Vikings gain breathing space at the top

Sebastopol Vikings posted a 2-0 win over Melton Phoenix on Saturday and, as other results fell its way, it gained a two-point buffer on top of the Football Federation Victoria state league four west ladder.

Point Cook went down to fellow contender Surf Coast while Bell Park drew with Golden Plains as the Vikings made it four wins from their last five outings.

Ballarat City recruit Isaac Ellis made a welcome return to Sebastopol, scoring the opening goal in the first three minutes before Adrian Curtain converted from the spot after 20 minutes.

Coach Corey Smith said it was not the side’s best performance for the season, but after a stellar start it was able to control the game and hold the two-goal lead.

IN FORM: Vikings' Marcus Lynch passes the ball on Saturday as Sebastopol registered its fourth win from the past five matches. Picture: Lachlan Bence

IN FORM: Vikings' Marcus Lynch passes the ball on Saturday as Sebastopol registered its fourth win from the past five matches. Picture: Lachlan Bence

”We killed the game off after 20 minutes,” Smith said.

“After that, we managed the game quite well.”

Melton may be sitting on the bottom of the ladder, but Smith said it played far better and brought the intensity of a side desperate to avoid relegation.

Nonetheless, Vikings did enough to come away with victory and continues to cement itself in the upper rungs of the ladder.

Adding to the form is the fact the Vikings are yet to unleash its full squad on the park. Sebastopol has used 30 players through its seniors this season, with the substantial depth providing Smith with a “selection headache” every coach wishes for.

“We’re sitting on top and we still haven’t had a full compliment of players top pick from yet.

“There are some selection headaches...but we’ve got a situation where the selection dilemma is because we have so many options.”

Joris Kerstens and Adam Newbold are two notable players expected to return soon. Sebastopol travels to Truganina next week.

SEBASTOPOL Vikings sits at the top of the Football Federation Victoria state league four west ladder, but it’s focus remains simple.

Coach Corey Smith said there was a long way to go this season and it was crucial to keep ticking its points tally over on a regular basis.

“There’s still a lot of twists and turns before the end of the season,” Smith said.

“The focus is on picking up points every game and not so much the ladder position.”

After a fruitful first half of the season, which was littered with a number of home games at St Georges Reserve – which has become somewhat of a fortress for Sebastopol. The Vikings played seven of the first 11 games at its home venue while Saturday was at Morshead Park, they now face the challenge of continuing the top form on the road – with just three more home games this season.

But Smith does not fully subscribe to the home ground advantage mantra. He believes without the home crowd factor, like in an elite league, it is simply a pitch advantage and all good sides should be able to win on any pitch.