SOMERVILLE Eagles and Baxter have joined the chase to try and run down tearaway leader White Star Dandenong as the State 4 South promotion pursuit heats up.
Both locals are now in second and third spots respectively after wins last weekend while White Star drew with Chelsea.
Somerville outgunned Sandringham 2-0 at Tyabb Central Reserve on Saturday.
Marcus Anastasiou could have scored early in the first half when he rounded Sandringham keeper Jack Evans but couldn’t convert from a tight angle.
He made amends in the 43rd minute after a goalmouth scramble when he struck a well-timed volley to make it 1-0.
Sandringham’s possession football was excellent but it found breaking down the Somerville defence a difficult task.
Somerville went further ahead in the 59th minute after Evans saved a Nick Simmons strike which rebounded to Conor Mcfall who took a touch before curling his effort into the far corner.
Despite Sandringham’s pressure Somerville maintained its defensive discipline for a result that maintains the side’s momentum under head coach Adam Steele.
“We don’t have an older experienced side but what we do have is work rate, grit and teamwork which is what we’ve been pushing since November when pre-season started,” said Steele.
“Unfortunately we don’t have heaps of money and flash facilities but we do the one percenters right and that’s as a club not just as a squad.
“Ultimately the playing group has high morale, works hard at training and gives 100 per cent in games and that’s what has got us this far.”
Baxter had its best win of the season when it thrashed Springvale City 5-0 at Ross Reserve on Saturday.
Early goals from Jack Elliott and Daniel Taylor had Springvale on the back foot and when Brodie Jones scored with a brilliant header after 18 minutes there was no way back for the home team.
Jones was running riot down the flank with the left back adding a second on the half-hour following an excellent run and finish.
The second half lacked the intensity of the first but Elliott got his brace with a nice finish in the 84th minute to complete the rout.
Baxter has now won seven games in a row.
“It was a very satisfying performance,” head coach Stephen Fisher said.
“We have belief which is a really powerful thing.”
Chelsea and White Star drew 2-2 in a frenetic finish at Edithvale Recreation Reserve on Friday night.
The visitors beat the offside trap and Ryan Don Paul made it 1-0 in the 29th minute.
Chelsea captain and former junior Lachie Davies was making his 100th senior appearance and in the 44th minute his cross from the right found striker Piers Brelsford who took a touch before equalising with a low shot.
Brelsford’s free-kick in the 54th minute made it 2-1 and Chelsea should have extended its lead from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute but White Star keeper Andrew Stoilovic saved substitute Adam Bartosy’s attempt.
A few minutes later White Star failed to convert a penalty awarded after a Harry Parker handball.
Just when Chelsea looked set to become the first side this season to defeat the league leader a free-kick that Stoilovic had gone forward to contest struck his shoulder and went over the head of his Chelsea counterpart for a remarkable finish to a remarkable contest.
In NPL2 Langwarrin lost 3-0 at home to Bulleen on Saturday.
Langy was punished for losing possession in midfield for Bulleen’s first goal, effecting a poor defensive header for the second and getting caught out at the back with a ball over the top for the third.
In State 1 Mornington lost top spot when it went down 2-1 away to FC Melbourne SRBIJA last weekend.
Rory Currie’s penalty in the 65th minute could have seen the points shared if not for an 89th minute winner from FC Melbourne’s Steve MacDonald.
In State 2 Frankston Pines’ best display of the season gave it a deserved 3-0 win over high-flying visitor Brandon Park at Monterey Reserve on Friday night.
A match highlight was the display of Pines’ teenager Kaspar Fry who scored his first hat-trick in senior football.
Fry gave former Langwarrin player Shayan Alinejad a torrid time as he was far too pacy for the veteran while another teenager, Logan Johnston, started on the left for Pines and produced a fine performance eventually being replaced in the 85th minute when the result was no longer in doubt.
Johnston’s superbly weighted and directed pass to Fry in the 12th minute saw the latter accelerate past Alinejad then strike the ball low across Brandon Park keeper Dilan Mery and inside the far post for the opener.
Three minutes later a superb exchange saw Joe O’Connor get free on the left of the area before squaring the ball for a simple Fry tap-in to make it 2-0.
