NPL Boys and Girls update – 07/07/21

U14 Boys – 2 Caroline Springs – 2   

A highly competitive display against ladder leaders Caroline Springs for Coach Pas’ boys. After being the only team to defeat Caroline Springs this season, the under 14’s knew they were in for a tough game. During a windy first half, Bentleigh found themselves on the back foot. In a bizarre ending to the game, Caroline Springs equalised when the linesmen had his flag up for offside yet put his flag down after the goal was scored. The boys were able walk away with their head held high, knowing they took it to the top team in the league.

U15 Boys – 1 Kingston City – 1

A great start was derailed by a controversial early red card for Bentleigh. A goal five minutes into their game was the end of Bentleigh’s luck on Sunday, after their referee gave a contentious card to the under 15s captain. A bit of push and shove, lead to the boys playing 65 of the 70 minutes with ten men. On top of their opponents in the first half, Coach Mich did not need to give the boys any more reason to fire up for the second half, feeling the boys were hungry for a win. Switching from 4-3-3 to 4-4-1, the boys kept trying their luck but to no avail, taking home a point from a draw.

U16 Boys – 3 Northcote FC – 3

A strong display of character from the under 16’s against a very good Northcote side. Scoring first, it seemed the boys would make the most of their early opportunities, yet Northcote bounced back with two goals in three minutes. Bentleigh were in the hunt, yet down 2-1 at half time. Wanting to make amends for their draw earlier this season, the boys were fired up to find an equaliser. A strong fifteen-minute start in the second half gave Bentleigh two goals to take the lead. A dubious penalty decision led to a penalty late to tie the game. A goal scored directly from a corner kick was the standout highlight of Bentleigh’s performance on Sunday.

U17 Boys – 0 Northcote FC – 4

Multiple controversial penalty decisions were ultimately the under 17s downfall on Sunday. Facing a tough opponent, the boys knew they had work to do, knowing Northcote would improve since their one-all encounter earlier this season. After finding their feet halfway through the first half, the boys got behind the Northcote defence on multiple occasions yet weren’t able to hit the target. Down one nil at halftime, there was a renewed sense of urgency in the rooms to score another goal. After scrapping their way back into the game, all momentum was knocked out of Bentleigh after conceding a penalty from a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge. Upon conceding a second goal, heads dropped as Northcote pilled on the goals in the final minutes. It should be noted the under 16’s and 17’s had the same referee.

U14 Girls – 4 East Bentleigh Strikers – 1

An away derby win for Coach Billy’s team in a great team performance Sunday. Before taking to the field, the girls were instructed to get to the ball first, and always look up for an option. Maintaining majority of possession during the first half, a frustratingly few number of shots were taking place. Billy instructed the girls to try their range from distance, as their keeper had yet to be adequately tested. Finding the bottom corner from distance, the girls steamrolled a tired East Bentleigh in the later stages of the game.

U16/17B Girls – 3 Glen Eira FC – 2

A hard-fought victory for Coach Anthea’s girls on Sunday, scoring three second half goals to take home three points. Weary of the quality of their opponent, Glen Eira had beaten Bentleigh’s opponent the previous week, Sandringham. The girls were instructed to hold off any attacks to prevent falling behind early. Glen Eira were effective getting behind Bentleigh’s defence with a through ball, taking the lead before halftime. Anthea’s message at half time was to keep driving at the defence and goals will come. Frustrated they were behind to begin with, the girls rallied and started their second half full of passion. Scoring three goals in the final half, the girls secured their fourth win of the year with a great fightback.

U16/17A Girls – BYE

U19 Girls – 11 Rowville – 0

Back to their high scoring best, the under 19s had a fantastic display against Rowville. Missing players due to school holidays and injuries, Coach Frank borrowed four girls from Coach Charlie’s under 17s in order to make up enough numbers. In their first match playing 90 minutes, the under 17s girls adapted well to the game, keeping up with the older players. After settling into the game for the first fifteen minutes, Bentleigh piled on the shots to score six goals in 30 minutes. Taking control of the game, Coach Frank’s next challenge was managing rotations with only one substitute. Lara Baytes had a standout performance kicking six goals.

Written by Aiden Zeccola