VPL: Melbourne Knights surprise Oakleigh

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BENTLEIGH GREENS – RICHMOND EAGLES 2-3
Richmond have kept their slim hopes of finals football alive with a 2-3 victory away to finals chasers Bentleigh Greens. A Wilford own goal handed the visitors the lead in the early stages of the contest, however Ryan De Vries managed to pull one back with a great solo effort in the 34th minute to ensure the scores were level heading into the break. In the opening stages of the second half, a Ferrante penalty gave Richmond the lead, although it was short lived as only five minutes later in the 52nd minute an error by the Richmond defence gave Gwyther a chance to get the hosts back on level terms. With ten minutes gone in the second half, a third goal was scored as the visitors found the net yet again through a Timmy Purcell tap in. This time there was no equaliser for Bentleigh as Richmond took the three points.

OAKLEIGH CANNONS – MELBOURNE KNIGHTS 0-1
Melbourne Knights have won their first away game of the season, with a surprise 0-1 victory over second-placed and one of the finals favourites Oakleigh Cannons. After a goalless first half Kayne Vincent was fouled in the eighteen-yard box gifting the visitors an opportunity to open the scoring, which young striker Jacob Colosimo took full advantage off as he stepped up to convert the resulting penalty. The much needed victory gives the Knights a slight chance of finals footbal although the focus will be to ensure and build towards next season.

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For the home side it was a disappointing display against an opponent where anything but a win would have been considered disappointing.

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GREEN GULLY – DANDENONG THUNDER 1-0
Green Gully have climbed to fourth on the VPL standings after grabbing a vital one-nil victory over Dandenong Thunder. In the first half of the contest the windy conditions heavily favoured the home side, who went on the attack ahead of the break.

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With six minutes remaining before the half-time whistle, the home side took the lead through Hayne, who scored into the empty net after Sanders one on one effort was saved by Thunder ‘keeper Stuart Webster. In the second period, it was the visiting side’s turn to up the tempo and go on the attack, making several attacks in the Gully box however with no effort to test goalkeeper Roganovic. The closest the Thunder came to scoring was through young midfielder Mathew Theodore who managed to hit the crossbar with a lobbed strike on goal. Despite the effort by Dandenong in the latter stages Green Gully held their own and came away with vital three points.

SOUTH MELBOURNE – ST.ALBANS SAINTS 1-0
South Melbourne managed to grab a one-nil victory against the eleventh placed Saints in a entertaining contest in which the visitors could not make use of their chances. The home side began to gain more of the possession however to no avail, as their chances were few and the scores remained goalless heading into the break. It did not take long for the first goal of the match, as early in the second half Steven Weir rounded ‘keeper Pavlovic and with a simple tap in broke the hearts of Saints players and fans alike. Late on in the half the visitors made a surge in search of an equaliser, however it was too little too late as South Melbourne hung on for all three points.

SPRINGVALE – HUME CITY 1-2
Hume City escaped with a win to stay atop the Victorian Premier League in a dramatic clash against Springvale. It only took the visitors three minutes to open the scoring, Richie Cardozo finding the net with a well struck free kick. Altough both sides had their chances, Hume held the lead heading into the break. Early in the second period, a mix up in the City defence allowed Dominic D’Angelo to find the back of the net and level the scores. Hume restored its lead with fifteen minutes remaining , as this time Springvale goalkeeper Bojo Jevdjevic allowed a cross to slip through his fingers to the feet of Isiyan Erdogan who simply had to tap in to give the visitors the lead. There was more drama that followed, as the home side were awarded a penalty after goalscorer Erdogan earned himself a red-card after elbowing Jason Corbett. Zoran Vukas stepped up to take the penalty, however goalkeeper Ljupce Acevski dived to his right to produce a fantastic save and ensure Hume came away with the three points.

HEIDELBERG UNITED – NORTHCOTE CITY 2-1
Heidelberg United defeated local rivals Northcote City for the first time in the VPL with a 2-1 victory at Olympic Village. After an hour of drama – with both sides creating plenty of chances – Heidelberg’s Saso Aleksovski opened the scoring with a powerful strike from thirty yards out leaving goalkeeper Theodoridis- Petropoulos stunned. Only five minutes later the home side doubled their advantage as a low cross by Hamlet Armenian was easily tapped in by Shaun Mcilroy. Northcote however pulled one back in the 69th minute through a James Kalifatidis spot kick to ensure a tense final twenty minutes. A comeback was not to be as the home side hung on to grab all three points and defeat its local rivals.

1. Hume City 19 11 6 2 43:21 39
2. Oakleigh Cannons 20 11 3 6 35:26 36
3. South Melbourne 20 10 4 6 32:28 34
4. Heidelberg United 19 10 5 4 40:19 32
5. Green Gully 19 9 3 7 36:23 30
6. Bentleigh Greens 20 8 6 6 30:24 30
7. Northcote City 19 8 5 6 44:29 29
8. Dandenong Thunder 18 9 4 5 33:22 25*
9. Melbourne Knights 19 6 6 7 29:25 24
10. Richmond 19 7 3 9 26:35 24
11. St.Albans Saints 20 3 3 14 24:47 12
12. Springvale 20 2 6 12 19:52 12
13. VTC Football 18 4 0 14 21:61 12

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