A MAN-OF-THE-MATCH performance from Jamie Powell underpinned Mount Eliza’s 3-1 derby success against Mount Martha in their State 5 clash at Civic Reserve on Saturday.
The visitors had planned to attack Mount Martha out wide and with Powell and Lachie Mitchell on song it worked a treat.
Mount Eliza player-coach Bryce Ruthven went close with a free kick and midfielder Fraser Keon made a superb run only to force a corner in the early exchanges.
Powell broke the deadlock in the 41st minute with an excellent run before taking on Mount Martha right back Dan Fernandes and unleashing a fine far post finish to make it 1-0.
Another fine run down the left by Powell six minutes into the second half saw him cross to Mitchell whose header gave the visitors a two-goal cushion.
The contest was put out of Mount Martha’s reach in the 73rd minute after the home side tried to play through the centre corridor and good pressing from Powell and Keon won the ball sending Chris Parry through and he made no mistake.
Mount Martha’s Anton Beeby scored in the 82nd minute but it was little consolation for the home side who had been outplayed for much of the match.
While Mount Eliza players were celebrating at the final whistle there were similar scenes at Baxter Park after the home team broke through for its first win of the State 4 season.
Baxter’s 2-1 win on Saturday against Endeavour United was fitting revenge over an opponent that had dumped it out of the Australia Cup in February.
Liam Baxter had returned from Scotland the previous day and was on the Baxter bench alongside Brodie Jones who had been sick throughout the week.
But the Scottish striker was thrust into the action when key Baxter forward Lachie McMinimee had to be replaced due to a hamstring injury after 20 minutes.
Jack Elliott sent Keegan Myatt through in the 26th minute but Endeavour keeper Thomas Andersen smothered well and in the 38th minute Myatt’s shot struck the bar before being cleared.
In time added in the first half Aiden McKenna’s long throw from the right was met with a glancing header from Elliott which went in at the back post.
But Endeavour hit back six minutes into the second period when a corner was headed on giving Henry Gordon a tap-in at the far post to make it 1-1.
Baxter’s free-kick forced Andersen into a full-stretch tip over in the 80th minute but he was helpless to stop substitute Dallas McNeill from stealing the show with a stunning strike after cutting in from the left in the 90th minute.
In NPL2 Langwarrin lost a controversial clash 4-1 away to Manningham United Blues last weekend.
Archie Macphee headed Langy in front after two minutes but it was one of the few moments of joy for the visitors who claim they had to endure a series of contentious decisions.
Langwarrin was expected to lodge a complaint as we went to press.
In State 1 Mornington is now on top of the league after winning its fourth game straight when it beat Springvale White Eagles 1-0 at the Serbian Sports Centre on Friday night.
The winner came courtesy of a superbly weighted and flighted Danny Brooks ball that was headed home by David Stirton in the 41st minute.
Late in the match an outstanding double save from Mornington keeper Kane Runge preserved the visitors’ lead.
Former Frankston Pines keeper Tommy Hull made his debut for the home side.
In State 2 Skye beat league leader Mazenod 3-1 at Skye Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Both sides came into the match undefeated and with the best two defensive records in the competition but two minutes in Mitch Blake latched onto a wayward Leo McLeod touch and finished well into the bottom corner.
Two minutes later McLeod cleverly lobbed advancing Mazenod goalkeeper James Edgar to make it 2-0.
The visitors hit back when Stuart Edgar converted from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute however in the 56th minute they were reduced to 10 men when Alan Brandao kicked out and was given a straight red.
McLeod made the points safe in the 83rd minute when he was on the end of a Marcus Collier through ball and curled his effort into the bottom right corner.
The John Ramsden Memorial Winners were McLeod in the seniors and Alessio Izzo in the reserves.
Frankston Pines are still searching for a first league win after going down 4-0 at home to Mooroolbark.
The visitors gave Pines a lesson in efficiency and while Pines made a series of forays into the Barkers’ penalty area in the first half they were 3-0 down at half-time.
Pines can’t keep the ball and their impotence in attack is glaring.
Star striker Dylan Waugh has another five weeks to go before returning from work commitments and the club could find itself entrenched in the relegation zone by then if it can’t turn things around quickly.
On Sunday Peninsula Strikers lost 1-0 at home to North Caulfield.
A moment of ill-discipline cost Strikers when keeper Nathan Brown was sent off for violent conduct in the 8th minute but the 10 men spurned chances to score especially in the second half when Riley Anderton should have made better contact with a header right in front.
In State 4 Somerville swamped Keysborough 7-0 to keep pace with the title contenders.
Nick Simmons started the onslaught when he headed home from a Conor McFall free-kick in the 33rd minute and four minutes later Marcus Anastasiou sent Joe Simmons through and he made it 2-0.
The Simmons show continued three minutes after the break when Tom Simmons beat three opponents then struck a low shot past Keysborough keeper Max Krista for the third.
It was 4-0 in the 54th minute after a McFall ball over the top set up Xavier Apela who hammered it past Krista.
Tom Simmons nabbed his second in the 69th minute and McFall got in on the act a minute later smashing the ball home at the near post for the sixth.
A deflected free-kick from McFall completed the rout.
Chelsea drew 0-0 away to FC Noble Hurricanes on Friday night.
In State 5 Aspendale won the battle between two undefeated teams when it downed Casey Panthers 3-2 at Prospect Hill Reserve on Saturday while Rosebud overpowered Barton United 7-0 at Barton Recreation Reserve.
Jared Kilmartin, Matthew Leggett and Dom Paul were Aspendale’s scorers.
For Rosebud Noah Musso ran riot with four goals, Davis Markulin had a double and Julien Dos Santos also got on the scoresheet.
Rosebud and Aspendale are maintaining their promotion push in second and third spot respectively.
Mentone paid the price for a poor defensive display against Bunyip District at Heatherbrae Reserve last weekend going in 4-1 down at half-time with Joe Dunbar scoring for the Panthers.
Goals from Marcus Spivey (2) and Eric Ervine drew the visitors level but a late goal made it 5-4 in favour of the home side.
Seaford United went down 2-0 away to league leader Hampton Park United.
NEXT WEEK’S GAMES
Friday 28 April, 8.30pm:
Chelsea v Noble Park, Edithvale Recreation Reserve
Rosebud v Mount Martha, Olympic Park
Pakenham Utd v Mount Eliza, IYU Recreation Reserve
Saturday 29 April, 3pm:
Langwarrin v Melbourne City, Lawton Park
Mornington v Richmond, Dallas Brooks Park
Mooroolbark v Skye Utd, Esther Park
Lyndale Utd v Baxter, Lyndale Secondary College
Somerville Eagles v Endeavour Utd, Tyabb Central Reserve
Aspendale v Hampton Park Utd, Jack Grut Reserve
Seaford Utd v Barton Utd, North Seaford Reserve
Saturday 29 April 7pm:
Heatherton Utd v Peninsula Strikers, Bosnia and Herzegovina Centre
Sunday 30 April 3pm:
North Caulfield v Frankston Pines, Caulfield Park