NPL Victoria – Round 22 Recap: Hume fall into relegation zone and Heidelberg one step closer to glory

Bentleigh Greens 2-0 Green Gully

Two stories came out of this result; Bentleigh’s title-hopes remain very narrowly alive, and Green Gully now really have to start looking over their shoulder at the relegation zone.

While finishing on top may be nearly impossible now for the Greens, the result was still vital for them in order to stay inside the top two. Yet another goal from Matt Thurtell and a late Chris Lucas goal ensured all three points for the Greens, keeping them above third-placed Avondale.

It would be thought that a team with as much prestige as Green Gully could not be sent down to NPL 2,  but that is fast-becoming a real threat for Gully.

These same concerns were being touted around South Melbourne just a few weeks ago, and Gully will be hoping those doubts will subside and they can steer clear of the relegation zone as South did.

However the apparent departure of Arthur Papas and a run of just one win in 12 games puts the club in a position turmoil. Gully are suddenly two points out of the relegation zone and under immense pressure.

Oakleigh Cannons 2-1 Bulleen Lions

Bulleen put in another another performance that indicated that they will indeed be going down this season, with another loss on Friday night. Their loss to Oakleigh was a tight one, but it was one that saw Bulleen’s deficiencies shine through once again as their inability to finish, as well as their losing of the midfield battle, were the catalysts behind their poor start that saw them go 2-0 down.

Jordan Templin’s goal off the bench with just ten minutes to play was merely a consolation, as the Lions and their squad filled with youngsters and players over the age of 30 could not get the job done once again.

But the win for Oakleigh was much-needed, as they pounced on the opportunity that other results gave them to jump into the top six.

The Cannons sit in the six on goal difference, but are also just four points ahead of Green Gully; simply anything can happen in the next month.

Northcote City 1-3 Avondale

We once called Avondale the team that were theoretically in no-mans-land; a team too far away from both second and fourth, locked in third.

While things haven’t changed this week with both Bentleigh and the Avengers gaining all three points, Avondale find themselves right on the brink of the top after an important away win that may have buried Northcote.

City sit five points points away from the relegation playoff spot with with four games to go, so it seems nearly impossible for Northcote to stay above the drop; especially with a trip to Port Melbourne coming up this weekend; one of the harder places to go this season.

At 1-1 after approximately half-an-hour of action, Northcote may have had some hope that a late push for survival could have been on the cards.

But Yitay Towns’ second goal of the day and second of the season seemed to put Northcote back into a negative midset, one of a team that looks likely to be playing in NPL 2 next season.

An 88th minute goal from Elvis Kamsoba all put Northcote away, and more than likely ended their survivals hopes.

HIGHLIGHTS R22 Northcote v Avondale

Highlights as we went down 3-1 to Avondale FC yesterday afternoon in NPL Victoria#NPLVIC #NorthcoteCity

Posted by Northcote City FC on Saturday, 28 July 2018

Port Melbourne 1-2 Pascoe Vale

Losing Matt Hennessey in the first half an hour seemed as if it would put Pascoe Vale on the back foot, a position they’ve struggled to be in this season.

However, bringing on Samuel Logozzo seemed to unleash a young star, as he may have put in his best shift for Pascoe. The swap was like-for-like, and may have even helped them get over the line at Port Melbourne.

The scores were tied at 1-1 with just ten minutes to go, the game was in the balance and it looked as though both sides could go on and snatch a winner. Ultimately, it was Nicolas Abot who came up with the winning goal in the 83rd minute, a man who is becoming known for important goals.

The win went a long way to confirming fourth place and a home first final for Pascoe Vale. It is highly likely we may see these two teams line up in the first weekend of the NPL Victoria finals; a mouthwatering clash awaits.

Hume City 1-1 Dandenong Thunder

It wasn’t touted as the best of contests on paper, but it lived up to be one of the most exciting games of the weekend as two sides who have been less than convincing all season went toe-to-toe in a clash that could only be settled with a draw.

Hume were the side who arguably needed the three points more than their opponents; however, they fell behind in the 20th minute.

Samuel Catherine opened the scoring for Dandenong in what proved to be a wake-up call for Hume, who really controlled proceedings from here.

It looked for a while as if Hume may never find an equaliser, but Benjamin Lyvidikos stole the headlines off the bench with a much-needed goal for the relegation-battlers.

However, this should have been Hume’s second goal of the day, with an earlier goal incorrectly ruled to be offside by the linesman.

The draw had negative implications for both sides. A win for Dandenong would have moved them into the top six, and a win for Hume would have had them outside the relegation zone.

As things stand, Hume are in the relegation playoff place and Dandenong sit in 8th place, two spots off the finals.

Hume, the team that arguably deserved to win, may live to regret not capitalising on their dominance in this game. Could that dubious offside call come back to haunt them?

NPLVIC Round 22 – Hume City vs Dandenong Thunder (Extended Highlights)

EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS | We welcomed Dandenong Thunder SC to ABD Stadium on Saturday night, and the match lived up to the hype as both sides battled for three points that could have changed the course of their season.Commentary comes from Bilal AliWatch in HD

Posted by Hume City F.C. on Monday, 30 July 2018

Melbourne Knights 1-2 Kingston City 

The shock of the weekend without a doubt was Kingston City beating Melbourne Knights on their home deck in Sunshine.

The win edged Kingston closer to safety, one point clear of Hume, with both sides currently with the same goal-difference.

Melbourne Knights certainly dropped three points that they would have expected to pick up from this fixture, and they now sit outside the finals places in seventh, despite their strong form leading into Sunday’s game.

It was Kingston who got off to the best possible start with an Oliver White goal. Knights captain Marijan Cvitkovic levelled it late in the second half, but a 49th minute Kingston goal from Damian Iaconis was the final goal of the game and the goal that Kingston may look back on in a month’s time as the goal that kept them in the NPL.

South Melbourne 1-3 Heidelberg United

It was one of the windier games of the season as South Melbourne hosted Heidelberg at Lakeside Stadium.

Everything was going according to plan for South until the half-time break; but United stormed back into the game in the second half with three goals after the break.

The wind was certainly a factor, with all four goals scored at the one end on either side of the break.

Marcus Schroen put the home side before the half-time break, in a period that was all one way traffic.

But Heidelberg were always going to come, and the game was simply decided by which side took their chances.

The old-fashioned derby still had a bit of fire to it despite the conditions, but the team who has been the best all season showed why that is, as the cream rose to the top in the second half.

By the 56th minute it was 2-1 to Heidelberg, and all worries of not being able to overturn first half deficit appeared to have dissipated.

A 76th minute Harry Noon goal was the icing on the cake for a team just a few games away from sealing first place. They are five points ahead with a game in hand, at home to the same side they beat on Sunday.


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