the lead in the 34th minute, with the former playing the latter through on goal, who made no mistake in dinking the ball over the keeper.
Northcote finally had an effort to peg a goal back when good play down the left wing saw Michael Cunningham cross it in for Aron Handakas, but his volley bounced wide of the mark. The visitors were slowly finding their feet and Anthony Rizk forced debutant Fraser Chalmers into a solid save.
Northcote raced out of the blocks after the break, and it was half-time substitute Todd Dekker who made the difference, winning a penalty after being taken down in the box, with Bounas making no mistake from the spot.
The Knights re-grouped and a flurry of chances saw them almost restore a two-goal advantage, with a powerful effort by McGarry deflected out, before a Milan Batur header was cleared off the line.
A nervous ending to the contest saw Dekker get in behind the defence and appeal for a penalty after a challenge in the box, but the referee waved play on and the hosts eventually held on for a vital victory.
Port Melbourne "Sharks" Soccer Club 0 South Melbourne FC 2 (Jawadi 6' Adams 24') | U20: 2-4
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A rampant South Melbourne made it three straight wins and 12 unanswered goals with a professional away performance against Port Melbourne Sharks. It was looking ominous early when Iqi Jawadi netted a rocket after just six minutes, leaving in-form keeper Stjepan Gal no chance in goals. Luke Adams doubled the lead soon after, finishing off Nick Epifano’s pinpoint cross. While both sides exchanged opportunities in the second period, the scoreline remained unchanged to secure South’s 2-0 win.
Following a scoreless first half, the contest between two sides looking for their first win in 2016 exploded in the second with four goals and a red card. Oakleigh looked like being on their way to victory with a goal straight after the restart to Dimi Hatzimouratis, before Dusan Bosnjak capitalised on some sloppy defensive work to double the lead a minute later. Hamlet Armenian pegged one back with less than half an hour remaining following a horror mix up at the back, and a red card to Cannons substitute Perry Lambropoulos in the 75th - just two minutes after coming on - minute allowed the visitors to pile on the pressure and equalise in added time via Alex Caniglia.
Following this result, both teams sit on four points after three games with a win, draw and defeat each. While Bulleen had to weather an early storm in the first period, Will Abbott helped his side pip the lead by pouncing on a loose ball in the box. Victory kept pushing and the equaliser came with 15 minutes to go via George Howard, who tapped home Sebastian Pasquali's initial shot which rebounded off the woodwork. Last week’s hero Sami Nour was denied from point blank range late, as both sides settled for a point each.
Green Gully S.C 3 (Boland 16' Krousouratis 50' Vargas 52') Avondale FC 0 | U20: 3-0
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Green Gully kick-started their season with a win over Avondale, who are still looking for their first points of the season. Prolific scorer Liam Boland got proceedings going with a neat finish when the visitors couldn’t clear their lines following a Tomas Murphy long throw-in. Nick Krousoratis and Roddy Vargas added two more in as many minutes in the second half, the former latching onto a long pass from midfield, while the evergreen latter tapped in at the back post from Yohei Iwasaki’s delivery.
This clash between two of the competition’s usual entertainers ended in a cagey stalemate. Theo Markelis and Kym Harris had early chances for the hosts saved by Ryan Scott. The visitors had the ball in the back of the net twice throughout the game via Chris Lucas and Wayne Wallace, but both goals were chalked off for offside in the build-up
Heidelberg United FC 1 (Way 41') Pascoe Vale FC 0 | U20: 1-2
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Heidelberg made it two on trot to instill some momentum to their season, at the same bringing the high-flying Pascoe Vale down to Earth. It was Reuben Way who scored the winner just before half time, as Paco’s back four couldn’t deal with Kenny Athiu’s stinging shot, with Way pouncing in the box. The Bergers defence then stood tall against the surprisingly lacklustre visitors, claiming a vital three points.
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