Match Report: South Melbourne 2-1 Northcote City

By Steven Chang (@Gixibyte)15041792392_f03142c7d9_o

South Melbourne showcased a commanding 2-1 home victory over Northcote City at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday to place itself on the brink of a championship title.

NPL leading goalscorer Milos Lujic was the hero, netting a brace to cancel out Marino Gasparis’s equaliser.

The win could have huge ramifications for second-placed Oakleigh, which must win its remaining three matches – one of those away to South Melbourne – and hope that South Melbourne drops points against Goulburn Valley if it is to win the inaugural NPL title.

In the early minutes, Lujic was played through by an incisive move, but the ball was smothered by a swift Chris Theodoridis intervention.

Nick Epifano was soon presented with an opportunity in the penalty area, but miscued his volley which bounced well wide of the woodwork.

Nevertheless, the home side’s pressure paid off and South took an early lead when Tyson Holmes delivered a pinpoint cross onto the forehead of Lujic, who nodded the ball home to open the scoring.

Epifano was again involved, nimbly skipping past his marker to sling a stinging shot which was parried to safety by Theodoridis.

Northcote struggled to impose itself on the match, allowing South to control much of the first half’s proceedings.

The away side crept back into the game at the close of the opening stanza, stringing together a patch of possession which culminated in a sizzling blast from Anthony Rizk which was tipped over the crossbar by South custodian Chris Maynard.

Ten minutes after the break, Gasparis netted for Northcote against his former club with a low , precise free kick to level the scores.

South fired back with Holmes finding himself in space with all the time in the world, but he narrowly placed his shot just inches wide.

The partisan home crowd was provoked into indignant roars when Lujic was seemingly brought down in the box but the referee waved away the howling protests.

Substitute Mathew Theodore showed flawless composure with his first touch of the game to supply Lujic through on goal, and the big man demonstrated clinical technique and flair with the outside of his boot to restore South’s advantage.

Northcote occasionally threatened in patches, but Maynard held firm and displayed acrobatic reflexes to keep South’s lead intact until the final whistle blew and the delighted home crowd celebrated joyously.

Winning coach Chris Taylor was confident that his side was within touching distance of the championship.

“I’m just happy with the three points. It’s all I care about. Feels like we’ve just got a bit more to do and get to where we want to be,” Taylor said.

“We’re confident in what we do and for me we’ve been the best side all year and we just need to continue doing it.”

Taylor’s opposite number Arch Giotopoulos – filling in for coach Goran Lozanovski – enjoyed the match as a contest and still believed his side had pride to play for.

“Entertaining match. Both teams went for it. Unfortunately they just got the better of us”, Giotopoulos said.

“There’s still something to play for. You play for the shirt. That means the supporters, the history, and the club.”

South Melbourne will have to the chance to secure the title with a draw or win against Oakleigh when the two sides meet in a fortnight at Lakeside Stadium.

MATCH DETAILS

South Melbourne 2 (Lujic 16’ 72’) defeated Northcote City 1 (Gasparis 56’) at Lakeside Stadium [HT: 1-0]

SOUTH MELBOURNE: 21. Chris MAYNARD (GK), 2. Tim MALA, 4. Michael EAGAR, 7. Nick EPIFANO, 9. Milos LUJIC, 10. Tyson HOLMES (25. Shaun TIMMINS 73’), 11. Bradley NORTON (8. Mathew Theodore 70’), 12. Iqi JAWADI, 14. James MUSA, 17. Jamie REED, 77. Stephen HATZIKOSTAS

Unused substitutes:  1. Jason SALDARIS, 18. Dion KIRK, 27. Leigh MINOPOULOS.

Yellow cards: None.

Red cards: None.

NORTHCOTE CITY: 22. Chris THEODORIDIS, 2. Adrian CHIAPPETTA, 4. Kristian KONSTANTINIDIS, 5. Philip PETRESKI, 6. Aaron WARD, 10. Marino GASPARIS (9. Trent RIXON 78’), 11. Liam WOODING, 15. Wade DEKKER (8. James KALIFATIDIS 77’), 16. Greg LOMBARDO, 17. Anthony RIZK, 23. Jonathan BOUNAS (7. Jonathan MUNOZ 70’)

Unused substitutes: 1. Luke GAVALAS, 21. Ricardo GONZALEZ.

Yellow cards: Petreski (36’), Bounas (44’).

Red cards: None

 

Mitchell Osborne signs for Hércules de Alicante CF

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Northcote City FC would like to congratulate young gun Mitchell Osborne on signing for Spanish club Hércules C.F.

We wish Mitchell all the very best for the future as he embarks in a lifelong dream of making it as a professional footballer. He heads to Spain with high hopes of potentially breaking into the first team, without doubt taking on lessons from his father, former AFL great Richard Osborne.

Well done to our Under 20 coaching staff, led by head coach Alex Gymnopoulos, David Kalifatidis and Team Manager Jack Sidiropoulos who have worked closely with Mitchell this season, as the Club continues to build on its record of developing talented players.

Support our 7-a-Side Players at the National Championships

We are back to fight another Nationals campaign for 7-a-side football.

