A wrap up of all of the games from Round 9 of PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria.
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Pascoe Vale 1 (van’t Schip 53’) Bentleigh Greens 4 (Ruthven 20’, Webster 36’, Wallace 50’, Lucas 82’)
Pascoe Vale are still without a win since Round 2 after falling to Bentleigh at CB Smith Reserve on Friday night. The away side spurned an early chance to take the lead when Matt Thurtell saw his penalty rebound off the upright, but didn’t have to wait long as a 30-yard Troy Ruthven free kick arrowed into the bottom corner.
Further set piece goals from Jack Webster and Wayne Wallace early in the second half seemed to have put the match to bed before Davey van’t Schip’s well taken first touch and finish sparked a revival of sorts for Vitale Ferrante’s side. However as they pushed for a second, Paco were eventually caught out at the back again with Chris Lucas sealing all three points for Bentleigh.
Northcote City 1 (Bounas 44’) Bulleen Lions 1 (Barresi 26’)
Goran Lozanovski’s first match back as Head Coach sparked a positive change in City who started with plenty of possession. Bulleen were missing Takanori Nishimoto and Sami Nour but debutant Joshua Barresi filled their boots with a superb finish with the outside of his left foot to put Dom Barba’s side ahead against the run of play.
Northcote rallied as Aaron Ward struck the crossbar before a stunning Jonathan Bounas free kick levelled things up just before half time. The best chance of the second half fell to Roddy Covarrubias who had his shot saved by Phil Petrovski as two yellow cards to skipper Greg Lombardo saw him dismissed and Northcote hold on for a point.
Melbourne Knights 1 (Glavan 78’) Oakleigh Cannons 3 (Bosnjak 11’, Piemonte 24’, Hatzimouratis 50’)
While a win for either side would move them into the top six, Knights and Oakleigh also had an FFA Cup tie against each other in the coming days to keep in mind. The Cannons stunned the hosts with two early goals and were cruising at 3-0 five minutes into the second half, with Nick Glavan’s goal not enough to prevent a first loss at Somers St this season for Andrew Marth's side.
Port Melbourne Sharks 1 (Honos 18’) Avondale FC 2 (Khrapko 7’, Sanders 45’)
Avondale continued its surge up the table with an impressive third consecutive league win. Oleksiy Khrapko, coming off a hat-trick in the FFA Cup, put the visitors ahead before Lambros Honos struck back quickly for Port with his second in two games. However Mat Sanders was at hand late in the first half to tuck home a free kick which would prove to be the winner.
Green Gully 1 (Christodoulou 32’) Hume City 0
Evan Christodoulou’s third goal in a fortnight was all Green Gully needed to take three points against Hume City on Saturday afternoon as they hold onto fourth spot on the ladder. Roddy Vargas was out of Gully’s squad for this encounter, but coach Arthur Papas was able to welcome back striker Liam Boland.
Green Gully have now won four of their last five encounters and are beginning to pose a threat to the rest of the competition, conceding only one goal in their last seven outings.
Hume City slumped to their fourth loss of the year and drop into seventh position.
Heidelberg United 4 (Athiu 17’, Way 22’, Sheppard 65’, Noon 74’) Richmond 1 (Niagioran 39’)
This is fourth week in a row Heidelberg have scored four or more goals in a game, and the fifth in which they’ve scored three or more. It was the usual suspects who got on the scoresheet for the Bergers, with Kenny Athiu firing home his seventh strike of the season to take outright first position in the goal scoring tallies, but concern over his fitness will be the talking point throughout the week as the striker made his way from the field with an injury after scoring in the 17th minute.
Reuben Way doubled Heidelberg’s lead five minutes later, but Richmond found form late in the first half as they begun mounting challenges on the league heavyweights and received just rewards when Nicolas Niagioran half-volleyed his way onto the scoresheet at the end of the first half.
English pair Kaine Sheppard and Harry Noon, as they did last week, scored in the second half to secure the points for Heidelberg and stay a win away from South Melbourne on the table.
South Melbourne 1 (Lujic 60’) Melbourne Victory NPL 0
South Melbourne were unexpectedly given a stiff run for their money when they faced a ready Melbourne Victory team at the Lakeside Stadium on Sunday evening, but ultimately prevailed to continue their reign as league leaders in 2016 with a 1-0 win.
A cross-goal header from striker Milos Lujic provided the separator for the two sides on the hour mark, but the goal came as a moment of both joy and relief for South Melbourne after spurning a number of golden chances in the first half.
Matt Millar alone had three opportunities at goal all go to waste; twice the winger was played in down the right flank and into open space,yet on both occasions he either pulled the shot wide or simply let the chance pass him by, opting for a pass.
The 19-year-old also saw a shot crash off the crossbar, while Lujic and Marcus Schroen both had headers bounce inches wide of the upright – fans thinking they’d scored on each occasions.
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