Match day 18 – REVIEW

Avondale have maintained their lead on top of the table after an emphatic 5-2 win over NPL strugglers Pascoe Vale on Friday night at CB Smith Reserve.

The Avengers were simply too good for Pascoe Vale, dominating the game on the way to claiming their third-straight victory.

The first-placed Azzurri came out of the blocks with purpose, creating chances from the get-go. Striker Liam Boland’s second-minute shot set the attacking tone for the match which would be dominated by Avondale chances.

After enduring some nervy starts to games in recent weeks, the visitors didn’t have to wait long to open their account this time, with Matthew Reid scoring the opening goal 10 minutes into the half.

The defender did well to chest home a Tasuku Sekiya cross after it took a deflection, netting his fourth goal of the season.

Despite the breakthrough Avondale didn’t let up in their quest for more goals, continuing to press forward and creating great opportunities to double their lead. Boland, Sekiya, Stefan Valentini and Dillon Jakupi and Stefan Zinn all had chances, but all failed to convert.

Their wastefulness in front of goal meant that despite dominating and restricting Pascoe Vale to no shots in the first half, the Avengers only had a one-goal advantage at the half-time break.

But as the second half got underway, Sekiya ensured that the trend of missed opportunities wouldn’t extend into the second half.

Boland intercepted a sloppy Pascoe Vale pass and set up the Japanese international, who tucked his shot home to give Avondale their second goal only 40 seconds into the half.

Sekiya’s strike opened the floodgates and soon Avondale were piling on more goals.

Boland headed home from a corner to make it 3-0 and had a great chance to score a second just two minutes later, but his header was kept out thanks to a diving save from Paco keeper Nicholas Feely.

Fortunately though Zinni was there to tap home the rebound, netting his 10th goal of the season and Avondale’s fourth of the night.

Pascoe Vale managed to stem the onslaught with a goal of their own but Sekiya put to bed any hopes of a miraculous comeback, neatly putting away his second goal of the night after a dashing run into the box.

The Rams found the back a second time after a long-range strike beat Avondale keeper Chris Oldfield, but the goal was little more than late consolation with the result already sealed by that stage.

The 5-2 win maintains Avondale’s lead on top of the table – they sit five points clear of second-placed Bentleigh and seven points clear of third-placed Heidelberg.

Aside from an impressive result there was more positive news for the Avengers, with defender Charles Beverley making his first appearance for the senior side in 2019 after returning from an injury.

Avondale will look to extend their winning streak to four games this weekend when they take on Green Gully at Avenger Park on Saturday.

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