Green Gully showed its gritty side in a 2-0 win over Port Melbourne Sharks in the National Premier League at Green Gully Reserve on Friday night.
The Cavaliers barely reached great heights by way of their attack, but their tight defence and game management shone though all night to secure all three points.
Cavaliers general manager Raymond Mamo was pleased with his side’s first half performance, but admits they dodged a few bullets after half-time.
“We came out and were really good in the first half, just like the game against Dandenong City [the week before],” he said.
“We sort of sat back a little bit too much in the second half.
“By sitting back like that, you can invite trouble and that’s something we’ve got to be aware of.”
With a one-goal advantage at the break, Green Gully seemed content to defend what it had, opting to sit deep in the second half rather than take it to Port Melbourne.
While it was a dangerous ploy, it worked to a tee and resulted in the Cavaliers’ first clean sheet since round one.
“I thought the defence did really well,” Mamo said.
“They held their shape and were instrumental in the win.
“At one stage Port threw everything at us, but I thought our defence was really solid all the way through.”
In-form striker Alex Salmon continued his hot start to life at Green Gully.
He fired in a double to make it a league-best five goals in as many games.
Salmon scored his first goal from the penalty spot in first half stoppage time after midfielder Jay Davies was brought down following an aggressive incursion into the box.
His second goal came in the 88th minute when substitute Teeboy Kamara produced a delightful cross, which Salmon controlled with a soft touch and then powered home.
With dominant players Nick Kalmar and Manny Muscat on the sidelines, it was a game that tested Green Gully’s depth, but they found a way.
Jeremy Walker led by example in the absence of captain Kalmar.
Walker would have blown up a GPS with the amount of running he did in the right-back position.
Left-back Jordan Lampard was also praised for his high work rate.
“He’s is getting better and better,” Mamo said.
“He is one of the left-backs to look out for.”
The fifth-placed Green Gully will square off with ladder leader Avondale in a mouth-watering game at Green Gully Reserve on Saturday at 3pm.
Meanwhile, Calder United continues to set the pace in the NPL Women’s.
Calder crushed Box Hill United 7-2 with Catherine Zimmerman scoring a hat-trick within five first half minutes and Angela Beard scoring a double.
Top-of-the-ladder Calder will host Bayside United at Keilor Park Recreation Reserve tonight at 8pm.
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