The first of over 100 clubs in Victoria, Australia to compete in football’s most illustrious league.
The competition, which is 113 years old, is named after Harry Dockerty, a member of the Football Victoria Hall of Fame who presented the trophy. Carlton United won the first edition of the competition in 1909, and despite some breaks over the years, the 97th edition will take place in 2022.
For the third time in a row, Bentleigh Greens have won the Dockerty Cup against the Oakleigh Cannons.
The Greens left it late but it was excellent as Bentleigh lifted the trophy through goals from Tom Strickland and superb Yagoub Mustafa, who came on late after Bentleigh was trailing by a Joe Guest goal at the start of the second period.
As well as their goalscorers, the Greens can congratulate Pierce Clark on an outstanding first half in which he dodged plenty of shots from the Cannons.
It was senior manager Nick Tolios’ first opportunity to win a major trophy with a team he had shaped in his image, and he was ultimately rewarded for the depth of the team he had helped build. at the club, as the ‘next man philosophy shone.
Mustafa’s return to the bench brought little relief to Tolios due to the team’s busy schedule and injuries to Pierce Waring, Lucas Derrick and Ben Carrigan before the game.
Tolios, who is never one to complain, was confident in his side’s strength heading into the game, and his faith was eventually rewarded.
The Cannons won the first half and also had the most important chances.
Clark’s three saves that stood out in a half where the Cannons blocked the Greens’ goal were those made at minutes 15, 38 and 39.
On the other hand, the Greens sometimes struggled to play through the cannon press and saw their best chances come from set pieces.
Jack Painter-Andrews suffered an unlucky injury in the first half and was forced out of the game with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
The second half got off to a similar start, with the Cannons taking an immediate lead.
Hard play on the right wing resulted in a blazing cross slammed into the box. The ball fell to Guest at the back post, and he made no mistake after Jack Webster failed to stick his clearance.
As the game approached the hour mark, the Greens gradually took control of the situation as Oakleigh tried to hold on to their lead.
Tolios started looking on his bench for the other qualities he needed. At halftime, Mitch Hore replaced Painter-Andrews; however, his subsequent substitution of Mustafa for Chris Droutsas in the 75th minute effectively ended the game.
When an opportunity presented itself, the returning Western Australian raced towards the Oakleigh defenders, quickly putting his speed and deft feet to work.
In the 78th minute, he teamed up with Hore on the left side to bring the attacking midfielder behind along the left wing. This allowed him to put a nice cross to the back post, where Strickland was ready to kick the ball home and level the scores.
The Greens dominated the final minutes as they gained new energy, and Mustafa scored the well-deserved winner in the 82nd minute to secure victory.
Wild celebrations ensued as the Greens claimed three Dockerty Cup victories from as many finals.
The players celebrated lavishly, but they also kept an eye out for Wednesday’s key Australian Cup game against Sydney FC, followed by an equally important league game against Port Melbourne.
Photo copyright: Kostas Deves
Source: Home 2021 – Bentleigh Green Soccer Club