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Port Melbourne SC appoint Assistant Manager

Port Melbourne Soccer Club is pleased to welcome Zeljko Kuzman to the club as Senior Assistant Manager.

With 9 crucial games remaining in the NPL Victoria season to secure finals football, Manager Eric Vassiliadis has looked to bolster his coaching staff to give the club the best possible chance of achieving both it’s short term & long term goals.

“We’re very excited to bring Zeljko in as part of the PMSC family. We respect his his program and coaching ability both on and off the park. I know he will bring us a fresh perspective and we hope, together with our existing  senior coaches, that he will help us maximise our chances of success this year and beyond.”

Zeljko is enthusiastic about the challenges and opportunities ahead for the club

“I am thrilled to joined the Port Melbourne Sharks for the remainder of the 2016 NPL campaign. I look forward to working with Eric, his staff and the playing group.”

We wish Zeljko all the best in his new role.

PREVIEW | FFA Cup | Melbourne Knights v Port Melbourne SC

Port Melbourne SC returns to Knights Stadium to take on Melbourne Knights this Wednesday night in Seventh Round of FFA Cup Qualification, with the winning side set to move through to the national Round of 32 as well as the semi-finals of the Dockerty Cup.

The trip to Knights Stadium will be the second round in succession that Port Melbourne has travelled to venue, following their dramatic Sixth Round victory over St. Albans Saints SC on June 1. On that night goals to Adrian Zahra and James Riccobene saw the scoreline locked at 2-2 before an 89th minute penalty from David Stirton sealed progression to the next round for the Sharks. Prior to that, Port Melbourne had been dominant in this Cup campaign, with the Sharks defeating NPL2 sides Box Hill United & Sunshine George Cross by the identical scoreline of 6-1 on each occasion. Adrian Zahra and David Stirton have been prolific in the Cup run, with 5 & 4 goals respectively across the 3 games. The clash against the Knights provides Port Melbourne with the opportunity to make their first appearance in the FFA Cup Round of 32.

Melbourne Knights have also had their share of drama on their path to the Seventh Round, requiring goals in the 89th and 92nd minutes to pull off a come-from-behind victory against Oakleigh Cannons in the 5th Round of Qualification. Prior to that they had cruised past State League 3 South-East side Eltham Redbacks 7-0 and they reached the 7th Round courtesy of a 3-1 victory over NPL2 East’s Dandenong City. The Knights are coming off a 5-0 defeat away at Northcote City on the weekend and are seeking to return to the FFA Cup Round of 32 after making an appearance in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2014, where they were knocked-out by Olympic FC from the NPL Queensland competition.

 

Melbourne Knights v Port Melbourne SC

7:30pm, Wednesday June 15, 2016.

Knights Stadium, Sunshine North

Twitter: Live updates from @PMSCSharks, #MKvPM #FFACup

MATCH REPORT | Sharks secure victory against MV Youth

Port Melbourne SC defeated Melbourne Victory Youth 1-2 in a rain-soaked affair on Sunday afternoon at Epping Stadium to return to winning ways in the league and remain within striking distance of the top 6.

New signing Luke Gavalas made his first appearance for the club in goal, along with Tyler James making his first start following a brief cameo in the mid-week cup game. It was an otherwise unsettled line-up for the Sharks as they took on a Melbourne Victory side that was looking to end a run of three consecutive defeats.

Port Melbourne started brightly with Bonel Obradovic unleashing a powerful shot within the first minute to make an early statement of intent. The breakthrough for Port came in the 18th minute when Adrian Zahra switched the play to right wing to release Jamie De Abreu. De Abreu was able to cut inside and opened the scoring with a left-footed finish that beat Victory ‘keeper Wyatt Chant at his near post. The lead only lasted 5 minutes however, with John Maclean’s cross from the right finding Joey Katebian, his effort hit the crossbar before the rebound fell to Jordan Brown and he was able to capitalise to even the score at 1-1. After losing David Stirton at half-time to injury, the challenge became even greater after Adrian Zahra also came off injured in the 67th minute prompting a re-shuffle to the line-up. Despite the adversity, Port asserted their authority on the contest and were able to break the deadlock in the 80th minute with Jamie De Abreu securing his brace after cutting inside from the left wing and forcing a strong save from Wyatt Chant, before collecting the rebound & finishing with a pin-point effort just inside the near post again. This sealed a valuable 1-2 win for the Sharks who were determined to restore their league form having tasted success in the FFA Cuo during the week.

