A wonderful strike on the half volley from Heidelberg United striker Kenny Athiu decided last week’s big NPL 1 Greek derby against reigning Champion South Melbourne. Compared to last season’s clashes, it was an uncharacteristically low scoring affair between two under performing teams indicative of their struggle to find the net of late.
The timely win boosted the Bergers into fourth spot ahead of Friday’s away derby at Oakleigh Cannons, which is undefeated going into the game, following a fourth draw in a row, at home to league leader Avondale FC.
For South, the loss continues a winless start to the season. The Lakesiders have lost their last three matches, the first time since season 2013 that South has lost three on the trot. The team is obviously missing its home ground and will have to venture away from home once again this weekend when it visits newly promoted cellar dweller St Albans Saints on Sunday afternoon. Of some concern to South coach Chris Taylor, is the goal drought of the last three weeks. South’s avenues to goal seem to have dried up, with winger Epifano suspended for five weeks, and playmaker Marcus Schroen seemingly out of sorts, serial Golden Boot winner Milos Lujic has been starved of goal scoring opportunities. Sunday’s match against bottom side Saints looms as a crucial match for South.
Port Melbourne Sharks promising start to the season, built on sound defence, hit a road bump last week with a 4-2 home loss to Green Gully. The Sharks twice led in the first half through goals to Obradovic and Govas, but were pegged back both times before the Gully scored twice in the second half to inflict Port’s first home loss of the season. On Saturday the 9th placed Sharks travel to Geelong to take on 12th placed North Geelong Warriors.
Monday night at the Grange, sees Kingston City aiming to claim a second big scalp in succession when it hosts a strong Hume City outfit. Last week, an undefeated Kingston won for the first time this season through second half strikes to Velibor Mitrovic and sub Slaven Vranesevic who scored with virtually his first touch after coming in with 15 minutes remaining. Kingston will be bracing itself for the encounter with a strong Hume outfit on the rebound from a 2-3 home loss to Bentleigh Greens last week.
In NPL 2 action, Northcote City is aiming to extend its remarkable winning start to the season when it travels to Dandenong Thunder on Saturday evening for another cross conference encounter. Last weekend Northcote City inflicted a first defeat of the season for Box Hill United with a strong 3-0 win through goals to Alec Goodwin, Peter Sawan and Matthew Whateley.
City comes up against a Thunder side which has drawn its last two matches and may be without defensive lynchpin Simon Colossimo who came off with muscle soreness in last week’s thrilling 3-3 home draw against Moreland City.
Last weekend Brunswick City bounced back with a strong 4-2 away win at Nunawading City, and on Saturday hosts Richmond SC.
Meanwhile Box Hill United travels to Whittlesea Ranges on Saturday, still in search of its first win of the season.