Oakleigh, South Melbourne and Heidelberg all dropped points in round 18 of the Victorian Premier League, as the season draws to a close.

With nine of the league’s 12 teams vying for finals contention, each match is crucial for the championship hopefuls.

The Oakleigh Cannons suffered a major set back after losing to third-from-bottom Richmond Eagles at Jack Edwards Reserve on Friday night, 3-1.

The loss was a blow to the Cannon’s ambitions of appearing in the VPL finals, as the season winds down to its final matches.

Oakleigh is currently in 8th spot with 26 points after 18 matches, with four games to play.

They are just two points outside the top five with four matches to play.

Meanwhile, second placed South Melbourne were held to a 1-1 draw at home by sixth placed Green Gully.

The away side took the lead just after half time, after what appeared to be an error by South custodian Tommi Tomich. But South hit back, getting a deserved equaliser through Sebastian Petrovich shortly after.

Though Gully pressed occasionally, the final 30 minutes belonged to South. Vaughan Coveny appeared to  put South 2-1 when he scored from close range after Francesco Stella acrobatics forced the Green Gully goalie into a save.

But the referee’s assistant called it offside, to the bewilderment of the 1000 fans in attendance.

South should have had a penalty after substitute Sam Torrens was pulled down by the shirt inside the penalty box, but the referee waved play on.

Green Gully, somehow, held on to the draw to earn a crucial point. South remain in second place, 8 points adrift of first placed Dandenong who defeated Whittlesea Zebras 3-2.

Heidelberg United crashed to an away defeat as they went down 3-2 to Melbourne Knights, who appear to be making a late charge towards the finals.
The Bergers remain in fifth place, with 28 points.

Next week in Round 19, South Melbourne is at home to Hume City in a crunch match on Saturday 26 of July, while Oakleigh is at home to top five placed side, Altona Magic and Heidelberg host fellow finals contenders Green Gully.