Fitzroy, Brimbank & Mickleham condemned to relegation play offs.
The final round of the season and relegation was heating up. Although the first clash on the card was a dead rubber both sides were looking to finish off the season in style. It was Pascoe Vale who got off to the better start as Vadim Mazurskiy grabbing the first two goals. Leading goal scorer Joao Da Silva then chimed in with 2 of his own to have the lions Cruising at 4-0. Cem Bicer was relatively quiet in the lion’s goals but made a few good saves when called upon. Giuseppe Amonail looked up for the game and did manage to test Bicer on a few occasions. Richmond were beginning to work their way into the game and creating chances to goal but were quickly undone by the brilliance of Pascoe Vale as Mazurskiy tied up his hat-trick, before Mark Burton hit 2 more late goals to have the lions leading 7-0 at the break. The second half was action packed from the get go with killer bee’s captain Ninos Emmanuel converting a brilliant toe poke from kick off. Mazurskiy quickly dampened the mood again adding his 4th before Pascoe Vales golden boy Da Silva struck again to all but cement his 3rd golden boot award. A former golden boot winner James Blackburn got the lion’s next goal before another from Da Silva really put Mickleham to shame, but there was one last hurrah in the Pascoe Vale season as Mazurskiy added his 5th to cap his best performance of the season. The win meant little to Pascoe Vale or Richmond as the lions stayed second while the killer bees became the first side to be relegated from the NIKE V-League Premiership.
FC Essendon 4-4 Fitzroy FC
Second clash on the card looked to be the biggest of the night with a win to both sides guaranteeing safety and FOZ cup action. The game begun with both sides playing quite tentative and in fear of conceding early on but it proved to work in Fitzroy’s favour as they opened the scoring through Juan Sastre. Knowing that anything less than a win could send Fitzroy into the relegation battles they started the brighter of the two having some good chances early on and the combination of Robert Armellini and Richard Ferguson was working wonders at the back. However Essendon battled back and got an equaliser through Vlado Zoric to take them into half time level. Soon after the break Essendon hit the lead through Peter Meletis. Fitzroy player manager Adrian D’ortenzio grabbed the equaliser with a thunderous toe poke for his side before his young superstar Richard Ferguson gave them the lead. It was that man D’ortenzio again causing havoc for Essendon giving his lads a 4-2 advantage with only 7 minutes remaining. Staring a relegation battle square in the face Ignat Filipovic scored a thunderbolt to give Essendon a sniff, before Zoric equalised to save Essendon’s V-League status. There were plenty of chances late in the game but none were taken. The draw gave both sides a chance at staying in the league but should Brunswick defeat Brimbank at 9:50pm Fitzroy will be condemned to the qualifiers.
FC Balwyn 4-5 North Melbourne
After seeing Pascoe Vale rout Richmond, North Melbourne were looking to finish their season off on a high when they took on 3rd place Balwyn. In the opening minutes Balwyn conceded a penalty which was taken by vipers shot stopper Christos Apostolakis which was saved by youngster Frano Saric. Adam Cooper arguably the viper MVP this season opened the scoring before an own goal from Ben Bodo saw North take a 2-0 lead. Ivan Zilic is having one of his finest seasons in years and provided a master class in finishing as he twice beat Apostolakis to have Balwyn level at Half Time. An amazing double save from Frano kept Balwyn in it before star of the show Zilic gave the bullets the lead, and if not for Apostolakis the bullets lead could have been far greater. Cooper got his second to equalise for the champions but the bullets were making a real fist of it as first gamer David Dodaj scored a screamer to have his new side on the verge of a historic victory, but it was not to be as goals from squad players Jason Barrientos & Colby Waterfield grabbed another last gasp victory for the vipers who continue to impress when challenged. The win meant little to North in terms of the ladder and neither for Balwyn as they finish 4th and take on Metropolitan in the cup.
Metropolitan FC 11-7 Mickleham FC
In another clash which proved a dead rubber it was all about finishing the season off on a high. Jusuf Avdic was the first to get his name on the scoresheet and give the sky blues the dream start. Alexander Stevanovic doubled the advantage before Avdic added the 3rd. Another from Stevanovic had the sky blues 4-0 ahead and running away with the tie. First gamer Alex Angelesk pulled one back for Mickleham but again their defence lapsed and Tomoslav Grigic extended the lead. Ben Gearboc got another back for Mickleham but not for the first time this season the hammers defence was nowhere to be found when Dino Redzepovic added the 6th on the stroke of half time to give them a commanding 4 goal lead. The second half opened with a thunderbolt from Avdic virtually killed off the tie. Angelesk hit straight back for the hammers as the goals kept of flowing. Stevanovic grabbed his hat trick shortly after as Metropolitans free scoring game style was working well against a Mickleham side who’s defence was terrible to say the least. Ilke Koteski pulled one back for Mickleham but Avdic answered that with another thumper. Big Koteski smashed home another one before a brilliant double save from Charlie Ekoustias kept Mickleham in the game. An open goal miss from Alija Redzepovic proved frustrating for Metropolitan. Jack Caran got his first V-League goal before Angelesk completed his hat trick to have the hammers within 2 goals. It was all in vein though as Grigic and Avdic rounded out the scoring to finish their season on a high and head into the cup with some sort of momentum. Mickleham however will take on Elsternwick in the relegation play offs.