The result sees Port Melbourne move up to 7th position on the table and the win seals a ‘double’ for the club against Melbourne Victory Youth in 2016, having won the initial encounter in Round 2 with the scoreline 1-0 on that occasion. The match at Epping Stadium was the first in a run of four away games for the Sharks, with the next match coming on Friday, June 10 against South Melbourne FC at Lakeside Stadium.

FINAL SCORE: Melbourne Victory Youth 1-2 Port Melbourne SC (HT: 1-1)

Venue: Epping Stadium
Date: Sunday 5 June 2016

Melbourne Victory FC Youth :
1. Wyatt Chant (GK), 2. John VAKIRTZIS, 3. Callum GOULDING, 4. Matt HENNESSEY, 13. Oliver PATERNO, 15. Josh HOPE, 16. Jordan BROWN (8. Anthony DUZEL 65’), 10. Seb PASQUALI, 9. Michael HOLDEN (14. Christian THEOHAROUS 78’), 11. John MACLEAN (7. Andre MCNAMARA 82’), 33. Joey KATEBIAN.
Unused Subs: 20. Majak MAWITH (GK), 5. James XYDIAS

Port Melbourne SC:
28. Luke GAVALAS (GK), 20. Tyler JAMES, 19. Shaun KELLY (C), 23. Jacob ELIOPOULOS, 3. James RICCOBENE, 2. Andrew VIOLA, 8. Bonel OBRADOVIC, 7. Jamie DE ABREU, 17. Erhan YALAZ (22. Ryan OPPERMANN 61’), 9. Adrian ZAHRA (4. James KARVELIS 67′), 10. David STIRTON (12. Alec GOODWIN 46′).
Unused Subs: 1. James KAPURANOVSKI (GK), 14. Trent MANICAS

Sharks cruise to win over Richmond SC

Port Melbourne entered Friday nights game looking over their shoulder ever so slightly coming up against Richmond SC, well aware of the amount times this season that Richmond have pinched points against the big teams.

This game was no different. The Sharks have had a trend of starting games off slowly, so as we entered the 8.30pm kick off things didn’t start so routinely. Alec Goodwin started up front for David Stirton who had a minor leg injury. Goodwin had a headed attempt tipped over the bar from a Jamie De Abreu cross within the first few minutes.

This was unlike the Sharks to start a game off so strongly. Then on seven minutes a free kick was awarded to Port Melbourne just outside the area. Little Irishman Alan Mulcahy was able to catch Richmond shot stopper Chris Davis off guard and curl the ball into Davis’ left hand corner, much to his and Richmond’s dismay.

On 19 minutes Lambros Honos after linking up with Jacob Eliopoulos was able to deftly chip the ball over Davis from outside the area in what can only be described as exquisite and a contender for goal of the season. 2-0 to the Sharks which had many heads turning. The rest of the half was dull with both teams going back and forth not wanting to push the issue too much.

It all changed inside the first two minutes of the second half when Alan Mulcahy had fouled his Richmond counterpart. Whilst Mulcahy was on the ground receiving his caution, to the dismay of Richmond SC player Jordan Seeto, he kicked the ball at Mulcahy. The referee had adjudged the reaction was careless and sent Seeto to the dressing room.

