Written by Roy Hay.
Round 20 Southern Division Saturday 28 February 1998 Heidelberg United 3 South Melbourne 1 (Tony Ouliaris 2, Nick Chronis) (Sam Klidonas) Sunday 1 March 1998 Bentleigh Greens 3 Altona Magic 0 (John Natsioulas 2, Con Papettas) South Melbourne Rockets 0 VIS 3 (Joey Di Iorio 2, own goal) Albury Wodonga 2 Gippsland Falcons 3 (Cade Webb, Nathan Ardern) (Billy Mitroulas 2, Luke Cheney) Melbourne Knights 3 Carlton 2 (Mijo Trupkovic 2, Mario Jurjevic) (Ivica Klarica, Jovanco Novacevski) Bulleen Inter v Bye Northern Division Friday 27 February 1998 Newcastle Breakers 0 Sydney United 1 (Michael Santalab) Saturday 28 February 1998 Marconi Fairfield 1 Wollongong City 2 (Fernando Pellegrino) (Paul Reid, Chad Bishop) QAS 2 AIS 0 (Russell Miner, Morgan Cawley) Sunday 1 March 1998 Sydney United Colts 2 Marconi Fairfield Colts 2 (Brett Murray, Tony Rubelj) (Ryan Manente, Mark Hagger) Monday 2 March 1998 ACTAS NSWIS UTS Olympic v Bye Bye v UTS Olympic Colts League ladders Southern Divsion Team P W D L F A Pts Melbourne Knights 16 14 0 2 69 17 42 Carlton 15 13 0 2 33 9 39 Gippsland Falcons 16 11 2 3 35 16 35 V I S 15 8 3 4 36 17 27 Bulleen Inter 15 8 2 5 26 20 26 Bentleigh Greens 16 6 2 8 20 30 20 Heidelberg United 16 5 2 9 19 40 17 Albury Wodonga 16 5 1 10 23 24 16 South Melbourne 16 3 3 10 30 29 12 Altona Magic 15 3 2 10 18 53 11 South Melbourne Rockets 16 1 1 14 13 67 4 Northern Divsion Team P W D L F A Pts A I S 17 12 2 3 63 15 38 UTS Olympic 16 9 4 3 52 24 31 Wollongong City 18 9 4 5 36 34 31 Sydney United 17 8 6 3 49 29 30 Q A S 17 8 4 5 38 22 28 Marconi Fairfield 17 8 2 7 33 33 26 Marconi Fairfield Colts 17 6 3 8 27 40 21 Newcastle Breakers 16 5 5 6 35 32 20 A C T A S 16 5 4 7 21 44 19 Sydney United Colts 16 3 3 10 18 47 12 UTS Olympic Colts 17 3 3 11 26 60 12 N S W I S 16 2 4 10 19 37 10 Leading goalscorers Southern Division Name Team Goals Adis Kablar Melbourne Knights 13 John Kalabric Melbourne Knights 12 Zoran Petrevski VIS 12 Jovanco Novacevski Carlton 10 Festim Zekiri Melbourne Knights 7 Northern Division Name Team Goals Mile Sterjovski AIS/Sydney United 25 Mark Hagger Marconi Fairfield Colts 18 Joe Bruni Marconi Fairfield 10 Chris Tanchevski Newcastle Breakers/AIS 10 Azur Mujanovic Sydney United 10 Jim Bakis UTS Olympic 10 Nick Carle UTS Olympic 10 National Youth League (Southern Division), 28 February-1 March 1998 Michael Edgeley had a broad smile when he reported that Heidelberg United had downed old rivals South Melbourne by three goals to one on Saturday. Tony Ouliaris scored twice for the Bergers, the first from a penalty kick in 31 minutes, the second seven minutes later. Sam Klidonas pulled a goal back for the Blues in 85 and in a rip-roaring finish Nick Chronis made the points safe with a third goal for the Bergers in the last minute. In the table top clash at Knights Stadium, Melbourne Knights came back from 0-1 and 1-2 to beat Carlton by three goals to two. Cameron Pino's inswinging corner kick was headed past Andrew Belaich by Ivica Klarica after 16 minutes, but Mario Jurjevic equalised with a header at the far post after leading up work by Mijo Trupkovic, Festim Zekiri and Michael Bosevski who put over the accurate cross from the bye-line. =20 Another Pino free kick left Jovanco Novacevski with a free header to restore Carlton's lead in 32 minutes, then came the goal of the season so far. Mijo Trupkovic won the ball in midfield, beat his man, played a one-two with Zekiri, then walked round keeper Adrian Cagalj and coolly placed the ball into the empty net. In injury time in the first half Trupkovic scored what turned out to be the winner with a late run on to a cross from the left and shot just inside the post. The VIS beat South Melbourne Rockets by three goals to nil at Anderson Reserve. Joey Di Iorio scored twice for the VIS in 6 and 74 minutes and the other was an own goal in 82. The Rockets fought well with Julian Zach, Brett Gilmour and Fadil Klancevic the pick of the team. Bentleigh Greens overcame Altona Magic by the same score, with two goals by John Natsioulas and one by Con Papettas. Gippsland Falcons travelled to Albury Wodonga and came home with a three-two win in a close fought game. Billy Mitroulas scored twice for the boys from the Valley and Luke Cheney was also on target. Cade Webb scored for Albury on his first game back after a long spell out with injury and Nathan Ardern got the other goal. Without several regulars Albury Wodonga played very well throughout and might have had a share of the points with any luck. National Youth League (Northern Division), 28 February-1 March 1998 A single goal by Michael Santalab for Sydney United after 16 minutes was the difference between Newcastle Breakers and United at Topper Stadium on Friday. Sydney United moved up temporarily to third in the table with the narrow win. Both sides had a player sent off in the second half and the match was as close as the score suggests. Queensland Academy of Sport pulled off one of its best results of the season in a two-nil defeat of the Australian Academy at Suncorp in what was described as a high standard game all round. Rusell Miner and Morgan Cawley scored the goals one in each half and there were top performances from Andrew Packer and Shane Stefanutto for the QAS. The Queenslanders kept the pace up to the end matching the AIS lads in every way. Wollongong City downed Marconi Fairfield by two goals to one at Marconi Stadium. Paul Reid after 48 minutes and Chad Bishop with a penalty in 65 scored for the visitor and Ferndando Pellegrino replied for Marconi in 68 minutes. The win enabled Wollongong to climb back over Sydney into third spot. Sydney United Colts and Marconi Fairfield Colts shared the points in a two-all draw at Sydney United Sports Stadium on Sunday. Brett Murraya put United in front in 24 minutes, but Mark Hagger's 18th goal of the season four minutes later locked the scores once again. Tony Rubelj scored for United in 66 minutes, but again Marconi fought back and Ryan Manente equalised in 73 minutes. It was even all the way and though a player from each side was sent off late in the game it was spirited and well fought match.