Brandon Park huffed and puffed but the pressure from Pines was relentless and when called upon Pines keeper Colby Jones was impassable.
Jones made a crucial low reaction save early in the second half that maintained Pines’ two-goal cushion and Fry completed his hat-trick in the 65th minute running onto an excellent Cal Batey through ball and finishing with aplomb into the far corner.
Brandon Park’s Rasmus Juul was sent off late in the game after a second caution.
Pines gaffer Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor was understandably upbeat after the match.
“An early goal and the confidence went through the roof,” he said.
“We worked really hard in the week on playing forward, using the width, movement off the ball, and it showed.”
Peninsula Strikers can feel aggrieved after losing 2-1 at home to league leader Hampton East Brighton on Saturday.
A Steve Elliott header hit the post in the 11th minute with Jamie Davidson’s shot from the rebound parried by Hampton keeper Nicholas Chin.
Two minutes later Cal Delaney pounced on a defensive error and finished with a stylish flick past advancing Chin to make it 1-0.
The visitors levelled via a controversial penalty decision in the 57th minute with Federico Bono converting from the spot.
Strikers had strong claims for penalties ignored – one for handball then another when Chin connected with substitute Ahmad Jawadi.
The winner came in the 93rd minute when Liam Burford bundled the ball over the line following a long throw-in.
Skye United’s 1-1 away result against Knox City on Saturday was its sixth draw in the first half of the season.
On a wet, muddy and rapidly deteriorating pitch Knox went ahead with a well-worked goal from Christian Porcaro just before half-time and Skye equalised in the 64th minute when George Jeff’s cross to the back post was met by Jason Nowakowski who headed home.
In State 5 an eight-goal thriller between Aspendale and visitor Bunyip District resulted in a 4-4 scoreline on Saturday.
Bunyip had a 3-1 half-time lead thanks to a stunning long-range strike and two headed goals following corners but Aspendale scored three goals in the first 21 minutes of the second period to grab the lead.
The home side’s comeback was undone by a controversial penalty decision in the 75th minute.
Aspendale’s scorers were Jared Kilmartin, Jordy Athanassiou, Taylan Yildirim and Dom Paul.
Second-placed Rosebud emerged from Saturday’s derby at Mount Eliza with a 1-0 win.
The crucial moment in this contest came in the 34th minute when Rosebud’s Noah Musso scuffed his shot.
Mount Eliza’s Joe Iline made a desperate attempt to clear on the goalline but could only hit the ball into the roof of the net.
The home side’s best chance of equalising in the second half fell to Chris Parry but the former Rosebud striker failed to capitalise on a mistake from Rosebud keeper Hamish Preston.
Mentone was unable to take points from runaway league leader Hampton Park United going down 5-2 at KM Reedy Reserve last weekend.
Three goals from the home team in the last 15 minutes of the first half gave Mentone a mountain to climb.
An improved second-half performance saw Mentone create opportunities but Archie Lindsay put the hosts 4-0 up in the 65th minute.
Headers from Mentone’s Eric Ervine (72nd minute) and Jacob Klein (75th minute) reduced the deficit to 4-2 only for the hosts to put the result beyond doubt in the 80th minute from a Weaam Zeitoune free kick.
Mount Martha lost 5-0 away to Casey Panthers in a disappointing display.
“It was a nightmare for us,” Mount Martha team manager Chris Sanderson said.
“Three soft goals inside 12 minutes ended the contest.”
NEXT WEEK’S GAMES
Friday 9 June, 7.45pm:
Langwarrin v Eastern Lions, Lawton Park
Friday 9 June, 8.30pm:
Skye Utd v Peninsula Strikers, Skye Recreation Reserve
Chelsea v Baxter, Edithvale Recreation Reserve
FC Noble Hurricanes v Somerville Eagles, Alex Nelson Reserve
Saturday 10 June, 3pm:
South Springvale v Mornington, Warner Reserve
Mazenod v Frankston Pines, Brandon Park Reserve
Mount Eliza v Seaford Utd, Emil Madsen Reserve
Mentone v Barton Utd, Mentone Grammar
Bunyip District v Mount Martha, Heatherbrae Recreation Reserve
Saturday 10 June, 6.30pm:
Rosebud v Pakenham Utd, Olympic Park