Richmond not be undone decided to force Port Melbourne shot stopper Stjepan Gal into back to back saves on 48 minutes. Crucial moments of this game. Gal was phenomenal in goals. On 54 minutes though Alec Goodwin was played into the penalty area by Honos. Goodwin was able to slice the ball with the outside of his foot into the bottom left hand corner of goal to make it 3-0.

Gal was forced into action again two minutes later with back to back saves to keep the visitors at bay. Mulcahy on 63 minutes was again given free kick duties. He didn’t disappoint as he curled in anther peach of a goal to Davis’ left, much to the dismay of the Richmond fans who thought the foul was dubious. 4-0 to the Sharks.

Richmond knowing there was a lot at stake pushed numbers forward to try and make something of the game forcing Gal into consecutive saves on 70 minutes. Gal was not to be undone though and kept the visitors at bay yet again. On 80 minutes substitute Dennis Koutroulis scored his first senior goal for the club after being promoted from the under 20’s during the week. After a magnificent pass from Adrian Zahra with the outside of his boot, Koutroulis’ right foot shot thunder-bolted into the back of Davis’ net to make it 5-0.

Just as stoppage time approached, substitute Erhan Yalaz played in fellow winger De Abreu from the left hand side with a ball beyond the Richmond back four. De Abreu was one-on-one with Davis & calmly slotted the ball behind the Richmond shot stopper to make it 6-0 to the Sharks.

Then just as the game seemed all done and dusted, Mulcahy rounded off his hat-trick from the penalty spot in the 94th minute. Erhan Yalaz had shown great desire to intercept a pass from Geert-Arend Roorda who subsequently brought him down as he raced into the penalty area. Mulcahy calmly stepped up to tuck the ball away and put the icing on the cake for Port Melbourne.

A resounding victory for the Sharks on a night were the game could’ve gone either way early in the second half. Port Melbourne travel to Broadmeadows this Saturday night as they take on Hume City.

Sharks through to next round of FFA Cup

Having come off a five day break and a loss to Avondale, Port Melbourne entered Wednesday night’s game with a chance to not only go to the next round of the cup competition, but to return to winning ways.

Sunshine George Cross haven’t been in the best of form in NPL2 West this season, and they too were looking to turn things around. Their line-up included some familiar faces, with former Sharks Martin Mason, Denis Dasoul and Chris Grossman among their starting line-up.

The game starting off with the usual midfield battles, though the Sharks started to find their groove and space behind the George cross defence after 10 minutes. Lambros Honos had a brilliant chance on 12 minutes after being one on one with the George Cross goalkeeper Matthew Jones, though his effort dribbled wide.

Jamie De Abreu found space on the right hand side on 13 minutes, though his effort was dealt with by the George Cross defence. Then on 15 minutes David Stirton was played in behind, with Stirton comfortably putting the ball past Jones and into the back of the net to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.

On 28 minutes Adrian Zahra had a goal disallowed for offside, though the quick touches between Honos and Stirton to play Zahra behind the defence were very classy. The Sharks continued to press but couldn’t get that second goal. With the score still at 1-0 at the main break, Sharks manager Eric Vassiliadis rallied his troops to find another gear.

His pep talk seemed to work effectively as Zahra on 47 minutes and Stirton two minutes later saw the Sharks take the wind out of the sails of George Cross. Zahra’s goal was brilliant as he out-reached over his defender at the far post to head the ball in from a De Abreu cross. Stirton’s goal was a clinical finish after he was played in by Zahra, with his stinging left foot shot finding the bottom right hand corner of the goal.

Stand-in captain Alan Kearney was subbed off on 53 minutes with a slight injury, as well as Jacob Eliopoulos on 66 minutes but both seemed to be okay after the game. Sunshine pegged a goal back from Samuel McCall to give his side some hope. His effort saw him latch onto a ball in the box and put it away nicely.

Their joy was short lived though, with Zahra scoring again on 72 minutes and substitute Erhan Yalaz scoring on 76 minutes saw the score line out of reach. Yalaz’s goal was immaculate as he turned right back Moses Gondwe inside out, with the rocket left foot shot shacking the right side of the George Cross goal.

