Last year in Season 2017 Avondale FC reached their first finals series in the clubs history of top-flight Victorian football. It was a heartbreaking loss in the final minutes of extra time against Oakleigh Cannons. This round was an opportunity to seek our revenge.
Only one change to the squad with Joey Katebian returning from a hamstring injury to the subs bench and youngster Christian Inglese moving back down to the U20s. Chris Oldfield took the captains armband for the second week in the row as club captains Phil Riccobene and Jonatan Germano continue their comebacks from injury from the subs bench.
The game started with a fire and a passion from both teams. Oakleigh coming off a win in the last 5 minutes against Kingston City being 0:1 down and scoring 2 goals in those minutes to snatch all three points, their team clearly had a spring in their step.
In the 25th minute, a mistake from the keeper trying to clip the ball over Kaine Sheppard saw Kaine gather it and lay it off to the big bustling striker Liam Boland where he was able to head the ball into the back of the net to take a 1:0 lead.
The first half saw a forced changed as Jimmy Riccobene went down with a hamstring injury and was replaced by his brother and club captain Phil Riccobene.
The half continued to be back and forth with neither team being able to dominate possession and the scores remained 1:0 going into the halftime break.
The second half saw Oakleigh Cannons drop away and Avondale FC was able to get a foothold on possession and was able to get more and more chances on goal. The Oakleigh keeper was determined to hold out Avondale with a number of one on one saves, but a dangerous cross from Joey Katebian in the 60th minute saw Kaine Sheppard into the box and a clash with the keeper saw the ball end up in the back of the net and a 2:0 scoreline to Avondale FC.
The scores remained that at the final whistle and Avondale FC have started the season 7 wins from 7. Bentleigh Greens were unable to match that start this round and dropped their first points of the season with a 1:1 draw against South Melbourne which leaves Avondale FC 2 points clear on the top of the table.