By Craig MacKenzie
FRANKSTON Pines sacked Billy Rae as head coach last week and appointed assistant Paul Williams in his place.
When Rae took over at the end of the 2015 season he worked hard to bring Williams and goalkeeping coach Lee Davies to the club as his support staff.
Rae and the club also agreed to a two-year succession plan which would see Williams take over at the end of the current season.
Rae mentored Williams giving him a more hands-on role than that usually given to assistants.
But with Pines lying second bottom in State 2 South-East the committee decided to fast-forward the succession plan by elevating Williams to the senior role with Davies as his assistant.
The club also axed reserves coaches Richard Permal and Jack Thompson and offered Rae the reserves role which he rejected.
Davies now also looks after the reserves.
Prior to last week’s upheaval, the club sounded out Mornington assistant Dale Lewis and Bentleigh Greens under-20s coach Patrick Thompson without success and had canvassed a select group of senior players about the coaching set-up.
The committee claimed that there was confusion among the playing group as to who was in charge, a claim Rae vigorously rebuked.
“It had been explained to the players all along that I was giving Paul leeway to do things and they all knew I was leaving at the end of the year so I told the committee that any idea that there was confusion among the players was bullshit,” said Rae.
The Williams and Davies reign got off to a flyer with a 1-0 away win over Old Scotch on Saturday, a result which lifted Pines out of the relegation zone.
Sebastian Gueho’s flick on in the 24th minute sent Jack Wrobel through and he finished off the decisive move of the contest.
Pines have ended negotiations with Mauritian club AS Rivière du Rempart over the signing of international forward Christopher L’Enclume.
It is believed that the Mauritian club wants $6500 for L’Enclume but Pines were prepared to pay $2500.
L’Enclume has trained with Springvale White Eagles and Casey Comets but Comets coach Jamie Skelly confirmed on the weekend that his club would not be signing him.
Fellow South-East 2 outfits Peninsula Strikers and Seaford United both lost on Saturday, Strikers going down 1-0 away to Beaumaris while Seaford lost 3-2 at home to Eltham Redbacks.
A Grant Davies own goal as he was attempting a clearance separated the sides at Beaumaris Reserve but the big news from Centenary Park is that the club is negotiating with a player from Panama and has parted company with Italian import Leandro Parrella.
The Panamanian can play wide left or up front and Strikers contacted him through player agency Soccer Smart.
Parrella was one of three players imported for this season through Soccer Smart but his association with the club has ended on a sour note.
“As far as we’re concerned Leandro is trying to engineer a move to Werribee so he will never play for us again,” said Strikers gaffer Craig Lewis.
Harry McCartney reports that Eltham Redbacks opened the scoring in the 30th minute at North Seaford Reserve following a long ball downfield which prompted Seaford keeper Enes Umal to charge off his line only to lose a footrace with Matthew Filonzi who rounded the keeper and tapped the ball into the unguarded goal.
In the 58th minute, Eltham failed to deal with an Alex Roberts cross from the left and substitute Dylan Waugh got the final touch to make it 1-1.
Waugh’s attempted cross in the 85th minute took everyone by surprise as it made its way through a crowded penalty area into the bottom left-hand corner of the Eltham goal to make it 2-1.
Referee Yoav Fisher ruled that Eltham’s Dylan Colaci had got the final touch and he was credited with an own goal.
One minute into injury time referee Fisher pointed to the spot after the ball had struck a Seaford defender on the forearm and Gianni Falzon converted to make it 2-2.
But in the 93rd minute, Pierre Equipart broke the hearts of the home team’s fans with a superb strike that gave Umal no chance.
Langwarrin maintained its unbeaten record and still heads the State 1 South-East table after a 1-1 home draw with Manningham United on Saturday.
Langy’s gun striker Liam Baxter opened the scoring in the 31st minute but Franc Carafa levelled 11 minutes into the second stanza.
Langy defender John Guthrie was sent off after a second yellow card in the 65th minute and Carafa received a straight red in the 79th minute.
Manningham had the better of the second half and created enough opportunities late in the contest to have grabbed all three points.
Boris Ovcin (overseas) and Caleb Nicholes (interstate) are unavailable for Langwarrin’s derby showdown with Mornington next weekend.
Spectators at Dallas Brooks Park last Saturday are still trying to make sense of the final 11 madcap minutes of Mornington’s 3-3 draw with Caulfield City.