Stirton had another chance four minutes later, though his header was just over the bar. The scoring continued as Zahra completed his hat-trick on 86 minutes with a well guided right foot shot into the bottom right corner of the George Cross goal to give the team a sixth and a passage into the next round of the FFA Cup.

Vassiliadis did say after the match he was pleased with how the players came out the second half, with some key positives ahead of the NPL round 10 game with Bulleen on Monday night.

 

Port Melbourne lose to Avondale in tight tussle

Avondale continued their three game win streak getting all three points in a 2-1 win at JL Murphy Reserve.

The Sharks form this past month has been a bit patchy, though Avondale were coming into the game on the back of a two game win streak.

Things started great for the visitors after going ahead with an Alex Khrapko goal inside seven minutes. The Sharks have a habit of starting slowly in games. Lambros Honos ensured the game was evenly poised on 18 minutes when he tucked in behind the Avondale defence, with his right foot shot hitting the left hand corner of the Avondale goal.

The game was free flowing from then on with neither side able to grab any ascendance. Then in stoppage time in the first half Avondale took the lead through a Matt Sanders tap on. Sanders was able to get in behind the Sharks defence at the far post, from a resulting free-kick to give the visitors the ascendancy going into the break and a 2-1 led.

The second half was a tussle with the Sharks not able to break down Avondale’s defence. Avondale had their moments with a couple of counter attacks making the Sharks last third, though they were quickly stifled out.

From relegation cellar dwellers a month ago, things are slowly looking up for Avondale with three convincing wins on the trot. For the Sharks, they have an FFA Cup game mid-week against Sunshine George Cross, then Bullen at the Venetto club the following Monday in a crunch game.

Sharks sink teeth into three points

After a resounding loss to Heidelberg United just four days prior, Port Melbourne entered Friday night’s game with a point to prove. So many teams can have a loss and that trend of losing starts to creep in and become a habit.

It’s also never easy coming up against a team that had their coached depart on the weekend prior either. Northcote City had a point to prove as they sat bottom of the NPL table.

With such an important 90 minutes coming up for both teams, this game had the script written for a thriller.

Port Melbourne welcomed back Lambros Honos after he served his suspension. He started off brilliantly in the centre of midfield, and early on tested Northcote City shot stopper Phillip Petrovski, though he did well to hold onto the ball. Jamie De Abreau was beginning to become a menace for Northcote’s defense down the right hand side, cutting into the centre of midfield.

Petrovski was kept busy inside the first 20 minutes as the Sharks mounted the pressure having had four shots on target from six attempts. Then on 26 minutes Honos from the outside of the box moved the ball onto his left foot. The shot moved to the goalkeepers left hand side, hit the inside of the post, hitting the back of the net. Goal. Sharks take the lead and the ascendancy.

From their on the Sharks dominated in the middle of the park with Alan Kearney and Honos linking up well with Zahra, De Abreau and Stirton as the Sharks moved forward applying more pressure. Northcote’s midfield was being broken down inside half way on the occasion they would make a counter attacking surge.

With Petrovksi being kept busy, a second wasn’t too far away, Stirton followed suit in Honos left foot shot bonanza as he controlled the ball in the area, turned his defender and shot into the bottom right hand corner of goal. That goal was Port Melbourne’s 11th for the half, and seventh on target. 2-0 into the break.

The second half was completely brilliant. A youthful Northcote City came out firing. Stjepan Gal was forced into back to back saves inside the first minute of the half. Anthony Rizk was proving to become a menace for the Sharks and Gal as he mounted a number of shots on the Sharks goal, with Gal keeping them at bay.

Northcote City were finding more space out wide on the flanks, and forcing the Sharks into errors, though to no avail. Then on 84 minutes, Stirton was brought down in the penalty area after having controlled the ball and trying to go around Petrovksi into an open net, the shot stopper dragged down the Sharks talisman. Penalty.

