Dusan Bosnjak’s second-half goal proved decisive in condemning Melbourne Victory to a 1-0 loss against Oakleigh Cannons in Round 7 of the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria at Epping Stadium on Sunday.
Victory gave starts to Michael Holden, Dion Paola and Pierce Waring, while Kieran Dover wore the captain’s armband in the absence of Joey Katebian.
The tempo was high in the early exchanges as both teams traded efforts.
Melbourne’s first chance fell to right winger John Maclean, who sent a forceful effort over the crossbar.
Cannons midfielder Dean Piemonte hit the woodwork shortly after from a set-piece, which afforded Victory’s rearguard a reminder of Oakleigh’s attacking threat.
Waring had the final chance of the opening stanza, but his wayward drive meant that the two teams went into the half-time break goalless.
It took a quarter of an hour for Victory to muster its next opening, with Kieran Dover unable to guide his right-footed attempt into the top corner.
He soon followed up with a free-kick that suffered the same fate as the home side began to mount pressure on Oakleigh.
The Cannons returned fire shortly after from the boot of Bosnjak, whose sweet strike from inside the 18-yard area found the net in the 71st minute.
Damien Miskulin went incredibly close to finding the equaliser with his knee deep into injury time, but it wasn’t to be as the Cannons held on to clinch the points.
Victory will be looking to end its winless run when it travels to Knights Stadium to face Avondale in its next PS4 NPL Victoria match on Friday, April 15.
Earlier, Victory’s under-20 team conceded late to suffer a 2-1 defeat against Oakleigh.
Melbourne Victory 0
Oakleigh Cannons 1 (Bosnjak 71’)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Radziminski 5’)
Oakleigh Cannons 2 (Skondreas 27′, McKenna 85′)