A MARCUS Spivey strike was enough for Mentone to emerge victorious in Saturday’s local derby against State 5 rival Seaford United.
Mentone’s talismanic scorer hit the target in the 17th minute after a move that typifies his team’s style under head coach Jason Grieve.
When Mentone wins possession its great strength is its ability to go forward quickly.
Spivey, Tyler Pollard and Frankie Varsamis form a combination of finishing, guile and pace and the decisive move on Saturday was set up by Pollard who was on the end of a long ball from Zaidan Allie on the left.
Pollard rolled the ball into the path of Spivey on the right and he gave Seaford keeper Bailey Caulfield no chance with a low strike from inside the area.
The home team’s custodian was deputising for injured number one Hayden Hicks who was one of eight first teamers missing through injury or unavailability.
While Varsamis was taunting and teasing opponents down the left his Seaford counterpart Andrew Packer was making life hard for Mentone’s defence but the home team’s inability to land a knockout blow on its opponent proved the difference on the day.
In NPL2 Langwarrin lost its second game of the season when it went down 2-1 to Preston Lions in front of a large crowd at Lawton Park last weekend.
The home side led at half-time thanks to a dreadful clearance from Preston keeper Sebastian Matosevic which was met first time by Langy captain Rogan McGeorge whose pass enabled Lenny Gregory to turn and slot home from close range.
Langy keeper James Burgess was put to the test in the second half and made some fine saves but he was powerless to stop Preston equalising in the 73rd minute.
An excellent reverse pass from John Roberts set up overlapping Dalibor Markovic on the left of the area and he squared the ball across the face of goal for a Jordan Figon tap-in.
And Figon’s second in the 83rd minute settled the issue.
He outmuscled Lucas Portelli on the left of the area then turned and from a one-on-one with Burgess struck the ball inside the far post.
In State 1 Mornington made it back-to-back wins with Friday night’s 3-1 home success over Bentleigh United Cobras.
A first half double from star striker Rory Currie gave the Seagulls a 2-1 half-time lead and Mehdi Sarwari struck home the third goal after a couple of blocked attempts inside the area in the 74th minute.
In State 2 Skye United scored its first win of the season with a 1-0 away result against Brandon Park.
Skye keeper Jonathan Crook made a series of fine saves in the first half while defenders Alex Van Heerwarden and Brett Heskins also contributed to the clean sheet.
Skye had a mountain to climb when striker Leo McLeod was sent off in the 69th minute but against the run of play Mark O’Connor’s cross in the 87th minute was headed home by Heskins for the winner.
Peninsula Strikers went down 3-1 to Mazenod at Centenary Park on Saturday.
The visitors struck seconds into the contest after Ahmad Tabbara turned the ball over and Jamie Mammino thumped it home.
A Calvin Delaney error in the 7th minute saw Mazenod increase its lead as Jeremy Alleaume broke through and made no mistake from a one-on-one with Strikers keeper Ben Caballero.
Strikers spurned a series of chances – including a contentious first-half handball after Campbell Steedman had scored – but eventually broke through in the 61st minute with a superb Riley Anderton header from a pinpoint free-kick from Huss Chehimi.
But a Delaney own goal shortly after restored the visitors’ two-goal cushion.
Frankston Pines lost for the first time this season going down 2-0 away to Hampton East Brighton last weekend.
Pines gaffer Trevor Johnston gave a blunt assessment of his team’s display.
“We were really poor and didn’t deserve anything out of it,” he said.
In State 4 Somerville Eagles continued their fine start to the season with a 3-0 home win over Noble Park on Saturday.
Marcus Anastasiou opened the scoring early getting on the end of Ronnie Krishnan’s low cross from the right.
Tom Simmons’ brilliant strike in the 36th minute made it 2-0.
Somerville continued to create chances after the interval and was rewarded in the 85th minute when Tom Simmons beat the offside trap and squared the ball to substitute Xavier Apela to tap into an open net.
It was Apela’s first senior goal and he had a day to remember scoring a hat-trick in the 8-1 reserves’ victory.
Chelsea had to settle for a point when it drew 1-1 at home to Lyndale United on Friday night.
Both goals came in the first half with Tim Koulouris putting Chelsea ahead in the 28th minute with a back post header from Adrian Pace’s corner.
The leveller came when Lyndale winger Anthony Zagami cut in and unleashed a shot that dipped and beat Chelsea keeper Tom Carter.
Lyndale’s Jaime Cerqueira was sent off for abusive language in the 64th minute but neither side could break the deadlock.
Baxter started the season with high hopes but after three games it remains winless and on Friday went down 5-0 away to White Star Dandenong.
In State 5 Rosebud stayed on top of the ladder thanks to a 3-0 win over Casey Panthers at Olympic Park on Saturday evening.
It’s a remarkable turnaround in the club’s fortunes given that it only won two games throughout last season.
Noah Musso’s hat-trick underpinned Saturday’s success and a fiery second half saw Rosebud’s Joe Donnelly and Casey Panthers’ captain Backtash Barakzoi both sent off.
Aspendale had a resounding 7-2 home win over Pakenham United last weekend while Mount Eliza lost 5-3 at home to Bunyip District.
Aspendale’s scorers were Gianluca Bozzo 2, Dom Paul 2, Kieran Hughes, Matthew Leggett and substitute Jarren Kilmartin.
Mount Eliza coach Bryce Ruthven was disappointed with the manner in which his side went 3-0 down in the first 19 minutes as well as the approach of the opposition.
“We cost ourselves the game conceding two average goals and giving away a penalty that was arguably one of the cleanest tackles I’ve seen in State 5 this season and was never a penalty,” Ruthven said.
“I thought our second half was excellent and showed what we’re about as a team but it’s a learning curve for our young squad about how to manage State League football against sides that aren’t interested in playing football.
“We have two new signings coming in this week and another after Easter so our squad will strengthen again before our next game after the bye and add quality State League experience to our side.”
Next weekend only NPL competitions will play league fixtures while State League clubs have a break over Easter.
However Mornington will contest its Australia Cup fourth preliminary round away tie against FC Clifton Hill on Saturday while Pines and Skye contest their respective ties on Wednesday this week.
NEXT WEEK’S GAMES
Saturday 8 April, 3pm:
Dandenong City v Langwarrin, Frank Holohan Soccer Complex
Wednesday 5 April, 7.30pm:
Frankston Pines v St Albans, Monterey Reserve
Skye Utd v Glenroy Lions, Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve
Saturday 8 April, 3pm:
FC Clifton Hill v Mornington, Quarries Park