MORNINGTON missed a chance to close on the State 1 South-East leaders in the race for an NPL spot when it drew 1-1 away with second-placed Boroondara-Carey Eagles on Saturday.
The Seagulls enjoyed the better of the first half with the best chance falling to Campbell Steedman inside 15 minutes but his header back across home team keeper Gavin Watson was matched by a classy save that maintained the stalemate.
On the cusp of half-time a quality Josh Hine volley dipped late and rattled the bar but rebounded out and was cleared.
The second half once again saw the better chances go to Mornington.
Matt Harrington burst through into the box and his clever little left-foot dink from a tight angle beat Watson but not the crossbar.
The introduction of David Stirton in the 69th minute had an immediate effect as he scored with his first touch a minute later – a low left-foot finish into the far corner.
However, from the restart Boroondara burst forward down the left and a sliding Shaun Kenny was very unfortunate to give away a penalty as a low attempted cross hit his trailing arm.
Dilan Lomas converted from the spot to make it 1-1.
Stirton then forced a superb save from Watson after a pile driver was somehow kept out and the sides were forced to settle for a point apiece.
One of the highlights of last weekend’s round of games came in the Middle Park v Frankston Pines State 3 South-East clash at Albert Park on Saturday.
Referee Benjamin Lepileo blew the whistle for the start of the match and Pines midfielder Jordan “Caka” Avraham sent the ball sailing over the head of Middle Park keeper Oscar Taylor to make it 1-0 in the first few seconds.
By half-time this one was done and dusted as Pines piled on another four goals thanks to a Dylan Waugh double and goals from Cal Batey and Liam Baxter.
There was no scoring in the second half and the table-topping visitors headed home having thrashed their rival 5-0.
And Pines continue to hit the target off the pitch with the official opening of the $3.9m Monterey Reserve facility last Thursday evening, a gala event that drew around 60 guests among them several state politicians, Mayor Nathan Conroy and other councillors and council staff.
Ros Spence, Victoria’s Minister for Community Sport, made a keynote speech where she announced a further $315,000 lighting upgrade grant and with council matching that figure Monterey Reserve’s lights will soon be upgraded to the tune of $630,000.
However it’s unlikely that Pines will play there this season given that there are only two more league games to be played and problems with gas connection are ongoing.
In NPL2 news Langwarrin had a much-needed 3-1 win over bottom side Goulburn Valley Suns at Lawton Park on Saturday.
The visitors stunned the home team after 13 minutes when a poorly weighted pass out of defence was pounced on by Matthew Breeze and his low strike from outside the area made it 1-0.
Langy levelled in the 31st minute.
Sam Orritt’s high looping cross from the right was brought down and volleyed superbly by Kieran Dover.
GVS keeper Lucas Enders parried onto a defender and the rebound presented Mawien Nielo with a tap-in.
Half-time substitute Marcus Holmes put Langy ahead in the 50th minute with a back post header following a Dover free-kick from the left.
In the last half-hour GVS pressed for an equaliser and Langy sat back and defended in numbers.
But the visitors’ efforts were in vain and youngster Jacob Brito put them out of their misery in the 93rd minute when he was free at the far post and controlled a Callum Goulding cross then cut inside and struck a low shot past Enders for a fine finish.
In State 2 news Peninsula Strikers drew 0-0 with league leader Collingwood City at Kevin Bartlett Reserve on Friday night.
Strikers have taken two points from their last four games putting their promotion credentials under the spotlight and they now lie in third position a point behind second-placed Mooroolbark who have a game in hand.
Skye United’s trip to Jack Thomas Reserve to face Berwick City last weekend got off to a horrendous start when goalkeeper Jonathon Crook was given his marching orders for allegedly handling outside the box after just five minutes – Skye’s first red card of the season.
Appeals to change the decision fell on deaf ears but a stroke of good fortune just four minutes later saw Dusko Erkalovic put the visitors up from the penalty spot after a handball was given.
In the 69th minute substitute Daniel Attard doubled the visitors’ lead when Erkalovic “skinned” his man out wide then cut back for Attard to finish well.
But Berwick was awarded a penalty five minutes later and even though substitute goalkeeper Callum Hope saved the initial attempt the referee awarded a retake and Antonio Maruccio converted.
The final 15 minutes were frantic and although Berwick hit the post Skye managed to grind out an extremely tough win and claim three points.
In State 4 the big news was the resignation of Somerville Eagles senior coach Lee Barber after Saturday’s 5-2 loss to Springvale City.
Barber was in his first season with the Eagles.
Somerville was able to switch its home tie against Springvale to Civic Reserve thanks to the generosity of Mount Martha which had a bye.
However early in the second half the Eagles trailed 4-0 and the game was out of their reach.
They mounted a minor comeback through Tom Simmons who got on the end of a brilliant diagonal ball over the top of the defence from Tom Pollock.
But Somerville was silenced again after some lacklustre defending and went 5-1 down before Conor Mcfall was brought down in the box late in the contest and Ronnie Krishnan converted to complete the scoreline.
Meanwhile a Daniel Vella hat-trick spearheaded Chelsea’s 4-1 derby win over Baxter at Edithvale Recreation Reserve on Friday night.
Teenager Kyan Bissett opened Chelsea’s account in the 20th minute when he pounced on the rebound following a James Foster save from Piers Brelsford’s shot.
Vella opened his account with a low strike into the bottom far corner in the 33rd minute but Lewis Gibson pulled one back for the visitors with a first-time shot five minutes from the interval.
Chelsea created a number of chances in the second half but failed to convert until Vella got on the end of a superb Connor Scott through ball and made it 3-1 in the 82nd minute.
He completed his hat-trick in the 90th minute again getting clear thanks to another Scott through ball.
In State 5 Rosebud was no match for Bunyip District going down 6-1 at Bunyip Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Cory Osorio scored for Rosebud.
Aspendale lost 2-1 at home to league title winner White Star Dandenong last weekend.
The newly crowned champions led 1-0 at half-time but Aspendale had chances to score and eventually broke through in the 86th minute through Dominic Paul.
Two minutes later the visitors tucked away the winner and held on to the 2-1 scoreline.
Aspendale’s best were Lewis Wilhelm Marco, Jordy Athanassiou and Felix Hampson.
This weekend Football Victoria has scheduled a catch-up round to allow postponed games to be played.
Just three local sides are in action – Mornington, Somerville Eagles and Aspendale – and when those fixtures are completed local teams will have just two remaining league games for 2022 (except Rosebud which has a bye in the penultimate round).
THIS WEEK’S GAMES
Friday 5 August, 8.30pm:
Mentone v Aspendale – Mentone Grammar
Saturday 6 August, 3pm:
Mornington v Warragul Utd – Dallas Brooks Park
Saturday 6 August, 3pm:
Somerville Eagles v Endeavour Utd – Tyabb Central Reserve