A blistering first-half helped Melbourne Victory win an action-packed National Youth derby 3-1 against 10-man Melbourne Heart.
A blistering first-half helped Melbourne Victory win an action-packed National Youth derby 3-1 against 10-man Melbourne Heart at SS Anderson Reserve on Sunday.
Victory captain Luke O'Dea opened the scoring before Heart's William Abbott put the ball into his own net mid-way through the first half.
Jesse Makarounas made it three for Victory in opening half before Heart captain Joshua Groenewald was sent off for a lunge on Connor Pain, leaving his side down to 10 men for 60 minutes.
Stefan Mauk scored a consolation goal for Heart as they defended valiantly in the second-half to limit the damage.
Heart's youth team was missing a number of regulars travelling with the senior squad including Jeremy Walker, Sam Mitchinson and David Vrankovic while Victory's three new signings - Francesco Stella, Makarounas and Scott Galloway - all got game time.
Victory had a number of chances in the opening 10 minutes but a poor pass from Galloway was intercepted by Heart's Mauk and the attacking midfielder's on-target shot was well-blocked by Matthew Foschini.
Straight from the Heart chance, the ball moved quickly into the Victory half and O'Dea opened the scoring from outside the area after Pain's cut-back on 13 minutes.
The lead was doubled in the 22nd minute when Heart defender Abbott unluckily deflected into his own net after a cross from Pain.
Four minutes later, Victory got their third as O'Dea slipped the ball to former Perth Glory attacker Makarounas and he placed his shot in the bottom-right corner.
The task got even harder for Heart when Groenewald was given his marching orders for mistiming a lunge on Pain in the 32nd minute.
Despite their disadvantage, Heart managed to stem the flow and pinched a goal back on 60 minutes as Mauk breezed past two defenders and found the bottom-left corner.
Some quality goalkeeping from Heart shot-stopper Alastair Bray kept the score at 3-1, including a stunning save from Stella's close-range header in second-half stoppage time.
The three points for Victory means they remain second, three points behind leaders Central Coast.
Heart stay in third position, one point clear of Adelaide United but five points adrift of Victory.
Melbourne Victory 3 (O'Dea 13, Abbott 22og, Makarounas 26) Melbourne Heart 1 (Mauk 60)
Melbourne Victory: 1.Luke Radonich (GK) (20. Phillip Petrovski 45), 2. Matthew Foschini, 3. Scott Galloway, 4. Jason Geria, 5. Dylan Murnane, 6. Luc Jeggo (10. Connor Pain 83), 8. Kwabena Boahene, 9. Luke O'Dea (c), 10. Connor Pain (13. Theodore Markelis , 11. Jesse Makarounas (7. Christopher Cristaldo 61) , 15. Andrew Nabbout (14. Francesco Stella 45) Yellow Cards: Foschini 16, Jeggo 63
Melbourne Heart : 1. Alastair Bray, 2. Phillip Petreski (15. Nicholas Epifano 93), 3. Cameron Edwards, 4. Andrew Mullett, 5. William Abbott (14. Zac Walker 31) 6. Joshua Groenewald (C), 8. Paulo Retre, 7. Ersin Kaya, 9. Evan Batsis (12. Tyler James 61), 10. Stefan Mauk, 15. Nicholas Epifano (11. Quinn McDonald 61) Yellow Card: Retre 20 Red Card: Groenewald 32