Round 22 2018 @ Northcote City FC

The club’s midweek win in the FFA Cup Round of 32 against Marconi FC meant we were through to the last 16 clubs of Australia, but it was back to league business on Saturday afternoon taking on Northcote City FC.

Northcote City FC are also in the Round of 32 and fighting in the league to avoid automatic relegation, so there was going to be no complacency from the boys in their Round 22 NPL Victoria matchup, meaning there are only four games until the end of the home and away season.

There were a few changes from the midweek cup match; Jimmy Riccobene was rested from the squad, also rested to the substitutes bench was Phil Riccobene after his midweek performance. Dillon Jakupi came into the starting lineup for his first start in four weeks, Yitay Towns replaced Evan Christodoulou, Anthony Strano replaced Jimmy Riccobene’s starting position, and Jem Berkant came into the squad and onto the substitutes bench.

The match started with chances at both ends, but in-form keeper Chris Oldfield was showing NPL Victoria why he is arguably the best keeper in the league by keeping out the Northcote City FC shots on goal.

Ramazan Tavsancioglu also produced a brilliant save in the 10th minute when his desperate lunge was able to clear the ball off the line and deny the home side a dream start.

Only two minutes later it would be Avondale FC who would break the deadlock after a darting run into the box by Elvis Kamsoba was enough to worry the Northcote City FC defence, and with a well-placed ball out to the lurking Yitay Towns, it would be his deflected strike that would give Avondale FC a 1:0 advantage.

For the next period it would be Northcote City FC who would tussle back control of the game, and in the 32nd minute, it would be they who would bring back the score on level terms after a close-range finish and a score of 1:1.

That scoreline wouldn’t last long as man of moment Yitay Towns drove into the box four minutes later and struck a sweetly timed ball with his opposite peg across the goalkeeper to give Avondale FC a 2:1 lead going into the halftime break and Towns’ second goal of the game.

There was little fight from the home side when play continued in the second half, a mountain of chances piled up for the Avondale FC side but were unable to convert. The players were looking out on their feet as the midweek fixture took a toll on the bodies.

In the 80th minute, it would be Elvis Kamsoba to finally convert after he weaved his way through four defenders and a fantastic finish saw the scoreline finish 3:1 to the visiting side and Avondale FC claiming another three points.

Another man of the match performance from Yitay Towns gives the youngster another feather in the cap in what is becoming a breakout season for the Avondale FC midfielder.

With four rounds to go Avondale FC sit firmly in the third position, two points behind Bentleigh Green SC in second and seven points off Heidelberg United FC in first.

STARTING XI | Oldfield (GK), Jakupi, Archibald (C), Tavsancioglu, Strano, Towns (12’, 37’), Fleming, Katebian, Kamsoba (80’), Boland, Sheppard

SUBS | Markogiannakis (GK), P. Riccobene, Christodoulou, Berkant, Zinni

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