Stirton stepped up and neatly to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead and all three valuable points. The Sharks face Avondale Football Club this Friday night at JL Murphy Reserve.

Image: Rob Cruse Photography

Warriors sink Sharks

Monday night’s game had a sombre feeling to it, with as we know the tragic circumstances that happened two days prior. With the game being pushed back 24 hours, and the Olympic Village floodlights beaming brightly to full capacity, it was down to business once a minutes silence was observed.

The Warriors started strong as they have done all season, and inside four minutes forced Stjepan Gal to make a save from Kenny Athiu who, whilst the rebounding shot was saw Jack Petrie’s shot hit the woodwork.

On nine minutes Jamie De Abreu also found the woodwork as we found his way into the Warriors defensive area.

From there the Warriors found some ascendancy twice coming close to opening the scoring inside the first quarter of an hour. The Sharks would surge forward in droves, though any real attack was dealt with as the Warriors’ defensive shape held strong.

Then on 23 minutes as the Warriors surged forward, Athiu had Sharks skipper Shaun Kelly by his side by the by-line, things turned dour for the Sharks as Kelly felt what looked to be him hamstring go, just as he had Athiu in check.

The result forced Kelly to pull away just that fraction which allowed Athiu the space and force Gal to come off his line. Athiu managed to get passed Gal and put the ball in the back of the net with a scrambling Sharks defense close by.

With Kelly playing gingerly a break in play that saw Gal and Athiu collide enabled the Sharks to make the sub on 31 minutes and bring Kelly off for Oppermann.

Athiu was becoming a menace for the Sharks, and on 34 minutes dealt another blow to the away sides chances as he curled in a shot to Gal’s left hand corner. 2-0 to the home side. With the game starting to slowly slip away, David Stirton breathed some life back into the visitors on 37 minutes with a looped shot over Chris Theodoridis, the result coming from a rebounded shot. 2-1 to the Warriors, though the Sharks started to look strong.

With a single goal the difference at the main break, both teams would’ve felt strong going into the second half. From there though Athiu continued to pester the Sharks defense once proceedings got underway and on 57 minutes went down in the box, though the referee was unfazed.

The Sharks continued to push forward looking for that equalizer, though short comings came of it. On 62 minutes though things just got  little more dour for the Sharks as Sean Ellis found the back of the net, after putting the ball in from a slight angle. 3-1 to the home side.

Vassiliadis saw the need for pace and with that brought on Erhan Yalaz for Alec Goodwin. Stirton moved into that central forwards role, with Yalaz out to the left side of the park.

It was quickly becoming the De Abreu and Athiu show with the sides going end to end, and these two players being the ones troubling the opposing defenses. With the rain starting to get heavier, Athiu was brought down by Gal on 77 minutes in the penalty box with referee Giuseffi awarding the spot kick. Athu slotted it his third goal, the Warriors fourth, and with that sealed all three points.

The Sharks should take a lot of positives from the game with the ability to chances and find space in the opposition half being the key. With a short four day turn around and a home game against bottom placed Northcote City at home, Friday nights game just got a whole lot more exciting.

 

Sharks win at Green Gully

Points were up for grabs on Saturday afternoon at Green Gully Reserve, with away points crucial to any season, this game lived up to its hype.

The Sharks entered the game in sixth place, just two spots behind their opponents, though confidence was at a premium after they grabbed a last minute winner thanks to a Jamie De Abreau nine days earlier against Pascoe Vale.

The Sharks however were a little shaky in the fist 15 minutes of the game, with Alan Kearney having to be attended for a short period of time early in the match with a cut to the head.

Stjepan Gal was caught off his line not long after, though he did well to get a hand to the ball and push it wide.

After that the Sharks got into gear. Vassiliadis made a tactical change before the match giving Alec Goodwin his second consecutive start, as well as playing him in a central forward role and pushing David Stirton out to the left of the park. The move proved to work as Goodwin would link up well with Adrian Zahra, Stirton, and De Abreau as the Sharks mounted their forward attacks.

