By Craig MacKenzie
ROSEBUD Heart maintained its push towards a maiden championship by smashing arch rival Baxter 5-0 in their State 5 South showdown at Baxter Park on Saturday.
Baxter has been smarting ever since losing 4-2 to the champion elect earlier in the season in a fiery encounter that saw two Baxter players sent off for violent conduct.
Baxter thought that it was the better side that day and few at the club could have anticipated Saturday’s whitewash.
Heart star Dave Greening missed two chances in the opening 20 minutes but in the 40th minute made no mistake from a tight angle after Simon O’Donnell’s shot had been parried by Baxter keeper Daniel D’Alfonso.
Two superb saves by Heart custodian Sean Skelly kept Baxter at bay in the remaining minutes of the half.
A Blake Hicks corner in the 50th minute led to Daniel Hodge bundling the ball over the line to make it 2-0 and six minutes later a Hicks free-kick forced Baxter defender Heath Goss into a lunging clearance resulting in an own goal.
Greening completed his hat-trick in the 61st and 87th minutes.
The State 1 South-East clash between Mooroolbark and Mornington was called off due to the state of Esther Park.
The reserves game went ahead on the main pitch rendering it unplayable for the seniors.
Langwarrin had to settle for a 1-1 draw at home against title-chasing Manningham United in Saturday’s State 1 South East fixture.
Injury and suspensions sidelined John Guthrie, Sam Scott, Boris Ovcin, Grant Lane and Dylan Kilner forcing Langy boss Gus Macleod to field five under-21 players in the youngest senior line-up in his 18-year reign at the club.
In a first half dominated by a strong wind, Caleb Nicholes was again the difference scoring after six minutes with Koray Suat doing the strong build-up work.
It was the Langy of old as the home side bullied, chased and forced Manningham into numerous desperate clearances.
Manningham keeper Stefan Talevski kept the home side at bay with three first-class saves and by denying Nicholes a first-half hat-trick.
Manningham hit back in the second half but just when it looked like Langy had weathered the onslaught visiting coach Alfredo Constantino brought on sub James Newman with 10 minutes to go and was rewarded two minutes later when Newman slotted home the equaliser after a defensive lapse in concentration.
Frankston Pines and Casey Comets had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Monterey Reserve in Saturday’s State 1 South-East clash.
Pines keeper James Laminski had a blinder and came out on top in three one-on-one situations.
Comets hit the lead five minutes before the interval with a tremendous header from defender Jesse Martindale, which was saved by Laminski only for the ball to hit Pines defender Ben Caffrey and cross over the goal line.
The second half was an end-to-end affair and Comets paid dearly for not putting this contest to bed when Josh Calle struck a low shot in the 89th minute that nabbed a point for Pines.
CJ Hodgson took over from Kyle Crawford as Pines captain. Crawford is relocating to New Zealand after the next two matches.
Harry McCartney reports that Seaford United recorded an important 2-0 home win over Doveton in their State 2 South-East clash last weekend.
Doveton’s colourful keeper, Stuart Webster, was relieved to see that Seaford’s leading striker, Dylan Waugh, was out with injury, but the Tigers showed that they were not a one-man band, with Josh Tsung and Mitch Lander pressuring Webster at every opportunity early in the first half, but to no avail.
Late in the half the wind picked up and was at Seaford’s back in the second stanza.
In the 50th minute Doveton allowed midfielder Ivan Delgado to charge forward before striking a fierce shot from just over 25 metres sending the ball flying past Webster who was left lamenting the lack of pressure from the Doveton midfield.
In a reversal from the first half Seaford was now the more dominant strike force and its positive approach paid off in the 75th minute with Lander sliding onto a Nick Ormond cross to score under an advancing Webster to make it 2-0.
The longer this contest went the more frustrated Doveton appeared and in the end this was a fine win for Seaford as it fights to avoid relegation.
Peninsula Strikers and North Caulfield drew 1-1 in their State 2 South-East clash at Centenary Park on Sunday.
Tommy Hawkins scored for Strikers in the 4th minute, Oran Harel equalised in the 55th minute and the visitors missed a penalty in the 94th minute.
Skye United hammered Endeavour United 6-0 away from home in Saturday’s State League 4 South encounter to surge back to the top of the table after a series of draws.
The contest was over by half-time with Skye 5-0 up.
Alex Roberts opened the scoring with a far post header from a Daniel Attard cross in the 10th minute.
Braces to Attard and Nick Theodore put Endeavour out of its misery.
A Michael Putson strike from outside the area in the second half completed the scoreline.
Skye has added to its first team squad with the signatures of former player-coach Darren Roberts and former player Andrew Meimarakis.
This Saturday Skye’s season is on the line when it hosts third-placed Noble Park.
NEXT WEEKEND’S GAMES – Saturday, 6 August, 3pm:
- Mornington v Warragul Utd (Dallas Brooks Park)
- Langwarrin v Morwell Pegasus (Lawton Park)
- Manningham Utd Blues v Frankston Pines (Wilson Road Reserve)
- Seaford Utd v Heatherton Utd (North Seaford Reserve)
- Sandringham v Peninsula Strikers (Sillitoe Reserve)
- Skye Utd v Noble Park (Skye Recreational Reserve)
- Rosebud Heart v Sandown Lions (Truemans Road Recreation Reserve)
- White Star Dandenong v Baxter (Greaves Reserve)