Image: Langwarrin SC
Both Langwarrin and Altona Magic took big steps toward promotion, as wins for the aspirational duo in addition to results elsewhere extended their respective leads at the top of their conference standings. Langwarrin’s 3-1 home success over South Springvale was aided by second-placed Caulfield United Cobras suffering a 2-1 home loss to Clifton Hill. Meanwhile in the North-West, Altona Magic defeated next-door neighbours Altona East Phoenix 3-0 in the Paisley Park derby, while second-placed Geelong suffered a shock 1-0 loss to Westgate – who began the round in bottom place. Elsewhere Banyule, North Sunshine, Preston and Sydenham Park also tasted victory, as did the likes of Mornington, Warragul and Morwell.
Gus Macleod’s Langwarrin have established a nine-point buffer at the top of the South-East after a 3-1 win over South Springvale at Lawton Park. Alex Metcalfe gave the home side the lead inside the opening two minutes of the contest only for Michael Kariuki to continue his good goalscoring form of late by levelling proceedings in the 15th minute. However, two goals inside the final ten minutes of the half from forwards Caleb Nicholes and Connor Belger catapulted Langy towards three points, leaving Aris winless in six and hovering one point above the relegation zone.
Second-placed Caulfield United Cobras suffered a heartbreaking last-minute loss to Clifton Hill as Peter Hiras’ 92nd minute strike gave the visitors all three points at Victory Park. Joe Summerbell had fired the hosts in front in the 13th minute only for an own goal ten minutes later to level the scoring as Leigh Tsoumerkas’ side entered the top half of the ladder.
Mornington avenged their Round 3 home loss to Manningham United with a dominant 4-0 romp over the Blues at Park Avenue Reserve. Scott Millar opened the scoring two minutes before the break before Sam Orritt doubled the visitors’ advantage three minutes after the restart. A Ryan Paczkowski brace sealed the three points as the Englishman took his season tally up to 13 league goals, three clear of Belger in second place on 10.
Warragul United jumped to fourth following a 2-0 win over the battling Mooroolbark in a heated encounter at Baxter Park. Peter O’Dea’s side found the back of the net either side of the break through Joel Baldwin and captain Thomas Ahmadzai, with the Barkers’ day dampened by the sending off of defender Jordan Ballerini.
Malvern City and St Kilda played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Kooyong Park with Northern Irish forward Orman Okunaiya netting a brace for the visitors while an own goal and a Lloyd Clothier strike salvaged City a draw.
The game of the round took place at Ronald Reserve in Morwell as the home side defeated Casey Comets 3-2 and in the process pushed out of the relegation zone and into tenth at the expense of their rivals. John Kuol continued his impressive form since returning to the club from Dandenong Thunder with a 32nd opener only, for Canadian striker Allando Matheson to level things up four minutes later. Hamied Zanani and Alpha Turay netted either side of the break to give Carlo Retre’s men a two-goal lead only for Matheson to reduce the deficit with 15 minutes on the clock remaining as Pegasus held on for the priceless points. The two sides will meet once again this weekend at Comets Stadium following the half-time abandonment of their Round 3 fixture at the same venue, with the scores level at 1-1.
In the North-West, Altona Magic moved 10 points clear at the top following a 3-0 triumph over Altona East Phoenix. Former Melbourne Knights attacker Melvin Becket unleashed from range in the first-half, with his shot hitting the crossbar and bouncing just over the line and in to give his side the lead going into the break. Becket completed his brace in the second half before turning provider and unselfishly assisting Klim Dimitrieski to score his second goal in consecutive weeks as Alan Davidson’s men moved back to the bottom of the standings.
That was made possible by Westgate’s shock 1-0 win over Geelong at Castley Reserve as Velibor Pavlovic’s solitary strike moved Sindeljic off the bottom of the ladder, with Tony Trifunov collecting his first win in charge of the club.
Geelong’s loss was Banyule City’s gain as the Bulls moved into second following a well-earned 1-0 away win over Yarraville, with Hector Moreira the scorer of the game’s only goal.
The North Sunshine Eagles recovered from their 6-0 embarrassment at home to the Magic the previous week by coming from behind to defeat the Essendon Royals 2-1. Gaetano Vizzini’s audacious lob over Frano Saric gave the Royals the lead in the 32nd minute before East Timorese international Raul Isac netted a quick reply three minutes later with his first goal back since returning to Larissa Reserve a fortnight ago. Diellon Memishi settled the contest mid-way through the second half with his 12th goal of the campaign to move within one point of second place. The Eagles have also today announced the signing of former North Geelong Warriors defender Darren Lewis.
Sydenham Park’s revival under John Markovski continued following a thrilling 4-3 win over the Western Suburbs at Ralph Reserve on Sunday afternoon. A double to former Brisbane Roar striker Zoran Petrevski as well as further strikes from Matt Sesay and Koce Delev had the visitors’ four goals to the good inside the opening 30 minutes of the clash. Deang Aguek got one back before the half-time interval before doubling his tally for the day and moving into double figures for the season with another one in the 52nd minute. Despite Ajak Panek’s goal on the hour mark further reducing the margin, the scoring was not extend in the final half hour of the clash as the visitors held for the win.
The Preston Lions strengthened their squad ahead of their clash with Keilor Park by bringing in former Perth Glory defender Aryn Williams to BT Connor Reserve in addition to the arrivals of Japanese midfielders Sho Katayama and Ryuji Miyazaki. Second half goals to Miyazaki and Robert Stambolziev were enough for the Lions to defeat Keilor Park 2-0 with the hosts stretching their winless run to nine games as Lou Acevski’s men overtook them into seventh place on the standings.