The round 3 Victorian Premier League opener saw newcomers Bentleigh Greens hosting last year’s premiers Altona Magic. Both teams came into the match with two draws from their opening two matches meaning both were looking for their first win of the 2010 season.
After four years in State League 1, Bentleigh were eager to impress their fans and silence the critics.
Altona also had something to prove after a poor start to the season.
The match was even more special for the Greens as it was held on their newly renovated ground. The Federal and the Local Governmnet of Kingston funded the renovations by $3.2 million.
The ground is replete with a new 800 seat grand stand, coach boxes and state of the art electric scoreboard.
In front of a crowd of 700 people at the newly renovated Kingston Heath Soccer Facility it was the Greens who got their first win of the season taking the match 1-0 in an emotionally charged and entertaining encounter.
The wining goal came from the boot of Bentleigh striker Damir Lokvancic in the 45th minute.
The first half was extremely tight with both teams pressing hard in attack but defensive stamina holding sway.
A few uncomfortable saves from Bentleigh goalkeeper and captain Peter Gavales kept the Altona strikers at bay but not for a want of trying.
It was not until John Sapasovski completed an excellent cross into the box and with a little bit of luck and some wrong footing from the Altona goal keeper, Lokvancic was able to capitalise and tap the ball into the back of the net which would end up being the winning goal.
Both teams had their chances in the second half but it was the Greens who squandered the most lucrative of them.
A few poor choice passes and some unlucky shots meant that the second half destined to be scoreless and the defending premiers would walk away winless after three games and Bentleigh would secure their first top tier win in over four years.
The silver lining for teams was that their were no bookings and no severe injuries meaning both squads are available for next weeks matches.
Bentleigh next week travel to Sunshine Georgies on Sunday at the Knights Stadiumwhile Altona host last years State League 1 champions Northcote City also on Sunday at Paisley Park Soccer Complex.