RECORD-breaking Somerville Eagles player-coach David Greening reached a remarkable landmark last weekend when he passed the 1000-goal career milestone.
His first goal in senior competition was for Isle of Wight club Brading Town as a 15-year-old in September 1996 and he’s been scoring for fun ever since.
He arrived in Melbourne in February 2010 and has been the main man up front for Latrobe University, Seaford United, Casey Comets, Rosebud Heart and now Somerville and his scoring feats in senior Victorian ranks are legendary.
He returned from suspension on Saturday and started on the bench in Somerville’s 4-1 home win over Pakenham United in their State 5 clash at Somerville Secondary College.
It took a while for the Eagles to get going but after Carlo Cardoso, Eric Manhanong and Nathan Grimshaw forced Pakenham keeper Harry Webber into a string of fine saves, the deadlock was broken in the 43rd minute when the in-form Callum Richardson deflected Manhanong’s inswinging corner into goal.
The Eagles flew out of the blocks in the second half and doubled their lead in the 47th minute when fine play from Grimshaw and Joel Wade set up Richardson for a tap-in.
Pakenham hit back in the 75th minute with a superb free-kick from Edvin Trakosevic.
Greening had replaced Charlie Conrath in the 68th minute and the historic moment in this contest came in the 81st minute when the man dubbed “The Green Machine” finished in his customary clinical style after a superb pass from Manhanong.
Fellow substitute Louis Griffiths grabbed his first senior goal of 2019 when he finished from close range in the 87th minute.
Greening reflected on his achievement later that evening when he posted on the club’s facebook page.
“When I left the UK over 10 years ago I never thought that reaching 1000 goals was possible especially when I found out I’d be playing 22-game seasons as opposed to more than 50 games a season that I’d been used to but I’ve managed to get there eventually and it’s a very special moment for me,” Greening said.
Curiously though when the moment came none of the Somerville players celebrated with him as they were unaware of the goal’s significance and Greening was booked for lifting up his shirt during his goal celebration.
“I know I haven’t always been my manager’s cup of tea and opposition supporters and players alike always let me know about it but thanks for the banter and bruises over the years as that’s always driven me on.”
Greening’s next goal for Somerville will be his 50th for the club and 300th in Australia.
He is chasing what is believed to be an unprecedented 10th straight league Golden Boot award but faces stiff competition from White Star Dandenong ace Christopher L’Enclume and Rannesh Krishnan of title challenger Old Mentonians.
“To be honest I think my chances of winning it again were lost in the five games I’ve missed this season but I’m proud to have won that honour 15 times all up as I won it six times in the UK.”
In NPLW news US import Jennifer Lum made her debut for Southern in its 9-0 loss to Grand Final aspirant Bulleen at the Veneto Club on Sunday evening.
Southern keeper Celia Kelsall and defender Erin Clout had fine games for the visitors while Margot Rabbine scored four goals in the opening 34 minutes.
Southern’s under-19s lost 2-0 while the under-16s went down 3-2 with Rhys McKenna scoring twice for Southern.
The under-14s lost 4-0.
Southern’s junior program has received a huge thumbs-up with news that Alex Jones from the under-16s has been selected for Victoria’s under-14 metro squad and will compete in the national championships at Coff’s Harbour this week.
She’ll be joined by two other Southern products, midfielder Alessandra Davis (under-14s) and winger Candy Kilderry (under-15s), who are now part of the NTC program.
Last weekend’s wild weather played havoc with the match schedule of four local clubs.
The Mazenod v Mornington, Skye United v Elwood and the Aspendale Stingrays v Rosebud matches were all called off.
The reserves match went ahead at Jack Grut Reserve on Saturday but was eventually called off after 85 minutes.
There was a break in play due to a hailstorm and when the referee finally called a halt the Stingrays led Rosebud 14-0.
Aspendale’s scorers were Ben Garside Weinert (5), John Athanassiou (3), Luiz Dobre (2), Justin Lampert (2), James Macnab and Lachlan Cetinich.
In State 2 South-East news a Ryan Maylin goal in the 63rd minute was enough to give champion elect Boroondara-Carey Eagles all three points against Peninsula Strikers in a physical encounter at Carey Sports Complex last weekend.
Boroondara’s Brennan Joaquin was sent off in the 67th minute after receiving a second yellow card and five of his teammates were booked.
Strikers threw everything at the home side after the send-off but couldn’t finish their chances.
“I wasn’t disappointed with the effort but dissatisfied that we didn’t at least walk away with a point,” Strikers’ gaffer Danny Verdun said.
In State 3 South-East news Frankston Pines lost 3-0 away to league leader Collingwood City last Friday night.
Pines had gone into the senior and reserves games with 19 players unavailable due to injury, illness, work commitments, a wedding and holidays.
Teenagers Aiden McKenna and Noah Green (ex-Langwarrin) made their full senior debuts.
The seniors’ bench included 15-year-old Daniel Taylor, 16-year-old Adam Ford and 17-year-old Kam Ismail while Ryan Petrucci from the under-15s played a full game in the reserves.
“Given the circumstances we did remarkably well against the best side in the competition,” Pines senior coach Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor said.
In State 4 South news Seaford United had its biggest loss of the season when going down 4-0 away to Endeavour United last weekend.
Harry McCartney reports that the game was switched to an artificial pitch and Seaford never came to terms with the surface turning in its worst display of 2019.
Endeavour was 2-0 up after seven minutes thanks to Daniel Milne and Cooper Andrews and in the first 10 minutes of the second half an Ifeoluwa Ogidan brace put the home side out of reach.
Meanwhile Baxter had to settle for a point away from home when it drew 1-1 with Dingley Stars last Saturday.
Baxter was the better side in the first half with Nico Juric having a 25-metre shot cleared off the line while Lawrence Komba and Lewis Gibson also went close.
Baxter keeper James Foster was much more active in the second period and pulled off some great saves.
Komba should have opened the scoring in the 70th minute when he was put through only to be denied by superb goalkeeping from Dingley’s Josh Green.
In the 81st minute Dingley fashioned an excellent move down the right and a pinpoint cross was headed home by Dallas McNeil.
Baxter hit back five minutes later when substitute Jordan Fernandes was brought down inside the area from a corner and Juric converted from the spot.
In the end Baxter left Chadwick Reserve thinking that it should have claimed all three points.
As we went to press NPL2 outfit Langwarrin was due to clash with Bulleen on Monday night.
The Lawton Park club received good news recently when two of its under-15s, Jack McDonald and Kyle Eichenberger, made it through to the second stage of trials at Melbourne Victory beginning on 1 August.
This weekend’s games:
FRIDAY, 8.30pm: Doncaster Rovers v Peninsula Strikers (Anderson Park), Frankston Pines v Brighton (Monterey Reserve).
SATURDAY, 3pm: Langwarrin v Springvale White Eagles (Lawton Park), Mornington v Caulfield Utd Cobras (Dallas Brooks Park), Middle Park v Skye Utd (Albert Park Field 16), Baxter v Endeavour Utd (Baxter Park), Seaford Utd v FC Noble Hurricanes (North Seaford Reserve), Aspendale Stingrays v White Star Dandenong (Jack Grut Reserve), Tullamarine v Somerville Eagles (Melrose Drive Reserve).