Frankston V Port Melbourne
Kinetic Stadium – ANZAC Eve
By Marc Ablett
ANZAC Eve has become a feature on the VFL Calendar with Kinetic Stadium providing the perfect backdrop to this annual event. Frankston has made this night it’s own and we hope it continues into the future, a bumper crowd poured into Kinetic Stadium with lines of fans up Kars St still coming in as the first siren sounded. It was an incredible atmosphere, with great weather and the ANZAC Commemorations pre-game setting the scene.
Unfortunately, for Frankston they missed the jump in the first quarter, Port Melbourne raced out to a 5-goal lead before anyone could blink an eye. The borough forwards were getting on top, in particular Archi Manton who got on the end of some good service in the midfield. Late in the first, Frankston began to turn the tide with forward Matt Johnson getting on the end of some good work from the mids and finishing, this was quickly followed up by a Bailey Lambert special from the boundary line after co-captain Trent Mynott won an important contest at half-forward. There was still plenty of work to be done, Frankston down by 4-goals at quarter time.
The coaching staff reset the players at quarter time and the players responded. That classic Frankston pressure that has become a staple of their game was back, Kai Owens was a brute on the inside and finished with 13 tackles for the game, while Trent Mynott finished with 11 clearances, these two started to get on-top on the inside along with Lachie Riley and were able to feed some of our outside players in Ryley Stoddart and Jackson Voss who were launching plenty of forward raids from half-back. It was a brilliant quarter of football with Frankston, a couple of 50m penalties resulted in goals to Nayna and Rendell, while some of the ball movement was elite, Josh Butland and Matt Johnson were combining well up-forward and finished the good work. The crowd was at fever pitch as Frankston drew within 3pts at half-time on the back of a clutch Lambert goal right on half-time.
In the third quarter it was a real arm-wrestle, Frankston’s pressure was incredible and they were getting on-top, Johnson and Butland again combined for goals only split by another mark and goal by Manton of Port Melbourne. The ball movement was brave in the second half and Connor Riley was providing some real dash on the wing. Butland kicked his third goal and the teams were going goal for goal as the three-quarter time siren sounded.
A huge last quarter on a special night was on the offing. Matt Johnson was beginning to provide some headaches up forward and was continuing to link well with Butland, when Johnson kicked his 4th Frankston were within 2pts and the crowd was willing them over the line, Port then scored from a nice bit of forward craft to stretch the lead once more. Enter Connor Riley, after winning a free-kick right on the 50 arc for holding the ball, he sent his kick into orbit and never looked like missing, bringing the “hill” to it’s feet in one of the loudest roars we have heard at Kinetic Stadium. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, Kyle Borg took the sting out of the game for Port Melbourne with a freakish soccer goal from 30m out and then Signorello finished the game right on the siren giving Port Melbourne a 15pt win, a margin that didn’t reflect the closeness of the match.
Frankston would consider themselves unlucky not to have grabbed a couple more wins in the first part of this season, with poor kicking costing themselves the game against Williamstown in round 2 and a slow start being the difference against Port Melbourne on Monday. The team now freshens up with the bye this week, ahead of a big game against the Sydney Swans on Saturday the 6th of May at 12:05pm at Kinetic Stadium.