1996/7 National Youth League Southern Division

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National Youth League (Victorian Division),
28-9 December 1996

by Roy Hay

Gippsland Falcons inflicted the first defeat of the season on the Victorian Institute of Sport by two goals to one in the Latrobe Valley on Saturday. All the goals came in a closely fought first half. Tony Sekulic fired an excellent goal through a crowd of bodies after his initial shot following a Dean Vella corner had been blocked. That was in twenty minutes. Five minutes later Manoa Masi put the Falcons further ahead, but the VIS got a penalty in 32 and Zoran Petrevski buried that. Thereafter the Falcons had most of the play but the result remained in doubt to the end. Best players for the Falcons were Sekulic, John Hutchinson and Adrian Savage.

Melbourne Knights overwhelmed the Sunshine Georgies by six goals to one at Chaplin Reserve. The first half was quite tight with the Knights ahead by only two goals to one at the interval. Thereafter it was one-way traffic with Mijo Trupkovic scoring a hat-trick for the Knights, Joey Rajher added two and Branko Bacak took his tally for the seasont to thirteen with his goal. Shaun Micaleff was the Georgies lone goalscorer.

South Melbourne regained top spot with a twelve-one demolition of plucky Box Hill at Wembley Park. It was six-one at the break and though Box Hill had a couple of good attacks and one goal for Mimo Orlando, who has fought very hard for his team, the South team was too strong and too skilled. Daniel Allsopp and Alfonso Opazo each scored four times, Gary Kostakis twice and there were singles by George Tsirtis and Alex Efstathiou.

Collingwood Warriors was in danger of forgetting the lesson it learned in the last two weeks, when it dominated the first half against Green Gully but had only a single goal to show for its supremacy. Vlad Babic converted a penalty after Albert Amato brought down Jim Parisis. Babic and Lee Tsourmerkas had earlier been thwarted by the Green Gully defence or had put the ball wide when in excellent scoring positions. It was well after the hour when the Warriors broke through again, Tsoumerkas forcing home a corner kick from close range after keeper Andrew Watkins, who had a fine game throughout, could not capture the ball. Substitute Murray Makris put over a cross from the left for Daniel Moore to force the ball past Dean Anastasiadis to bring Green Gully back into the game, but Con Boutsianis found space in the penalty area to fire the ball expertly just inside the post in 82 minutes to give the Warriors some breathing space.

Melbourne Knights Colts and Bentleigh Greens drew three-all at Knights Stadium. Con Papttas put the visitors ahead in ten minutes but the Colts striking pair of Adis Kablar and Ivo Razov stormed back with a goal each. Stacy Bonito equalised just on the interval, then four minutes later Andrew Charalambous scored from the spot to put the Greens ahead once again. There were only a couple of minutes left when substitute Hrvoje Matkovic grabbed an equaliser for the Colts.

At Ross Reserve, Springvale City and Altona Magic shared the points in a one-all draw. Juan Adones put Springie in front with a penalty after 16 minutes and it took the Magic till the 70th minutes to pull the goal back, which it did through Darko Todevski.

The match between Heidelberg United and Thomastown Zebras was not played. It is reported that the Zebras could not field a team.