By: MATTHEW CONVERSANO
Photo: MARK AVELLINO
Northcote has secured three points at John Cain Memorial Reserve on Saturday afternoon, defeating Werribee 2-0 in a tense encounter that hung in the balance with two second half goals.
It all came down to an incredible sixty seconds of play, where Northcote converted twice in a minute, putting it in a prime position for the final twenty minutes. which held them in good stead for the remainder of the match
The majority of the first half was very much an arm wrestle between the two sides which was devoid of any real goal mouth action.
The only real chance on goal in the first half came after a lovely James Kalafitidis cross landed in the path of Jason Hayne’s darting run at the back post.
Fortunately for Werribee custodian Frano Saric, Hayne’s shot skewed of his right boot and flew wide of the goal leaving the match deadlocked.
However, the second half was a more exciting affair in comparison to the first.
Just on 50 minutes, Chris Cristaldo broke through the Northcote back line and sent a piledriver of a strike clattering against the crossbar, leaving Northcote custodian Chris Theodoridis stranded.
After a few half chances at both ends, the breakthrough for Northcote arrived on the 70th minute mark when a goal mouth scramble following a corner was bundled over the line by Aron Handakas.
Within 30 seconds of scoring its first, Northcote were on the attack again as Handakas dispossesed Werribee directly from the kick off and made a charge to goal.
His mazing run was only brought to a halt when he was adjudged to have been fouled in the box.
The subsequent penalty was converted emphatically by Kalafitidis as he smashed the ball into the top left corner.
Just as the game looked to be dead and buried for Werribee, Cristaldo burst into the box just on 80 minutes and was taken down by Hayden D’Agostino. The referee showing no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Cristaldo himself opted to step up and take the penalty, however he rattled the frame of the goal for the second time in the match as the ball bounced out to safety, seeemingly ending Werribee’s hopes for a comeback.
Next round Northcote will travel to Kingston Heath as they play a strong Bentleigh side next Friday night and Werribee is still looking for its first win for the season as they play Oakleigh at home next Sunday
Northcote City 2 (Handakas 70’, Kalafitidis 72’) defeated Werribee 0 at John Cain Memorial Park, Thronbury
Northcote: 22. Chris Theodoridis,4. Jacob Eliopoulos, 12. Jordan Wilkes, 2. Hayden D’Agostino, 19. Ryan Go,10. Marino Gasparis, 20. Nicholas Kokolakis, 7. Jason Hayne (14. Anthony Ramzy 88’),23. Jonathan Bounas (5. Gregory Lombardo 82’),18. Aron Handakas (9. Thomas Demelis 81’), 8. James Kalafatidis.
Unused Subs: 1. Mason Interlandi, 3. Mitchell Bissinger.
Yellow Cards: Jonothan Bounas 13’, Jordan Wilkes 65’
Werribee City: 1. Frano Saric, 4. Simon Colosimo, 23. Steven Cudrig, 16. Angus Martin, 8. Daniel Chaabani, 13. Milan Savic, 19. Robert Navmoski (6. Anthony Ragusa 63’), 15. Nicola Carafiglio (14. Julian Cassano 81’), 10. Chris Cristaldo, 11. Bobby Vidanovski (3. Ryan Filipovic 66’), 9. Evan Balsis
Yellow Cards: Simon Colosimo 51’, Steven Cudrig 73’
Unused Subs: 2. Michael Simo