By Katie Lambeski (@KatieLambeski)
A first half burst from Northcote City FC led them to a 3-1 win over Green Gully SC at John Cain Memorial Park on Sunday.
Calvin Mbarga, Jordan Wilkes and a spot-kick from Marino Gasparis were too much for a 15th minute goal from Gully’s Hakeem Aloraibi.
In his first game at his new club, Calvin Mbarga immediately put Northcote in front, turning the ball over high up the park, unleashing a long-range strike over Rani Dowisha and into the back of the net.
Despite the early set-back, Gully responded and looked the better of the two for the rest of the early exchanges, Northcote found it difficult to deal with the accurate set-pieces from Rinor Muriqi.
The visitors did not have to wait long for an equalizer with Aloraibi’s headed goal from a Muriqi corner at the 15thminute his first goal for the club.
Northcote then turned momentum its way and capitalized through Jordan Wilkes at the 22nd minute when he leapt onto to a corner delivered by Marino Gasparis.
The home side continued to build pressure on Gully, and again made it count with Mbarga seizing another turnover and drawing what the referee deemed a handball in the penalty area.
Gasparis duly converted to give Northcote a 3-1 lead at the break.
Gully gave their all over the second half, and introduced new recruit Evan Christodolou early in the half to freshen up the attack.
But they were met by a strong resistance from the Northcote defence (ed by Wilkes and Gregory Lombardo, while Mbarga remained a dangerous figure at the other end.
Debutant Christodoulou showed a glimpse of his potential at the death as he leapt on to a ball from Liam Boland on the left of the box, his shot just went over and Northcote ended 3-1 winners.
Northcote City FC 3 (Mbarga 2’, Wilkes 22’, Gasparis 38’) defeated Green Gully SC 1 (Aloraibi 15’) at John Cain Memorial Park. (HT 3-1)
Northcote City FC: 22. Chris THEODORIDIS, 4. Jacob ELIOPOULOS, 12. Jordan WILKES, 5. Gregory LOMBARDO, 19. Ryan GO, 10. Marino GASPARIS, 20. Nicholas KOKOLAKIS (3. Mitchell BISSINGER 83’), 14. Anthony RAMZY (18. Nikola MARKOVSKI 64’), 23. Jonathan BOUNAS (7. Bonel OBRADOVIC 70’), 11. Evan KOUNAVELIS, 9. Calvin MBARGA
Unused subs: 1. Mason INTERLANDI (RGK), 2. Hayden D’AGOSTINO
Yellow/Red cards: nil
Green Gully SC: 23. Rani DOWISHA, 2. Mathew REID, 5. Rodrigo VARGAS, 6. Jem BERKANT (9. Evan CHRISTODOULOU 57’), 8. Tomas MURPHY (6. Muhammed UZUMCU 73’), 10. Rinor MURIQI, 11. Matthew BREEZE, 14. Amadu KOROMA, 7. Alon BLUMGART, 20. Hakeem ALORAIBI, 38. Liam BOLAND
Unused subs: 1. Sebastian MATTEI (RGK), 3. Aaron COHEN, 18. Anthony MARAFIOTI
Yellow cards: Reid (79’)