Southern Stars were on the receiving end of their third 4-0 loss in a row, meaning they have now conceded 45 goals in 16 matches. Luca Santilli and Matthew Lazaridis ran riot with the former bagging his first hat trick in the VPL.
South Melbourne failed to build on a strong showing against Dandenong and couldn’t get the better of a stubborn Richmond side, playing out a 1-1 draw. This all but shuts the door on finals aspirations for South Melbourne in 2013.
Northcote City took one huge step towards securing the minor premiership after results fell their way as they pummelled Port Melbourne 4-0. The Sharks were previously undefeated away from home but that record came tumbling down at the hands of the league leaders, inspired by Milos Lujic.
Melbourne Knights were the form team in the competition and raised a few eyebrows after slumping to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Green Gully. The Cavaliers are never far away from finals football and lurk as the dark horse with an abundance of experience in their squad.
Stuart Munro registered his first three points since returning to the helm at Dandenong. A solitary goal from Sean McIlroy was enough to seal the win against third placed Hume and remain in the hunt for a finals berth.
Bentleigh lost for only the fourth time in 26 VPL matches, and what a loss it was. Looking comfortable for 75 minutes of the match, the Greens imploded against the out-of-sorts Oakleigh Cannons as Goran Zoric bagged a brace and Alex Smith nicked the winner in stoppage time.
Chris Oldfield (Hume City)
Had a good game between the sticks to keep Thunder to the single goal. Perhaps one of the more underrated keepers in the VPL, he has been very safe in goal for the most part of 2013.
Shane Rexhepi (Dandenong Thunder)
Comfortable at right back or in the centre of defence, Dandenong’s skipper stood up to the test of third placed Hume city and looked tidy all afternoon.
Craig Elvin (Dandenong Thunder)
Back to his stubborn, miserly best with a clean sheet away to Hume. Elvin contemplated retiring after winning the treble this year, but changed his mind and has been Dandenong’s best player this season.
Adrian Chiapetta (Northcote City)
After a turbulent month of form, Northcote were back to their clean sheet-keeping, goal-plundering best with Chiapetta in the thick of the action. He even managed to grab a goal after thwarting Port’s attack.
Wayne Wallace (Bentleigh Greens)
Same old game from Wallace. Robust and simple yet ever so effective. It’s the work he does that allows Bentleigh to play its possession game.
Ariel Ritz (Richmond SC)
Helped Richmond secure a point against the hot and cold South Melbourne. A good box to box game from the former Southern Stars man.
Matthew Lazaridis (Pascoe Vale)
On as an early substitute, Lazaridis supplied two of Santilli’s goals and scored one of his own to cap off an impressive performance from the youngster.
Luca Santilli (Pascoe Vale)
Volleyed home Lazaridis’ cross before pouncing on a rebound to slot his second. Completed his hat-trick with a coolly taken spot kick in the second half.
Luke O’Dea (Bentleigh Greens)
Recently returning to the Bentleigh squad, O’Dea was in fine form. He tapped home the opener and assisted Stirton’s goal, but it was his running and direct play in the “number ten” position that was a constant threat to Oakleigh.
Dean Piemonte (Northcote City)
Had one of those games where something was always going to happen with the ball at his feet. Will definitely go close to player of the year this season.
Milos Lujic (Northcote City)
The VPL’s top scorer added another two goals to his tally in a 4-0 rout of Port Melbourne. He now sits on 13 goals for the season and is looking nearly impossible to catch if he remains free of injury and suspension.
Adam Hrehoresin (Port Melbourne Sharks)
Port’s keeper conceded four but without him it could’ve been a cricket score.
Nicky Soolsma (South Melbourne)
Arguably South’s best player on the pitch, he has proved to be a shrewd mid-season signing.
Osagie Ederaro (Green Gully)
Played a part in setting up Gully’s two goals and looked sharp all afternoon.
Mathew Sanders (Green Gully)
Headed home what proved to be the winner in the surprise win over the Knights.
Andrew Barisic (Melbourne Knights)
Would be a contender for player of the month if there was one. Scored yet another goal this week.