Our team of eleven players with cerebral palsy and acquired brain injury have been training hard for our biggest event of the year.

We are determined to beat our efforts last year, narrowly missing out on the bronze medal at the National 7-a-side Paralympic Football Championships.

Some of us are still at school, whilst others have struggled to find even part-time work. We would greatly appreciate any support you can give.

We are the Victorian 7-a-side Football Team and we want to make our state proud.

The team trains at Northcote and is coached by our long time clubmen George and Perry Tsangas. This great team is looking to raise $10,000 to get to Coffs Harbour for the tournament, please support them!

Click here to donate

Match Report: Northcote City 1-0 Heidelberg United

By Brandon Galgano (@bgalgano94) 

An absolute belter from former Adelaide United youngster Liam Wooding has seen Northcote City defeat Heidelberg United 1-0 at John Cain Memorial Reserve on Sunday afternoon. 10983_954626874564417_8981417471525935666_n

Having already put up a contender for goal of the season in last weekend’s victory over Goulburn Valley, Wooding added another candidate with a brilliant finish right on the stroke of half time. 

It was Heidelberg who came out of the blocks fired up though and it very nearly took the lead twice inside the first two minutes. 

The first attempt fell to Dan Heffernan who received the ball on the edge of the area before cutting onto his left and striking low but his effort was held well by Theodoridis. 

Just 30 seconds later Heffernan found Kaine Sheppard free on the edge of the area but the Englishman could only steer his half volley wide of the post. 

Northcote had to wait half an hour for its first sight on goal as Wooding found space at the edge of the area, but his shot was brilliantly charged down by former Melbourne Victory defender Steven Pace. 

Unfortunately for the veteran though he appeared to have injured himself in doing so and was substituted just minutes later. 

And just as it seemed like both sides would go into the break level pegging, a moment of brilliance from Wooding saw Northcote take the lead. 

With just seconds remaining in first half stoppage time the South Australian picked up the ball on the edge of the area before cutting onto his right foot and curling an unstoppable effort past Griffin McMaster into the top-right corner. 

Heidelberg begun to dominate in the second half as they looked to break down a sturdy Northcote defence but the poor playing surface limited the influence of their usually deadly attacking trio of Heffernan, Shephard and Cartanos. 

The side had its best chance to equalise with just fifteen minutes to play though as Sheppard found himself free just six yards out but his effort was brilliantly denied by Theodoridis once again. 

Heidelberg’s chances of getting back into the contest then took a massive blow with just 10 minutes to play as top scorer Heffernan clashed heads with Northcote skipper Adrian Chiappetta and had to be substituted with what looked like a serious head injury. 

The visitors very nearly stole a point right at the death though through Jack Petrie but his half volley from just inside the area flew just over the bar.


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Heidelberg coach George Katsakis was disgusted with the playing surface following the match before calling on the FFV to take immediate action. 

“It’s just an absolute disgrace to the league,” Katsakis said.

“When you’re playing on a field like this it doesn’t allow an NPL club to be able to fulfil its position in the league if they can’t maintain their grounds up to a certain standard.

“The FFV need to take immediate action because it’s simply not good enough and I just feel sorry for the Northcote players who have to come back here week after week.”

Northcote coach Goran Lozanovski was pleased with his side’s performance against one of the top sides in the league but did admit that the surface had an impact on the quality of the match. 

“Look I think it was a matter of us taking our chances and it was one spectacular goal which made the difference for us today so I’m very happy with the result against one of the best sides in the league,” Lozanovski said.

“Unfortunately the quality of the pitch isn’t up to scratch but as a club we are at the mercy of the council and all we can do is get on with our jobs.

“I feel for Heidelberg but they have to understand that we have to train on this field week in week out and unfortunately that it is out of our control so I think everyone just needs to get over it and move on.”

Match Details: 

Northcote City 1 (Wooding 45’) defeated Heidelberg United 0 at John Cain Memorial Reserve

Northcote City Line-up: 22 Chris Theodoridis, 2 Adrian Chiappetta ©, 16 Gregory Lombardo, 5 Phillip Petreski, 6 Aaron Ward, 4 Kristian Konstantinidis, 23 Jonathan Bounas (7 Jonathan Munoz 64’), 11 Liam Wooding (14 Michael Catalano 78’), 10 Marinos Gasparis, 17 Anthony Rizk (3 Nasr Said 90’), 15 Wade Dekker 

Unused Substitutes: 1 Luke Gavalas  

Yellow Cards: Konstantinidis 50’ 

Red Cards: Nil 

Heidelberg United Line-up: 32 Griffin McMaster, 2 John Lazaridis, 13 Luke Byles©, 12 Steven Pace (19 Jacob Williams 31’), 10 Jack Petrie, 11 Mark McGough, 9 Kosta Kanakaris, 4 Jordan Wilkes, 23 Andrew Cartanos (6 Paul Miller 64’), 22 Kaine Sheppard, 14 Dan Heffernan (8 Zane Sole 80’) 

Unused Substitutes: 20 Ryan Norval, 16 James Goulopolous 

Yellow Cards: nil

Red Cards: Nil 

Image credit: Mark Avellino Photography