D-day for Seaford, high five for Strikers
Fortnightly Frankston City area wrap by Craig MacKenzie.
Seaford United’s season could hinge on the outcome of this weekend’s top-of-the-table clash against Caulfield United Cobras at North Seaford Reserve.
Seaford slumped to a shock 3-1 home loss in Saturday’s Provisional League 2 derby showdown with Skye United.
Goals from Frank Dimu and Cristian Espinoza ensured that the visitors went into the interval with a comfortable buffer but Dimu twice had the chance from the penalty spot to put the game out of reach only to shoot straight at Seaford keeper Paul Seeley.
Djuro Mirkovic gave Skye an unassailable lead in the second half while new signing Michael Cooke got the consolation for the home side.
“This Saturday’s game is huge for us,” said Seaford coach Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor.
“If we drop games now we could just about kiss goodbye to our chances of doing something this season.”
Taylor will bring Daniel Hodge into the squad to face Caulfield and is hoping that English import Luke Gale is available after a six-week injury absence.
Langwarrin is in danger of being drawn into the State League Two relegation battle after losing 1-0 away to Noble Park United on Saturday and having to travel to fellow struggler Diamond Valley this weekend.
Vedran Tanasic settled the issue in the 70th minute when he got clear on the right of the Langy penalty area and gave Michael Sivulja no chance with a clinical strike.
Langy’s best chance fell to young striker Liam Ryan but he failed to convert, shooting straight at fill-in Noble Park custodian Grujo Mrdic.
Langy hopes to have Chris Quinn and Boris Ovcin available after injury for Saturday’s vital fixture while central defender Chris McKenna is back from suspension.
If Langy loses to Diamond Valley it will be its fourth straight loss, a first in the 14-year coaching reign of peninsula legend Gus Macleod.
Peninsula Strikers enjoyed a five-goal feast at the expense of promotion-chasing Springvale City at Centenary Park on Saturday.
Sait Uygur scored the first four goals of a lop-sided contest and Alex Akrivopoulos rounded off the scoreline.
Uygur’s second in the first half was the goal of the game given the stunning lead-up work by central striker Ben Caffrey.
“Caff” beat three opponents then drew the keeper before squaring the ball to Uygur who blasted it high into the Springy net from close range.
Strikers’ coach Jamie Skelly knows that it’s a long shot but he hasn’t given up hope of grabbing second place in the State League 3 promotion race.
“We play all the sides around us in the next three games and that will decide what happens,” he said.
“We’re eight points adrift (of second) with a game in hand so we can’t afford to lose another game this season.”
Strikers are at home again on Saturday against Fitzroy City and as it is a gala past players’ day the club is hoping to draw a big crowd to the match.
Mathematically possible but highly fanciful may be the best way to describe Baxter’s hopes of achieving this season’s aim of promotion from Provisional League Three.
Far too often in recent weeks its defence has been found wanting and it was more of the same on Saturday when it blew a two-goal lead and went down 4-3 at home to Noble Park.
"We lost three goals to back post headers and we could have been 6-1 up at half-time,” said coach Jim Morrison.
A good finish by Alan Lipsett and two long-range free kicks from John Camburn were the highlights of an otherwise disappointing day for the home side.
Baxter’s woes weren’t confined to the backline though. Morrison pushed three up front for the last 20 minutes but the home side spurned three clear-cut chances and paid the penalty when it was caught on the break for the deciding goal.
Frankston Pines travelled to Monash University’s playing fields on Saturday only to have their clash called off due to the state of the pitch.
It was a decision that bemused Pines coach Danny Verdun who now zeroes in on this weekend’s away clash with second-placed Riversdale.
Fixtures for rounds 16 and 17:
Saturday 4 August, 3pm: Diamond Valley v Langwarrin (Partingtons Flat), Peninsula Strikers v Fitzroy City (Centenary Park), Riversdale v Frankston Pines (Frog Hollow Reserve), Seaford Utd v Caulfield Utd Cobras (North Seaford Reserve), Skye Utd v Bayside Argonauts (Skye Recreational Reserve), Baxter v Whitehorse Utd (Baxter Park).
Saturday 11 August, 3pm: Langwarrin v Eastern Lions (Lawton Park), Doveton v Peninsula Strikers (Waratah Reserve), Frankston Pines v Brandon Park (Monterey Reserve), Lyndale Utd v Seaford Utd (Lyndale Secondary College), Caulfield Utd Cobras v Skye Utd (Victory Park), White Star Dandenong v Baxter (Greaves Reserve).