In a rare chance for Green Gully Evan Christodoulou was able to split the Sharks defense just outside the edge of the 18 yard box, though his shot sailed over the bar.

Then right on the stroke of half time, Goodwin was able to receive the ball in the middle of the park, play De Abreau out on the right, who beat his man, cut the ball back into the six yard box, to which Goodwin was able to tuck the ball away to the keepers left hand side, and into the back of the net.

After the break things started where they finished off with the Sharks continuing to control proceedings especially in the midfield. The ball movement from either flank was instrumental to the second goal, when on 62 minutes De Abreau’s resulting cross from the right hand side was met by the Green Gully goal keeper Rani Dowisha.

Dowisha’s punch didn’t go merely far enough as Goodwin was able to control the ball with his thigh and volley the ball into the left hand corner of the goal.

With the game hanging by a thread for Green Gully and with Port Melbourne continuing to scamper any attacks, it forced Green Gully to taking shots from long range, though to no avail.  Nicholas Krousoratis did however force Gal to make a brilliant save on 71 minutes. The intern break saw Kearney make way for Andrew Viola. Goodwin was then subbed off on 75 minutes making way for Erhan Yalaz, which saw Stirton back to that central strikers role.

With the points all but assured, Trent Manicas was able to see some action as he game on for Zahra on 85 minutes. With the crucial three points, the Sharks now sit third on the table, just two points behind ladder leaders South Melbourne.

Port Melbourne head to Olympic Village on Sunday afternoon to take fourth placed Heidelberg United in what promises to be another cracking game of football.

Sharks cruise to FFA Cup next round

The FFA Cup returned for another year, and with it, as always presents an opportunity of cup football. A whole new ball game. The ability for managers to tinker a little bit & fine tune certain areas.

Friday night was the perfect opportunity for Sharks players to play in a game against opposition from a division below, maybe try a few things. As the evening settled, and the players made their way onto the pitch at 25 past seven, no one could’ve predicted what was to come.

Three minutes in and the ‘this has Melbourne Knights written all over it’ began to cross the minds of a few Sharks supporters. A goal conceded from a set piece at the near post. Box Hill United up one nil.

Box Hill United barely had time to flinch, nor did so many spectators to be frank, as skipper Shaun Kelly headed in a goal from an Adrian Zahra free kick, to Box Hill United goal keeper Enes Unal’s right hand side. Back to normal we go. One all.

The Sharks have struggled to find goals from open play so far this season. The ability to create hasn’t been the problem, more converting these chances. So on the ascendancy the boys went with a brilliant counter attack in the middle stages of the first which saw Unal get to the six yard box just in the nick of time before Zahra coud tuck the ball away.

Then in half time stoppage time Jamie De Abreu pounced on a sloppy back pass from Box Hill United left back Jack Gow. De Abreu was able to react quickly, rounded Unal and tapped the ball into an open net. 2-1 at the break with the Sharks playing great when going forward.

The second half saw Port make their first change, with Alec Goodwin coming on for Erhan Yalaz. Goodwin made an immediate impression, scoring in the 68th minute. Unal let the ball slip through his hands from the corner kick, with Goodwin first to react to the lose ball and send the Sharks 3-1 up.

Set pieces were the norm in this game after James Riccobene scored in the 75th minute from a goal mouth scramble, from the result of a corner kick to put the Sharks 4-1 up.

With the game wrapped up, David Stirton was able to pounce on the rebound after Unal was only able to parry Dennis Koutroulis’ shot, which came as a result of another counter attack in the 87th minute.

The Sharks still had time for one more goal with Zahra being put through on goal by Ryan Oppermann who was in his own half. Zahra was able to chip the ball over Unal in the 91st minute to give the Sharks a 6-1 victory.

The Sharks now look towards Thursday night football on Good Friday Eve as they host Pascoe Vale at home in round five of the NPL.

 

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