Academy Preview | Another Tough Away Day

Our Senior Academy make the trip to Cheltenham to face Bentleigh Greens in Round 16 of the VPL1 season.

Match Details
Bentleigh Greens v Melbourne Victory
Date: Fri 31 May
Time: 8:30pm (AEST)
Location: Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, Cheltenham


Joe Palatsides’ side remain atop the VPL1 table after a dramatic 2-2 draw against Preston Lions last round and will look to extend that lead when they face Bentleigh Greens in round 16 of the VPL1.

A raft of changes were made to the starting side with many of Vicory’s senior players unavailable after having been made available for the Isuzu UTE A-League Grand Final.

The early stages of the match were controlled by Preston, who looked to get on the scoresheet early.

Then Preston struck the first blow.

A dangerous cross into the box from the visitors was not dealt with by Sultan who palmed the ball to the top of the box, only to find a Preston attacker who expertly placed the ball into the top corner, taking the lead for the visitors.

Marc Petheriotis almost instantly equalised on a dangerous counter-attack, but a well-timed tackle from the Preston defender thwarted Petheriotis’ attempt on goal.

Jesse Hoey gave Victory their next best chance to equalise, using his pace and quick feet to find space in the box, but the young attacker’s curling attempt was deflected for a corner.

The scoreline remained unchanged for the remainder of the half, with Victory looking to get back into the contest.

It was much of a back-and-forth to start the second half but that quickly changed in the 64th minute.

A chaotic ball came into the Preston box, and it fell to Captain Alex Menelaou alone at the top of the box. The skipper hit the ball with perfection to rattle the back of the net to level the scores.

Looking to ride the momentum, Victory looked to attack and find a second goal.

And we didn’t have to wait long. Jack Mihailidis was brought down in the box and Victory was awarded a penalty.

Captain Alex Menelaou stood tall once again, keeping his calm from the spot, converting his second goal of the match and giving his team the lead with just over 20 minutes of football to play.

It all boiled over in the 80th minute when a scuffle led to a Preston red card, leaving the visitors with 10 on the field.

With injury time looming, disaster struck as Preston equalised. The full-time whistle blew and the points were shared at John Cain Memorial Park.

Bentleigh are coming off a 2-2 draw against Bulleen Lions, and have won two of their last five matches, sitting 5th on the VPL1 table.

Scott Lochhead and Kieran Dover are joint top goal scorers for Bentleigh with four goals each and will need to be watched closely by our boys in blue.

It was a 1-1 draw last time we faced Bentleigh, Eli Adams the lone goal scorer for Victory.

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