Brimbank FC 5-10 CF Brunswick
A huge clash lied in waiting for CF Brunswick win and they would be playing in the cup lose and it was the relegation play offs once again. While for Brimbank the tie meant nothing as they would take on Albert Park regardless. In form Matt Piga opened the scoring before Ricardo Castro and Jose Portillio gave Brunswick brilliant and much needed start flying out to 3-0. Mark Borchett pulled one back for Brimbank as he looked the only source to goal for the bruisers. A horrible own goal from Alex Vasilevski sent Brunswick 4-1 Ahead before Mike Sharples rounded out the first half scoring to have his side 5-1 ahead at half time. Portillio opened the second half scoring for Brunswick followed by another from Ruz Roslan which made it 7-1 for the bloods. Borchett & Fikret Causevic dragged Brimbank back into the contest. Sharples restored the advantage, but Vasilevski and Admir Kablar pulled 2 more back for Brimbank but it was never going to be enough when Portillio finished off the scoring netting his 4th and sending Brunswick into the cup with a bang. While Brimbank were left to lament what could have been as they prepare to take on Albert Park for the right to stay in the NIKE V-League.
FC Prahran 5-8 Ashburton FC
The final clash of the 2011/12 NIKE V-League Premiership saw 3rd place Prahran take on 7th placed Ashburton. Prahran were missing several stars in Maxi Avram, Ahmed Azzam, Resit Culculoglu & Michael Chami with former goalkeeper Dima Shakanov in goals. Ashburtons big Frenchman Sofiane Soufi returning from injury he added a real goal threat to the line up and opened the scoring with a well hit free kick. It was Soufi causing more havoc for Prahran when he added his second. Some brilliant work from Marcos Barbosa allowed Ben Armstrong to tap home from close range to give Prahran a sniff. Soufi was at it again restoring the 2 goal advantage and completed his hat trick in the first half to show Ashburton how valuable he is to their side. When Soufi was not scoring goals he was creating them setting up Abel Bahiru to give his side a 4-1 half time lead. Some magnificent early saves from Harry Kitharidis kept The Green Machine ahead and Soufi grabbed his 4th just minutes later. Prahran mounted an amazing comeback on the back of some unbelievable work from Barbosa as he set up Holmes before hitting home 3 goals in 6 minutes to level the scores as his side threatened to overrun Ashburton. Ashburtons talisman Soufi got his 5th as he restored the lead for his side. Tom Robinson and Jermaine Deng finished off Prahran in a hard fought victory which was a real confidence booster. The win put Ashburton into 6th and set up a round one cup showdown with Prahran as this win gives them a huge mental advantage over their rivals.
Top Goal Scorers
- Joao Da Silva 52
- Sofiane Soufi 43
- Alija Redzepovic 40
- Maxi Avram 37
- Ivan Zilic 35
Round 22 Clashes Wednesday April 18
- 6:30 FC Richmond v Pascoe Vale FC 1 ¡V 11
- 7:20 FC Essendon v Fitzroy FC 4 ¡V 4
- 8:10 FC Balwyn v North Melbourne FC 4 ¡V 5
- 9:00 Metropolitan FC v Mickleham FC 11 ¡V 7
- 9:50 Brimbank FC v CF Brunswick 5 ¡V 10
- 10:40 Ashburton FC v FC Prahran 8 ¡V 5
FOz Cup Round 1 Clashes Wednesday April 25
- 7:20pm (2nd) Pascoe Vale FC v (7th) CF Brunswick
- 8:10pm (1st) North Melbourne FC v (8th) FC Essendon
- 9:00pm (3rd) FC Prahran v (6th) Ashburton FC
- 9:50pm (4th) FC Balwyn v (5th) Metropolitan FC
Relegation Battles Leg 1 Sunday April 29
- T.B.A (9th VL) FC Fitzroy v (4th SL) Hume FC
- T.B.A (10th VL) Brimbank FC v (3rd SL) Albert Park FC
- T.B.A (11th VL) Mickleham FC v (2nd SL) Elsternwick FC