Port Melbourne SC defeated Melbourne Victory Youth 1-2 in a rain-soaked affair on Sunday afternoon at Epping Stadium to return to winning ways in the league and remain within striking distance of the top 6.
New signing Luke Gavalas made his first appearance for the club in goal, along with Tyler James making his first start following a brief cameo in the mid-week cup game. It was an otherwise unsettled line-up for the Sharks as they took on a Melbourne Victory side that was looking to end a run of three consecutive defeats.
Port Melbourne started brightly with Bonel Obradovic unleashing a powerful shot within the first minute to make an early statement of intent. The breakthrough for Port came in the 18th minute when Adrian Zahra switched the play to right wing to release Jamie De Abreu. De Abreu was able to cut inside and opened the scoring with a left-footed finish that beat Victory ‘keeper Wyatt Chant at his near post. The lead only lasted 5 minutes however, with John Maclean’s cross from the right finding Joey Katebian, his effort hit the crossbar before the rebound fell to Jordan Brown and he was able to capitalise to even the score at 1-1. After losing David Stirton at half-time to injury, the challenge became even greater after Adrian Zahra also came off injured in the 67th minute prompting a re-shuffle to the line-up. Despite the adversity, Port asserted their authority on the contest and were able to break the deadlock in the 80th minute with Jamie De Abreu securing his brace after cutting inside from the left wing and forcing a strong save from Wyatt Chant, before collecting the rebound & finishing with a pin-point effort just inside the near post again. This sealed a valuable 1-2 win for the Sharks who were determined to restore their league form having tasted success in the FFA Cuo during the week.
The result sees Port Melbourne move up to 7th position on the table and the win seals a ‘double’ for the club against Melbourne Victory Youth in 2016, having won the initial encounter in Round 2 with the scoreline 1-0 on that occasion. The match at Epping Stadium was the first in a run of four away games for the Sharks, with the next match coming on Friday, June 10 against South Melbourne FC at Lakeside Stadium.
FINAL SCORE: Melbourne Victory Youth 1-2 Port Melbourne SC (HT: 1-1)
Venue: Epping Stadium
Date: Sunday 5 June 2016
Melbourne Victory FC Youth :
1. Wyatt Chant (GK), 2. John VAKIRTZIS, 3. Callum GOULDING, 4. Matt HENNESSEY, 13. Oliver PATERNO, 15. Josh HOPE, 16. Jordan BROWN (8. Anthony DUZEL 65’), 10. Seb PASQUALI, 9. Michael HOLDEN (14. Christian THEOHAROUS 78’), 11. John MACLEAN (7. Andre MCNAMARA 82’), 33. Joey KATEBIAN.
Unused Subs: 20. Majak MAWITH (GK), 5. James XYDIAS
Port Melbourne SC:
28. Luke GAVALAS (GK), 20. Tyler JAMES, 19. Shaun KELLY (C), 23. Jacob ELIOPOULOS, 3. James RICCOBENE, 2. Andrew VIOLA, 8. Bonel OBRADOVIC, 7. Jamie DE ABREU, 17. Erhan YALAZ (22. Ryan OPPERMANN 61’), 9. Adrian ZAHRA (4. James KARVELIS 67′), 10. David STIRTON (12. Alec GOODWIN 46′).
Unused Subs: 1. James KAPURANOVSKI (GK), 14. Trent MANICAS