By Peter Stephenson
Freeway Reserve, Mulgrave, was the venue as the Barkers men (fifth) visited Brandon Park (ninth) in round 13 of Men’s State 2 South-East. Barkers were looking for their first points on the road this season.
Barkers started quickly, with a Sam Klepac header in the first minute, and a goal from Paul McEvoy on the quarter-hour putting them 2-0 up and playing strongly. However, Brandon Park’s Dakota McAllan pulled one back with a nice finish across the keeper. Half-time: Brandon Park 1-2 Mooroolbark
In the second half, Brandon Park came out playing some spirited football. On the hour, they found an equaliser through centre back Archie Lindsay, who scored his first goal for the club with a header off a corner.
The home side now took control. With 15 minutes left, Harout Kirichian put a strong tackle in, which led to some good build up play and ended with Kirichian being played in and finishing well into the bottom left corner. Barkers threw everything at Brandon Park in the final 15 minutes but could not find an equaliser, with home keeper Cristian Morales making some remarkable saves. Full-time: Brandon Park 3-2 Mooroolbark.
Barkers remain without a point in six away games this year, in stark contrast to their form at Esther Park, where they remain unbeaten. Barkers drop to seventh in the 12-team ladder. Next Saturday they host fourth-placed Knox City at Esther Park.