Heidelberg United moves intotop six following win


HEIDELBERG UNITED have moved into the Foxtel Cup top six after defeating a winless Frankston Pines 1-0.

Heidelberg coach George Katsakis had prowled the sideline animatedly as his side struggled to break down a determined Frankston defence, despite their overwhelming early dominance.

But they went ahead in the 25th minute after Trent Malcolm’s foul on Daniel Jones left the referee with little choice but to point to the spot, allowing Graham Hockless to score with a well-taken penalty.

It had been an electrifying start from the home side as they tore into a nervous Frankston, a team who have thus far struggled to adjust to their first season in the top flight, remaining winless after 10 rounds.

The Warriors began the match by launching a series of sweeping attacks that had Frankston on the back foot from the kick-off.

The first of those attacks came after Mark Tsiorlas swiped at a Jim Drossos corner with barely three minutes on the clock, but he misfired with an attempted volley that sailed well over the bar.

Eric Vassiliadis was the hero here last season when he stunned the Whittlesea Zebras with a spectacular long-range strike, but he was unable to repeat his heroics this time round, instead spraying his shot wide after shooting from distance.

Tsiorlas threatened again in the 13th minute after rising unchallenged to meet another Drossos corner, but his headed shot went disappointingly wide.

Vassiliadis then capped off a marauding run down the left wing with a low cross that found Denis Alilovic inside the Frankston area, but the striker’s effort went inches wide of the post.

Amir Ameti took to the field in the 29th minute to replace Robert Liparoti, who left the field with a suspected knee injury, but the setback didn’t appear to distract the home side, who continued to push forward at every opportunity.

The first-half finished in spectacular fashion as both sides went on the attack.

Hockless tore through the Frankston defence in the 41st minute and should have scored his second of the match, but he was denied by a fine reflex save from Gary Pinter at his near post.

Tsiorlas had a glancing header cleared off the line by Ross Duckworth in the 43rd minute, allowing the Pines to counter quickly and launch their own assault on the Warriors’ goal.

Craig Metcalfe struck from outside the box, only for the Warriors’ James Stefano to clear the danger at the far post.

The Pines might have drawn level in first-half injury time after Peter Gavalas failed to hold onto Adam Fedljevic’s powerful free-kick, but Simon Mur was unable to convert the rebound.

The second-half opened at a frenetic pace, with both sides creating a number of scoring opportunities.

Mur was left to rue a golden opportunity for the visitors in the 69th minute, winning the ball off Stefano and thundering in on goal, only to send his attempt horribly wide.

Despite their best efforts, Frankston was simply unable to break down a resolute Heidelberg defence.

Alilovic should have put the result beyond doubt with a close-range strike in the 94th minute, but he failed to convert yet again, giving the home fans another nervous minute before match official Ned Kerkez brought proceedings to a close.…

Bergers outclass Coburg United

WET conditions greeted Coburg United and Heidelberg at Knights Stadium with the Bergers handling them the better, recording a 2-0 victory.

The Bergers who have won five out of their last six games with the win lifting them to fifth on the Foxtel Cup table.

Coburg has recently signed Dragi Nastevski, Nick Laserevski, and Brendan Beni but it had no effect on the weekends result.

Heidelberg jumped to an early lead catching the Coburg defence flat-footed.

Mark Tsiorlas finished clinically to see the Bergers jump to a 1-0 lead only three minutes into the contest.

Shortly after Coburg’s Ross Thompson struck a thundering strike outside the box just passing over the cross bar.

In the 20th minute, Denis Alilovic’s diving lunge just missed his boot to almost extend the Bergers lead.

Just before half time Nastevski just missed the side post with a run from the defence to be unlucky not to square up the score line for Coburg United.

The second half started in similar fashion with an early goal for Heidelberg.

In the 55th minute, the Bergers were awarded a penalty for a reckless last man challenge, with Graham Hockless’ spot kick ensuring Heidelberg went 2-0 up.

A number of substitutions took place with George Katsakis trying to close the game and Joe Montemurro attacking for a result.

In a last attacking drive Coburg was awarded a free kick outside the box in the 93rd minute.

Anthony Magnacca’s shot was saved well by Peter Gavalas.

Heidelberg Does the Double Against Arch-Rival

A dominant second-half display by Heidelberg has seen them triumph over rivals Sth Melb at Bob Jane Stadium. The two former NSL giants were battling for the RadioMarathon Cup, and it was the ‘Bergers who prevailed 2-1 to complete a season double over South, having won the season opener with the same score at the Olympic Village.

Sth Melbourne had taken an 18th minute lead courtesy of a Sam Poutakidis goal. The midfielder scored after springing the Heidelberg off-side trap with a run from deep and calmly slotting past Gavalas. Heidelberg responded with a Hockless volley which was well-saved by South’s keeper Jelic, after the diminutive midfielder had been well found by a pin-point Ouliaris through ball. De Moraes & Poutakidis were looking threatening for South, providing good service for forwards Diaco & Caldwell, but the Heidelberg back four led by Jones & Stefanou held firm. Up forward Alilovic & Tsiorlas were finding it difficult to get free of the tight marking South defence & the ‘Bergers were forced into long range efforts from Kozic & Hockless which went well wide of the mark. As the half-time mark approached, the ‘Bergers midfield was gradually working its way on top, and the duo of Kozic & Hockless combined with the latter finding a metre of space in the box after a clever header by Kozic. Hockless’ first-time low shot beat Jelic at the near post & left the teams level at 1-1 going into the main break.

The second half belonged to the visitors, as it appeared the equaliser & tiring South midfield lifted the ‘Bergers. Ouliaris & Hockless were now in complete control of the midfield & the introduction of Aleksovski on the hour mark further stamped the ‘Bergers’ midfield dominance. South’s only real threat appeared to come from substitute De Nittis, who forced the Heidelberg back four to remain vigilant for any counter-attacks by the home side.

Heidelberg missed a couple of real chances, first a looping header by Alilovic, after some neat lead-up work by Tsiorlas, and then a golden chance from Kozic after he’d been put through one-on-one with the ‘keeper. Unfortunately for the ‘Bergers, his low shot found the side netting on the near post. Kozic was to make amends in the 80th minute, as he got in behind the South defence once more. On this occasion, his shot blasted past a hapless Jelic, sparking wild scenes behinf the goals, with the vocal ‘Berger contingent celebrating wildly. There was final twist to the derby with South substitute Bourakis given his marching orders by the referee for a profeesional foul on Aleksovski.

The final whistle saw jubilant Heidelberg fans giving their team a standing ovation after its first win at Bob Jane Stadium since the two teams have been back in the VPL since 2005.
The result means that the ‘Bergers have now won six & drawn one of their last seven matches, climbing to fourth spot on the table, just four points adrift of the Melbourne Knights. They now host Oakleigh next Sunday, in what promises to be another fascinating derby.…