Dandenong City is looking the goods

Zois Galanopoulos, pictured recently, and his Thunder teammates were unable claim the points against Port Melbourne. 177940 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Hayley Wildes

With the business end of the NPL season fast approaching, the region’s local teams had a mixed bag of results.

In an important battle in the context of both teams’ seasons in NPL Vic action, the Dandenong Thunder was unable to take the points against Port Melbourne at George Andrews Reserve.

With Port Melbourne sitting fifth and Dandenong ninth, just four competition points behind, a win for the Thunder would’ve been massive.

Both the Thunder and the Sharks were unable to find the back of the net in a back-and-forth first half, before a Sam Smith beauty for the Sharks in the 80th minute was enough to get his team the win.

The 1-0 loss, their second in a row, severely damages the Thunder’s chances of a post-season berth, but a Round 21 match-up against the second-bottom FC Bulleen Lions will serve Dandenong with a great chance to return to the winners’ list.

In NPL 2 East Vic action, Dandenong City strengthened its stranglehold on top of the ladder, while the Springvale White Eagles had to settle for a draw.

Dandenong City, taking on Murray United at Frank Holohan Soccer Complex, took the lead with a David Stirton goal in the 34th minute. The side then managed to keep its opposition out for the entirety of the game to claim a 1-0 win against the second-bottom Murray United outfit.

The win, Dandenong City’s 15th of the season, has the side four wins ahead of the second-placed Moreland City FC.

The Springvale White Eagles had a battle on their hands against Langwarrin SC at Lawton Park Reserve.

With Langwarrin taking a 1-0 lead into half time, the White Eagles needed some inspiration coming out of the break and they got it immediately.

Just minutes into the second half, a beautiful strike from Karac got over the back of the Langwarrin defence and Delarno Pharoe put the ball in the back of the net for the all-important equaliser.

With the ladder so tight – just five competition points separating Springvale in third from Langwarrin in seventh – both teams fought hard for a game-winning goal but were unable to find a way through tough defence.

The points were shared with a 1-1 draw.

Round 22 NPL 2 East Vic action sees more vital games take place with Dandenong City travelling to Gardiners Creek Reserve in Burwood to take on the Eastern Lions SC on Saturday afternoon. With the Lions needing as many competition points as possible, it will be on for young and old.

Meanwhile, the Springvale White Eagles will take on Melbourne City in Bundoora on Saturday afternoon. Both teams head into the clash with eight wins.