By Marissa Lordanic
Northcote City has secured back-to-back wins with a 3-1 victory over Avondale FC at Avondale Heights Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
Aaron Ward opened the scoring for the visitors before Calvin Mbarga doubled their advantage.
Mat Sanders pegged one back for Avondale midway through the second half before Northcote sealed the win when James Kalifatidis converted from the penalty spot.
After a scrappy opening few minutes, it was Northcote who settled into the game quickest and was on the attack.
The away side was swift on the counter and was allowed plenty of time and space on the right hand flank in particular, continually exploiting it.
It eventually grabbed the lead in the 13th minute through Aaron Ward, whose sweet strike from 20 yards out curled into the top-right corner past Avondale goalkeeper Frazer Siddall.
Northcote continued to dominate the game, holding majority of possession in its attacking half, and it doubled its advantage in the 25th minute through Mbarga.
A cheeky back heel from Kalifatidis put the ball into the path of the oncoming Mbarga who slotted it into the back of the net.
Avondale grew into the game as the half progressed with a few chances coming towards the end of the opening 45.
Francesco Stella’s free kick was just wide of the post in the 38th minute while Michele Crazia’s header from a corner hit the cross bar.
The second half saw Avondale continue its improved performance and the side was justly rewarded with a goal in the 67th minute.
Massimo Murdocca played the corner short to Stella, who found himself in plenty of space.
The winger’s cross into the box was not dealt with by the Northcote defence, eventually falling to Mat Sanders who smashed home his first goal for Avondale.
Although Avondale pressed for an equaliser, 10 minutes later Northcote was given the chance to seal the result from the penalty spot – Kalifatidis converted with ease.
The home team continued to search for goals and were close to scoring in the 84th minute.
Murdocca’s free kick hit the cross bar and appeared to bounce on the goal line, with Northcote ‘keeper Chris Theodoridis collecting the ball.
Ultimately, Northcote did enough to take home all three points, and record its first consecutive wins since March, while Avondale’s five game undefeated run came to an end.
Avondale FC 1 (Sanders 68’) defeated by Northcote City 3 (Ward 13’, Mbarga 25’, Kalifatidis 77’) at Avondale Heights Reserve [HT: 0-2]
Avondale FC: 20. Fraser SIDDALL, 4. Jacob COLOSIMO (10. Burakhan KOCA 60’), 5. Jeffrey FLEMING, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Alex KHRAPKO, 11. Francesco STELLA, 13. Michele CRAZIA, 15. Zoran PAJIC, 16. Mathew SANDERS, 17. Phillip RICCOBENE, 19. Jason PRINCIPATO (18. Jonathan MUNOZ 60’)
Unused substitutes: 1. Christopher MAYNARD, 6. Anthony STRANO, 28. Anthony FALLONE
Yellow card(s): Khrapko 55’, Pajic 45’ Munoz 78’
Red card(s): none
Northcote City: 22. Chris THEODORIDIS, 4. Jacob ELIOPOULOS, 5. Gregory LOMBARDO, 6. Aaron WARD (20. Nicholas KOKOLAKIS 66’), 7. Bonel OBRADOVIC, 8. James KALIFADTIDIS, 9. Calvin MBARGA, 10. Marinos GASPARIS, 11. Evan KOUNAVELIS (17. Aron HANDAKAS 76’), 12. Jordan WILKES (14. Anthony RAMZY 90’), 19. Ryan GO
Unused Substitutes: 25. Gianluca FANTACCI, 18. Nikola MARKOVSKI
Yellow Card(s): Eliopoulos 37’, Go 22’
Red Card(s): none