NPL Victoria: Round Three Wrap

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Goals and plenty of them were on the menu in Round Three of the NPL Victoria. South Melbourne stormed to the top of the table while last year champs Northcote are still searching for their first points of the new season, as new boys Ballarat Red Devils and Werribee City enjoyed surprise away wins.
 
Congratulations are in order for South Melbourne’s Milos Lujic with the striker netting the first ever NPL Victoria hat-trick as he put three goal past Green Gully after just 26 minutes.
 
Port Melbourne 2 (Grossman 15’, Milicevic 59’)
Oakleigh Cannons 2 (Christodoulou 28’, Piemonte 62’)
JL Murphy Reserve
 
Oakleigh Cannons came from behind on two occasions to deny Port Melbourne their first win for the season to kick off the round on Friday Evening.
 
Port Melbourne Skipper Chris Grossman got the home side off to a perfect start as he was on the end of a perfect Kamal Ibrihim free kick after just 15 minutes. Evan Christodoulou got in on the captains scoring goals bandwagon as he headed his side back on level terms in the 28th minute.
 
Andrew Milicevic gave the home side the lead once more in the 59th minute with a cracking long range strike, only for Dean Piemonte to again draw Oakleigh level just three minutes later.
 
Port Melbourne’s search for their first NPL win will take them all the way to Shepparton as they take on new comers Goulburn Valley Suns while Oakleigh return home on Friday night to take on Green Gully.
 
Bentleigh Greens 1 (McGrath 55’)
Pascoe Vale 1 (Youseff 8’)
Kingston Heath Soccer Complex
 
 
A Joseph Youseffheader after just eight minutes gave Pascoe Vale the perfect start against last year’s beaten Grand Finalist Bentleigh Greens in the other Friday night fixture.
 
Despite the early setback, the Greens dominated the match from start to finish and would have been mighty disappointed to only take a point of the match.
 
Brent McGrath got Bentleigh back on level ground in the 55th minute with a tidy finish from the one time Socceroo.
 
Bentleigh will look to make amends for this missed opportunity as they travel west to take on Werribee City on Sunday afternoon, while Pascoe Vale will take on reigning champs Northcote City on Friday night.
 
Green Gully 3 (Sanders 47’, 49’, R. Vargas 90+1’)
South Melbourne 5 (Lujic 5’, 15’, 26’, Reed 31’, Minopoulos 90+4’)
Green Gully Reserve
 
In a crazy afternoon of football, South Melbourne climbed to the top of the table as they toppled Green Gully 5-3.
 
Seven goals, two red cards and the first NPL Victoria hat-trick to South Melbourne’s Milos Lujic capped off a remarkable 90 minutes of football at Green Gully Reserve.
 
South Melbourne raced to a 4-0 half time lead only for Green Gully to pull themselves together in the second half and amazingly get within one goal of the visitors. The comeback proved to be in vain as Leigh Minopoulos put the result out of reach in the fourth minute of added time.
 
South Melbourne next take on Hume City as they look to keep their position on top of the standings while Green Gully will take on Oakleigh Cannons away. 
 
Northcote City 1 (Dekker 57’)
Ballarat Red Devils 3 (Swinton 31′, Karras 36′, S.Romein 76′)
John Cain Memorial Park
 
Defending champions Northcote City are remarkably still searching for their first points of the season as they were surprisingly held to a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Ballarat.
 
Two goals in five minutes sent the Red Devils on their way late into the first half with strikes to Dom Swinton and Pat Karras to make it 2-0 after 36 minutes.
 
Northcote City did manage to strike first in the second half through Wade Dekker in the minute but hopes of a comeback were dashed in the 76thminute as Shaun Romein secured Ballarat’s second win of the season.
 
Ballarat will once again be on the road in round four to take on Heidelberg United while Northcote will next face Pascoe Vale.
 
Dandenong Thunder 1 (Mulcahy 20’)
Hume City 0
George Andrews Reserve
 
Dandenong Thunder continued their undefeated start to the season with a 1-0 win over the visiting Hume City on Saturday night.
 
Alan Mulcahy opened the scoring with a cracking long range effort in the 20th minute which would prove to be the match winner.
 
Hume City were luckless in front of goal in this match as chance after chance went begging. Content with their one goal lead, Dandenong went into defensive mode after Mulcahy’s goal with their strong defensive effort frustrating Hume.
 
Hume City host South Melbourne next weekend while Dandenong Thunder will face Melbourne Knights.
 
Goulburn Valley Suns 2 (Carley 3′ pen, 90’+3 pen.)
Heidelberg United 6 (Petrie 16′, Heffernan 26′, McGough 38′, Sheppard 47′, 71′, Kanakaris 48′)
McEwen Reserve
 
Shepparton hosted another high scoring match with Heidelberg United punishing Goulburn Valley Suns 6-2.
 
The Suns were dreaming of three points in third minute with Craig Carley converting from the penalty spot to give the home side an early lead.
 
It was all one way traffic from that moment on however as Heidelberg poured on six unanswered goals in a dominate display.
 
Three goals in each half did the business for United with Kaine Sheppard bagging a brace.
Goulburn Valley will be at home again next weekend to take on Port Melbourne while Heidelberg will face another regional club as they host Ballarat Red Devils.
 
Melbourne Knights 1 (McGarry 53′)
Werribee City 2 (Cudrig 85′, Filipovic 87′ pen.)
Knights Stadium
 
Werribee City are proving to be the surprise packet of the NPL Victoria season as they claimed an upset 2-1 win over Melbourne Knights on Sunday afternoon.
 
Fresh from defeating Hume City last round, Werribee claimed their second win on the bounce, leaving it late to claim the points.
 
James McGarry opened the scoring in the 53rd minute for the Knights with a well-timed header.
 
As the match drew to its end with the Knights seemingly in control, defender Steven Cudrig bagged his second goal in as many weeks in the 85th minute to draw Werribee level.
 
The shocks didn’t end there with Werribee were awarded a penalty in the 87th minute that ex-Knight Ryan Filipovic converted to give the Bees a surprise win.
 
Werribee will look to continue their hot form as they host Bentleigh Greens on Sunday afternoon while Melbourne Knights will take on Dandenong Thunder at home.

 

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