The second round of the NPL Championship began in the same way that the first round ended, with the Cannons and South Melbourne displaying their strength and earning three more points, continuing their “marathon” towards the title.

Green Gully – Oakleigh Cannons

Last year’s champions cruised to a 1-2 victory at the inhospitable home of Green Gully. The visitors opened the scoring in the 15th minute through Wade Dekker.

Chris Taylor’s well-tuned football machine circulated the ball exquisitely from the defensive line to the attacking line. Clark found himself on the left wing and passed a parallel ball to Dekker, who had no trouble shaking the nets of the opposition goalkeeper from close range.

The home team increased their tempo after the “Cannons” opened the score, putting pressure on the “Greek” team’s defense and eventually managing to level the match in the 37th minute, thanks to a beautiful individual effort by Adolph Koudalpo.

Fury-filled, the visitors refused to give up and continued to search for the goal. In the 67th minute, their perfect offensive development on the grass paid off with a golden goal. A foul on the left of the “green” area was won by the “champions”, and Wellsmore’s execution set the ball up at Anton Mlinaric’s feet. From an advantageous position, he scored the winning goal for his team, securing a great victory for the “Greek” club and keeping them within breathing distance of South Melbourne and Avondale.

Moreland – South Melbourne

An equally important away win was also achieved by South Melbourne. The historic club went 0-2 away from home against Moreland, continuing to share the top of the league with ‘Italian’ Avondale.

Patrick Langlois scored the 0-1 for the “Greek” club in the 45th minute of the match, with an assist credited to this year’s outstanding Ajak Riak, who found Langlois with a brilliant headed pass.

Langlois was the scorer of the second goal for the Cannons in the 55th minute. He found himself facing the goalkeeper of the home team and, with a powerful shot, sent the ball into the back of the net.

South Melbourne demonstrated their ambition to win the title this year with an immensely important victory.

North Geelong Warriors – Bentleigh Greens

Bentleigh achieved a great away win this weekend. The “Greens” who were playing with ten men from the 78th minute, showed their best form at the most appropriate time, winning over North Geelong with a score of 1-2.

The goals for Pancyprios were scored by Carrigan in the 31st minute and Abandelwa in the 65th minute. These golden three points give the “Cypriots” hope for the continuation of the championship.

Avondale – Port Melbourne

Port Melbourne fell short against Avondale. The “Greek” team defended well, making it difficult for the “Italians” showing that they could compete with the teams at the top of the table, but ultimately succumbed after a goal by Brice in the 57th minute.

Despite the loss, the Red and Blues remained fifth in the table, nine points behind the Melbourne Knights. However, the good face the team showed in one of the most difficult stadiums in the league was of greater importance.

Dandenong Thunder – Heidelberg United

Heidelberg had another difficult weekend. United experienced an away defeat at the home of Thunder, in Dandenong. Although the “Yellow and Yellow” managed to take the lead with Theodorakopoulos in the 50th minute, they conceded two goals and eventually left the field with their heads bowed.

Heidelberg failed to convince that it can win matches in venues like the one of the “Albanians” this year, despite showing a somewhat better face than it had in the last few months.

The NPL2

Brunswick City was dealt a blow as they lost 0-1 at home to Dandenong, squandering the opportunity they had to move up a place or two in the standings.

Northcote also had a disappointing weekend. The “Greek” team lost 2-1 at Melbourne City’s home.

The NPL3

Box Hill United drew 1-1 against Essendon. The “Greek” club did not take advantage of the strength of its home ground, resulting in them staying in the lower tiers of the standings.

The State Leagues

Yarraville and Brimbank Stallion remained tied at 1-1 in a match that was largely decided by strength and duels in the midfield.

Malvern was unable to defeat Eltham, losing 2-1. The “Greek” team put up a fight, but eventually succumbed to the home team’s effective attacking play.

Springvale’s Aris returned to winning ways, beating Old Scotch more easily than the scoreline suggests with a 1-0 victory. With this win, the “Black and Yellow” stayed close to the top of the table, keeping their hopes of achieving something great in this season alive.

NPL – Results

Melbourne Knights – St Albans Saints 4 – 1 (26′ L. Kolic, 38′ J. Phelps, 70′ C. Bramwell, 74′ C. Dib [A] – 72′ S. Whyte [A])

Green Gully – Oakleigh Cannons 1 – 2 (37′ A. Koudakpo – 15′ W. Dekker, 68′ A. Mlinaric)

Avondale – Port Melbourne Sharks 1 – 0 (57′ A. Brice)

Moreland City – South Melbourne 0 – 2 (45′ P. Langlois, 55′ P. Langlois)

North Geelong Warriors – Bentleigh Greens 1 – 2 (67′ C. Fleming – 31′ B. Carrigan, 65′ M. Abandelwa)

Hume City – Altona Magic 1 – 0 (86′ Y. Mustafa)

Dandenong Thunder – Heidelberg United 2 – 1 (63′ G. Lino, 86′ G. Damen [P] – 49′ Theodorakopoulos)

Cannons remain close to the top Photo: Con Deves

NPL – Table

1. South Melbourne 14 37

2. Avondale 14 37

3. Oakleigh Cannons 14 32

4. Melbourne Knights 14 30

5. Port Melbourne 14 21

6. Dandenong Thunder 14 19

7. Green Gully 14 18

8. Hume City 14 17

9. Altona Magic 14 17

10. St Albans Saints 14 13

11. Heidelberg United 14 13

12. Bentleigh Greens 14 9

13. Moreland City 14 9

14. North Geelong 14 7

NPL2 – Results

Pascoe Vale – Preston Lions 0 – 1

Werribee City – Brunswick Juventus 1 – 1

Brunswick City – Dandenong City 0 – 1

Eastern Lions – Western United (Y) 0 – 2

Melbourne City (Y) – Northcote City 2 – 1

Kingston City – Langwarrin*

Bulleen Lions – Manningham United Blues *

*These matches will be held on Monday (22/05) afternoon.

NPL2 – Table

1. Preston Lions 14 27

2. Western United (Y) 14 27

3. Eastern Lions 14 24

4. Kingston City 13 23

5. Dandenong 14 23

6. Northcote City 14 20

7. Manningham 13 19

8. Langwarrin 13 19

9. Werribee 14 19

10. Melbourne City (Y) 14 19

11. Pascoe Vale 14 17

12. Brunswick City 14 17

13. Brunswick Juventus 14 11

14. Bulleen 13 10

NPL3 – Results

Box Hill United – Essendon Royals 1 – 1

North Sunshine Eagles – Doveton 0 – 1

Nunawading – Beaumaris 2 – 1

Caroline Springs George Cross – Ballarat City 7 – 0

Geelong – Goulburn Valley Suns 2 – 1

Melbourne Victory (Y) – Boroondara Eagles 3 – 0

NPL3 – Table

1. Melbourne Victory (Y) 10 25

2. Nunawading 10 21

3. North Sunshine 10 19

4. Goulburn Suns 10 17

5. Caroline Springs 10 16

6. Boroondara 10 14

7. Geelong 10 14

8. Doveton 10 13

9. Beaumaris 10 11

10. Box Hill 10 11

11. Essendon 10 9

12. Ballarat 10 1