WEE Mikey Turner claimed the goal that sent Skye United into State 2 with a nerve-jangling 1-0 win over Monash Uni at Skye Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Knowing that a win would secure promotion Skye made hard work of it against an opponent that had come to play and make life as difficult as possible for the home side.
There have been many times this season that Skye gaffer Phil McGuinness has made effective substitutions and introducing Daniel Attard, Turner then Maxim Avram into the fray in the second half proved effective once more.
Attard had an immediate impact setting up Jack Gallagher who squared the ball to midfielder Mark O’Connor but the Irishman couldn’t hit the target from close range.
The moment that sent a huge crowd into a frenzy came in the 84th minute when Monash failed to clear following an O’Connor free-kick and Attard won the loose ball on the left of the area then crossed into the goalmouth.
In the ensuing scrimmage Turner prodded the ball over the line with Monash keeper Sima Pasahat desperately trying to keep it out as he lay on the ground.
The collective sigh of relief that descended on Skye Recreation Reserve was palpable and when the final whistle sounded supporters rushed onto the pitch to join players, coaching staff and committee in a group celebration.
Few pundits predicted at the start of the season that Skye would win promotion and McGuinness and assistant Stephen Duffy have worked wonders with their squad.
And during the euphoria many thoughts turned to the late Chris Attard who had been the soul of the club for decades and whose sons and wife retain a close association with the local outfit.
In NPL2 news Langwarrin had to settle for a point in Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Eastern Lions.
The result ensured that the visitors clinched the championship after second-placed Bulleen was surprisingly beaten at home 5-2 by Goulburn Valley Suns who had to play with 10 men for the last 35 minutes.
Langy took the lead against Lions in the 38th minute with a mistimed strike from defender Luke Burgess that deceived Lions’ keeper Keegan Coulter and trickled over the goal line.
Two minutes into the second half a long clearance from Langy keeper Fraser Maclaren sailed over the head of the Lions defence and set up Damir Stoilovic with Coulter stranded but the former Springvale White Eagles striker lobbed the ball wide with the goal at his mercy.
Lions had to wait until the 87th minute to hit back and the equaliser came when a Ziggy Razuki cross from the left skimmed off the head of Langy substitute Alex Van Heerwarden and into the far corner even though Maclaren got a hand to the ball.
In State 1 news Mornington scored twice in quick succession in a 2-0 home win over Eltham Redbacks last weekend.
In the 62nd minute a defensive howler from former Mornington player Andy Maclean gifted Liam Baxter with the opener and a minute later substitute Noah Werner tapped the ball into an unguarded goal after the Eltham keeper had dropped a high Baxter cross under pressure from Josh Hine.
In State 2 news Peninsula Strikers went down 3-2 at home to South Springvale in a thriller on Saturday.
South Springvale led 1-0 at half-time and Daniel Clinton gave it a two-goal cushion a minute into the second half.
But two John Prescott goals levelled proceedings and it took a Marcelo Arapis free-kick in injury time to win the match and with promotion rival Berwick City losing it sent the Greek-backed South Springvale back into State 1 after a two-year hiatus.
In State 3 news Frankston Pines enjoyed a 1-0 away win over Middle Park last weekend and there was no love lost between rival coaches Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor of Pines and Andy Webster of Middle Park.
Taylor claims that Webster refused to shake hands before the kick-off and that harsh words were exchanged.
“When I left he was standing out the front and glaring,” Taylor said.
“I waved at him, thanked him for another three points and wished him well wherever he ends up next year because I’d be surprised if he’s still there.”
CJ Hodgson got the winner thanks to a 55th-minute free-kick.
Bailey Atkinson of Pines was forced off with a broken wrist early in the first half.
In State 4 news Baxter finished the season in style with a 4-0 home win over Springvale City last weekend.
The result means Baxter earned three points more than its total in 2018 when its tally included a 3-0 walkover due to the opposition playing a player under a false name.
The win against Springvale City came via second half goals from Stuart McKenzie (2), Lewis Gibson and Matt McDermott.
Harry McCartney reports that there was a farcical finale to Seaford United’s season when three Seaford players were sent off in injury time as the local side defeated Chelsea 4-0 at Edithvale Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
In the 32nd minute Matthias Schwellinger’s cross was headed home powerfully by Dylan Waugh at the back post to open the scoring.
Chelsea striker Daniel Vella had three attempts to square the ledger before half time, but was denied by Seaford keeper Anthony Madafferi, the woodwork and a poorly placed shot from directly in front of goal.
Seaford’s second came in the 53rd minute when Jeremy Schwellinger pounced on a defensive error for a simple lob over advancing Chelsea keeper Rhys Davies.
Another defensive error a minute later gifted Waugh his second goal when he slotted home into the bottom corner leaving Chelsea players arguing among themselves.
In the 70th minute Jeremy Schwellinger was brought down inside the box and Jack Carter made it 4-0 with an unconvincing but effective spot kick after Davies got a good hand to the strike.
In the 93rd minute Chelsea was awarded a free-kick just outside the area and chaos descended.
Referee Dino Christodoulou attempted to move Seaford’s defensive wall back the required distance.
First Kane Ireson was yellow carded for not moving back then Mathias Schwellinger was cautioned.
When both parties pleaded for leniency they received follow-up yellow cards and were sent off.
After the final whistle Tristan Stass pleaded with the referee for some sort of common sense but after initially receiving one caution he was quickly shown a second and also sent off.
In State 5 news champion Somerville Eagles signed off on a league season to remember with a 5-1 drubbing of visitors Casey Panthers on Saturday.
It was Somerville’s ninth straight win and it won the title by nine points over arch rival Old Mentonians.
No prizes for guessing the scorers with Dave Greening notching a hat-trick and Mark Pagliarulo a brace.
Somerville now enters a play-off series to determine the best State 5 side in Victoria and it kicks off its campaign against State 5 East champion Waverley Wanderers this weekend.
The winner goes into the grand final against the winner of the play-off between the State 5 North and State 5 West champions.
Rosebud rounded off a season in which it established itself as a competitive outfit at this level by convincingly defeating Pakenham United 4-1 last weekend.
Doubles to Chris Parry and Blake Hicks did the damage at Olympic Park.
Rosebud has a catch-up match away to Tullamarine scheduled for next Saturday but looks set to forfeit.
However it will play Wednesday’s night’s catch-up fixture against Aspendale Stingrays who drew 3-3 at home to Knox United on Saturday after twice leading by two goals.
Aspendale scored through Nathan Barnett, Anthony Segavac and an own goal and its best were Kieran Hughes, Peter Dimopoulos and Patrick Diakogeorgiou.
This week’s games:
WEDNESDAY, 8pm: Aspendale Stingrays v Rosebud (Kingston Heath Soccer Complex).
SATURDAY, 1pm: Somerville Eagles v Waverley Wanderers (Comets Stadium).