Sebastopol Vikings have notched up its first Football Federation Victoria state league three north-west win, showing it belongs against a high-quality opponent.
The Vikings defeated FC Strathmore 1-0, a side that finished in the top three in this league last season.
A Will Georgiou goal at the 16-minute mark proved a match-winning lead as Sebastopol delivered in front of its home crowd. But an equaliser looked imminent after 75 minutes as Strathmore earned a penalty. But Vikings’ keeper Michael Henry was up to the task – a standout performer on the day.
After being promoted last year, the Vikings gained just one point from its first two rounds, despite playing some quality soccer. Coach Corey Smith felt Saturday’s display was not as dominant as its previous two, but it amended some key areas.
“The performance was good, but out of the three games, this was the game that we were least dominant in,” Smith said.
“They had opportunities, the same as us – today the game went our way. It was an even game, it could’ve gone either way. We’ve got to give respect to them.
“Our performance wasn’t as dominant, but our performance was disciplined.
“As a coach, you can only ask for your players to respond in the right way and I think our players over three weeks (have done that). Each week we go back to the training ground and we work on what we can improve on as players and the result in secondary – I think we showed that today.
“After getting one point in two games, it would’ve been easy to get distracted and fight for the result alone, but today we were very disciplined.”
Smith, as he has done throughout its campaign, made the side’s intentions clear. It believes it belongs in this league, not only belongs, but it believes it can win it – yesterday’s result gave weight to those words.
“We want to win the league, we’ve made no secret that we believe we’re good enough to play at this level. To do that you must perform every week, so regardless of the opposition we’re gong to back ourselves to at least be competitive.
“Today we played a top side and showed that we’re a top level side ourselves.
“They’re a top three side, they were close to promotion last year, they’re the best side we’ve played.”
Sebastopol will be strengthened by the return of goal-scoring machine Kuanyjal Tuany and star recruit Lee Stevens.
While Dejan Mitrovic will be monitored after he pulled up with a sore hamstring. But he is expected to be right for next week’s clash with Point Cook.