The under 14s NPL Boys went down valiantly against a well-favoured Whittlesea Ranges 4-3.
During their eleven game qualifying campaign, Whittlesea had a goal difference of 63 goals scored, none conceded. Coach Pas, required the boys to get on the front foot and see how they’d react to conceding early. Their plan was successful, as the Greens were up 2-1 for the majority of the first half, until a late equaliser. Bentleigh successfully maintained their aggressive pressing, with continuous forward pressure leading to a third goal. However, Whittlesea’s midfield dragged them back into the game with constant tunning, as the boys eventually conceded late in the final ten minutes.
The under 15s NPL boys had a good 3-1 win in a windy away trip to Green Gully.
On an uneven pitch, Coach Mike wanted to play the ball quickly, whilst the boys had the wind in the first half. The plan worked to a tea, as Bentleigh quickly piled on three goals in fifteen minutes. With a 3-0 lead at half time, the boys then faced the icy wind. Whilst Green Gully struggled to claw back into the game, a series of unfortunate fouls led to a momentum swing. A controversial goal was conceded towards the end of the half.and . whilst conditions were not ideal, a scrappy win is a good win when you travel out an hour .
The under 16s NPL boys fought through tough conditions to lose to an undefeated Melbourne Victory 1-0.
On a soggy Whittlesea pitch, Bentleigh aimed to pressure the ladder leaders into making a mistake early. Victory attempted to play long balls down the channel, yet were unsuccessful due to windy conditions. Coach Kosta instructed the boys to press the back four, not allowing them to playout from the back. Bentleigh were faced with the challenge of playing the second half without goalkeeper Yianni Balatsas, who was substituted with an ongoing back pain. In the slippery conditions, the referee made a controversial decision to award Melbourne Victory a penalty. Without their shot stopper in goal, Victory converted and held on to take home three points.
The under 17s NPL boys went down 1-0 away to ladder leaders Melbourne City.
The boys were challenged to start strong and prove they can go toe to toe with the undefeated City. After starting fast, City quickly wrestled back possession and halted any Bentleigh momentum. Leading into half time, Bentleigh’s chances diminished, as City kept control of the tempo. At half time, Coach Chris did not make any tactical changes, sticking to his gut and reaffirming his belief in the boys. After a fiery half time speech, the boys came out firing and full of confidence. The rejuvenated Bentleigh side were determined to show they belonged towards the top of the table along side City, yet were not able to stop a well worked team goal. Whilst the boys didn’t walk away with any points, they can hold their heads up high for stepping up to a well-respected City side.
Our under 14s, and bot h 16/17s girls squads did not play during their catch up round this week, but it was goals galore in the Under 19s, as the girls walloped Rowville Eagles 11-0.
Coach Frank was happy to earn his first clean sheet of the season but was even more delighted with the energy that the girls brought and maintained throughout the game.
The girls focus prior to running out onto the pitch was to maintain shape, and always ask themselves “where should I be on the pitch?” After an energetic start, the girls lead 3-0 at half time. The girls continued to pile on the goals in the second half, as forwards Chanel Kennedy and Alyssa Hardy’s performance up front lead to four and three goals respectively.