NPL Boys and Girls update 5/8

U14 Boys – 4 Moreland Zebras – 2

Overcoming a fast start from Moreland Zebras, Coach Pas’ boys clawed their way to all three points after an excellent second half fightback. Going down 2-0 within fifteen minutes, the wet and windy conditions proved a problem for Bentleigh. With only one goalkeeper and outfield player on the bench, the boy’s cardio was tested after the COVID break. Taking a late goal into half time, Coach Pas told the team they’ve worked too hard on their understanding of their teammates and their positioning to play the football they were playing. Fired up after halftime, Bentleigh scored three goals in a dominating half.

U15 Boys – 0 Altona Magic – 3

A tough result against a physically tough opponent, the boys had a red hot crack against a top side. Already sporting a depleted bench, missing four key players, Bentleigh found themselves on the wrong end of some physically intimidating tactics. Losing one player to a broken collarbone from a challenge set the tone for the afternoon. Coach Mich was proud of how hard the boys fought, yet thought the boys need to stop playing catch up football and start taking the game to their opponents.

U16 Boys – 1 Dandy Thunder – 0

An easy three points for the boys, beating last placed Dandy Thunder. Coach Kosta instructed the boys to press the defence from the beginning, ensuring the make mistakes in defences. Thunder struggled to move the ball out from defence under Bentleigh’s pressure, resulting in a goal before halftime. Coach Kosta instructed the boys to stick the course, and keep playing how they were to close out the half. Coming close in the last ten minutes, Bentleigh’s dominant half couldn’t result in another goal.

U17 Boys – 0 Oakleigh Cannons – 2

The big Greek derby didn’t go Bentleigh’s way this week, losing to Oakleigh Cannons in frustrating fashion. Starting strong and scoring in the first two minutes, Bentleigh’s goal was cruelly ruled offside. Maintaining momentum, Bentleigh kept peppering the goals through out the half. Having majority of the first half chances, Oakleigh found themselves with a man open from a cross and took the lead 1-0. Coming out firing after the break, Bentleigh made a charge for the goals only to be fouled inside the box. The linesman called for a penalty, yet the referee who was further behind play called for freekick outside the box. Bentleigh’s run of bad luck continued conceding a late scrappy goal.

U14 Girls – 3 Sandringham – 0

A great win for the ever improving under 14 girls, collecting all three points from Sandringham. Coach Billy was overjoyed with the girls’ positivity coming back and was happy to see that energy translated onto the pitch. Instructed to try stretch Sandringham and keep possession wide, the girls were efficient in front of goal. Taking a 1-0 lead into half time, the girls were effective in cutting out any Sandringham chances. The most dangerous chance of goal was stopped by Bentleigh’s goalkeeper, who stopped a one on one yet copped a boot to the head in the process.

U16/17B Girls – 1 Berwick – 1

A tough draw for Coach Anthea’s girls, who were undermanned and playing out of position. Without any subs, it was tough find momentum against the aggressive and tough Berwick side. With players out of position including the goalkeeper, the girls had tough time defending, conceding in the last play of the first half. Fired up after halftime, the girls were eager to draw level. The chances kept coming for the girls, only just missing a penalty yet were able to convert from a cross later in the half. Anthea was delighted to be back and loved seeing the fight in the girls.

U16/17A Girls – 3 Williams Landing –  4

A rough game for coach Charlie’s girls saw them come ever so close to a miraculous draw. Taking the trip out west, the cold and rain did no favours to make William’s Landings’ pitch more playable. The Williams Landing player’s aggression on and off the ball did not help Bentleigh get their foot into the game. Having their hands tied with no subs on the bench, the girls were challenged to play out of position, in order to make up the numbers. Down 2-1 at halftime, coach Charlie changed from a 3-5-2 to a 3-4-3 in order to give more wide options. After converting a penalty with five minutes left, the girls weren’t able  a last ditch charge to share the points.

U19 Girls – 0 Manningham United – 0

A tough result to swallow, with coach Frank’s girls not able to find their rhythm until late in the game. Instructed to start quick, the first half was anything but that. Previously defeating Manningham 5-2 earlier in the season, the girls couldn’t convert their chances. Coach Frank believe the girls’ fight was there, yet the indecisiveness in their passes is what let them down. Not able to get the start they wanted, the girls found their momentum late into the half, putting together some great through balls. Making a last ditch effort to take away three points, the girls kept shooting from distance yet couldn’t find the back of the net.

Written By Aiden Zeccola