FRANKSTON Pines recorded its biggest win of the season when it gave Middle Park a 6-1 hiding at Monterey Reserve on Friday night.
Pines had just three players over the age of 21 in the starting line-up but got off to a flyer in this State 3 South contest.
Not even a minute had been played when Travis Ernsdoerfer surged clear and hammered a low shot past Middle Park keeper Fadi Qunqar.
In the fourth minute teenager Meron Negassi was brought down inside the box and Ernsdoerfer converted from the spot after initially striking a post.
Eight minutes into the second half CJ Hodgson sent Alex Bevacqua clear but Qunqar brought him down and Hodgson made it 3-0 from the resultant penalty.
In the 58th minute Bevacqua returned the favour sending Hodgson clear and his sweetly struck volley gave Qunqar no chance.
Two minutes later Pines failed to clear properly and Steven McNamara slid down to make it 4-1 with a shot from close range.
In the 83rd minute substitute Bailey Atkinson was at the back post to bring down an errant defensive header and hammer the ball home.
That made it 5-1 and when another substitute, Harry Chapman, was brought down inside the area by Qunqar four minutes into injury time a third penalty was awarded and the keeper red carded.
Chapman had been taking stick from the Middle Park reserves and a couple of their mates so when he made it 5-1 from the spot he took off towards his detractors eventually doing an airplane slide in front of them.
He copped a spray of beer for his troubles and soon tensions escalated and an angry melee developed which included Qunqar who had been watching from the players’ race before joining in the argy-bargy involving players and supporters.
Despite the controversial ending Pines gaffer Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor was in an ebullient mood.
“I came here determined to develop the league’s youngest team by playing an up tempo, interpassing game with real purpose and that’s what we saw tonight,” Taylor said.
“You rarely see football like that on the peninsula.”
In NPL2 news Langwarrin drew 1-1 with Melbourne City at the Veneto Club on Saturday night.
City scored in the 26th minute when Stefan Colakovski played in Moudi Najjar on the left of the area and his low right-foot volley nestled in the far corner of goal.
Langwarrin levelled in the 53rd minute when a mistimed Lucas Portelli shot bounced up off the synthetic surface and was headed home by striker Max Etheridge.
Few chances were fashioned in the remaining minutes but City substitute Connor Metcalfe should have hit the target in the 88th minute when well positioned on the edge of the area.
In NPLW news Southern United lost 7-0 to Senior NTC at Knox Regional Football Centre on Sunday.
Southern’s under-16s won 1-0 thanks to a Nooria Mohammad goal while the under-19s lost 2-0.
In State 1 news goals from Josh Hine (2) and Josh Valadon gave Mornington a 3-1 victory against Eltham Redbacks at Eltham North Reserve on Saturday.
Mornington held a mid-season review the following day and expects its results to improve for the remainder of the season.
“We played three really poor games in the first half of the season – against Doveton, Warragul and St Kilda – but other than that we have been pretty good,” head coach Adam Jamieson said.
“Through the second half of the season we should see a sharp rise up the table but it might be too late to push for the top two.”
In State 2 news Peninsula Strikers went down 5-2 away to South Springvale last weekend.
The home team’s win was spearheaded by a Miki Gamo hat-trick while both Strikers’ goals came from second-half substitute Matt Harrington.
In State 3 news Skye United’s surge up the ladder faltered when it drew 3-3 away to Monash Uni last weekend.
Mitch Blake (2) and Daniel Attard scored for Skye who had veteran midfielder Mark O’Connor sent off in the 70th minute for dissent.
In State 4 news Seaford United thumped visitor Chelsea 5-0 on Saturday.
Seaford striker Mitch Lander was too quick for the Chelsea defence and had enough one-on-ones to score two hat-tricks but in the end had to be content with two goals.
His first came in the 10th minute when Dylan Waugh put him through and he volleyed the bouncing ball into the far corner.
