Victory upset Gold Coast

Melbourne Victory Youth put in their best performance of the season to upset league-leaders Gold Coast United Youth 4-1 at John Cain Memorial Park on Sunday.

Melbourne Victory Youth put in their best performance of the season to upset league-leaders Gold Coast United Youth 4-1 at John Cain Memorial Park on Sunday.

In a shock result the Victory were superb from the kick-off, especially midfielder Luke Pilkington, who hit a hat-trick in the rout in a much-improved attacking display from the home side.

In fairness, the hosts were unlucky to go into half-time at 1-1 after dominating much of the opening stanza, but made sure of the three points after half time with the comprehensive win.

With just a win from five games and sitting at the foot of the National Youth League ladder, Victory dearly needed a boost.

They were aided by the league-leaders United who looked flat in the early stages, with Victory the ones pressing forward in numbers.

With the bulk of the play, overage players Marvin Angulo and Geoff Kellaway were pulling the strings in midfield and having a real impact.

Despite that, Victory couldn't penetrate United's defence with a glorious chance for Damir Lokvancic on eight minutes when clear in the box, the only incident of note.

In any event, play was called back for offside.

But with James Kalifatidis holding the ball up well in the central striker's role, Victory had a good shape about them and it looked only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken.

And on 30 minutes they did break through with Pilkington finding space in the box to head Victory into a deserved lead.

But within six minutes Gold Coast danger man Chris Harold, who was starved of service up until that point, found plenty of space lurking at the back post to control the ball and net an equaliser against the run of play.

After the break it was more of the same with Victory maintaining possession and getting numbers into the box while United were creating precious little at the other end.

Kalifitidis benifited from Victory's midfield dominance, capping off a good game - before being substituted - with a lovely finish to put the home side back ahead at 2-1.

Harold had a chance to hit back moments later just as he had in the first half, and double his tally, but he couldn't get a touch on a ball played across the box.

Pilkington added his second on 63 minutes to make it 3-1 after a period of sustained pressure from Victory, nipping in at the back post to tap home.

Harold was playing a lone hand for Gold Coast up forward, he carved two good chances for himself, hitting the post with one shot and curling another just wide of the mark.

Late on Victory won a penalty after Anthony Selemidis was fouled and in a token gesture Pilkington stepped up to complete his hat-trick and end the rout 4-1.

Melbourne Victory: 4 (Pilkington 30, 63, 87, Kalifitidis 51) Gold Coast United: 1 (Harold 36)