YOUNG Tom Simmons proved to be the matchwinner as Somerville defeated Baxter 2-1 on Saturday in the first local derby of the season.
Clashes between these State 4 rivals are usually entertaining and this encounter was no different.
Tyabb Central Reserve is a difficult proposition for sides that favour an interpassing game and the home side adapted to the bumpy surface with a no-nonsense approach.
Baxter led 1-0 through Lachie McMinimee’s well-taken strike in the 20th minute but its new striking combination of McMinimee and boom recruit Dave Greening blew a series of chances in both halves.
The key to Somerville’s second half fightback was substitute Guil Ribeiro who put his close skills to good use teasing and taunting Baxter defenders.
Ribeiro and 20-year-old Simmons were among three substitutions made by Somerville in the 57th minute and this duo had a big hand in the outcome.
In the 80th minute Baxter central defender Sunday Kim had time to clear but dwelt on the ball and when forced into action his attempt was blocked falling to Ribeiro who struck a low shot inside the near post for the equaliser.
With two minutes of normal time left the most controversial moment of the match arrived when the home team’s club linesman decided that Somerville players were onside as a long ball over the top eluded the Baxter defence.
Ribeiro broke clear into a one-on-one with advancing Baxter keeper James Foster then calmly played the ball into the path of Simmons who knocked it into the open goal for the winner.
In NPL2 Langwarrin had to settle for a 2-2 draw with visitors North Geelong on Saturday.
Langy recovered from a George Elliss goal in the 3rd minute to lead 2-1 at half-time thanks to Ryan Paczkowski and Mawien Nielo but Caleb Mikulic’s goal in the 67th minute completed the scoreline.
It was Langy’s first point of the season.
In State 1 Casey Comets beat Mornington 2-0 at Comets Stadium on Saturday in a fiery clash that typified recent contests between these sides.
Mornington keeper Taylor Davidson was shown a straight red in the 73rd minute and striker Wayne Gordon took over in goals while a second yellow to Comets striker John Prescott after a clash with Jamie Davidson in the 84th minute ended his involvement.
In State 2 Skye United’s first win of the season was a thumping 6-1 whitewash of Monbulk Rangers at Monbulk Regional Soccer Facility on Friday night.
Mitch Blake got the scoring underway after a smart turn and finish inside the box following a James George cross.
Skye then added three more goals before half-time with Marcus Collier pouncing on two loose balls inside the area either side of a Mark O’Connor header.
Ten minutes into the second half Liam Jones replied for Monbulk but Skye substitutes Jack Gallagher and Jason Nowakowski added to the visitors’ haul with goals in the last 15 minutes.
Peninsula Strikers made it three wins in a row after downing Brandon Park 2-0 at Freeway Reserve last weekend.
A goal in each half from Kiwi striker Riley Anderton sealed the home team’s fate.
Nathan Prince robbed a defender and played the ball to Anderton who chipped opposition keeper Christian Morales for the opener.
Huss Chehimi and Cassius Delaney combined for the second goal the latter squaring the ball to Anderton who gave Morales no chance.
In State 3 Frankston Pines had to rely on a late Dylan Waugh goal and superb goalkeeping from Thomas Hull to overcome Monash Uni 1-0 at Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve on Friday night.
Hull saved four one-on-ones as Pines looked jaded after an exacting 120 minutes of Australia Cup action three nights earlier but an excellent right foot curler from Waugh in the 89th minute got them over the line.
Senior coach Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor arrives back this week from a UK holiday in time to ready his squad for Saturday’s away trip to Parkfield Reserve to take on Noble Park United.
In State 5 striker Marcus Spivey’s hat-trick spearheaded Mentone’s 5-1 whitewash of struggling Endeavour Hills at Power Reserve on Saturday.
An own goal and a close-range strike from Spivey in the first three minutes had the home side on the back foot.
Good work by Joe Dunbar in the 27th minute allowed Spivey to wrong-foot Endeavour keeper Stuart Tolmie to make it 3-0.
The hosts hit back five minutes later after Dunbar lost possession but he made amends by making it 4-1 just before the interval.
A headed assist from Nic Farrell allowed Spivey to complete his hat-trick late in the match.
Mount Martha came back from a two-goal deficit away to Casey Panthers to draw 2-2.
David Oswald started the fightback in the 73rd minute and Corey Riddle grabbed the equaliser a minute into added time.
Aspendale Stingrays lost 3-2 away to Hampton Park United last weekend.
The home side led 2-0 in the first half but two goals in as many minutes from James Macnab and Kenan Nuhanovic had scores tied at half-time.
Hampton Park’s Jonathan Theodore and Ehab Hilal and Aspendale’s Peter Dimopoulos were all dismissed in the second half after their second yellow cards and Hampton’s Maziad Chazbek scored the winner in the 76th minute.
Off the pitch the main news in State 5 concerns the timing of the shire council’s makeover of Civic Reserve forcing tenant Mount Martha to overhaul its fixtures.
Mount Martha now plays every game in the first half of the season away from home.
Only its round 4 clash with Hampton Park United is listed as a home game and that will be played at North Seaford Reserve, thanks to Seaford United helping out.
Mount Martha also lost access to the lights at Civic and has had to train at Mount Eliza’s ground for the past fortnight.
It’s understood that the council has been made fully aware of the club’s reaction.
In Australia Cup news there are no local clubs remaining in this year’s national competition after Langwarrin, Mornington and Frankston Pines all lost their preliminary round 4 ties.
Langy and Pines went down to Hume City and Clifton Hill respectively after extra time while Mornington lost 1-0 away to Altona East Phoenix.
Mornington’s matchday squad included Kaeman Salvato, Jordy May, Lochie Millar and Daniel Bennett from its NPL junior program.
Meanwhile Rosebud-based photographer John Punshon and Frankston resident Harry Chalkitis had their contributions to Victorian soccer officially recognised at last week’s Football Victoria AGM as one of six recipients of life membership of the state federation.
While Punshon has worked as a sports photographer for decades it was also his work in amassing and inputting historical results data that led to his nomination.
Chalkitis has played and coached in the local area and worked as a club technical director.
He’s a two-time Victorian Coach of the Year, a former men’s state team coach, head coach of Bentleigh Greens and Port Melbourne, head coach of Victoria Vision in the women’s NSL and former head of Victoria’s National Training Centre women’s program.
Here’s are this week’s round 4 games:
Mornington v Bentleigh Utd Cobras, Dallas Brooks Park, 8.30pm.
Skye Utd v Doncaster Rovers, Skye Recreation Reserve, 3pm; Peninsula Strikers v Knox City, Ballam Park 7pm; Noble Park Utd v Frankston Pines, Parkfield Reserve, 3pm; Baxter v Dandenong South, Baxter Park 3pm; Somerville Eagles v Chelsea, Tyabb Central Reserve, 3pm; Aspendale v Mentone, Jack Grut Reserve, 3pm; Mount Martha v Hampton Park Utd, North Seaford Reserve, 3pm.
Bulleen Lions v Langwarrin, Veneto Club, 8.15pm.