I've been watching a bit of football lately (though Sunday also saw a solid session at the State Library Victoria which will be covered in the upcoming In Search Of...1912).
Friday June 28
Richmond 1 Pascoe Vale 1
Richmond recovered from a poor first half to probably be a little unlucky not to take all three points after an improved second-half showing. Poor marking from a throw-in and casual defending let Hernan Espindola stroll through the box before beating an exposed Aaron Romein from eight yards to give Paco the lead. There was an element of fortune with the Eagles equaliser, as Hamlet Armenian's shot appeared to many to be a cross initially. Sam Gallagher drove a shot into the underside of the crossbar which then bounced on the line, before he was dismissed for a second yellow card in the final minutes.
Saturday June 29
West Preston 4 Oak Park 3
It's fair to say this State League Division Five North clash had it all and then some. West Preston came back from 0-2 down to claim a late winner, with plenty of drama along the way. There was some questionable refereeing in the aftermath of a West Preston goal as a player looking to get the ball back for a quick restart was kicked across the shin by an Oak Park defender. The assistant referee flagged over the main official, which had some overly optimistic Oak Park fans and players hoping for the goal to be ruled out, a hope which would have evaporated when the assistant acted out a kicking across the shin motion for the referee. Suprisingly the end result proved to be a yellow card to the Oak Park keeper, who did not put in the kick whilst the perpetrator wearing No.2 escaped without sanction.
Further ill-discipline saw an Oak Park player sent-off late in the game, but as he crossed the line to exit the pitch he did a sharp turn to run ten yards back onto the field and throw a haymaker punch at the West Preston No.52 which saw chaos briefly ensue. Somehow the full scale riot which threatened to materialize was averted, and in the final minutes West Preston's No.8 completed a famous comeback.
Sunday June 30
Oakleigh Cannons 0 Melbourne Knights 1
Melbourne Knights were well worth their early lead, Adam Zilic heading in after a corner was headed across goal by Ljubo Milicevic. Wasting a couple of chances to extend the lead, it would be a nervy second-half for the Knights after Ryan Filipovic was sent-off following a second yellow card with half an hour remaining but they were able to hang on. In between abusing team-mates, Milicevic provides an amusing running commentary at times.
Monday July 1
Bulleen Lions 1 Heidelberg United 3
Heidelberg United went to the top of State League Division One with an emphatic win at the Veneto Club on Monday night. Star of the show was the Heidelberg Rooney, Daniel Heffernan with an impressive brace. Talk on the terraces mainly revolved around the unfolding drama at South Melbourne, with time of Peter Tsolakis as coach was coming to an end.
Tuesday July 2
Richmond 1 Melbourne Victory 2
Victory began their pre-season friendlies with a 70 minute game at Kevin Bartlett Reserve. They were led out by Leigh Broxham, even though Adrian Leijer was also starting, possibly an indication the Mark Milligan will be captain come the start of the season. In the second minute Leijer put in a double footed tackle on Timmy Purcell which would have seen him sent-off more often than not, but the referee was happy to give him just a warning.
The 2012 fixture was won 4-3 by Richmond, and in the eighth minute they took the lead with the sweetest of volleys at the far post by Hamlet Armenian. Victory equalised with a deflected shot from Jimmy Jeggo and then took the lead just before half-time when Andrew Nabbout got free on the right and finished well.
Victory only made one sub for the game, as Richmond changed their entire team over the course of a scoreless second-half. No flares this year, Blue Thunder Security cracking down hard.