One of the more sensational results of the season was an hour in the making at Kevin Barlett Reserve as Richmond turned a 3-1 deficit into a 6-3 win with five second-half goals.
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Bentleigh Greens Soccer Club 2 (Dixon 40' Thurtell 50') Oakleigh Cannons FC 3 (Piemonte 19' Hatzimouratis 52' Bosnjak 83')
Oakleigh Cannons recorded an upset 3-2 win against rivals Bentleigh Greens at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex on Friday night.
The visitors took the lead through Dean Piemonte but found themselves behind after two strikes either side of the break from Daniel Dixon and Matt Thurtell gave the hosts the edge. Undeterred by the setback, Oakleigh rallied and were on level terms thanks to Dimitri Hatzimouratis before a Dusan Bosnjak goal late on sparked euphoria on the Cannons bench and away end.
The undefeated home side began the game on the front foot and were thwarted early on by Oakleigh goalkeeper John Honos who did well to deny Jack Webster and Thurtell from opening the scoring with two fine saves.
Nick Epifano's early goal was cancelled out by Nicolas Niagioran but it looked like the equaliser had only served to spark South Melbourne into action as Epfiano and Lujic again scored in the ensuring 10 minutes.
However the second half would dramatically swing Richmond's way when Niagioran made it two on debut and Nick Kokolakis equalised within three minutes. Jake Barker-Daish would come back to haunt his former team with a double while a red card for Niagioran would not open the door to a South comeback, instead Richmond scored again in stoppage time through Liam Flynn.
Luca Santilli and David Stirton exchanged goals in the first hour before a double red-card incident in the 66th minute had tempers flaring. Lambros Honos and Nathan Megic were both given their marching orders after a coming together. Jamie de Abreu's goal pinched all three points for Port Melbourne, while Pascoe Vale suffered more late pain as Davey van 't Schip was red carded in stoppage time.
An open exchange of attacking chances failed to yield more than one goal as Jason Hicks' strike before half time proved the difference at Knights Stadium.
Hicks scored after bringing down a cross from the right by Nick Glavan, steadying on the ball and sending a low shot to the left side of the target which proved too hot to handle for Bulleen goalkeeper Griffin McMaster.
McMaster was sharp to deny Chris Talajic a chance to double the lead in the second half, while opposing goalkeeper Fraser Chalmers was a stand-out for Knights.
A goal of the year contender from Reuben Way was the highlight of a convincing Heidelberg Untied win. Sean Ellis' return from injury yielded his first PS4 NPL goal of the season before Way's scissor kick doubled the advantage in the second half. Kenny Athiu secured the points mid-way through the second half to leave Avondale at the foot of the table, still seeking their first point of the campaign.
Green Gully piled on the pain for Northcote City with a break-through goal on 30 minutes triggering a one-way procession to a 5-0 win. Anthony Rizk had volleyed a chance just wide of the right post for Northcote when the game was 0-0.
Nick Krousouratis controlled a high bouncing clearance from Rani Dowisha on 30 minutes then turned to dribble through the Northcote defence and finish for the opening goal. Krousouratis would net a hat-trick by the 53rd minute while Liam Boland netted a double.
Hume City capitalised on two defensive mistakes from Melbourne Victory on its way to a 3-0 victory at Epping Stadium on Saturday.
Daniel Clark fired a brace for the victors, either side of a Nick Hegarty penalty, as Hume City moved equal on points with ladder leaders South Melbourne and Bentleigh Greens after five rounds of the NPL campaign.
The trio are two points ahead of Green Gully on the table, with Hume making the most of shock losses for South Melbourne (6-3 against Richmond) and Bentleigh (3-2 against Oakleigh) during a feast of Easter football across the state.
The result sets the scene for a blockbuster contest between Hume City and South Melbourne at ABD Stadium this Saturday night, while Victory next faces Bentleigh away from home.
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