Melbourne Victory win local derby

Melbourne Victory 2 Melbourne Heart 1

Roy Hay

Melbourne Victory won the deciding local derby for the 2012-13 season against Melbourne Heart by two goals to one at Etihad Stadium in front of 41,203 fans. This match was hardly promoted in the media, certainly not in comparison with the hype which preceded the Victory versus Sydney game last week. However, it is clear that this is match the fans want to see as the aggregate attendances for their three games this season is 109,692. This, not Sydney versus Melbourne, is the biggest rivalry in Australian football.

Compared with the first match this season there were ten of the starting 22 players in that game who were not present on this occasion. Victory had teenagers Scott Galloway and Nick Ansell in their starting line-up, while Heart started David Vrankovic, Sam Mitchinson, Jeremy Walker and the returning Eli Babalj.

Both teams had chances to score in the opening minutes. Nathan Coe was caught out by a cross from Sam Mitchinson in the first minute, and then could not hold a shot by Josip Tadic. The keeper redeemed himself by denying Walker’s close range effort from the rebound. At the other end, Billy Celeski just failed to put Marco Rojas through. The game was open and end-to-end from the start, with Heart having the better of the first twenty minutes. But then Victory turned the game in its favour.

In 29th minute Victory regained possession in midfield and Marcos Flores lifted the ball over the Heart backline for Archie Thompson to run on to it. Andrew Redmayne was caught in two minds and after starting to come out tried to retreat to the goal line, but Thompson kept the ball low and fired it into the far bottom corner.

Josip Tadic limped off after he failed to recover from a challenge which went unpunished by the referee, while Nick Ansell seemed to injure his groin in his second match after returning to the Victory defence.

Both sides hit the woodwork late in the first half. Billy Celeski did so after a corner kick was cleared to him just outside the penalty area. Then when Leigh Broxham was booked for a foul, Golgol Mebrahtu drove a free kick on to the bar and over in the last minute of normal time in the first half.

Eleven minutes into the second half, Victory doubled its lead. Marco Rojas broke down the right wing and when he cut the ball back across goal it appeared that Jonathan Germano had pulled back Marco Flores and Strebre Delovski instantly pointed to the penalty spot. Mark Milligan sent Andrew Redmayne the wrong was as he fired home the kick.

Heart could have buckled but David Williams got hold of a loose ball in the Victory penalty area after it broke somewhat fortuitously to him when Leigh Broxham was challenged by Nick Kalmar. Williams still had work to do to get round two defenders but the finish was emphatic. That goal came in the 73 minute, giving Heart time to respond.

Heart had been on the defensive for much of the second half but this buoyed them and Williams was almost in again two minutes later. He skinned young Scott Galloway and crossed for Golgol Mebrahtu to put a header just wide.

Ange Postecoglou felt that Victory dominated the match and deserved its win. He had high praise for debutant Scott Galloway pointing out that the seventeen-year-old was up against a high quality winger in David Williams and marked him effectively throughout. ‘OK, he was caught a couple of times, but that could have happened to the most experienced defender,’ the Victory coach said. He thought that the whole club playing to one structure was very important for the youngsters coming through, in that they knew the roles they were expected to play when they stepped up. The fact that the Victory National Youth League team was now very competitive, really for the first time, also assisted the club’s development of its young talent.

Match details (unofficial)

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Melbourne Victory 2 (Archie Thompson 29’, Mark Milligan 56’) Melbourne Heart 1 (David Williams 73’)

Venue: Etihad Stadium

Kick-off: 7.45 PM

Referee: Strebre Delovski

Assistant Referees: Matthew Cream and Matthew Cheeseman

Fourth Official: Brenton Hayward

Attendance: 41,203

Melbourne Victory:

39. Nathan COE, 3. Adama TRAORE, 5. Mark MILLIGAN, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 9. Marcos FLORES (32. Connor PAIN 81’) 10. Archie THOMPSON, 11. Marco ROJAS (18. Francesco STELLA 89’), 14. Billy CELESKI, 23. Adrian LEIJER, 24.Nick ANSELL (8. Jonathan BRU 37’), 31. Scott GALLOWAY.

Unused substitutes: 1. Tando VELAPHI.

Yellow cards: Leigh Broxham 45’.

Red cards: Nil.

Melbourne Heart:

20. Andrew Redmayne, 6. Patrick Gerhardt, 8. Matthew Thompson, 10. Josip Tadic (14. Golgol MEBRAHTU 34’), 11. Richard Garcia, 13. Jonathan Germano, 15. David Williams, 18. David VRANKOVIC, 24. Sam MITCHINSON, 25. Jeremy Walker, 36. Eli BABALJ (22. Nick Kalmar 69’).

Unused substitutes: 1.Clint Bolton, 28. Paulo Retre.

Yellow cards: Patrick Gerhardt 14’, Matt Thompson 58’, Sam Mitchinson 90+1’, David Williams 90+ 3’.

Red cards: Nil

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