SEBASTOPOL Vikings have capped off a successful inaugural season in Football Federation Victoria’s state league five division with a stunning victory over competition benchmark Melton Phoenix.
The Vikings overcame a sluggish start to run out 4-3 winners in the final round at MacPherson Park on Saturday, with Matthew Jamieson scoring two goals in a dominant performance.
Vikings coach Michael Busija lauded his teams ability to shake out the rust after not playing for two consecutive weeks due to a catch-up round after round 20 and a victory via forfeit against Sunshine Heights Western Tigers in round 21.
“Our first 25 minutes was probably as bad a football as we have played all year, and we were lucky not to be 2-0 down at the 20-minute mark,” Busija said.“Our keeper Mathew Smith pulled out a top draw save when he looked beaten for all money, and that gave us the spark to get back in the game and we really turned it around from that point.”
Paul Mcclounan scored the equaliser shortly after Smith’s save, and the Vikings entered the half-time break at 1-1.
Melton scored the first goal of the second half to edge ahead 2-1, before goals to Jamieson and Marcus Lynch gave the Vikings a 4-2 advantage at the 75-minute mark and a big enough lead to hang on for the win despite a late Phoenix goal.
The Vikings finished the year off in fifth spot on the ladder with 12 wins, three losses and seven draws – a record that Busija believes exceeded the club’s expectations in its debut season.
“The most pleasing aspect of this year was the fact that we were able to develop a game style and a philosophy that the players really understood and implemented well,” Busija said.
“We have a much better understanding of the competition we’re playing in now, we have 12 months of further advancement into our game plan and we’re now looking at getting a couple more players in to bolster our stocks for next year.”