In the 38th minute a Seaford corner was cleared to the left and Kevin Derry swung over a far post cross which Seaford defender Kurt Wagner-Goldsworthy headed home.
Seaford’s two-goal cushion was extended by Lander in the 53rd minute when he looked to have overrun the ball but somehow he flicked it up from behind at pace and volleyed it past Chelsea keeper Rhys Davies to make it 3-0.
Player-coach Matt Morris-Thomas had come off the bench to rest Waugh and decided to get in on the act by thumping home an ineffective Chelsea clearance in the 72nd minute.
Matthias Schwellinger stole in on the left in the 89th minute and completed the rout with a first-time volley that gave Davies no chance.
Meanwhile Baxter was impressive in a come-from-behind 3-3 draw with Springvale City at Ross Reserve last Friday night.
Springvale striker Aziz Bayeh scored twice in the first half, his first goal looking suspiciously offside, but Baxter hit back in the 55th minute when Nico Juric set up Lewis Gibson out wide and his low ball to the back post was hammered home by Lawrence Komba.
Five minutes later Juric rifled his free-kick into the top corner and in the 65th minute Komba, who was running riot down the left, cut inside and curled in a superb shot to make it 3-2.
However Springvale equalised against the run of play in the 72nd minute when substitute Jusuf Pekmezovic was able to tap-in from inside the six-yard box.
While lamenting not claiming all three points Baxter boss George Hughes was upbeat at game’s end.
“That was easily the best we have played this season,” he said.
In State 5 news the race for the title is on in earnest after league leader Old Mentonians drew with Tullamarine while Somerville Eagles won 3-0 away to Casey Panthers last weekend.
The result leaves Somerville just three points behind Old Mentonians and eight points clear of third-placed White Star Dandenong.
A predatory brace from Eagles player-coach Dave Greening and one from Mark Pagliarulo sealed the win against an improving Casey Panthers.
Panthers’ senior coach Raj Umit was involved in an altercation with the referee in the first half and was sent off and the Panthers’ misery was compounded when a reckless challenge on Eagles keeper Nathan Brown in the 80th minute saw Kahan Umit also red carded.
Stephen Curd was man-of-the-match for the Eagles with an outstanding display against Panthers danger man Makiadi Joao.
Aspendale Stingrays had to settle for a point in an eight-goal thriller away to Knox United on Saturday.
Former Berwick City and Dandenong City striker Anthony Segavac signed with Aspendale last week and took just five minutes to get off the mark when he scored from a Ben Garside cross.
Knox striker Robert Taylor scored twice to give the home side a half-time lead and completed his hat-trick two minutes into the second period.
A Thomas Brunning goal in the 61st minute made it 4-1 but Kenan Nuhanovic scored twice in nine minutes to make it 4-3 and substitute Luiz Dobre made it 4-4 with just three minutes of normal time remaining.
A Ben Gamble strike in the 55th minute gave Rosebud a 1-0 away win over Pakenham United last weekend.
Rosebud is now sixth in State 5 South.
This weekend’s games:
FRIDAY, 8.30pm: Frankston Pines v Monash Uni (Monterey Reserve).
SATURDAY, 3pm: Southern Utd v Box Hill Utd (Monterey Reserve; under-12s 9am, under-14s 10.10am, under-16s 11.30am, under-19s 1pm), Malvern City v Mornington (Kooyong Park), Old Scotch v Peninsula Strikers (H.A. Smith Reserve), Whitehorse Utd v Skye Utd (Terrara Park), Seaford Utd v Dandenong South (North Seaford Reserve), Chelsea v Baxter (Edithvale Common), Somerville Eagles v Endeavour Hills Fire (Tyabb Central Reserve), Rosebud v Bunyip District (Olympic Park), Aspendale Stingrays v Old Mentonians (Jack Grut Reserve).
SATURDAY, 3.15pm: Northcote City v Langwarrin (John Cain Reserve).