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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 20 August 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 20 AUGUST 2016 27 SPORT FFV Tribunal docks South Melbourne FC three championship points Bentleigh has unassailable lead in race for Premier’s Plate The FFV Tribunal has handed down a three championship-point deduction to South Melbourne FC after a guilty finding against the club and one of its associates over charges arising from its 3-1 away loss to Bentleigh Greens in an NPL fixture on 8 August, 2016. The tribunal heard the charges last Wednesday evening and found a South Melbourne FC club associate guilty of misconduct, believed to be towards a match official. As a result, the tribunal determined that the club associate be banned from attending FFV sanctioned matches for six months. In addition to the individual involved, South Melbourne FC also faced a charge of failing to control the club associate, for which it was found guilty and penalised the three competition points. Unless South Melbourne can successfully appeal the ruling, the tribunal deliberations effectively mean that South's Premier's Plate of last season now passes on to Bentleigh Greens. As a result of South's three-point deduction, the Bentleigh Greens now have an unassailable lead of six points at the top of the NPL ladder going into Sunday's final round of home and away matches, meaning the Greens can now claim the Premiers' Plate as their own. It also means that Bentleigh Greens will officially be Victoria's rep- resentative in the national NPL title competition at the end of the season. For South Melbourne, however, the point deduction comes as a blow, following so soon after it had regained second spot on the table ahead of old rival Heidelberg United. It now slips to third position behind Heidelberg United on goal difference. Heidelberg just needs to win its last match of the season against bottomplaced Melbourne Victory to secure second spot on the table ahead of South, with the week's rest in the finals followed by a home final the reward for finishing in the top two. It's unclear at this stage whether South Melbourne FC will appeal the tribunal's decision. Spartans play in their sixth straight grand final Hawthorn club aims for back-to-back premierships The Hawthorn Spartans are coming and they are looking for another premiership. This will be the sixth consecutive grand final for the Spartans, an amazing achievement. The grand final will be held tomorrow at 2.00 pm at Sportscover Arena, 164 Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick, Mel D3 67 (the same place as last year). As in previous years, there will be a big crowd of Spartan supporters attending and cheering them on. The canteen will be open. For more match details re- fer to the Spartans website at www.hawthornspartans.com.au Bentleigh Greens cup runneth over with another success Bentleigh Greens players and coaching staff celebrate the club’s first ever Dockerty Cup win. PHOTO: BENTLEIGH GREENS FACEBOOK. GEORGE STOGIANNOU Bentleigh Greens continues to create more club history after winning the Dockerty Cup for the first time on Wednesday evening, when it defeated Green Gully 1-nil in extra time at ABD stadium thanks to a Ryan Paczkowski winner. A crowd of about 300 people watched the reigning NPL champion and current league leader take on Arthur Papas' Green Gully, which went into the game as the only other Victorian team alive in all competitions. They watched the Greens, impressive as always in possession despite missing key players Wayne Wallace, Chris Lucas and Matt Thurtell to injury. However, the best chance of the half fell to Gully striker Liam Boland, whose powerful strike just before the break was kept out by a reflex save by Bentleigh keeper Ryan Scott. Scott also made important saves from the same player late in the second half when Boland launched a couple of thunderbolts from distance. However it was a combination of centre half Jack Webster's right foot and Paczkowski's left foot which produced the Cup winner just two minutes into extra time. Webster's 45-metre diagonal pass from just inside his half caught the Gully defence off guard, picking out Paczkowski's run on the outside of his defender. The striker's first touch on the edge of the box was good enough to take him in behind the Gully back four and into the box without breaking stride, and he lunged to tap the ball past the advancing Gully keeper Rani Dowisha and watch the ball roll gently over the line and into the net. In extra time, Bentleigh denied a chasing Gully the opportunities to get back in the game by doing what they do better than any other team in the competition, that is, keep possession of the ball. At the end of the match, the Bentleigh players received their cup winning medals, defender Jack Webster was awarded the Jim Mackay medal for player of the final, and coach John Anastasiadis publicly paid tribute to Gully's efforts before praising his own team. Addressing his players he said: "We've had it tough for the last four to five weeks but today you were immense. It took us 120 minutes but I think we're used to it after the FFA Cup ( away win in Adelaide) and now the Dockerty Cup. "I couldn't be more proud of you boys. Just keep on going wherever it takes us." Northcote City’s push for survival reaches end game GEORGE STOGIANNOU After causing one of the upsets of the season last Saturday to defeat the almighty Bentleigh Greens, Northcote City faces another massive challenge in its must-win final match of the season, in a Hellenic derby away to Oakleigh Cannons. Sunday's match marks a reunion of sorts for the two opposing coaches, who formerly worked side by side at Northcote. Current Oakleigh joint coach and former Northcote coach Gus Tsolakis will match wits with his former assistant, Northcote City head coach Goran Lozanovski. Northcote's shock 2-1 win over Bentleigh Greens last week revived hopes of survival for Lozanovski's team, lifting it temporarily above Richmond into the play-off spot before Richmond won a crucial relegation battle 1-nil against Bulleen at the Veneto Club last Monday to again climb above Northcote by two points. The maths for Northcote is simple. It must win its final match against the Cannons and hope either one or both the teams above it, Richmond or Bulleen Lions, lose their final games. If both those teams lose, and Northcote defeats Oakleigh, then Northcote secures automatic survival. If one of those teams loses and Northcote wins, Northcote secures a play-off place. If Northcote loses or draws, it kisses NPL 1 football goodbye for the season. After the win against Bentleigh, Northcote coach Lozanovski said: "The belief's always been there, no doubt about it. No doubt we've had some hard times over the last month or so, but belief's always got to be there. It's my job to keep everyone switched on mentally. As far as I'm concerned, as long as we keep winning games and the rest pans out, if it's meant to be, it's meant to be." At the other end of the table, Heidelberg United finds itself in the driver's seat for a top-two finish behind Bentleigh, after the dramatic events at the tribunal midweek turned things in Heidelberg's favour. South Melbourne's threepoint penalty means it slips back into third place, equal on points with the Bergers, but behind on considerable goal difference. A win to Heidelberg on Sunday against relegated Melbourne Victory will secure it the prized second-spot finish and consign South Melbourne to a more difficult finals campaign. The Bergers will welcome back striker Kenny Athiu whose partnership with newly-signed Archie Thompson is eagerly anticipated by Bergers' supporters. Third-placed South Melbourne hosts fourth-placed Green Gully on Sunday. In Rd 26 NPL 2 East action this weekend, Dandenong Thunder hosts Kingston City in a long-awaited top-ofthe- table clash on Saturday evening, which could settle the title race once and for all between the two sides, who have been neck and neck all season. City will be looking to pick itself up from a setback last week when it lost 1-3 at home to St Albans Saints. The loss leaves it trailing Thunder by three points. In other NPL 2 E matches, Box Hill United hosts Nunawading City on Saturday, while Brunswick City will be hoping to continue its impressive run when it travels to Shepparton on Sunday to play Goulburn Valley Suns. In Rd 20 State League NW 1, Yarraville hosts Banyule City while Western Suburbs travel to Diamond Valley. Alton East Phoenix travels to Westgate FC after scoring an upset 1-nil home win over second-placed Preston Lions last weekend. In SE 1, fourth-placed FC Clifton Hill hosts Frankston Pines, South Springvale hosts Berwick City and in the match of the round, second-placed Manningham United hosts third-placed Malvern City.
13 August 2016
27 August 2016