Ryan Paczkowski had arrived back in Melbourne just a few hours before kick-off after attending his grandfather’s funeral in England but he made Caulfield’s defence look like it was suffering from jetlag.
With four minutes gone he went to ground with Marcus Slimane’s hands on his shoulders and referee Hary Milas pointed to the spot.
Paczkowski converted with ease and he put Mornington in cruise control in the 37th minute with a sublime curled strike with his cultured left foot that had Caulfield custodian Dennys Martin clutching at thin air.
Four minutes into the second half Wayne Gordon burst through but Martin was able to smother then gather and a great chance had gone begging.
In the 78th minute, Oscar Knight went close to opening Caulfield’s account but his strike from inside the area forced Mornington keeper Kris McEvoy into a full-length dive to gather.
Caulfield’s fightback started in the 83rd minute when Joe Summerbell’s deep cross from the left was headed down firmly and inside the far post by Caulfield striker Cort Kibler-Melby.
In the 87th minute, Mario Hofmann was tripped inside the area and Summerbell converted the resultant penalty on the rebound to make it 2-2.
Caulfield fans were still congratulating each other when Mornington went forward straight from the restart and substitute Simon Mur’s opportunistic strike from 10 metres made it 3-2.
But Caulfield continued to press and Kibler-Melby got free in the 94th minute of an enthralling contest to complete the unlikely scoreline.
Skye United’s undefeated run in State 3 South-East ended on Saturday after a lacklustre performance at home against Noble Park United.
Skye found the lead early after Lawrence Komba capitalised on a defensive error in the 24th minute however the sides went into the half-time interval locked together after a deadly free-kick from Sasa Vranesevic in the 42nd minute.
Early in the second half Vranesevic struck again after he tapped in the rebound from his initial shot.
When Zlatko Stokic made it 3-1 after a well worked corner routine the game looked dead and buried but Komba gave the hosts hope after he headed home a Jason Nowakowski cross in the 63rd minute.
But Noble Park’s Leigh Karavasil made it 4-2 in the 70th minute after breaking through the Skye defence and slotting past Jonathon Crook.
Noble Park ended the game with nine men after Slavko Grujic was dismissed in the 78th minute and Dejan Karac received his marching orders two minutes later.
Rosebud Heart knocked Springvale City off the top of the State 4 South ladder with a stirring 4-3 home win on Saturday.
Dave Greening broke clear in the 25th minute and squared to Mikey Turner for the opener then Greening was put through after Daniel Hodge bravely won possession and Heart went in 2-0 up at the break.
Two minutes into the second half an Arnel Zahirovic volley following a corner made it 2-1 and a 57th-minute free kick by Damir Rizvic eluded Sean Skelly in the Heart goal for the leveller.
Heart then missed three one-on-ones before Turner raced clear and his parried shot was toe-poked home by Greening to restore Heart’s lead.
Springvale striker Graham Glynn made it 3-3 from the penalty spot but in the 89th minute Greening skipped clear of a defender and slotted home the winner.
It was his 100th goal for Heart in just 51 games.
Baxter beat Hampton Park United 3-2 at Baxter Park on Saturday with goals from Jake Kidder (25th minute), Heath Goss (40th) and Liam Kilner (47th).
Hampton Park’s scorers were Adrian Miranta (13th) and Daniel Milne (55th).
Miranta was sent off in the 77th minute for a second bookable offence while teammate Aziz Salim received a straight red in the 16th minute.
Somerville Eagles are anchored to the foot of the State 5 South ladder following Saturday’s 5-1 home loss to Bunyip Districts.
Stephan Mgoneh (2), Jody Cooper, Spencer Nebel and Fleming Isorua scored for Bunyip while Liam Morgan scored for Somerville.
This weekend’s games:
SATURDAY 3pm: Mornington v Langwarrin (Dallas Brooks Park), Peninsula Strikers v Heatherton Utd (Centenary Park), Beaumaris v Frankston Pines (Beaumaris Reserve), Old Scotch v Seaford Utd (H.A. Smith Reserve), Knox City v Skye Utd (Egan Lee Reserve), Harrisfield Hurricanes v Baxter (Alex Nelson Reserve), Hampton Park Utd v Rosebud Heart (K.M. Reedy Reserve), White Star Dandenong v Somerville Eagles (Greaves Reserve).